Frugal Recipe Tips
Welcome! I am attempting to create a blog using primarily items commonly purchased cheaply or found free at food pantries. There will be a few items like produce and dairy, and spices which will need to be purchased regardless of if you can use food pantries or not. I will comment in the recipe the cheapest place to buy these if i know, or at least a current cheap buy price I pay.
*I use a combination of food pantries and shopping at Woodman’s and Aldi for bulk of my purchases with occasional purchases of sale items at Pick n Save and Piggly Wiggly. I’m starting with a list here but it might not be exhaustive of 100% of recipes I post…but you keep these on hand you can probably expect to not need more than 5 items from the grocery store very often. I shop the produce and meat reduced sections at woodman’s a lot along with sales for those items. I live in southeast WI near Milwaukee, prices vary around the country and from country to country so my prices on things may differ from you. Canada I know has much more expensive food costs than here.
You will need a large crockpot, a frying pan, microwave, stove or electric fry pan, and oven to make recipes on my blog. You might be able to do without the oven. I make ham and turkeys in my oven to use in recipes, you may be able to do them in a crockpot or roaster instead or possibly a grill if you know how.
Common Items Used:
Bell Pepper, Red or Green ($.99 a bag of 8 or so at Woodman’s in reduced section. Chop and freeze for later and they are still good for most recipes. Otherwise get them at Aldi or a local store that has them 2/$1 or so.)
Onions 2 to 3lb bag (usually I get a bag from Woodmans or Aldi when I am there or otherwise 2 or 3 lb bag on sale for $1-$1.50 anywhere)
Black beans, I believe Aldi has for $.59 cents or so
Diced tomatoes, canned
Soft flour tortillas
Chicken bouillon powder (I buy the huge thing at my Aldi for under $5 it is green and brown I believe)
Crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper
Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil (either will probably work interchangeably; your preference; olive oil probably healthier, vegetable oil probably cheaper)
Penne pasta, $1 a box sale price
lasagna noodles, not sure of sale price probably $1.50?
Cheese Singles $2 a pack, can be frozen
Pepper Jack, shredded, 8 oz. (or block if unable to find shredded and shred your own) $2 or cheaper on sale
Cheddar, shredded 8 oz (or block if cheaper) We prefer sharp or extra sharp, $2
Monterey jack cheese shredded 8 oz $2 (or block if cheaper)
heavy cream $5ish for the large thing at Woodman’s have not checked for it at Aldi. Can be frozen.
butter $2 a lb. or margarine I have seen Imperial brand $.79 or sometimes cheaper around holidays. Butter and margarine can both be frozen.
Ground beef, chuck or sirloin $2/lb (yes i’ve found this $2/lb in clearance bin at woodmans at times for all 3 of those in 2015-2016); I’ve seen ground beef 73%-80% lean on sale $2/lb elsewhere recently
Chicken leg quarters, sometimes sale will include thighs and legs, sale price $.59/lb. or Walmart I think has a 10lb bag for $5.90
Whole chickens $.95/lb at Aldi or sometimes elsewhere on sale for less
Turkeys, purchased around Thanksgiving for cheap or just use the ones we are gifted from hubby’s employer. I think I’ve seen them for 39 or 49 cents a lb. Nov. 2015
Hams, purchased when found for $.99/lb
A few of my favorite recipe blogs for meal planning:
DamnDelicious (sorry for the swear, it’s her blog name)
allrecipes.com (has an ingredient search)
and of course pinterest! (can search by ingredient also, or recipe name etc)
Also check out my link to Semi-Vegetarian recipes (most are vegetarian but some do have chicken but often you can serve that on side or eliminate if one or more people are vegetarians but not all in your household are). My sister is vegetarian these are all tried and true by both her and I.
More recipes to follow Happy Cooking!