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jjrsgirl 06-26-2012 12:35 PM

Long ago, there was a wonderful thread in this forum for frugal recipes. I thought I'd start one up again since food can be quite costly (even with couponing and such). Here's a healthy recipe to get you started that is a staple in our house!

lauren 06-26-2012 07:45 PM

That looks delicious!!

NiteNicole 06-27-2012 12:43 PM

That does look good!  Thank you!

jjrsgirl 06-28-2012 05:20 AM

You're most welcome - it IS delicious! Please share one of your favorites, too!

Ragana 06-28-2012 06:08 AM

Red lentil soup with spinach and lemon


Any Indian dish on this page (provided you have an ethnic market nearby to get inexpensive spices)


Sweet potato-black bean enchiladas (I just used green salsa for the pepper part and omitted the cheese. Again an ethnic market is ideal for the tortillas and beans - I could get both for $1 or less)


Sweet chili-lime tofu with collards and quinoa (or kale and plain rice!)


Again, I am helped by living in a large metropolitan area with ready access to Mexican, Indian and Asian markets - tortillas for $0.50, limes 20 for $1, tofu for $1.50, large sacks of rice, cheap spices, etc. Then again, no hunting, gardening, backyard chickens, farmers' markets are expensive, etc. Your frugal might be different.

Ragana 06-28-2012 06:12 AM

Two other favorites are rice & beans and pasta.


We do rice & beans topped with whatever is inexpensive and/or in season - tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, salsa (homemade or jar, depending on the season), avocado.


Pasta with red sauce - simmer a large can of tomatoes with a peeled onion & finish with salt and pepper and a pat of butter.


Soba w/ broccoli and tofu - boil water for soba and when you put the soba in, add cubed tofu and chopped broccoli - drain everything & add your favorite stir-fry sauce or peanut sauce (peanut butter thinned with hot water, plus garlic, lime & chili and a little sugar).


Pasta w/ spinach - while boiling pasta, wilt spinach (or just mix spinach into hot pasta - it will wilt) and fry a couple of eggs - top pasta with fried egg and wilted spinach (good additions: garlic and cheese)

caiesmommy 06-28-2012 11:18 AM

I love simple rice and beans with fresh veggies and herbs(if we have them).

Breakfast for dinner

Channa masala and potato cauliflower curry

Fried rice

I like to cook lentils and brown rice in the rice cooker with indian spices and topped with fried onions

Chickpea noodle soup(vegetarian version of chicken noodle)


I love this soup/stew. I switch it up all the time. Add tomato juice instead of water,top with avocado,mango,olives,stir in corn and other veggies. It's crazy yummy and easy to make

Ragana 06-29-2012 04:59 AM

Originally Posted by caiesmommy View Post

Channa masala and potato cauliflower curry


That is big here, too.

sewaneecook 06-29-2012 10:26 AM

My favorite cheap meal is pinto beans in a pot covered with homemade chicken broth (or water with a bit of boullion), add 1 t. cinnamon and 2 t. cumin ... simmer.  I sometimes serve it over rice, but usually by itself and a side of cornbread.  It's simple, fabulous, and everyone in my family loves it.  My husband likes raw onion cut up in it too.

mamabear0314 06-29-2012 01:15 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Originally Posted by sewaneecook View Post

My favorite cheap meal is pinto beans in a pot covered with homemade chicken broth (or water with a bit of boullion), add 1 t. cinnamon and 2 t. cumin ... simmer.  I sometimes serve it over rice, but usually by itself and a side of cornbread.  It's simple, fabulous, and everyone in my family loves it.  My husband likes raw onion cut up in it too.
How long would you simmer that?

jamesong55 07-04-2012 07:34 AM

I have one that is good.


Hamburger beef vegetable soup


4 cups chicken broth(I make my own)

1 onion chopped

1 to 2 lbs ground beef depending on preference

1 can tomato sauce

2 cubes chicken boullion

2 packs or from the onion soup mix for 2 packs

15 oz of frozen mixed veggies

garlic and pepper to taste


1 Brown beef and onions then drain.

2 Then add everything but veggies let simmer for about 45 mins till the right consistency.  Them add veggies for another 15 to 20 min till thawed

jjrsgirl 07-14-2012 02:26 PM

You ladies are fantastic! Keep em coming! I'm going to try a couple of these this week for my to find ones that are WW friendly. ;-)

holidaymama 07-15-2012 07:54 PM

Taco Soup:

1lb hamburger

1 can tomato juice

taco seasoning

1 bag frozen mixed vegees

1 can or more of black beans

Can add rice and cut down on meat


Fried Rice:

Cooked Rice

1 bag frozen mixed vegees

a few eggs

a little leftover chicken if you have it...or not

Really you can throw in what ever you have into a pan and fry it up...I do fry the eggs first though.


Sloppy Joes:

1/2 hamburger

1/2 lentils

mixture of ketchup, mustard, worsetichire (sp?), brown sugar, salt and pepper


siennaflower 07-16-2012 07:57 AM

pinto beans and rice (rinse beans well and soak in a slow cooker over night, drain and rinse again then cook on low all day, cover with a few inches of water and throw in several whole peeled cloves of garlic and a chopped onion; I add bacon if we have it but usually omit, about 30 mins before we eat I will add salt, pepper, cumin and chilli powder).


meatloaf (1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb ground turkey, 1/2 large onion chopped, 1 green bell pepper chopped, one egg, one can diced tomatoes with juice, 1/2 cup of quick cooking oats-combine browned meat and other ingredients, shape into a loaf pan; combine 1/3 cup ketchup, 2 tbs brown sugar and 1 tbs mustard and spread over top of loaf; bake for an hour at 375).

nyssaneala 07-19-2012 09:13 AM

Originally Posted by jjrsgirl View Post

Long ago, there was a wonderful thread in this forum for frugal recipes. I thought I'd start one up again since food can be quite costly (even with couponing and such). Here's a healthy recipe to get you started that is a staple in our house!

