Frugal Foods: Cheap Eats, Thrifty Menus, Cost Cutting Cooking Tips

Frugal Foods...thrifty cooking, budget menus, cheap eats, money saving kitchen tips, and help for cutting your grocery bill. Follow along with our everyday eating as we share how we eat well for less.

Jun 16, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

When there is a problem at the grocery store, politely let them know. The cashier may be able to correct it. If not, the person working the customer service counter can likely help. Another option is fill out the customer survey mentioned on the bottom of many grocery store receipts. Or, just contact the store manager by email or phone.

Jun 15, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Save your coffee cans. They can be used for all sorts of things, especially the metal and plastic ones. But, save one for coffee. Bricks of ground coffee are sometimes less expensive than ground coffee that comes in cans or canisters. An easy way to deal with an open brick is to pour it into a coffee can. Also, we sometimes find dented cans of coffee, which are sealed and fine until opened. But, the plastic cover may be cracked or the can may be bent in a way that doesn’t allow the lid to fit correctly. Again, just transfer that coffee into one of those saved cans.

Jun 14, 2019

Frozen Pizza: Dinner for Less than the Delivery Guy's Tip

Frozen pizza is a menu staple for weekend suppers. We buy the cheap kind or what's on sale, and add toppings. It's a tasty, frugal alternative to take out or delivery pizza, and just as fast and easy.

Continue reading "Frozen Pizza: Dinner for Less than the Delivery Guy's Tip"

Jun 13, 2019

Halibut Dinner – Free Food From the Entertainment Budget

This halibut dinner includes herbed fish, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. The fish and sweet potatoes come out of the entertainment budget. From the food budget perspective, they are free food.

Continue reading "Halibut Dinner – Free Food From the Entertainment Budget"

Jun 11, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Prep your vegetables for the week with a stir fry pan at hand! I clean and cut celery, carrots, bell peppers, and other vegetables for eating as raw snacks. The not-so-pretty pieces go into the frying pan for a vegetable stir fry. There’s nothing wrong with these vegetables. What I’m talking about are the parts that just don’t cut into nice sticks, strips, or slices. The celery leaves. The zucchini ends. That extra curved part of the bell pepper. The green onion tops. They make a great stir fry. And, they leave me with neat containers of veggies ready for snacking or quick side dishes for the week.

Jun 10, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

It takes a lot longer to cook rice casserole in the Crock Pot Express electric pressure cooker than it does to cook plain rice. Plain rice, I simply hit the Rice button, which is 12 minutes on low pressure. For a rice, chicken, and tomatoes casserole, I upped it to 15 minutes—and the rice was still hard. (I started with cooked chicken, so raw chicken wasn’t an issue.) The Stew button gives a much better result, cooking it on high pressure for about 25 minutes.

Jun 09, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Prep peppers. When I buy fresh peppers, I like to clean them and get them ready for use right away. With mild peppers, such as bells, I quarter them and remove the stem, seeds, and white pith. Then, I cut a slice off the top and the bottom. Those irregular shaped top and bottom pieces go into stir fries, soups, and other cooked dishes. The remaining large slabs of pepper get sliced into neat strips, which we eat raw at meals and as snacks. I do the same with jalapenos. I like to prep hotter peppers in advance, too, but those we don’t eat raw!

Jun 08, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Cook up a large batch of potatoes. Use them throughout the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We slice or cube them to fry for breakfast, or grate for hash browns. They are the staple side dish with most any meat and vegetables meal. I also use them in soups, burrito fillings, and salads.

Jun 07, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Pot Roast Beef and Vegetable Soup: When we make a beef pot roast with carrots, onions, and potatoes, the last of it goes into making a batch of soup. I dice up whatever meat and veggies are left, and put it in the slow cooker, along with whatever juices accumulated while cooking it. Then, I add additional vegetables and seasonings to fill out the soup, and let it simmer.

Jun 06, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Turn leftover pasta into a thrifty main dish casserole by adding leftover protein and vegetables. Bind it together with some sort of sauce. Season to taste. A recent creation was spaghetti, Italian sausage crumbles, and green beans. For the sauce, I used shredded mozzarella cheese and sour cream. I seasoned with garlic powder, black pepper, and Italian herbs.

