35 Frugal Recipes To Help You Stay On Budget


Whether you're struggling to make ends meet or just looking to save money on groceries, these frugal recipes will help you stretch your dollars around the block and back while you feed your family for less. #frugalrecipes #frugalfoods #frugalmeals #frugalmealideas #foodbudgetWhether you’re struggling to make ends meet or just looking to save money on groceries, these frugal recipes will help you stay on budget while you feed your family for less. 

It’s always a good idea to live frugally and have a budget to work from, but sometimes it’s actually necessary.

My husband lost his job unexpectedly last month, just 10 days before Christmas. Since then we’ve been extra careful about every dollar we spend as we do our best to keep enough money in the bank to pay our mortgage until things turn around. 

 

Related: How We’re Moving Forward After A Year Of Setbacks

 

This past month, we set a strict budget of $250 for food, and I’m happy to report that we are well on our way to making it to the end of the month without blowing our budget. Of course, we were able to supplement many of our meals with food we already had put away in the house (which is why putting up food and being prepared is so, so important). But still, it took some creativity and careful meal planning to make it all the way to the end. Definitely no eating out and no expensive ingredients. 

But it’s amazing how cheap and easy it actually is to create delicious and nutritious frugal meals when you make them from scratch. Inexpensive, humble ingredients on their own may be just that, but combine them and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can create (and how good it can taste!)

 

Related: 10 Tips to Help You Save Money At the Grocery Store

 

So whether you’re flat broke or just trying to save a little extra money on your grocery bill, these 35 frugal recipes will help you get good, wholesome, delicious homemade food on the table every day, which means you have one less thing to stress about:)

 

Frugal Breakfasts

Cinnamon Apple-Raisin Oatmeal – The House & Homestead

We’ve practically been living on oatmeal at our house ever since my husband lost his job. This is my favourite recipe of them all.

Big Batch Granola – As For Me And My Homestead

This big batch granola recipe can feed a family of five breakfast for up to two weeks! 

Oatmeal Pancakes – Adamant Kitchen

Use your leftover oatmeal to stretch your pancake batter in this frugal breakfast dish!

Perfect Frittata Recipe – Healing Harvest Homestead

This frittata recipe is super flexible and highly customizable. As long as you’ve got some eggs, you can use whatever meat and veggies you have on hand to fill out this dish.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage – The Prairie Homestead

Make your own homemade sausages out of whatever cheap ground meat is on sale or that you can get your hands on (maybe through farming or hunting or simply meat you have in the freezer).

 

Frugal Soups

Bean & Ham Soup – Melissa K. Norris

There ain’t nothin’ more frugal than beans, and when paired with a ham bone and a few veggie scraps, they also make a filling, tasty meal!

Easy Potato Chowder – Farming My Backyard

Potatoes have long been a staple food for many a struggling family. Whether you’re struggling or not, you’ll save big money and make those potatoes streeettch with this soup!

Easy Crockpot French Onion Soup – Hillsborough Homesteading

If all you’ve got is a bag of onions, you can still make a satisfying soup. Make this meal even more frugal by omitting the red wine/sherry and the cheese, or simply use whatever cheese you have in the house. Add in some crusty old bread (that you can even make at home yourself) and make your own beef or veggie stock out of scraps to make this a truly frugal homemade meal.

Borscht – The House & Homestead (Guest posting for Melissa K. Norris)

Beets and a few humble garden veggies & herbs like cabbage, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and dill are all you need to make this frugal and extremely healthy meal! Add a little sour cream and serve with a side of crusty bread to add calories and take this soup to the next level.

Cream of Broccoli Leaf Soup – The House & Homestead

Broccoli soup is a great place to start if you’re looking for a filling and delicious frugal meal, but you can make it even more frugal by using the oft-discarded broccoli leaves instead (and the soup tastes just like regular cream of broccoli soup). Use the leaves off of your own broccoli plants or ask at your local market. Often times you can get them for free!

Roasted Vegetable Soup – Little House Living

Use whatever veggies you have on hand, along with a little shredded chicken to make this yummy spin on a traditional chicken and veggie soup. Or omit the chicken altogether for an even more frugal dish.

 

Frugal Homemade Breads, Etc.

