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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Java Talk: How Will You Deal With High Food Prices In 2015?



Food prices just keep going up and up. New strategies will have to be implemented on my part to deal with this. 

My plan is to have a lot of crock pot meals. And ones that don't have meat. Or little to none anyway. Meat has just gotten out of price range for me.

So I'm thinking potatoes. Baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, potato soup, and other variations that include the cheaper vegetables. 

Meals involving cabbage. If you have any great ones, please leave them in the comments. 

What are you doing to feed your family this coming year? More coupons, weekly grocery store sales? Let's help everyone with new ideas for 2015.

Get your coffee or tea or other beverage and let's talk food and recipes.

Cozy Little House
117 Comments
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117 comments:

  1. I love my crockpot and use it all the time so we have a hot meal after a long day! I am not really a recipe person-I just make it up as I go, but I know there are a lot of good ones out their. Happy crocking to you!

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    Replies
    1. Well, I'm not one like you who can make meals up without directions. I shudder to think how they would come out. My creativity does not stretch to meal preparation!

      Delete
  2. Brenda hamburger meat wentfrom $4.98 a pound to $5.98 a pound in one week. I about fell over. We've been using tuna in casseroles and making pots of hamburger stew. We still buy those Hillshire Farm sausages and cut them up with peppers and onions. My garden will be full this year nobody can afford groceries anymore. Lots of grilled cheese and tomato soup and I boil whole fryer chickens. Gas came down and food went up higher. They had to get even greedier and get their money somehow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I ordered tuna from Walmart.com, as I haven't been able to grocery shop, and it wasn't exactly cheap either. I hope people leave lots of good recipes here utilizing cheap ingredients! Can you tell me about your sausage meals? I've never made those.

      Delete
  3. Eat more beans! They make great soups, side dishes and salads. Wonderful source of protein. I also buy in discount stores to save money on staples, dairy and canned goods. I always laugh when I hear someone say they're glad they don't have to shop in 'those places' anymore. When I do cook meat, I stretch it out to feed the 2 of us longer. A small bit of ham makes for great chef salads, omelets and sandwiches. Lots of chicken. Thanks for opening this thread of conversation. I'm eager to hear other ideas.

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  4. Brenda for our sausage meals I just buy a pkg. Of the Hillshire Farm sausages. They go on sale frequently for $2 a pkg. We cut them up in bite size slices with onions and any type of red,green, and yellow pepper and spray a little olive oil and cook thoroughly. We serve it over some boiled white rice that I've mixed butter,salt, and pepper in. I've also served it alongside baked potatoes or over them or next to mashed potatoes or shells and cheese. You can also broil them in the oven or on the grill. The sausages make great shish ka bobs. We use them for everything.

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    Replies
    1. We too use the Hillshire Farm sausages, and mostly the Turkey Kielbasa..works well in lots of different soups or cooked on the stove as Valerie does.....and the keep pretty long after purchase.

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    2. I love the Hillshire Farms sausages ...I cut into bite size pieces and brown in frying pan...
      Cabbage...it's great fried with onion and little butter, salt and pepper...and those sausages are great with the cabbage..

      Delete
  5. Beans! Of course! There will be lots of beans in my home. I happen to love every single variety of beans too.

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    Replies
    1. Brenda, I am a vegetarian. Try using lentils in your recipes that call for ground meat. I've used them as sloppy joes, in Lasagna, in soups and I have a great recipe for a Vegetarian Meatloaf with Lentils that's great.

      Once I went vegetarian my costs for groceries went down drastically. I also cook almost everything from scratch staying away from all the processed foods that are full of so many things we do not need. I purchase fresh veggies, bulk grains, flour, beans, along with my sprouted bread and tortillas and I build my meals from there. My husband and I both are healthier and we feel so much better.
      Best of luck to you in 2015!

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  6. We've never been heavy meat eaters as far as singular pieces of meat with veggie side dishes.. Our preferred meals are soups stews chili's curries and bean dips so all protein needs are well taken care of with mostly cheap ingredients. Like you we also enjoy potatoes in various ways. The local fresh produce folks near by have far better quality and are lots cheaper than any grocery store- we also have a fresh meat source the same way.
    Beans beans beans lol. they easily substitute any mean in any recipe. white/northern beans for chicken/pork dishes and pinto/kidney for beef dishes , not to mention healthier and more easily assimilated by the body.. cooked or raw cabbage in place of meat works great too..More important than the difference in price is how much better folks would feel in a short period of time and that has to be a good thing;
    as you said-Potatoes are yummy 20 different ways:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been over pinning gardening ideas for veggie gardens on Pinterest in between comments. I did not know that grocery stores did not appear on our American landscape until 1946. So until then, people had to garden to survive!