Jun 05, 2019

The Gnocchi Fail

Canned food to the rescue, again. The gnocchi failed. Big time. Not sure what went wrong, but I ended up with a pan of paste. I’ve made them before—well, not really made, but cooked the packaged kind—and they turned our great. They’re usually a quick to fix, inexpensive side dish. This flop could have been a lunch disaster. But, because we keep an assortment of canned foods on hand, it wasn’t a big deal. I opened a can of potatoes to go with the meat and vegetables we were having for dinner, and all was good.

Jun 05, 2019

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – A Classic Frugal Supper

Cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Tonight's frugal supper is a classic. Some thrifty meals never go out of style and this easy to fix soup and sandwich staple is one of them.

Continue reading "Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – A Classic Frugal Supper"

Jun 01, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Just Because It's on the Web Doesn't Make It True: Don't believe everything you read on a website. Just today, I read that you should never eat leftovers that are more than 24 hours old. I think that is plain and simple nonsense, though it was a good reminder that anyone can post most anything to a website, even if they have no idea what they are talking about.

May 31, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Is That What You Really Meant to Buy: Do you sometimes make the mistake of grabbing the wrong food item? Our local Fred Meyer had Fred Meyer canned vegetables on sale a couple weeks ago. As the receipt was being processed, I noticed that I didn't get the sale price on two of them. Well, it turns out the mistake was mine. I'd grabbed two cans of Green Giant vegetables instead of the store brand. Those two cans were each $1.00 more than the ones I meant to get. I took them to the service desk to exchange them, saving over two dollars. Pay attention to what you actually put into your grocery cart.

May 30, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Check Your Receipts: Check your grocery store receipt to see that you are being charged the correct prices -- before you leave the store. Mistakes are common. The store may have the wrong price entered into the computer. Or, they may have forgotten to input the sale prices. If the item needed to be hand entered the cashier could have hit a wrong number. And, in the case of produce, she may mistake one kind of produce for another.

May 29, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Free Food from the Entertainment Budget: Hobbies and entertainment can supply you with free food. My husband likes fishing, a past-time that puts fish in our freezer. I like decorating for fall – using brightly colored squash, which we later eat. You may like gardening or hunting. While these activities are certainly not free, the cost of doing them comes out of the entertainment budget, not the food budget.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Keep It Simple: Simple foods are just fine. People tend to complicate things, spending more time and money than necessary. Case in point: We were heading off to the car races and I took along sandwiches for the pit crew. Those that I made in a hurry, with a dab of mustard and a slice of bologna on a hamburger bun, were chosen before the more elaborate ones.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

How to Spend More on Food: Want to spend more on groceries? Here's how: Make out a list of what you'd like to eat for the next week, then go to the store and buy what is on that list. Don't stray from it, even if what you want is expensive and something else is a bargain. Don't buy anything extra, not even if it is on a great sale and you know you'll need it next week. Don't make substitutions, not even if the fruit on your list is out of season and expensive and in-season fruit is much cheaper.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Coupons Make Dining Out Less Spendy: Use buy-one-get-one-free coupons. These are also known as "two-for-one" coupons. You pay for one restaurant meal and get the second one free. Sometimes the meals must both be the same. Otherwise, you pay for the most expensive one of the two.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Don't Want Leftovers? Recycle: Recycle your dinner. Funny how much difference the term we use makes. A friend won't serve "leftovers." But, she excitedly told me her new strategy for spending less on groceries. She is now recycling in the kitchen and she doesn't mean reusing the grocery bags. She now takes the meatloaf that remains after dinner, cuts it up into chunks, adds a can of spaghetti sauce, and serves it over pasta for the next day's dinner. If she cooks too much pasta, she takes what they don't eat for dinner, adds a can of tuna, sweet pickle relish, and salad dressing -- and has just recycled it into tuna salad for the next day's lunch.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