Easy No-Knead Homemade Bread – The House & Homestead

All you need for this bread is flour, water and a little yeast. You don’t even need to knead!

Honey Whole Wheat Buttermilk Sandwich Bread – Melissa K. Norris

Bread’s expensive. Here’s a simple, frugal recipe to save you money.

Homemade Burger Buns – The House & Homestead

If I’d known that making homemade burger buns was this easy (and cheap!) I’d have started making them from scratch long ago!

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits – Melissa K. Norris

Hands-down the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten, and they cost just pennies a piece. Always best when made in a cast iron pan:)

Homemade Tortillas – Farming My Backyard

Make these tortillas from scratch using ingredients your already have in your pantry.

Perfect Pizza Crust – The House & Homestead

Simple ingredients. Perfect crust. Top with whatever you have in the fridge and pantry.

 

Frugal Main Dishes

Sloppy Joes – Imperfectly Happy Homesteading

Use your homemade burger buns to make this super frugal supper!

Buttermilk Chicken Strips – Melissa K. Norris

This homemade buttermilk chicken strips recipe works out to just $.65/serving to feed a family of four. Mic drop.

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie – The Rustic Elk

Use leftover chicken pieces and veggies to make the filling for this new twist on an old classic. Top with homemade biscuits and you’ve got a filling meal for the whole family.

“Stretching A Buck” Lasagna – Little House Living

This dish uses whatever ingredients you have on hand and to make a thriftier version of traditional lasagna.

Keema Aloo (Ground Meat with Potatoes & Indian Spices) – Adamant Kitchen

If you’re looking for something a little different or craving some Indian takeout but you’re on a tight budget, this dish will satisfy your spice tooth and is, like, a thousand times cheaper than takeout. (Why is Indian food so expensive anyway? Or is it just where I live??) 

Egg Roll in a Bowl – Don’t Waste The Crumbs

This egg roll in a bowl recipe uses simple, frugal ingredients like cabbage, mixed veggies (ie. carrots, onions, mushrooms, etc.) and a little ground pork to make a huge batch that will fill many hungry bellies. Most of the ingredients are flexible (aka. use what you have on hand), and the recipe fits into the Whole 30 diet or can easily be tweaked to fit the Paleo or Keto diets if you’re following any of these programs.

Traditional Ukrainian Perogies – The House & Homestead

These perogies are definitely NOT diet food! But they will fill your belly and stick to your ribs, and they’re made with some of the most frugal ingredients on Earth: potatoes, onions, cheese (optional), flour, water and eggs. Plus a little sour cream for serving. ?

 

Frugal Snacks & Sides

Easy Refried Beans – Little House Living

Almost nothing is more frugal than beans. Serve these ones with rice or with homemade tortillas (see “Breads”) and a few frugal toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and maybe even some homemade salsa. Or top with fried eggs for a hearty breakfast dish.

Baked Seasoned French Fries – The Rustic Elk

When you’re on a tight budget, you can’t always afford to go out to eat. But you can make some of your favourite restaurant dishes at home. Fries are a staple on most restaurant plates. Make this version at home to save money and make them healthier by baking them instead of frying.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries – Hillsborough Homesteading

Same as above, but sweeter:) And spicier. And yum.

Butternut Squash & Kale Casserole – The House & Homestead

One big ol’ butternut squash goes a long way in this healthy, frugal and filling dish. Serve as a side or a main!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts – The Prairie Homestead

Brussels sprouts have never screamed “high end,” and that’s because they’re not. In season, they’re super cheap to buy, and of course if you grow them at home, they cost even less. But cook ’em the right way and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-worthy side dish for just pennies a piece. (I know this because Brussels sprouts were all the rage when we lived in the city and were being served alongside fancy step dinners at all the hottest restaurants in town. I think they even won “veggie of the year” one year… Yes, apparently that’s a thing).

Pickled Beets – The House & Homestead

These are perhaps more of a condiment, but let me tell you, if you end up making some homemade perogies, you’re gonna want a side of pickled beets. Here’s how to make them (and can them too!)

 

Frugal Sweets & Treats

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding – Little House Living

Bread pudding is one of the most frugal recipes you can make. You can even make it with old, stale bread! Satisfy your sweet tooth and save a few bucks.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars – Melissa K. Norris

These bars are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free. Oh, and they only cost $.40/bar!

