Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Eat Great for Little $

We all want to eat good wholesome meals and we all don't want to spend a fortune to do that.
There are a lot of tricks and hacks that can help out in so many ways.  You DO NOT have to spend a lot of money - you just need to be creative!

Watch out for the DEALS OF THE MONTH!
September is generally the month to get great deals on apples, broccoli, cauliflowers and canned goods.
It is also National Rice Month
National Potato Month
National Honey Month
National Chicken Month
National Breakfast Month  &
National Mushroom Month
OK this is getting kind of crazy..... national this and that!

I just like to look for the best deals available each month at orchards, farm markets, neighborhood stands, grocery stores and any place else that sells food!
I think you know me by now and you know  markdowns and sales are my go to items!!!

I realize some people don't have a good stockpile of food - and shop weekly or as the budget allows.  If you get down to the nitty-gritty of supplies never fear.  If you get down to A piece of meat or little meat - just remember you should use it as an ingredient - NOT a coarse of the meal.
Cut up a pork chop or chicken breast and add to sauce or rice or pasta.  Use a half pound of ground in sauce or in a casserole or soup.  Add more veggies, rice or pasta to meals and cut back on the expensive ingredients.

My favorite filling & frugal go-to meals are beans and cornbread, chili or soup, a large baked potato, and biscuits and gravy or breakfast.  These can all be made for pennies and they are filling and yummy.

This is a great way to turn an inexpensive cake mix into a gourmet delight!  I always use olive oil whenever I make a box brownie mix.  It makes them taste 'from scratch'. 

****  If you are BAKING and realize you are out of a supply - here are a few ideas:

Need a can of sweetened condensed milk - sub 3/4 c sugar, 1/2 C water, and 1 1/2 C powdered milk.  Bring all together to a boil and stir at lower heat for about 20 minutes.  Equivalent to about 1 can!

Need an egg - sub 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise and 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Need heavy cream for a recipe - sub 2/3 C whole milk w 1/3 C melted unsalted butter

Corn syrup - 2 C white sugar, 3/4 C water, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar.  Whisk together, boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes - uncover and cook to the 'soft-ball' stage (a drop in cold water makes a ball).  It will store in air tight container in pantry for a couple months.

Buttermilk (to cook with NOT drink) - 1 C milk and 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice.  Let it stand for several minutes before using.

Powder sugar - just pulverize regular white sugar in the blender.

Colored sugar for cookie decorating - regular sugar and mix in a few drops (to desired color0 of food coloring.)  Mix well.  I do this every holiday to get my own special colors!

Evaporated milk - 1/3 C non-fat dry milk and 6 Tbsp. water


Potatoes, rice and pasta can be switched out in most recipes.  Don't have one - use another!
Again, use less meat than called for
Soups and casseroles are great ways to stretch out your food and your budget
Have a NO MEAT night once or twice a week
Turn leftovers into something new - NEVER throw out food.  Either turn it into a new dish or use for lunches.
Remember beans and cheese are proteins as well as meat.

Make your own!!!!!!!
Bake cakes, pies, cookies, etc. yourself. 
Eat fruit when in season for a snack - it is healthy too.
Make popcorn - super cheap and tasty.  Experiment with different seasonings to jazz it up.
Cheese & crackers, fruit and peanut butter, carrots/celery and dip........ there are many options for a snack.
Make some lunchmeat salad (buy inexpensive lunchmeat and grind).  Great for sandwiches or with crackers as a snack.  Great way to expand lunchmeat or ham/chicken/turkey, etc.  into a meal for many.
Get yourself a cookbook or two (or get them at the library) and go to town.  There is no limit to what you can do and you can eat REALLY WELL and for little money!
Don't be afraid to try things on your own.  I am a  huge 'by the seat of my pants' kind of cook!  Most times it turns our fine.

Have fun - eat well - get creative and spend little money!
What are your favorite money savers?


  1. I have a cook book given to me by a friend 100 ways to use a cake mix and it is wonderful.

    1. Oh that sounds fun! I love cookies made with cake batter. They are yummy - oh and cupcakes and waffles.
      I just love finding new ways to use things!

  2. This is a great blog post, Cheryl. I like the substitution for sweetened condensed milk as I can use that to make three ingredient peanut butter cookies. 1 can of scm, 1 cup pb, and 1 cup flour. Easy Peasy.

    1. Oh boy - thank you for that. I will definitely try that - sounds so easy. I have all I need here! I am assuming these are not baked - or are they?

    2. They are baked, Cheryl. Roll a tablespoon or so into balls and press down with a floured fork and then bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. What wonderful suggestions and ideas! We grew up on sandwiches of ground bologna and pickle relish mixed with mayo and even now my husband considers these sandwiches a "treat". Haha And now I'm off to try Belinda's peanut butter cookies.

    1. My husband still asks for those as well. We have them a couple times a year. It is a treat!
      Let us know how you like the cookies!

  4. I guess I have just kind of given up with celiac , gluten free. But I use to try to be thrifty. Good ideas. I did read on my powdered milk that it could have been contaminated by being made in a facility that made wheat products. I am wondering if a different brand would be gluten free? Does yours say made in a facility that makes wheat products? Maybe I should look for a different brand. Nancy

    1. Hmmm - yes it does. I just can't imagine there would be enough of anything bad to cause you discomfort.
      I guess it would be hard to stay on that type of diet - unless just eating fresh and fruit and veggies.
      I would sure look around - there have to be other alternatives.

  5. I make the three ingredient peanut butter cookies too. I use Sugar, Peanut Butter & 1Egg.

    I was so excited when you wrote all the National holidays, lol. It is the little things but I am super excited it's National rice month. Rice is my favorite.

    1. That is an easy version as well. I love simple recipes.
      We eat a lot of rice - so easy to fix in many recipes.

  6. Great ideas; I definitely want to try the cake batter idea to make it gourmet.

    1. It is amazing that little things altered can make such a big impact on taste. Love that!

  7. Great list. I love making leftovers into something else.

    Tonight I made tacos. I made ground beef, rice, Mexican corn, black beans with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. A little of everything goes much further then a ton of meat. If extra people show up I just make extra rice, beans and veggies. We always have enough.

    1. great idea. I many times add beans to my taco meat to stretch it. It is just smart - food lasts longer, cost is less, and add-is are healthy.
      Never have a worry that way.
      Thanks for the suggestion.