Sunday, July 10, 2016

Recipes, Recipes on the Cheap

Not mine-we ate it all without a picture.
 My goal is to knock my grocery bill down to $300 for the remaining two months of summer, and strive to keep it that way when DD goes back to school. Then, I hope to cut down some of her school lunch expense by having her brown bag it at least twice a week, for a nearly $20 a month savings. Meals still need to be pleasing though-not just rice and oatmeal as I lamented on in my austerity post. Here's a couple frugal meals that we've enjoyed the last couple days. 

This started out as me using a dry rub on three chicken breasts hiding in the back of the freezer and a few  watered down ounces of BBQ sauce, thrown in the crock pot. The rub was too strong and not very pleasant for the chicken.  No waste though is the rule.  I shredded it, and then scoured the pantry to figure out a remedy.  Voila, my BBQ Chicken Chili was created.The rub blended in with other spices just fine.

BBQ Chicken Chili

Three shredded chicken breast ($3.00, 1/2 bag bought at $5.99)
Two cans Aldi's chili beans ( $ .59 each, $1.18)
1 large can store brand diced tomatoes ( $ .1.29)
1 can Aldi's spicy diced tomatoes (like Rotel) ($ .89)
1 can tomato paste ($ .39)
2 cups water 
2 tsp Garlic powder
2 TBSP Chili powder (plus I kept adding more to taste)
1 tsp ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
Probably $ .50 total spices as I get them cheap.

Bring all to boil, then bring down to simmer at least 30 minute, or in a slow cooker on high for 2-3 hours. I actually served it the next day, always better in my book, and it was delicious. With leftovers, that DH and DD ate for lunch, we had five individual meals.  Served with a sleeve of Aldi's crackers, at $ .25, the entire meal cost of $7.25 or $1.50 person. The one downfall is that because I used a lot of canned items, the sodium was perhaps higher than I would like.

Crockpot hash browns and scrambled eggs

I also had a lot of eggs to keep using up.  I made a batch of banana bread, using up four bananas and four eggs, and reducing the amount of butter as I only had one stick. It turned out delicious-a slightly more cakey texture, but other than that the same. I used 1/2 a bag of hash browns, also lurking in the freezer, seasoned them with garlic, a little dried onions, a touch of salt and pepper, and tossed them in my crock pot. I covered them with two ounces of shredded co-jack cheese, what I had in the drawer. Then I scrambled 12 eggs with 1 cup of milk, and poured over the eggs over the hash browns, adding another two ounces of cheeses on top.  It cooked on high for about four hours, then kept on warm to eat Friday night for supper. Again, like the chili, we have two portions left over (we each at a little more than one portion last night). DH and DD had an apple, and I nibbled on a few carrot sticks, but not in the meal cost.

1/2 bag hash brown ($ .75, from a 2 for $3.00 sale months ago)
1 dozen eggs ($ .49!!!!!)
4 ounce cheese ($1.00, from a 3 brick for $6 deal)
Spices-not much, maybe $ .25 worth
Total $2.49, $ .50 per meal. I have one more dozen, but I think I can scramble them and freeze for use next weekend-another scrambled egg bake perhaps? 

These meals were not fancy, but they were tasty, easy on me in the kitchen, and created leftovers for another couple of meals. I am feeling very frugalista right now.


  1. I love creating new meals out of leftovers and chilli is one of them.

    1. It really helped to tone down the BBQ rub smokiness, but added a nice change from my traditional chili.Now I have 6 chicken breast portions that were grilled, leftovers, now ready for quesadilla's, wraps, chicken salad, or anything DH and DD feel like doing with them this week.

  2. Good job and now I'm hungry!!! I'm still working on saving money. It's a never ending battle.
    Seems everyone is stocking up on eggs. I've got some I need to use too. I put them on a croissant and add roasted red peppers and basil.

  3. Is it anti frugal now to say I'm sick og eggs even at $0.49 a dozen?


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