Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Needed: Inspiration for Frugal Suppers

Posted by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM
  • 46 Replies

We have a family of five and my husband is the sole financial provider.  He is paid biweekly and like many families finances are a little tight near payday.  What is some of your favorite recipes to stretch the family budget?

If you don't mind please include the approximate price per serving.   eating


by on Apr. 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 5:38 PM
1 mom liked this

I have several ideas but I have to fix our dinner now.  I'll be back!

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM

(I have no idea what this would cost; it depends on your favorite chili recipe's ingredients and how cheaply you can find the ingredients.)  Make one large pot of chili.  Divide into portions (not necessarily equal):  3 cups, 3 cups, and whatever is left.  Chili is one of those things that freezes well so you don't have to eat all of these in the same week.

Chili dog casserole:  With 3 cups, layer a small amount on the bottom of a baking dish.  Wrap hot dogs with flour tortillas and lay on top of chili.  Top with rest of chili and a couple of handfulls of grated cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350° until cheese melts, about 20 to 30 minutes. 

Baked potatoes topped with 3 cups of chili (portioned out per person) & cheese.  Add a salad for a side.

Chili Mac:  With the remaining chili, add it to 16 oz. of macaroni, cooked.   Top with sour cream and shredded cheese (optional)

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

I'm going to list several meal ideas with costs, but the costs were figured with 2010 prices at a Save A Lot store. 

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Chicken & rice casserole, green beans

Chicken & rice:

2 1/2 lb. chicken thighs or drums @ 85¢/lb. = $2.13 (typical price around here, you CAN get them for less if you buy a 10 lb. bag for 69¢)

1 can cream of chicken soup 69¢ (Save A Lot)

1 can cream of celery soup 69¢ (Save A Lot)

1 cup rice 25¢ (3 lb. bag rice $1.49 at Save A Lot, 2 cups rice /lb.)

1/2 c. margarine 17¢ (1 lb. Imperial margarine 69¢ at Save A Lot)

1 bag frozen green beans ($1 on sale at various stores)

TOTAL $4.93

Chicken & Rice Casserole

  • 8 pieces chicken drums or thighs or combination
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 to 1 1/2 soup cans water
  • 1 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
  • 2 tsp. beef boullion
  • 1 cup long grain rice

Wash chicken pieces (I prefer to remove the skin too). In 9 x 13 pan or baking dish, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Add chicken pieces. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Hamburger goulash, carrot sticks, canned peaches

1 lb. ground turkey $1.49 at Save a Lot

1 can diced tomatoes 50¢ at Save a Lot

1 can tomato soup 49¢ at Save a Lot

1 bag egg noodles 99¢ at Save A Lot

1 onion diced 15¢ (based on 10 onions in one bag at Save A Lot)

1/2 lb. carrots, sliced into sticks, 38¢ based on 2 lb./$1.49 at Save A Lot

1 can peaches, $1 at Save A Lot.

Total $5.00 EXACTLY!  and you'll have leftover goulash

Hamburger Goulash:

  • 16 oz. box elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • chili powder or other seasonings to taste

Cook macaroni in boiling water. While macaroni is cooking, brown beef with onion and drain. Drain macaroni. Add tomato soup and tomatoes to macaroni along with beef. Stir together, season and serve.

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

chicken alfredo, broccoli cauliflower mix

1 lb. chicken breast 99¢ based on buying bone in chicken breast at sale price of 99¢.lb.

1/2 lb. spaghetti, cooked 50¢ based on 99¢ for 1 lb. spaghetti at Save A Lot

4 oz. cream cheese 50¢ based on 99¢ for 8 oz. cream cheese at Save A Lot

3/4 c. Parmesan cheese $1.25 based on $2.49 for 8 oz. Parmesan at SAL

1/4 c. margarine 9¢ based on 69¢/lb. Imperial margarine at SAL

3/4 c. milk 12¢ based on $2.59/gallon milk at SAL

pennies for black pepper, garlic powder, bit of cooking oil, parsley

bag of frozen broccoli cauliflower $1 based on sale prices

Total $4.45 plus the pennies for the seasonings

(split this recipe in half for the above costs)

Chicken Alfredo


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • salt and pepper


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper (may also use black pepper)

16 oz. cooked spaghetti, linguini, fettucini or angel hair pasta


Cook chicken in olive oil with garlic and salt and pepper. While chicken is cooking, melt cream cheese and butter together in saucepan. Stir until smooth. Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Pour chicken and juices over spaghetti in a serving dish, then top with sauce and sprinkle parsley on top.