Rustic Apple Crumble – The House & Homestead

This apple crumble can be made with fresh apples when they’re in season or with home-canned apple pie filling. Top with a few ingredients like oats, flour, butter and a little sugar and you’ve got a frugal dessert that goes just as well with Christmas dinner as it does on the weeknight dinner table.

Frugal Homemade Chocolate Sauce – Piwakawaka Valley

Forgo the store-bought chocolate sauce full of all sorts of questionable ingredients and make your own instead. Better quality. Less money. Win-win. 

Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate Mix – Hillsborough Homesteading

Once you make your own homemade hot chocolate mix, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it from the store. You probably even have the ingredients you need on hand already, so this one might not even cost you a dime!

What are your favourite frugal recipes? And what else do you make from scratch that saves you money? Share your ideas in the comments:)


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3 Comments

  1. Susan Sieg

    Very good points. Bless you and your family this Holiday season. Congratulations on your new arrival!

    Reply
  2. Kareen Ramsey

    I pray you will be over this trial soon. My husband had fairly seasonal work. So our bank was food. We stocked up during the good times and ate from the pantry in the hard times. Because we went cash only and saved up for things instead of credit – we had no debt. That was a blessing after he died. So I didn’t have a hard time starting over when all the kids were gone. Cooking from scratch is the best way to save. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your recipes during this hard time. May God richly bless you. I’ve found that you can never outgive God. He always blesses back.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Yes! We always stock up in good times and then we’ve always got a reserve when we need it. I cut up my credit card before Christmas too and I don’t miss it one bit! Thank you so much for your kind comment! And bless you right back:)

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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But I just had to pop in this morning to let you know that I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and offering anyone who would like to try out my online membership program—The Society Of Self-Reliance—the opportunity to join for just $1.

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Yes, it’s “junk food.” I don’t expect it to be HEALTHY. But it could be made better by omitting the known carcinogenic ingredients that have been linked to everything from ADHD to hormone imbalances to cancer!

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It does, however, teach us to be grateful for every day we’re alive, and to appreciate the ones we love while we’re still together, because you never know how much time you have left.

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When I first started homesteading, gardening, and trying to be more self-sufficient, I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new to me, and I had no one in my life to teach me the ropes.

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Eventually I did invest in online mentorship and my success from there was exponential. Now, less than a decade after leaving the city in pursuit of our new life as homesteaders, I’ve not only learned how to grow an abundance of food and troubleshoot all kinds of plant issues to ensure a healthy crop and successful harvest, but I’ve learned how to be more self-sufficient in just about every area of life.

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so together we’ve got a wide range of skills that allow us to live a more empowered, self-reliant life.

Now I want to help you do the same…

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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

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(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)
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One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

(The answer is obviously no one… No one wants that).

Automating our homesteading tasks as much as possible allows us to worry about other things and saves us a ton of time. Plus, it makes sure that things get taken care of, whether we remember or not.

Using an automatic chicken door has been a GAME CHANGER for us. It’s one of those lesser known homestead tools that can make all the difference, and I’m always recommending one to anyone who keeps chickens!

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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

Rather than subscribing, you can now purchase an all-access pass for a one-time fee of just $20, which gives you access to our entire digital library of issues.

Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase an all-access pass you’ll also get a gift certificate for a second all-access pass to gift to someone else.

I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

Thanks to everyone who has read the magazine over the past 4 years. I’m humbled and grateful for your support, and can’t wait to share whatever comes next:)

#modernhomesteading #homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram
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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

But if you work on learning one new skill at a time and gain confidence in it before moving onto the next, one day you’ll be looking back and marvelling at how far you’ve come.

That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

• Grow your own groceries
• Stock your pantry
• Create a natural home
• Get prepared
• Learn other important life skills like time management for homesteaders, goal setting and how to become your own handyman

And more!

If you’ve been feeling called to level up your self-reliance skills (because let’s be honest, we’re in for a wild ride these next few years with everything going on in the world), now is the time to heed that call.

Link in profile to enroll before midnight tonight, or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

#homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homesteadingskills #preparedness
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