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    2. Great ideas, Sonny! We will feel better if we eat nutritious foods baked ourselves, and most without meat. I really don't much care for meat. I've never liked the texture.

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  7. I use tuna in a casserole and it feeds me for a couple of days at least. I also use a lot of beans! Crockpot meals are the way to go for sure. I'll be reading what everyone has to say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm hoping to glean some ideas from this discussion to utilize myself!

      Delete
  8. Brenda, this is one of our favorite recipes http://www2.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/recipe.nsf/55e548eeef8c89b9852568d4004c5ffe/02FFB3259B0E33D385257BB10044B67A You can make it without the chicken and its still yummy! Or you can just use a can of white chicken breast. My husband and I usually get two dinners and a lunch out of this recipe. It's even better the next day and it freezes well too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went over and copied Diane's recipe for Brunswick Stew for all of you. Here it is...


      Submitted by: Sue Hogarth from Lancaster, CA
      Originally shared on the web 07/23/2013

      2 slices bacon
      1 c. onion, chopped
      3 lbs. chicken
      2-10-3/4 oz. cans chicken broth
      2-1/4 c. water, divided
      1/3 c. celery, chopped
      2 t. salt
      16 oz. can stewed tomatoes
      2 c. potatoes, peeled and diced
      10 oz. pkg. frozen okra thawed
      10 oz. pkg. frozen baby lima beans, thawed
      12 oz. can corn, drained
      1 T. Worcestershire sauce
      3 T. all-purpose flour
      Sauté together bacon and onion in a 4 quart Dutch oven until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon mixture from Dutch oven; set aside. Place chicken, broth 2 cups water, celery, salt and bacon mixture in Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduced heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes or just until chicken is tender or just until chicken is tender. Skim fat. Remove bones from chicken; discard and return meat to pot. Add tomatoes, potatoes, okra and lima beans. Bring to a boil; reduced heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn and Worcestershire sauce; heat to boiling. Mix flour with remaining water in a small bowl; stir into broth. Heat and stir until thickened. Makes 6 servings.

      Delete
  9. I roast a big turkey 3 or 4 times a year, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas. After holidays they usually go on sale. I then pick the meat from the bones and freeze the meat in zip locks. I vary the sizes but not much more than 2 cups to a bag. Then the bones go into the roaster and I make as much stock as I can and freeze that. I can make turkey noodles, casseroles, sandwiches, or whatever I can think of. I know you can't roast a big turkey, but maybe a small one would fit in your oven, or your crock pot. They don't need to be browned, just cooked. It is cheap protein. I do the same thing with ham if I find it on sale. It doesn't take much ham to flavor a pot of beans, or split pea soup. Makes good sandwiches, too.
    I am getting anxious to plant garden, and it is only January. Gonna be a long winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, gonna be a long cold winter. Great idea, Klyn! I have very little room in my little freezer section, but could put some up there. Beans are good, but best seasoned for sure!

      Delete
  10. Found this one on Pinterest. Few ingredients, which I love, and served with my beloved cornbread, a staple of my youth...

    Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans
    (Printable Recipe)

    1 lb package dried northern beans
    ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
    2 tsp onion powder
    6 cups water
    salt & pepper to taste

    Rinse and sort the beans for any pebbles. Add the the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crock pot. Add water. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender. Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat. Add meat to the crock pot and mix. Serve with cornbread.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tuna was 1.00 a can at our local store not too long ago...I mix it with cold macaroni salad for lunch...the little grandson loved it.
    Ground beef used to be the 'go-to' for bargain meals but it is only affordable now when it goes on sale. There's a 2 day sale coming up where it will be 2.99 per lb and I'll buy a huge package of it...maybe 2 of them. When i do that I brown some...for lasagna or tacos, etc. I make several meatloaves and meatballs and whatever else I feel like cooking and freeze a lot of it.
    Around here for some reason it is cheaper to buy a few turkey legs or a split breast than a frying chicken and I'll buy that and get a few meals plus soup.
    I've had a bit of dental work recently and am not done. The fake / temp crowns feel weird so I am mostly on a soft diet..I couldn't eat a steak if it was free at the store :) Today I diced up a red pepper and a leek and browned them with ground turkey ...then added broth and cream. I will freeze half of that for another time and then cook linguini to toss with it and that will be dinner for days...
    I have the grand kids ( either 1 or a few ) in the mornings so breakfasts are always hearty...eggs and such

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I was so creative with food as you all seem to be. If I don't see it listed in a recipe, I'm at a loss. But thanks for the great ideas! Now I won't starve!

