The key to making nutritious and frugal meals on a regular basis is to have a plan. By picking different meals for a weekly menu, you can systematically begin 1) using what is left in your pantry, 2) adding more nutrition to your diet, and 3) saving money. Below are some of the recipes I make often. They use local or homemade ingredients, and most don't take more than 30 minutes to prepare.
This page is under construction! A few links are still to come. -Bethany
3 Ways to Save
Meat is something that most people on a budget tend to shy away from. Learning how to butcher animals can make meat more accessible in a rural area, but you can also find cheap meat at Walmart for under $2.00 per pound- chicken especially can be had for under $1.00 per pound. When I find a deal, I buy a lot, freezing some but canning most of it. Bacon, ham and other "specialty" meats are only bought on sale or bartered with local farmers.
Dairy can also be problematic for frugal homemakers. I buy hard cheese in bulk for $2.00-$3.00 per pound, shredding and freezing most of it. I make my own soft cheese (queso blanco) with milk, vinegar and salt for $2.00-$3.00 per lb., depending on the price of milk. Cream cheese can be bought on sale for $2.00 per pound. Yogurt is also homemade for about $0.75 per quart. We buy some butter for special recipes or occasions, but use bacon grease or other animal fats for cooking most of the time.
Fruits are the most expensive produce to buy. I grow or forage 95% of my own fruit for free, and buy pineapples and bananas when they are marked down.
With creative "shopping" (gardening, foraging, butchering, bartering and DIYing) and some planning, we eat for about $1.43 per person, per day. This is just 40% of what one can receive in food stamps or SNAP benefits in the US. Using some of the recipes and techniques I've shared, even someone on food stamps could afford to eat out once a week.
If you would like to know how we eat for $10.00 per person, per week, check out my book The Housewife's Guide to Frugal Food, available on Amazon.com.
Fruit & Vegetables
Spices & Seasoning
Sweets & Desserts