Part 8: How to Live on Less ~ Frugal Foods
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