      Delete
    2. I found tuna for 0.50 cents to 0.69 cents on sale and then I stocked up (as they had long expire date) . I do a lot of the same things Deb above doing and use very little meat in casseroles, almost more for 'a tase'. When ground beef on sales (which at one time was $1.49 just a year ago, then $1.79, then $1.99 then jumped to $2.49 and now $2.99 on sale) I get 2 family packs and freeze in 1/4 lb, 1/2 lb and 1 lb bags, using the smaller ones for crock pot / oven / stove top casseroles. Same with ground turkey / ground chicken. I stock up on sale. Eat a lot of beans, rice and pasta.
      GADawn57

      Delete
  12. Veggies and more veggies and pasta....and fish.....
    so I am telling myself.

    ((((((you)))))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Veggies seem to be my go-to. I'm going to be looking up sandwiches with just veggies I suppose.

      Delete
  13. I have some amazing recipes that include tofu: crispy critrus tofu, honey mustard tofu, sesame tofu. Also, I've gotten into cooking Asian noodles or soups with bits of veg, tofu or a little meat/shellfish and lovely noodles or rice. These are all economical meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen these various types of tofu in the stores. I will have to go to Sprouts and look. I love tofu.

      Delete
  14. taco soup - enough for quite a few meals, hubby and I have it for one evening meal and maybe 2 lunch meals - if it was me by myself I would freeze it into individual containers for the size I want and have enough for about 8 meals. You can if you wish sprinkle some shredded cheese on the soup and some Frito chips for crunch.
    1 can black beans, 1 can chili beans, 1 can enchilada sauce, 1 can (same size as the beans) chopped tomatoes, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can chicken broth, 1 can corn, 1 package taco seasoning - and if you want meat - add one can of chicken or 1 pound of hamburger. I also chop an onion and put it and brown with beef before you add the rest of the ingredients. Just stir it all together and simmer all day if you want. Because it has the beans for protein you really can leave out the meat if you desire.
    If you desire a creamier soup I leave out the can of cream of chicken soup and put in a half of a brick of cream cheese instead. If you use hamburger instead of chicken replace the chicken broth with beef broth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds delicious. But doubt if I could take the enchilada sauce. What could I use instead due to chronic reflux? Anybody have a suggestion?

      Delete
    2. Brenda, I make taco soup just like Karen but I've never put enchilada sauce in it. With the seasonings, I don't think you'd miss it.

      Delete
  15. Below is the link for the Vegetarian Meatloaf. I've found that it tastes best when you use a really good Spaghetti Sauce instead of the tomato sauce.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/really-good-vegetarian-meatloaf-really-33921

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love meatloaf, but have to not use all the tomato-y stuff. Vegetarian meatloaf sounds even better!

      Delete
  16. Our local Kroger store has meat marked down half price on the Manager's Special. I don't shop more than once a week or every ten days, but when I find what we will eat I scoop it up and repackage into small packs and put in the freezer and take out as needed. I also freeze leftovers and pop in the microwave to reheat. You can buy frozen meatballs and heat as many as you need (I do mine in a small crock pot) with whatever sauce you like. They are good over noodles or with a baked potato. Tuna or egg salad is good to have on hand with some celery and baby carrots for snacks. I buy mostly house brands of canned goods. Fortunately, my husband will eat leftovers, so we waste very little. I'm always looking for new ideas, too; so thanks for asking these questions.

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  17. Thanks for your input. These are good ideas for ways to eat meatballs. I have never purchased frozen meatballs. Is there a particular brand that you buy? I too buy store brands of canned goods.

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    Replies
    1. No particular brand - Kroger, HEB, WalMart, Costco - whatever. I usually buy the Italian seasoned but you can get plain. You could make your own and freeze them. I would add bread crumbs and seasonings if I were making them. Also, forgot to mention I bake potatoes in the microwave. Prick them with a fork, (my microwave has a potato setting but you could experiment until you find the right amount of time) take them out and wrap in foil for about 5 or 10 minutes and they are as good to us as baked in the oven. This really saves on energy.