When Non Perishable Foods You Use Are On Sale, Buy Extras: One way to make your food dollars go further is to stock up on groceries that are on sale. If you are barely getting by, try squeezing in even one or two extra items, such as an extra can of vegetables when they are on sale. If your budget allows, buy an extra case if it is a good sale -- and if it is an item you will use before it goes bad.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Grab and Go with Cold Cereal: Grab a couple handfuls of dry cereal to eat first thing in the morning. Or, for a mid-afternoon snack. There's no prep. There are no dishes or other clean-up. It's quick and easy -- and nutritious. We usually opt for Cheerios-style Os or Chex-type squares. Their larger size makes them easy finger foods.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Grow Garlic: If you have garlic that is starting to sprout, plant it. Separate it into cloves. Each clove should produce a head of garlic. In the spring and early summer, I plant them outside, and even here in Alaska, they are ready to harvest in the fall. In the fall and winter, they can be planted and kept inside.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Frugal Gourmet Coffee: Skip the $4.00 to $10.00 a cup coffee. Make your own that is better. Brew up a batch of regular coffee. Add a touch of extract flavoring. Add cream or milk. You have rich tasting cup of joe at a pauper's price.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Use Prepared Foods in Two Ways: Use what's left of one thing to make another. Example: The horseradish and cream cheese spread you used along with thin sliced ham to make roll ups for appetizers. Add some crumbled bacon or bacon bits to what is left. Then, use it to stuff celery logs.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Label Your Freezer Containers: End the quandary of not knowing what is stashed in those Tupperware containers in the freezer. Use a white board marker to label them. Write right on the lid, noting what is inside and the date. For example: Chile 5/22/09. The marking will wash off the lid when you do dishes.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Use It All: Save parts of food items that you don't eat for other uses -- feeding birds, pet treats, compost pile, or potpourri (citrus rinds, apple peels).

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Freeze Bread to Keep It Fresh: One of the joys of homemade bread is that it has no artificial preservatives. That, however, means it will get moldy quickly if left at room temperature. Putting it in the refrigerator will keep it fresh longer -- but it will also dry it out. Bread a little on the dry side is okay for toast, but not so good for sandwiches. The answer is to freeze it overnight, the first day you bake it. Remove it from the freezer the next morning. It will thaw and taste fresh. And, it won't mold nearly as quickly.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Take a Break Before the Second Meal: Eating leftovers doesn't mean you have to eat the same thing two days in a row. We routinely cook something today, take a break from it tomorrow, and then eat it again the day.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Put a thrifty food tip to use and watch your food savings grow. The money you save being frugal in the kitchen can be buy other things you need -- or want. Free up those dollars for something else.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Specially Marked Packages: Watch for specially marked packages. These are the ones that have a lower than normal or special price printed right on the package. Or, they may be a special size, where it is printed on the package that you get an extra amount free.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Label Your Frozen Foods: Label the containers you put into your freezer with the date and contents. I use a white board erasable marker. It washes off when I wash the container.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Save Money When Buying Meat: Split up "Family Size" or "Economy Size" packages of meat for different uses. Buy the large, family packs of pork chops. Most stores put the pretty ones on top and the not-so-pretty ones underneath. Use those top ones to fry and have with a pork chop dinner. Cook the others in a slow cooker with BBQ sauce or with sauerkraut as you would pork hocks. Or, just cook them and then take the bones and fat out, leaving nice little pieces of great pork that you can use in chile verde, cook with rice, add to casseroles or baked beans, etc.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Big Savings Buying Fruit on Sale

How much can you really save by waiting for fresh fruit to go on sale before you buy it?

We bought sweet, dark cherries yesterday. The regular price rang up at over $14. The adjusted to the sale price, they were only about $5.00 That's $9.00 savings on only one item.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip

Morning Mix Cereal: "Morning Mix" -- another name for corn flakes, o's of oats, cinnamon flavored squares, and a few granola clusters all dumped into a large glass jar when the boxes are close to empty. Of course, you can use whatever dry cereals you have. We keep a jar going all the time, adding to it whenever we get close to finishing the box or bag of cereal. When the jar starts to get full, we eat this custom mix instead of opening a new package.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Thrifty Ground Beef: Get the family pack of ground beef. Fry up hamburgers patties one night for dinner. Fry the rest of the burger, breaking it up into pieces as you do. You can keep clean-up to a minimum by using the same pan for both. The scrambled beef is good to use casseroles, tacos, chili, etc.

May 28, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day

Thrifty Ground Beef: Get the family pack of ground beef. Fry up hamburgers patties one night for dinner. Fry the rest of the burger, breaking it up into pieces as you do. You can keep clean-up to a minimum by using the same pan for both. The scrambled beef is good to use casseroles, tacos, chili, etc.

