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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2 Comments

  1. 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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What’s your favourite food preservation method??

For Angi Schneider of @schneiderpeeps, the answer is pressure canning, hands-down.

The fact is, there are many ways to preserve food, and each of them has its place and serves its purpose. But the only preservation method that allows you to preserve full meals that are ready to eat straight out of the jar is pressure canning.

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For a limited time, you can also become a member and get full access to our entire library of issues for just $7.99/year. Link in bio to get all the goods:)

Seriously though… What’s your favourite food preservation method and why? (There are no wrong answers!)

Let me know in the comments below!👇
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For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing a new morning routine I've been committing to...

It's the simple act of lighting a candle to start each day.

In this age of unnatural blue light emanating from our screens, fluorescent and even LED lighting from overhead lights and lamps, it can be quite a shock to the system to go from sleeping in complete darkness to flipping on the bright lights and checking email on your smartphone first thing in the a.m.

By simply lighting a candle and allowing your eyes a minute or two to adjust before turning on the lights or checking a screen, you have the power to create a much calmer and more peaceful start to your day, and that has lasting effects that can and will stay with you all day long.

I know I’m not the only one who can benefit from this simple but powerful morning ritual, so I decided to start a challenge to encourage others to do the same.

If you'd like to participate, grab a candle and a pack of matches (or a lighter) and commit to lighting a candle to start your day for as many days as you can during the month of October.

Every time you share a photo of your candle/morning ritual on Instagram posts or stories and tag me @thehouseandhomestead and use the hashtag #candlelitmorning, you'll be entered to win a naturally-scented candle of your choice from Plant Therapy!

This being said, I know that good quality candles aren't exactly cheap, but you can save a tone of money by learning how to make your own!

If you're interested in learning how to make your own all-natural soy candles with essential oils at home, I'm currently offering my DIY Scented Soy Candles Masterclass for FREE as part of the Handmade Holiday Giveaway, hosted by my friend and fellow Vancouver Islander Diana Bouchard of @wanderinghoofranch

Other limited-time freebies include:

* Exclusive homestead holiday recipes
* Free knitting and crochet patterns
* Free homemade cocktail mixers course
* Cute printable gift tags and more!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out everything that's included in the Handmade Holiday Giveaway.

And don't forget to join in the #candlelitmorning challenge right here on Instagram!
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But then again, sometimes a photo speaks for itself:)

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Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

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A professional teacher turned homeschooling mom of two, Allyson Speake was spinning her wheels trying to keep up with her family’s fast-paced modern lifestyle until she made the intentional decision to slow down and quit her job as a teacher to stay home and educate her children at home. Nowadays she helps others do the same!

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In the interview, Allyson shares that “on average three-year-olds can identify 100 different brand logos, and that increases to 300-400 by age 10.” If that’s not reason enough to turn off the TV and get outside, I don’t know what is!

“Whatever children are exposed to, they are able to soak it up like sponges, but they aren’t getting that exposure to nature,” she says.

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🛠 “Even the simplest tools can empower people to do great things.”
- Biz Stone

The other day I asked you what the most valuable asset is on your homestead, and I shared that mine is my dear husband @thehumblehandyman

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But talent and skills are only half of the equation; You’ve gotta have the right tools for the job!

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Which of these tools do you already have?

Which ones are next on your list to invest in??

What are your go-to tools to use around your house and homestead??? (Duct tape totally counts 😉)

Let me know in the comments below! 👇

#toolsofthetrade #toolkit #diy #handyman
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🪓 What’s the most valuable asset on your homestead?

For me, it’s this guy right here.

He was only away for two weeks, but that’s all the time it took for me to realize how much he brings to the table, and how valuable it is to have a live-in handyman on a homestead!

When our burner crapped out on our stove in the middle of a canning project last week, I had no idea how to fix it and was ready to buy a brand new stove, but luckily Ryan came home with all of his tools just a couple days later and fixed it for a fraction of the cost of buying a new stove.

