Frugal Recipes

by Merissa on March 2, 2012

in Frugal Living Tips

Frugal Recipes

Frugal Recipes

The other day, I received a question from a Little House Living reader:

"When times are tough, what are your go-to frugal recipes?"

I have some great ideas on how to make frugal recipes for when the paycheck runs out before the end of the month. There are times at the end of the month before our next co-op order where we might be really stretching what we have on hand.


One thing I always have on hand in canned tomatoes. I purposely can many many MANY tomatoes in the summer so we at least have this one versatile fruit on hand. Hamburger is one of the most inexpensive meats so it's a great one to have lots of recipes for! My suggestion for an easy frugal recipe is to pair ground beef with pasta (any kind!) and you've got Goulash!  Goulash is a great recipe to use your leftovers in, as well.  If you have leftover vegetables that you need to use up, chop them up and toss them in!


The crock-pot is a great kitchen appliance because it can take all kinds of cheap foods and make them yummy! I like to bake whole chickens or cook whole chickens nice and slow in the crock-pot to make the meat super tender.  You can save the liquid from cooking it in the crock-pot, or save the bones and add some water and vegetables to a large pot, to create a homemade chicken broth.  Or, you can simply add noodles to your crock-pot, toss in the shredded chicken and the juices it cooked in, and you've got Chicken Noodle Soup for supper!


I like recipes that I can easily alter to what I have on hand. This Lasagna takes a few ingredients that you might not always have on hand but you can really make a lot with a little!

Do you want to learn even more tips on saving money?

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9:00 am

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mel Free March 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

Mine would have to be “Dump Soup”..whenever the freezer gets too full, I make it in the Cockpot..all the leftover frozen veggies, meats & homemade chicken broth..then I decide what spices to use & whether I want it to be either a red based soup or a white bassed always turns out delicious!


2 Melissa Snavely McCracken March 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

Spaghetti with shredded chicken instead of ground beef in the sauce. I always seem to have a jar of sauce, box of noodles, chicken, and a loaf of garlic bread in the freezer. (where we live, I can get boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.49/pound or less…much cheaper than ground beef)


3 Heather :) :) :) March 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

The macaroni with hamburger and tomatoes looks really good 🙂 Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 😉


4 Karin H September 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

love all these ideas…there are times you find some of this or that…soup is a great idea…or maybe even an everything pasta???


5 Patty April 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I make ‘skillet tacos’:
In a large skillet, combine the following:
1 lb ground beef, cooked
3Tbs dried onions
1 can whole corn, drained
10 corn tortillas, torn in to bite size pieces
8oz taco sauce
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
Heat through, shred a bit more cheese on top and heat til melted.


6 Alexandra September 3, 2013 at 7:42 am

Make a vegan soup by sautéing onion in olive oil, chopping any veggies and throwing them in the pot with water and a vegan bouillon cube. Then add a handful of lentils or a can of beans and some rice for a complete meal. If you add quinoa you don’t need the beans or rice because quinoa is a complete protein with all 19 amino acids.


7 Tara Pantera January 17, 2014 at 11:43 am

Man, these are all tough if you don’t eat grains! Personally, I love cabbage in the place of noodles! It’s super cheap, nutritious, and you can top it with anything…My favorite is sauteed onions/garlic/mushrooms and seasoned ground beef…I could eat it every day!


8 Carrie January 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

WHERE do you get ground beef for $.99-$1.79 a pound? I pay $6.99 a pound here.


9 Merissa January 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

This post was written a few years ago…. but I do pay about $3 a pound. We get it right from the butcher.


10 Erlene April 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I like the tip on making chicken soup. I usually have cans of tuna on hand to make tuna casseroles or a quick addition to a simple mac-n-cheese dinner. Thanks for sharing on Link’n blogs link up. Have a great weekend.


11 Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books April 25, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I love these recipes! We had Goulash alot when I was growing up, and I loved it! =)
Im a new follower from “Freedom Fridays”!


12 Bec @ The Plumbette April 27, 2014 at 2:21 am

It’s amazing what you can whip up with a can of tomatoes and some pasta. All great tips. 🙂


13 Nic April 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Great tips, I am all for frugal living!
– visiting for Sunday Brunch


14 Natalie April 28, 2014 at 1:25 am

I found this link on Sweet and Savoury Sundays and I think Ghoulash is a great idea. I also keep a lot of ground chuck in the freezer and use it at the end of the month. I whip up all kinds of casseroles from whatever I have in the pantry or refrigerator. Beef isn’t that cheap but I use price matching at Walmart. I don’t have any grocery stores where I live at but I get all the ads in the newspaper. When I find a good deal I buy 10-15 pounds and split it up into one pound packages.


15 Sandy @ Being Content Where We Are April 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Thanks for the recipes and tips. Always looking for ways to stretch the grocery budget.


16 Cindy @ Hun... What's for Dinner? May 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

Great ideas to have, when life takes an unexpected turn. I’ve pinned this to my Low Cost Recipes board. Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Supper Tuesday.


17 Jill May 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm

These all sound yummy! I am pinning!
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