5 Easy Budget Meals Your Family Will Actually Love
Do you sometimes wonder how families are able to buy groceries these days? I’m going to intermittently share my recipes in posts like today, my 5 easy budget meals your family will love. Mark and I have always had a budget, and the place I feel I have control over is the grocery bill. Is it easy? Not always, it takes work and time. After almost 50 years of marriage, I must say I do know how to squeeze a nickel out of a penny, so to speak.
In order to give you an idea of how I save money on groceries, I will list a few items that come to mind. I would love for you to comment on how you save money so we can spread the world on cooking and eating at home.
How To Save Money On Groceries
- Buy food on sale that you use regularly.
- I stock up on the cream of chicken, mushroom, and tomato soups.
- Make your own bread or biscuits.
- Learn to make a white sauce, it’s so versatile.
- Grow a garden and preserve your bounty.
- Stock your pantry so you shop less often.
- If meat is on sale, stock your freezer.
- Freeze butter when it goes on sale.
- Buy frozen vegetables like chopped onions when they go on sale, I love these and they are cheap.
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season, they taste better. I prefer Certified Organic, but I don’t always buy organic. It’s all about the numbers, as in cash in hand. Hopefully, all the stores eventually will go organic, fingers crossed.
- Brown your ground beef and then bag it in meal size bags and freeze the meat for recipes you make.
- Stock up on pasta and white rice.
5 Easy Budget Meals
1. Stew In A Bag
- 2-3 pounds beef stew meat (cut in bite-size pieces)
- 1 onion chopped
- 4-5 carrots sliced
- 4 raw potatoes cubed with skins left on if desired
- 2 cans tomato soup
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
Place all of the ingredients in a freezer bag and freeze it. When ready to cook it, (thaw the bag the night before in the refrigerator) and place the ingredients in a pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours. Or place the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until heated through. Serve with homemade French Bread.
2. Frozen Pizza Crust
- 4 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 5 + cups white bread flour
Grab a bowl and dissolve the yeast with the warm water, oil, and sugar. Add the flour and salt. Knead the dough until it forms a nice ball shape. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rest at least ten minutes. Roll the dough into the shape of your greased pizza pans. If you like a thin dough you will get more pizza shells than a thicker dough. Bake at 425 degrees for 5-10 minutes depending on how thick you made your crust. Cool, wrap, and freeze.
Recipe: When ready to eat, spread the frozen crust with pizza sauce, pepperoni, chopped veggies, and grated Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. If you don't freeze the crust, spread the pizza sauce on the crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Recipe: When ready to eat, spread dough with barbecue sauce, cooked shredded chicken, sliced purple onions, and Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
3. Chicken Salsa Casserole
- 12 corn tortillas, cut into strips
- 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 onion, minced or chopped
- 1 cup milk or sour cream
- 1 4- ounce can green chilies, chopped
- 2-3 cups grated cheese
Combine the chicken, mushroom and chicken soups. Add the chopped onions, and sour cream or milk. Stir in the green chilies. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and spread the tortilla strips in the bottom of the pan. Spread the sauce over the tortilla strips and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake covered for about 60 minutes and then remove the cover and bake 15 more minutes uncovered. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.
4. Shredded Beef Mix
- 5 pounds beef (roast, stew meat, or 1/2 pork tenderloin (save the juice from the cooked meat)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 4- ounce can green chilies
- 2 7- ounce cans green chili salsa
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
Cook meat in a slow cooker on low for 10-12 hours (overnight). Next, shred the meat. Scoop the juice from the slow cooker and cook over a medium heat, add the onions, chilies, salsa, garlic powder, flour, and cumin. Cook one minute over low heat, stirring constantly. Add water as needed if it cooks too fast and thick. Add the meat and stir completely. Cool, and place meal amount in freezer bags. I store 2 cups of the meat mixture in each bag, give or take. Freeze. Thaw the night before you need a bag in the refrigerator.
Use the meat mixture in tacos, burritos, chimichangas, or in enchiladas. This meat is good even in hamburger buns or homemade dinner rolls. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, Cilantro, grated cheese, and salsa.
5. Creamy Beef Mix
- 5 pounds stew meat (cut into small pieces)
- 1 pkg. onion soup mix
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cans golden mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 2 cups water
Combine the ingredients, stir well. Bake at 300 degrees in a large covered pot in the oven for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender. Cool, and scoop a meal size mixture into freezer bags. Freeze the bags. I like to use 2 cups per bag. When ready to serve thaw the bags needed in the refrigerator overnight. Serve over cooked noodles or rice.
No-Fail French Bread
- 2-1/2 cups hot water
- 4 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon shortening or melted butter
- 6 cups bread flour
I dump everything in a bowl or my Bosch bread mixer and mix the bread dough for about 6-8 minutes. I then cut the dough with a dough cutter into two sections. I roll out the two pieces of dough into a rectangle shape and roll up into a tube shape and place them on a greased cookie sheet or French bread/baguette pan. Grease some plastic wrap and cover the dough and let rise until double in size. Just before placing the loaves in the oven to bake, remove the plastic wrap and use a sharp knife to slice a few shallow cuts on the diagonal on the top of the dough. Preheat the oven to (400°F) = (204°C) and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Lightly brush the baked loaves with butter on the tops and serve while warm.
As I type my 5 easy budget meals today, please know that these recipes are from my heart to help you save money by cooking from scratch and eating at home. My husband, Mark, is my hero because every meal that I prepare each night he mentions “this is a great dinner.” No matter what it is, he is grateful for the dinner I made. May you be prepared for the unexpected sooner than later. May God bless this world.
6 thoughts on “5 Easy Budget Meals Your Family Will Actually Love”
I buy a case of chicken breasts and bottle them . I use the bottled chicken in soup,salad stir fry ect. Then I dont have to cook chicken each time I need it.
Hi, Arlene, oh my gosh, that’s the best idea! When Mark and I got our Master Canning and Preserving Certificates we both learned to pressure can meat. I have canned so many things but had never done meat! I would highly recommend pressure canning chicken! It makes meal time so much easier! Thanks fo commenting!! Linda
Linda, Thank you so much for sharing your time, talents and these budget meal recipes! I really appreciate your posts and have learned so much from you. The other night a group of us “older” single women from my ward had a pot luck birthday/game night gathering and I prepared your Amish White Chili dish…it was a big hit! Everyone wanted the recipe–so along with the recipe I shared with them your blog. Again, thank you and you and your husband are very blessed.
Hi, Katherine, you are so nice, you made my day!! I LOVE potluck parties! I’m so glad you liked the recipe and your potluck friends did too!! Thanks for your kind words, Linda
I might have mentioned this before but one way I save money is I go to the Amish. Around
here they have what is called a salvage store. I call it scratched and dented it sounds better. Anyway
they have items that have been damaged in some way. Like the box was torn during shipping and stores
won’t sell it. There are items you have to be careful on but you have the item in your hands you can look at it and make up you own mind. Prices are so much cheaper. I get Fiber One 90 bars, last time I was there they were BOGO and they were marked down to 95 cents. Now in the stores they are anywhere from 2.95 to 4.95, so I stocked up like crazy. I got 18 boxes for the total cost of what maybe
3 or 4 regular boxes would be. Not sure evey state has these kinds of stores but if they do please
try them out and see what you think.
Hi June, I remember going to some stores like that in Salt Lake City, Utah. I wish we had Amish stores here. I would go there a lot! Great tip! Linda