      Delete
  18. Did I tell you this already? I was shocked a few weeks ago when I bought the ground meat for meatloaf and it was $12!! Isn't meatloaf supposed to be cheap? We are still eating the same foods but I watch the ads closely to get things on sale and I use the WalMart Price Catcher to match prices. My main goal is to make sure that nothing is wasted. Also, we are eating at home more.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wowsa! No kidding? That's ridiculous. Guess I won't be eating meat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh sorry, that was for two pounds of 85/15 ground beef. The best deal I find on beef when it's on sale is usually chuck roast. It's so good when you slow cook it and can stretch out for many meals.

      Delete
  20. I find chicken is the best option for me. I just made a large pot of chicken noodle soup with just one chicken breast. I used more carrots and celery. I stir in pesto when the veggies are finished it adds so much flavor. The one pot will server two dinners for the two of us. I also make spaghetti sauce and freeze it. Inexpensive and so easy too. Don't forget about eggs, French toast. I love mixed rice with sautéed onions and mushrooms too. I'll take a head of cauliflower, sweet potato and chicken broth and make a huge pot of soup. As you can see I love making low fat, economical meals. It's kind of a hobby for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great hobby! I had three boiled eggs for supper last night. Eggs are a great staple.

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  21. Oh and I also bake potatoes, several at a time and wrap in Saran to save.... it saves energy, that with vegetables is a favorite too. I've been making apple sauce too. That makes a simple meal so tasty and special. We eat very little beef. I'm not against it I just notice not eating it very often It now seems to bother me.

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    Replies
    1. I never much liked beef. I like this idea to bake potatoes.

      Delete
  22. Chicken Taco Cups Recipe


    TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. MAKES: 18 servings
    Ingredients
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 jar (16 ounces) salsa, divided
    2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
    36 wonton wrappers
    Sour cream, chopped green onions and chopped ripe olives, optional

    Nutritional Facts
    One serving (2 each) equals 124 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 408 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 10 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

    Directions
    Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
    Transfer chicken to a food processor; cover and process until chopped. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, half of the salsa and 1 cup cheese.
    Press wonton wrappers into miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture into cups; top with remaining salsa and cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve warm. Garnish with sour cream, green onions and olives if desired. Yield: 3 dozen. You can freeze and reheat.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Have you tried tuna fritters, it was a a recipe my Mum used that made the tuna go that much further, she also used sausage meat with the same recipe... and I still make these today...:O) They can last a couple of meals and even have one on a sandwich for lunch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have not heard of this! Sounds good though.

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  24. I just tried one last night for black bean soup that I got from All You magazine that was really good and cheap to make. Here it is (I didn't use the greek yogurt or cilantro)

    1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil $
    1 medium onion, diced $
    3 cloves garlic, minced $
    1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    4 carrots, diced (about 1 cup) $
    3 ribs celery, thinly sliced $
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    6 cups low-sodium chicken broth $
    4 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed $
    Salt and pepper $
    6 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt $
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    Preparation

    1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin. Sauté for about 3 minutes.

    2. Stir in broth and beans, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove 2 cups of soup and puree in a blender. Stir pureed soup back into pot and cook 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. Spoon soup into bowls, top with yogurt and cilantro and serve.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, I found your blog a few days ago and I've been reading your archives - I can identify with a lot of things you write about and I like your laid back, simpler lifestyle. So thanks for your blog! I make variations of potato soup in the fall and winter. It starts with the basics - chicken broth, butter (not much), chopped celery & onion, potatoes, milk or half & half, you all probably know the drill. What I like about potato soup is you can add many things to it - clams, bacon, cheese, ham, corn, asparagus, etc... and have a different soup - not just plain potato soup. Have a roll or some kind of crusty bread, a small salad. Recently I did a bacon/corn potato soup and it was quite good. Parm cheese is good sprinkled on potato soup, too. Well, thats my 2 cents! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Well your 2 cents was worth a lot! Thanks!

      Delete
  26. I'm fixing a crock pot meal tonight. Hubby and I aren't big eaters so I use a small crock pot. I belong to a Crock Pot Facebook group and the gals there have been so helpful. I browned some beef round steak, added 1/2 stick of butter (told it helps keep neat moist), onion cut up on bottom, 1/4 cup of water and cooking for 8 hours. Last two hours o cut up a potato and added it. It looks good and we will be trying it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I buy Zatarain's Jambalaya and Zatarain's Dirty Rice mixes when they are on sale at Winn-Dixie 3/$5 and I cut up sausages, like the poster above mentioned, and add them to the Jambalaya. Sometimes I add 1 lb. of hamburger meat, browned, to the Dirty Rice. They keep well in the fridge and I've frozen them in single servings for later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to try this. If it isn't too spicy, that is.

