Part 8: How to Live on Less ~ Frugal Foods

Part 8: How to Live on Less ~ Frugal Foods
Part 8: How to Live on Less ~ Frugal Foods


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    One thing our 4 boys do a lot of is eating! These guys are like bottomless pits. It was and is essential for us to find budget friendly meals and snacks for them.

    This hasn’t always been the easiest of things for me since I am not exactly the most creative when it comes to cooking. I am always on the hunt for frugal recipes so feel free to leave your favorite in the comments section!


    I think snacks are the hardest thing for me to manage with my kids. They want to snack all the time! I try to have things on hand that are inexpensive and at least somewhat healthy at the same time.

    When Aldi has their eggs for 79¢/dz I usually buy 3 dozen. I will hard boil at least half of the eggs for egg salad and for snacking. The boys also like to snack on trail mixes – so we make our own. I will throw together whatever we have on hand to make the mix – pretzels, almonds, raisins, cheez-its, dried fruit, and all sorts of cereal. They like to put this in baggies and take it with them while they are on the go.


    I buy a lot of chicken. As a matter of fact, the boys are known to say “Are we having chicken again??”…lol I buy it because it is cheap, healthy and versatile.

    Aldi sells their whole chickens for 79¢/lb so I usually get at least one of these. I also stock up when our local Albertsons has their boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $1.68/lb or less.

    Here are a couple of the things we do with our chicken:

    Chicken Soup – I know, this one is a no-brainer. I cook the whole chicken in the oven and then pick off the meat and put it the pot of chicken broth, cooked carrots, celery and wide egg noodles. This is a staple that we all love.

    Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – I cook the whole chicken in the oven and pick the meat off the bones. I then put the meat in a pot and cover in BBQ sauce and simmer until hot.

    Chicken Pot Pie – I cook the whole chicken in the oven and then pick the meat off the bones. In a 9×13 pan (or 2 for our family) I put 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup. Add about 1 can of milk to get desired consistency for sauce. I then add 2 cans of mixed vegetables and then the chicken. I make my crust with Bisquick – same recipe as biscuits, just rolled very thin. Slit the top crust and bake.

    Chicken Fried Rice – This is one of my favorites. For this, I use the boneless/skinless chicken breasts. I like to marinate them a little in soy sauce and then cook them in a saucepan. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and set aside. Meanwhile, cook bacon (cut up) and onion together. Scramble 6 eggs and add to bacon and onion mixture. Add chicken to eggs, bacon and onions. Cook a little more rice than you think you’ll need. Combine rice and the chicken mixture. Add either Soy sauce, or if you are odd like me and my boys, add ketchup!! Mix until soy or ketchup is absorbed evenly through the rice!

    Chicken Soft Tacos or Fajitas – Cook whole chicken in oven. Pick the meat off the bones and then place in a sauce pan with water and Taco seasoning (or fajita seasoning). Top with lettuce, tomato, refried beans, sour cream, onion – whatever you like!

    When the kids were smaller, I didn’t have to use all the chicken in one dish and would have leftovers to make chicken salad sandwiches. These days, leftovers are rare!!

    Don’t get me wrong, we do eat meats other than chicken…lol.

    Did you miss a part of the series?

    Part 1: How to Live on Less ~ Starting Point
    Part 2: How to Live on Less ~  Lingo, Coupons and Organizing Them
    Part 3: How to Live on Less ~ Grocery & Drug Stores
    Part 4: How to Live on Less ~ Stockpiling
    Part 5: How to Live on Less ~ Shop Seasonally
    Part 6: How to Live on Less ~ Buying Clothes
    Part 7: How to Live on Less ~ Garage Sales


    1. I am just beginning to see the magic of chicken on the grill. It’s going to be a great summer!

    2. I have found quesadilla’s, to be easy quick and something that can “use up” just about anything in my fridge. I either have cooked chicken waiting, made for this, or other meat ~ I saute some thin onion, mushrooms, and peppers, (last time I added some grape tomatoes cut in 1/2) ~~ I mix that with the meat, and push to the side of a large pan – I then put a flour tortilla (you can get 10 of these for 1.00 at dollar tree, and they are shelf stable) in the bottom of the pan, spinkle cheese (any kind will do -) spoon on some of my meat/veg mixture, on only 1/2 the tortilla because you will be folding it…. then sprinkle some add’l cheese and fold it over. Push to the side of the pan and keep going. till done. You may need 2 pans, or you may need to make them all and then bake them for a few minutes. We like our tortilla’s on the crispy side, and they will be like 1/2 moons when done. I cut the adult ones into 2 and kids into 4 — You could make these and have chicken leftover for chicken salad, I’ll bet…. because you won’t be using tons of anything inside the folded over tortilla. I even made these for my mother in law while I she was visiting and she asked for them the next night – I used a different cheese and she still loved them.
      PS good for breakfast too – think scrambled eggs, some bacon or sausage and the cheese (to seal the tortilla together).

    3. I do all that as you, we love chicken! I will give you a tip, maybe is an odd one too: I noticed that when I cook the rice the nigth before and used it already cold the next day to make the fried rice it will be mixing better. After mixing all chicken mixture and rice I will reheat. Keeps the rice loose, no clusters.

    4. I do a microwaveable macaroni & cheese that is really quick and inexpensive; also there is also a sausage & cabbage skillet recipe that is really good, quick & easy as well as inexpensive to make (recipes are at I too like to throw leftovers over a baked potato, add salad and bread.

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