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· Registered
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Make sure to stop by the Nutrition forum - this subject comes up regularly. Also, the meal planning sub-forum hosts pantry challenges and can provide ideas as well

I say - beans, beans, beans!!! Check out the lentil thread for some tasty and frugal recipes. The Honey Baked Lentils are Sooooo yummy! I double the recipe and freeze some of the leftovers. Lately I've been adding some cranberries and sweet potatoes to it to make it seasonal. I usually serve them with baked chicken thighs (stock up when on sale) and sauteed greens (from the garden or whatever is in season/on sale). Sometimes homemade cornbread. Provides several meals!

Whole chickens are a good deal and can provide several meals. They have to cook for a while, but are actually quite easy to prep. After using all the meat, I make broth in my slow cooker which is also so easy. If you don't have time right away you can freeze the carcass.

Good luck!

I always love hearing more ideas for healthy and frugal recipes

· Registered
2,309 Posts

Use the chicken carcasses to make stock, then put in any leftover or frozen veggies you have, beans, lentils, rice, what have you. Here's my "everything but the kitchen sink' recipe. Omit what you don't have on hand.

Chicken Soup

1 head cabbage, cored and chopped
2 carrots, diced
2-3 leeks, diced and washed (or onions)
5 or more tbs melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
4 ribs celery, finely chopped

Combine, cover, and cook on lowest heat for at least 30 minutes. If you do not cover the pot, it will burn. Blend with immersion blender if desired.

3-5 cubed, cooked chicken breasts
3-4 cubed potatoes, with the skin on or leftover mashed potatoes
minced garlic
crushed peppercorns
canned, diced tomatoes
chicken or veggie stock to cover

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.

Italian or other seasoning
alphabet pasta
green beans
spinach, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained, chopped

Simmer with lid until pasta and lentils are done, about 20 minutes. Check potatoes for doneness.


Heat through and serve.

· Registered
2,309 Posts
Another idea is what we call rubber chicken. Take a whole chicken and bake/roast it, and eat some of the roasted meat with dinner. Debone the chicken and make stock out of the carcass. Take the deboned meat and make chicken croquettes or enchiladas or a casserole. Then take the stock and any remaining meat and make chicken and veggie or chicken and rice soup.

That gives you three meals in a week off of one chicken. That really helps stretch the budget.

· Premium Member
11,469 Posts
I made this potato curry with chick peas the other night, and it was so good, and cheap! We buy curry powder in bulk and dried chick peas in bulk - they're a super protein source - and potatoes and onions are cheap, so really the only cost was for coconut milk, and found that on sale cheap a couple of months ago and stocked up. I subbed water for the stock and added some salt and pepper, and I added a lot more curry that they said. Serve over basmati rice (20 pounds for $10 at costco).

Rain's veg, so we mostly eat veg... it's a lot cheaper.


· Premium Member
10,171 Posts
Everyone took my ideas!

I make homemade pizza. Its the cheapest meal since we take leftover whatever for the toppings. I say the strangest tasty pizza we have had this year:
dough made w flour and some wheat flour (ran out of flour so added wheat flour)
a bit of ceasar dressing left as sauce
a choppped up pear and apple
a handful of blue cheese chuncked up
a bit of brie
mozella and a I had some leftover chicken breast chopped up.
This was a great pizza w just a bunch of stuff that another few days would have been tossed.

SOme of my best meals are made from leftover things and turned into something fabulous.

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382 Posts

Originally Posted by momaste View Post
Get the book "Extending the Table" and "More with Less". Both have super cheap, healthy, tasty recipes.
They also have a new one called "Simply In Season" that groups recipes based on what is available at a particular time of year. Just an FYI in case you liked their others. And I grew up on recipes from the MWL!
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