May 27, 2019

Cheap Breakfast Ideas

Cheap breakfasts always throw me for a loop. I never know what to fix that my kids will eat. I don't have a lot of time. I need some ideas for foods that

Continue reading "Cheap Breakfast Ideas"

May 27, 2019

Steamed Rice, Eggs, and Italian Sausage Breakfast

Steamed rice, grilled Italian sausage, scrambled eggs, toast, milk, and oranges for our frugal breakfast this morning. Even at full prices, it would have

Continue reading "Steamed Rice, Eggs, and Italian Sausage Breakfast"

May 26, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day: Homemade Bread!

Make homemade bread! We’ve done the math, and it costs us less than 30 cents a loaf! That’s for a basic, all-purpose loaf of bread that is excellent for sandwiches, toast, or just eating plain with a little butter. It’s quick and easy to make using a bread machine that we bought at a thrift store for $1.00.

May 26, 2019

Freeze Onions

Can you freeze onions or will they last chopped in a container in the refrigerator for a week? If you can freeze them, do you just put them in raw? I tried

Continue reading "Freeze Onions"

May 26, 2019

Win Free Watkins Vanilla and More!

Enter to Win Free Watkins Vanilla! It's hard to get more frugal than FREE! We use a lot of Watkins products because their superior quality makes them excellent value--pure extracts and flavorings, organic herbs and seasonings, natural skin care, natural cleaning products, and old-time remedies. Enter to win the monthly drawing for a free assortment of Watkins products valued at $100. There's no purchase required.

Continue reading "Win Free Watkins Vanilla and More!"

May 25, 2019

Wine with Dinner: Even Frugal Folks Enjoy a Bottle of Inexpensive Wine

Wine with dinner? We just finished a pleasant meal of spaghetti with meatballs, green beans, garlic bread, and a glass of wine. Having wine with the meal added a lot. It added a more relaxed atmosphere. It added a romantic touch. It made an ordinary meal special.

Continue reading "Wine with Dinner: Even Frugal Folks Enjoy a Bottle of Inexpensive Wine"

May 25, 2019

Tip of the Day: Hurray for Hot Dogs!

Franks to the rescue! Keep a package of wieners handy in the freezer. They can fill in for breakfast sausage, a quick snack, or meat with a meal. While not the best nutritionally, they get points for being cheap, easy, quick to fix, versatile, keep well in fridge or freezer, and most people like them.

May 24, 2019

Chicken Breasts – Cook Up a Batch for Frugal Convenience Food

Chicken breasts are one of those foods that look expensive at first glance, but are actually thrifty. Buy a family size bag of them and cook them all up at once. And there you have convenience food!

Continue reading "Chicken Breasts – Cook Up a Batch for Frugal Convenience Food"

May 24, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip of the Day: Canned Meals

Canned convenience food to the rescue! A change in work schedule meant my husband was home a half hour before I expected him home for lunch. So much for ham and vegetable stir fry I was planning to fix for lunch. Instead, I opened up canned ravioli. While the ravioli was heating in the microwave, I made some quick garlic toast. We most always have a basket of fresh fruit on the table, and that worked just fine for a side dish. With a mug of cold milk, we had a fast and frugal, reasonably healthy lunch. We keep some store brand canned convenience meals in the larder, for just such occasions. They are considerably cheaper than purchased frozen meals.

May 23, 2019

Sea Stick Scampi: An Easy, Frugal Take on Seafood Scampi

Sea Stick Scampi starred as last night's frugal main dish. With leftover pasta, this one comes together in a jiff. It's one of my favorite ways to use imitation crab legs.

Continue reading "Sea Stick Scampi: An Easy, Frugal Take on Seafood Scampi "

May 23, 2019

Frugal Foods Tip - Save Those Stale Chips!

Recrisp potato chips, tortilla chips, corn chips, crackers, pretzels, and similar snacks in the microwave. Spread about two cups of chips onto a plate or shallow dish. Microwave for about one minute. Let them cool for a couple minutes before eating. Microwaves differ a lot, so check the time after about 30 seconds to make sure they aren’t starting to burn. If your microwave doesn’t have a rotating plate, when you check them at 30 seconds, give the dish half a turn.

May 20, 2019

Frugal Tip of the Day: Food Gifts

Graciously accept and use gifts of food. We were recently gifted the makings for breakfast: pancake mix, butter, syrup, eggs, and milk—and even canned whipped cream for a special topping.

See what's new on Frugal Foods.



Make Your Blog Profitable

SiteSell Hosting