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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: P938LVR on July 19, 2014, 07:32:33 PM

Title: Frugal recipes?
Post by: P938LVR on July 19, 2014, 07:32:33 PM
Does anyone have any frugal recipes they would like to share? If you know the cost per serving that would be great too!

We are a very busy family so Once a month cooking and/or freezer meals are appreciated too!
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: swick on July 19, 2014, 10:30:27 PM
There are lots of great threads with frugal recipes - The recipe index is a great place to start: (

 Check out BudgetBytes if you haven't it is a great site, tasty food and includes
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: davef on July 19, 2014, 10:38:42 PM
See the thread on paleo dieting, I give lots of recipes in there.
One of my favorites is beef stir fry. (6 oz any beef soaked overnight in some Worchester sauce with salt and peper. Pan fry with half an onion in big chunks and mushrooms. Serve over rice if you like or eat it caveman stlye. I also do A simple stir cry with a chicken breast half an onion and a bell pepper. Beef on sale usually 4.99 per pound, chicken 2.99. in both cases one pound makes 2-2.5 servings. Onions are cheap. Add a dollar for peppers or mushrooms and oil, you are talking about $3-4 per serving.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: jabber on July 20, 2014, 03:38:18 PM
My lunch for the week, prepared each Sunday:

1 Kilo organic pasta, 1/2 Liter of salad dressing (of your choice), 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (for a few extra calories).  As a bonus, this is also my (tax-free) fuel for my commute by bicycle.

Estimated cost: Pasta $2.66, Salad Dressing $1.50, Olive Oil $0.25, Preparation Time 15 minutes, Total Cost $4.41, Per Meal: 88 cents.  That's Mustachian, my friends.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: Dee18 on October 26, 2014, 06:01:23 AM
Wanted to share my favorite, and easiest, fall recipe...from Bittman's NYTimes column.
Ingredients: 1 butternut squash (about 1 pound) cost at farmers market: $1
                    14 oz can light coconut milk $ .89 at Trader Joes)
Peel squash and cut into chunks.  The smaller the chunks, the shorter the cook time.
Put squash in sauce pan and pour on coconut milk.  This should just barely cover squash.  Can add up to 1/2 can of water if need more liquid. Can add garlic and/or ginger here, but I love it without either. Cook at a simmer until squash is soft, usually about 20 minutes. Blend (immersion blender makes this easy). Season as desired.  Makes 4 servings.

Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: VirginiaBob on October 26, 2014, 06:19:18 AM
I have an exclusive link to some frugal recipes you may want to check out:
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: tracylayton on October 26, 2014, 08:56:02 AM
Check out Pinterest...they have a lot of frugal recipes.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: gopackgo2 on October 26, 2014, 12:11:13 PM
In the slow cooker:  sausage (kielbasa), sauerkraut, and sweet potatoes. Can be scaled up or down.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: Fodder on October 26, 2014, 05:30:39 PM
Check out the Budget Bytes blog, or 5 dollar dinners. They both do cost breakdown and have tasty recipes.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: Astatine on October 26, 2014, 06:26:16 PM
Anything based on dried legumes and meatless will be super cheap and can easily be cooked in bulk, then frozen to eat later.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: coffeelover on October 26, 2014, 06:46:43 PM
Frugal dessert cooked all day in crock pot.

I don't measure or count for anything so I'm sorry I can't provide those numbers. My cooking always turns out amazing and I learned to just eye things.

Cut up a few apples, skins off, core them. Dice them up into small or medium size pieces.  2.00
A tube of rolls from Kroger or Aldi, around 1.00
Stick or huge clump of butter, melt it in microwave .25 cents. (4 sticks of butter are .99 at Aldi)
A cup or more of brown sugar, mix it in with the melted butter. .45

Put the apples and the butter brown sugar combo in crock pot.
Take the tube of rolls and break them up into small pieces, put them in crock pot.

No need to mix anything up, put crockpot on low or high depending on when you want to eat dessert and watch everyone try and figure out whats cooking that smells so good.

Final cost for dessert for 6 people. 3.70 to 4.25 depending on amounts used. Even with my husband and kids there is usually some left over and I save it for a treat the next day.

If you want to get all special with this, throw a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla icecream on top. Add 1.00 to the cost.



Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: coffeehound on October 26, 2014, 09:01:05 PM
I don't know cost per serving, but it's sure above the .44 mentioned above.  That said, it's waaay cheaper than what I used to eat for lunch....  cook a pot of black lentils.  Add curry seasoning, sauteed onion and carrot to taste.  Add chicken, or not.  Voila!  Five easy lunches and a dinner or two, depending on how much of the lentils you cook.  Delicious, filling, and darn good for you.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: tofuchampion on October 26, 2014, 09:23:51 PM
Rice + beans + salsa + cheddar.  Add sour cream or guac if you want to get fancy.  Or meat.  Bulk it up with more veg.  Takes 5 min to make, not counting the cooking time for the rice & beans.

Black beans + salsa + bit of water + puree = black bean soup!

Eggs over easy + black beans + salsa. 

Notice a theme?  Beans are awesome.  I used to put a ton of spices in my black beans, then I realized I could just dump in some salsa for the same effect.  Not sure which is cheaper, but salsa's easier.

I also like things that don't require a recipe, so we do a lot of one-dish things like the rice/bean bowls, or soups.

I made chili this weekend.  Brown a lb of ground beef, add 3 cans of whatever beans you like/have on hand or the equivalent amt of cooked-from-dry beans (I used one can of black beans and two cans of red beans), 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or equivalent fresh), however much water to get your preferred thickness, spices to taste (I do a bunch of Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute, plus extra cumin, and chili powder).  Simmer alllll day.  It's really good over rice, or with cornbread.  Sometimes I add corn.  It's also good without the meat.  This is a smaller batch; next time I'll double or triple it and freeze it, and we'll eat it all winter.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: Cressida on October 26, 2014, 09:31:51 PM
I have an exclusive link to some frugal recipes you may want to check out:

You might consider staying silent if you have nothing to contribute.

OP, budgetbytes (mentioned above) does have a TON of recipes and does include the cost per serving. I haven't loved most of the ones I've tried, but given the sheer quantity, I'd expect to run across a few that will work for you.
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: Tieke on October 27, 2014, 02:50:43 AM
I'm a big fan of the humble stew for a cheap meat option (although it's better during the colder parts of the year).  Lightly cook some onion and/or garlic in a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a pot.  Add your meat - any cheap cut of meat is fine, with or without bone, and free-range meat is still quite cheap if you go for the cuts no-one else buys (or at least it has been everywhere I've lived.)  Then cover with water or homemade stock.  Add salt, pepper, one or two bay leaves, and maybe some fresh herbs if you have them handy.  Leave to simmer on low heat for a couple of hours.  By the end of that, even the toughest meat will be super-tender.  If you want to make it stretch further, add some chopped up potato or barley about half an hour before it finishes cooking.  You could also toss in some greens right near the end to make a complete meal.

This recipe was one of my staples when I was a very broke student!
Title: Re: Frugal recipes?
Post by: Tieke on October 27, 2014, 02:58:00 AM
Ooh, and soup is also a good option, especially if you're wanting to freeze meals.  One approach I use is to buy whatever vegetables are cheapest at my local shop and then google for recipes that use those ingredients afterwards.  Over time I've developed a few favourite recipes/approaches (so I don't always have to look for recipes afterwards) and it often works out a lot cheaper than shopping for specific foods that may or may not be cheap that week.