When we were getting chickens, he built our chicken coop. When I wanted to put in new garden beds, he built them. Deck? Done! Firewood? Chopped! Bathroom? Remodelled! Car broken down? Fixed! (Did I mention he’s a trained mechanic too?)

If you don’t have your own handyman at home though, you can still learn the skills you need to become more self-sufficient when it comes to tackling new building projects and repairing and maintaining things at home.

I’m thrilled to announce that @thehumblehandyman now has his own regular feature in each issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, where he’ll share simple steps you can take to increase your self-sufficiency by learning how to DIY all sorts of projects around your house and homestead.

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But let’s be real, pumpkin spice Pringles ain’t it.

If you’re feeling all the fall vibes and craving a little pumpkin spice in your life right now, stick to the tried and true pumpkin spice latte, but ditch the expensive (and highly processed) commercial PSLs and make your own pumpkin spice syrup (with real pumpkin!) at home for a fraction of the cost! Keep it on hand to add to your coffees, teas and steamed milk beverages all Autumn long.

It’s super easy to make and will put pumpkin spice macaroni squarely in its place (and keep it there!)

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I’ve been feeling pulled to slow down and retreat into my home lately; To turn off the news and social media and focus on the tangible things like lighting the wood stove, preserving the mountains of food still coming out of the garden, and slowly stirring a pot of soup as it cooks on the stovetop.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I know I’m not the only one feeling pulled toward hearth and home. This is a heavy time for all of us. No one person is meant to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders, but I've heard from so many people lately who say that's exactly how they've been feeling.

If you read my post from a few days ago, you know I’ve been feeling like that too, but luckily, I've learned how to soothe my soul in difficult times.

And so that's what I've been doing lately...

I've been focusing on the tangible things that I can control, like cooking meals and preserving food.

I've been lingering a little longer in the morning, taking time to sit by the river or sip my coffee in front of the wood stove before hurrying on with my day.

And I've been making a conscious effort to turn off the noise of the outside world and give my family and my own emotional health my full attention.

If you've also been feeling that pull to turn off all of the noise and immerse yourself in more nourishing, productive activities, I want to tell you about a collection of resources that will help you do just that.

The Simple Living Collective’s Autumn Issue includes seasonal guides, tutorials, e-books, recipes and more to help you slow down and reconnect with what matters this season.

* Learn how to forage for healing herbs and how to make your own natural medicine

* Find new ways to celebrate old traditions, and create new seasonal traditions with your family

* Discover new seasonal recipes and crafts to do on your own or with your kids

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If this sounds like it’s exactly what you're in need of right now, check out the Simple Living Collective and get the Autumn Issue for just $25. But this issue is only available until tomorrow, so don't wait…

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to grab it now before it disappears 🍁
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I laid in bed the other night and couldn’t sleep.

I know that probably doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, especially considering the collective stress we’ve all been through over the past year and a half. But if I’m being totally honest, I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting it get to me.

I used to have really bad anxiety, and I made a conscious effort to learn how to manage it in (mostly) healthy, natural ways. I practice a lot of gratitude every day, and overall I’ve learned to deal with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts pretty well.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling the weight of it all. Aside from dealing with personal issues like our ongoing infertility/pregnancy loss journey and the every day stresses we all face, the bigger things have been feeling bigger and heavier lately; The mandates, the politics, the pushback, the arguments and attacks online, the divisiveness, and the seemingly never-ending pandemic that every single one of us is still dealing with in some capacity.

I’ve been seeing more and more calls to “choose a side.” I’ve witnessed my own close friends on both sides of the debate hurling insults at each other, defending their ground, and refusing to listen to each other’s valid points and concerns.

I’ve even witnessed a widening crack in the homesteading community, despite the fact that so many of our core values and beliefs align and are unique to us.

Despite the division, I would still argue that ALL of us have much more in common than not, and to see the divide continuing to deepen has started to get under my skin lately.

(Continued in comments…)
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