Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frugal Meal Options Vol1

I was recently tasked with coming up with a bunch of frugal meal options. I haven't been doing many new recipes lately but I figured I'd share what meals I do have that can help save money. Some will be healthy/natural, others will have some canned/processed foods in them.

The person that requested some meal ideas was looking to keep it under $10 per meal so here is what I came up with. FYI, pricing listed is without it being on sale unless I mark it with an * Prices marked are based on my knowledge and not guaranteed especially if you reside anywhere other than west michigan. Many of these meals make leftovers as well so keep that in mind when looking at the pricing.
 You could also substitute ground chicken/turkey/pork to save from buying beef. My beef price is also for grass fed lean beef. I know you can find 85% lean in a frozen tube at aldi for under $3 which would save you another $2 on the beef meals.

Caribbean Jerk Grilled Chicken
Chicken cost: $5.17 for 10 ish pieces, extras add $2.20 or less.
Bag of Chicken ($4.50*), 1/3 bottle of Lawry's Caribbean Jerk Marinade ($.67). Serve with steamed veggie ($1) and Pineapple ($1.20)
Notes: you can also use bbq sauce or italian dressing for less than a marinade.

$7.70 without extras
Ground Beef ($5), Taco Seasoning (maybe $.25, see below), tortilla shells ($1), Cheese ($1), Salsa ($.45)
Optional Items: Sour Cream, Lettuce, etc.

Greek Skillet Dinner *Link*
$10.11 for large pot (lots of leftovers)
Penne Pasta ($.99), Beef ($5), onion minced, oregano,  cinnamon, garlic powder, beef broth ($.20 when made with cube), diced tomatoes ($.79), tomato paste ($.75), frozen spinach ($.99), Shredded Cheese ($1.39)
Side options: bread & butter (staple),  garlic bread ($.99)

Tater Tot Casserole *LINK*
$8.48 for 9x13 casserole
Cream of Mushroom ($.59), Tater Tots ($.189), Ground Beef ($5.00), Mixed Veggies ($1.00), 1/4 can (use soup can) of milk (staple), Worcestershire Sauce (staple)
Side Options: apples (or another fruit) ($.25-.35/person)

Texas Beef Stew *LINK*
$9.44 for 5qt (lots of leftovers)
Beef tips ($6), tomatoes ($.79), Beef broth ($.20), Salsa ($9), Frozen Corn ($.95), Baby Carrots 2/3 bag ($.50). Staples used are Minced Onion, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Water, Flour
Note: I get the meijer organics salsa when it's 10 for $10 + 11th free

"Spicy" Sausage Supper *LINK*
$5.75 for pot (could easily double the pasta amount too, to make it go further)
Kielbasa ($2.50), minced onion, minced garlic, water, rotel ($.75), 1/2 cup cream or milk, 8oz pasta ($.50), 2 cups cheese ($2)

Chicken Tacos *LINK*
$7.68 (fills a 5 qt slow cooker)
Bag of chicken ($4.50*), 1 jar salsa ($.90), 1/2 bag frozen corn ($.50), 1 can black beans ($.79), Tortilla Shells ($.99)
Sides: Tortilla Chips ($.99-2.50 extra), side salad ($1)
Optional: Can also serve with sour cream, lettuce, cheese, etc.

Beef Burritos *LINK*
Ground Beef ($5.00), minced onion, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, taco sauce ($.50 see below for recipe link), refried beans ($.75), tortilla shells ($1).
Serve with sour cream, salsa and cheese on the side
Side Options: tortilla chips ($1-2.50), side salad ($.75 + dressing)
Note: these freeze well for lunches too.

Corn Chowder *LINK*
$7.70 for 5 qt croc pot
6-8 potatoes ($2), cream corn ($.50), regular corn ($.50), chicken brown ($.20), diced ham $2.50), minced onion, butter, half & half ($2)

Homemade Chili Mac *LINK*
$7.80 for large skillet
Ground Beef ($5), Elbow Macaroni ($.75), water, milk, rotel ($.75), Kidney Beans ($.80), 1/2 c cheese ($.50). Corn Starch, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt, Sugar.

Corn Bread Taco Pizza *LINK*
$8.10 up to $10.60 with optional items
Corn muffin mix ($.50), 1 egg ($.10*), ground beef ($5), taco seasoning (see below), 2 c cheese ($2), lettuce ($.75 & opt), diced tomatoes ($.75 & opt), Taco Sauce ($.50 see below), Sour Cream ($1 & opt)

Egg Free Pancakes *LINK*
$2-$6 with sides
2 c Flour, 1/3 c Sugar, Baking Soda, 2 c Milk, Butter, white vinegar, vanilla Extract ($9.99 for large bottle at GFS on sale*).
These are all staples in my kitchen so I'm not entirely sure how much each cost.
Sides: breakfast sausage ($2.99), Syrup, Diced/hash brown potatoes ($1.79).. Scrambled eggs (for those without allergies) $1.19* Diced Ham ($2.50) adds to the potatoes or eggs well.

Egg "McMuffins" *LINK*
$7.41 for 12 ($.62 each)
Dozen Eggs ($1.19*), Sliced Ham ($2.99 nitrate free), English Muffins ($2), Sliced Cheese (1.23 for 12)
Sides: Yogurt ($.39 each), fresh fruit $.25-.35 each)

Broccoli Quiche *LINK*
$3.18 not counting staples, makes 9" pie
2 can mushrooms ($1.18), minced onion, 1/2 bag frozen broccoli ($.50), 5 eggs ($.50*), 1/3 c miracle whip, 1/3 cup milk, 1 cup shredded cheese ($1), 1 c flour, salt, veg shortening, water.

From Scratch Kitchen
Taco Sauce *LINK*
$.50 up to a $1 once you add staples
Tomato Sauce ($.50), Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, oregano, worcestershire sauce.

Taco Seasoning *LINK*
1 part each of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. A packet would be 1/2 tbsp of each (totalling 2 tbsp).
Aldi has large jars of each of these spices for $.99

Inexpensive Side Options
Yogurt - $.39 each
Peach/Plum/etc - $.35 each
Apples - $.25 each
Oranges - $20 each (mandarin)
Bread & Butter $.05/slice of bread + cost of butter
Garlic Bread $1/loaf
Frozen Steamable Vegetables ($1/bag)
Baked Potatoes w/ butter ($.15 each)

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