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Bruschetta chicken bake, green beans

Bruschetta chicken

1 1/2 lb. chicken breast meat $1.49 (based on 99¢ for bone in chicken breasts sale price)

1 box chicken stuffing mix 99¢ SAL price

1 can diced tomatoes 50¢ SAL price

1 cup shredded mozzarella 85¢ based on sale price $1.69/8 oz.

pennies for basil, water, garlic, Worcestershire sauce needed

1 bag frozen or 2 cans green beans, $1 based on sale price/SAL price

Total $4.83 plus pennies for the few extras.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

  • 1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced OR 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 6 oz. box chicken flavored stuffing mix
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomateos with liquid in medium bowl. Add garlic, stuffing mix and water; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside

Place chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish; sprinkle with basil & cheese. Top with stuffing mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Copycat Manwich, pea salad

1 lb. ground turkey $1.49 SAL

8 oz. tomato sauce 25¢ SAL

1 c. ketchup 33¢ based on 99¢ for 24 oz. ketchup at SAL

pennies for dry onion flakes, chili powder, yellow mustard, minced garlic

8 pack hamburger buns 89¢ SAL

1 bag frozen peas $1.00 on sale

1 c. Miracle whip 45¢ based on store brand for $1.79/32 oz. at SAL

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese 42¢ based on $2.49/12 oz. at SAL

pennies for some diced onion

Total $4.83 plus pennies for extras, and you may even have leftover sloppy joes!

Copycat Manwich

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed

Brown ground beef. Mix rest of ingredients together and add to browned meat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and serve on toasted buns.

Pea Salad

  • 1 16 oz. pkg frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
  • 1 small white or red onion, diced
  • 1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except peas in a bowl. Stir in peas. Store in refrigerator

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Taco Salad

1/2 head lettuce  55¢

1 tomato  50¢ based on 99¢/lb.

1 can black beans, drained  69¢ SAL prices, even less if you cook 3/4 c. dry black beans or pinto beans

4 oz. shredded cheddar or taco blend cheese  84¢  ($1.67/8 oz. when you buy 3 for $5)

1/2 bag nacho chips  50¢ based on 99¢/bag at a SAL

1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey 75¢ based on $1.49 SAL price

pennies for spices to make homemade taco seasoning

approximately 50¢ for ingredients to make homemade sweet French dressing

Total $4.33 plus pennies for spices.

by Gold Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Spicy chicken fillet sandwiches, oven fries, steamed broccoli/cauliflower

2 chicken breasts $1.33 based on 3 breasts/lb, $1.99 price/lb.

1/2 pack of hamburger buns 45¢

4 lettuce leaves approx. 20¢

1 tomato, 50¢

flour & spices for chicken & potatoes, pennies

1/2 c. Louisiana hot sauce 27¢ based on 79¢/12 oz. jar SAL

4 large russet potatoes $1  based on 12 potatoes in a bag costing $2.99

1 bag frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix $1 on sale

Total $4.75 plus pennies for flour & spices

Spicy Chicken Fillet Sandwiches

  • 1/3 c. hot sauce (we use Louisiana hot sauce)
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 - 8 chicken breast fillets (with our large chickens, I can get 3 - 4 fillets out of one breast half)
  • hamburger buns
  • mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • lettuce leaves
  • sliced tomato

Combine pepper sauce and water in a small bowl. Combine the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder in another shallow bowl. Working with one fillet at a time, coat each piece with the flour, the dredge it in the diluted pepper sauce. Coat chicken once again in the flour mixture and place on a broiler pan. Repeat for all the chicken fillets. Broil in oven until golden brown on each side and fillets are cooked through completely. Serve each fillet on a hamburger bun with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)