This post is for my mom. She is still cooking for a family of 4 since my parents are raising two grandkids. When we were young my mom cooked from scratch, used coupons, planned meals and had a garden. After all the kids moved out and my dad retired, he took over the grocery shopping chore. Over the years they have stopped tracking their expenses as much, slacked off on the meal planning and got out of the habit of using coupons. Now she wants to start doing these things again.
Recently she read Early Retirement Extreme's blog post about $1-$2 Recipes and was inspired. So far 2 of those recipes have been a success at her house. She called me and wanted more frugal recipe ideas. I don't have many ideas because I eat the same meals over and over, pizza quesadillas, spaghetti, chicken alfredo, nachos, soup. I don't experiment with food because it costs money and I don't want to waste it (the money or the food). I buy and eat what I like and that's pretty much it. I don't use many coupons either because I usually buy store brands on sale and I don't buy the Sunday paper so I don't get coupons.
But anyway, here are a few sites for my mom and anyone else who is interested:
Lots of frugal recipes, shortcuts, grocery ideas.
The Grocery Game This one costs $10 every 8 weeks. It matches printed coupons to in-store sales. Sorry Mom, they don't cover your town. I have heard that in-store sales will match the newspaper coupons from 3 weeks earlier. So, the coupon shows up in the paper and they want you to run out and buy the item. Then in a 3 weeks the item goes on sale again and you buy it again if you liked it. If you save the coupon and wait until it goes on sale, then you save more. At least that's what I have heard. I haven't tried it.
Frugal Recipes This site has recipes submitted from various people. No pictures. I really need pictures of the food before I will try a recipe. Maybe I'm just not that adventurous.
Miserly Mom Recipes I read this Miserly Mom book from the library. I don't remember it because it is geared towards families and I don't have one. She also wrote Miserly Meals (hey, Mom, maybe you can find it at your library!) but this site has many frugal recipes submitted by readers.
Living On A Dime There are books, Dining On A Dime and Not Just Beans, which go along with this site and might be at your local library. They also sell ebooks on various frugal topics.
Does anyone else have a favorite frugal meal or frugal recipe site?
Here's one I found recently:
I like that one! It has pictures!
Thanks for posting the links. In the new year I'm going to make an effort to do more meal planning.
Hi there-thanks for sharing! I'm not adventurous food wise, but am quick to want to try new meal plans!
You are welcome Debtfree2009 and Sharon Rose. I like looking at those sites too even though I probably won't try the recipes. Maybe someday I will be braver.
I too generally eat the same kind of stuff, repeat a small number of dishes, and eat "low on the hog" so to speak, but I make a point of putting a *recipe* together that is somehow special once a month, or doing something I've never done before. This month it was chicken tortilla soup, which I'd wanted to make for a couple months. I made a special trip to get the cilantro, and everything else was already in my fridge and pantry.
Also, I have decided to prepare meat only once a month, and usually a whole chicken (because it's inexpensive for meat, and I can make a great stock from it as well). So that week of the meat dish is, well, maybe not a highlight, but a marker for the rhythm of my month. It makes meat more special if I only eat it one out of 4 weeks.
I find that true disasters are rare for me, and if something doesn't come out so good, I still end up eating it somehow--either toughing it out, or using it as an input to another recipe.
Hi bugbear. Your meal planning is very interesting. I have never cooked a whole chicken, never wanted to deal with the bones, skin etc... I know I pay more for boneless and skinless chicken breasts, that is something I will have to reconsider when I have more free time and less income.
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