That sounds yummy! And I even have all of the ingredients in my house, which is rare. I just popped some black eyed peas from my CSA in my freezer over the weekend. I'll definitely use them in this recipe.


My favorites are:


Black beans and rice, cooked with a homemade sofrito (onions, pepper, and garlic), homemade seasoning OR Goya seasoning packet, and brown rice.


Lentil curry: 1 cup red lentils, 4 cups water (I add a little chicken or vegetable stock), 1 bay leaf, lots of curry powder, cumin, coriander, ginger, vegetable of choice. Garam masala at the end. Serve with rice. Top with cilantro, if on hand. I also sometimes throw in hard-boiled eggs for extra protein.


Summer pasta: Boil pasta (I use whole grain penne), salt the water very generously, so that the water tastes like ocean water. Take a container of roasted cherry tomatoes (I cook at 450 for 15-20 minutes, tomatoes cut in half and covered with olive oil, pepper, and garlic). When pasta is cooked, add tomatoes and all juices to the pasta, and fresh basil. Stir, and add in diced mozzarella. Serve with a salad.


The last one is cheap for us, because we get cherry tomatoes with our CSA, and our nearby Earth Fare often has coupons for free mozzarella. You can use regular tomatoes, or parmesan, and it still tastes good.

Brees_Mama 07-19-2012 09:17 AM

lurk.gif watching for idea's.



Potato cakes

we love these here! I use gluten free all purpose flour in place of the flour and add salt/pepper and use olive oil or bacon grease for the oil.

greenmamato2 07-28-2012 01:02 PM

These are such fabulous ideas. :)  One of my big money savers is actually breakfast foods.  Since I got pregnant this time around I have been eating a big breakfast and smaller meals throughout the day.  I make gobs of pancakes and freeze them, and do the same with egg-free waffles (I found a great recipe online).  I add vanilla and cinnamon to my waffle and pancake batter to give it that little "something extra" and everyone seems to love it.  That makes it really inexpensive.  I also love making oatmeal various ways, and find it is REALLY cheap. 


I make my own granola too, and use dried fruits and nuts from the dollar tree so I keep it inexpensive, but yummy.  I get our honey from our local "Honey Man" (so fresh I found a bee leg in it when I opened the jar last time).  He takes EBT and so I was able to get a quart of orange blossom honey for $11 on my EBT (we get $27 in EBT each month, so it doesn't go far, but I like to use it for things like this that I wouldn't normally spend $ on). That will last us a LONG time, and tastes amazing on the granola.


I make my own bread for a side dish for a lot of meals.  If you can make some yummy dips this is a great option, and VERY inexpensive.  Try it with hummus that you make from scratch using canned chick peas. :) YUM.


Potatoes are always a go-to here.  Baked potatoes go a LONG way to make a meal yummy and filling.  there are a dozen and a half ways you can make potatoes to keep them interesting and different texture wise, and when you add spices it really changes the flavor.  We serve them fried, baked, in the crock pot, microwaved, boiled, mashed, and smashed. 


Pasta stretches good ingredients a long way.  Like potatoes, you can make pasta a dozen and a half different ways. 


One of our favorite dishes is tomato soup with garlic added in, and noodles.  It is SO simple, but SO filling, and tastes amazingly hearty.  Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches if you have the stuff for it, but if not it is amazing just as is, or with crackers!


Another favorite is "hunter stew."  We call it that because you just "hunt" for whatever you have and throw it in.  I usually do this when we don't have anything substantial enough to make a real meal.  Throw in a can of tomato paste or sauce with any leftover meats or beans, veggies, rice, noodles, potatoes, whatever you have on hand.  Clear out the veggie drawer from things that are about to go bad, and use them up!  Add some boullion if you need for extra flavor, but I find an onion, garlic, and some seasonings out of the spice cabinet do a nice job too.


On that note, I do a "canned" soup too, that doesn't taste at all canned.  I just dump whatever I have in the pantry into the crock pot on really slim days.  No one knows it's "frugal" cooking, or a last ditch effort to make a meal when we don't have much else, and it lasts a long time.  I usually start with a can of tomatoes or tomato paste/sauce, and dump in any veggies I can find in the cans in the cabinet.  I add in canned beans and any canned meats or potatoes if I don't have fresh (though usually I don't have those on hand).  Add a cut up onion and some garlic if you have it, and you'll have a really nice soup.  Rice and noodles can help this stretch too. 


Hope that helps a bit.

Ragana 07-28-2012 01:19 PM

I'm glad you mentioned potatoes! I think I've probably posted this 10 times already on various threads, but crock pot baked potatoes are the bomb. Scrub and dry a bunch of potatoes, wrap in foil, toss in the crock pot *without* any water, and cook until soft (pierce with a fork to test). Top with your usual baked potato toppings. Yum!


I totally want to make that Hamburger Beef Vegetable Soup, but I think I would be the only in my family to eat it, maybe DH. Sounds so homey.

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