      Delete
  28. I tend to keep my recipes simple with just a few ingredients. Since you will be eating more vegetables here are a couple of quick recipe ideas that would work well for 1 person. Stir fry some fresh veggies in olive oil and add some chinese egg noodles, season or add sauce if desired. Serve with sliced fruit. Also, stir fried veggies are great in a pita pocket with some shredded cheese and dressing.

    Crock pot soups are great with rotisserie chicken to give it more flavor and lots of veggies with beans. We really like scallops with pasta, so I buy a large bag of frozen petite bay scallops, toss in bread crumbs and margarine and bake for 20 minutes. Then add to your cooked pasta. I usually fix a couple of scallop meals a month and freeze the rest for the next time. I can make 3 meals for 2 people with one bag of scallops and they are much healthier than meat. Great recipe ideas so far.



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  29. Replies
    1. Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes! I just got back from the grocery and got sweet potatoes.

      Delete
  30. I'm not much of a cook but I really like pasta, and I mix it with different veggies or a little meat or poultry (or tofu). I used diced tomatoes or a little butter & Parmesan with some seasoning instead of heavier sauces. Of course it's also great in non-creamy soups like minestrone. Rice is also cheap, you can make Spanish rice, stuffed cabbage, fried rice...and rice pudding!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not much of a cook either. I suppose a REAL cook would not have had their stove taken out!

      Delete
  31. What a great idea to share recipes. I have never been much of a meat eater so it is fine by me to eat less meat. One of my favorite recipes is Fresh Tomatoe Pie. Taste of Home has a good recipe at http://www.tasteofsouthern.com/tomato-pie-recipe/

    Another favorite is pasta salad with italian dressing and chopped fresh veggies like carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers. We sometimes add cubed summer sausage and/or cubed cheese to the pasta salad. Sometimes we have pasta salad with tuna fish and fresh veggies using mayonnaise as the dressing.

    I am looking forward to reading everyones recipes and suggestions for cutting food bills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just got back from the store. The first run for groceries since before my ankle surgery. Went to Target. One of the things I bought was pasta for salad and cucumbers and dressing.

      Delete
  32. Cabbage is always cheap. Here is a recipe from Ina Garten:
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sauteed-cabbage-recipe.html
    My husband makes it and uses olive oil instead of the butter she calls for.
    He puts in some other veggies sometimes, like diced onions or diced carrots.
    We eat a lot of brown rice. It's not too expensive. We make it in a rice cooker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love cabbage. But alas, Target did not have any. I didn't think I could handle Walmart.

      Delete
  33. Hi Brenda,

    I like eating a lot of soup, it's filling and you can put just about anything you want in it! Here's one of our favorites since it's loaded with veggie, meat and ground turkey breast. You can skip the turkey if you want because it is a very hearty soup!

    Turkey and Cabbage Soup
    Servings: 10

    2 tablespoons light olive oil
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 1/2 pound ground turkey, you can use 1 pound of ground beef. (I used 1 1/2 pounds cause Mr. C is a meat eater)
    1/2 large onion, chopped
    5 cups chopped cabbage
    2 (16 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
    1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
    2 cups water or beef stock: since I used turkey I added 2 cups chicken stock
    14 1/2 oz. tomato sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    Salt and Pepper to taste NOTE: if you use the liquid from the beans don't add extra salt

    STOVE TOP

    Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 2 minutes (make sure you don't burn the garlic), add the beef/turkey and onion. Saute until brown and crumbled. Drain fat if using beef and add remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 40 minutes.

    SLOW COOKER

    Directions

    Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add ground beef and onion, and cook until beef is well browned and crumbled. Drain fat, and transfer beef/turkey to a slow cooker. Add cabbage, kidney beans, water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cumin, salt, and pepper.

    Cook on high setting for 4 hours, or on low setting for 6 to 8 hours. Stir occasionally.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Red Beans and Rice. Delicious. You can also add sausage if you like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love red beans and rice. Oh, and cornbread!

      Delete
  35. I love the winter when we can make big pots of soup. Chili or Spanish bean soup!!! We freeze 2 portion size containers and every other night, no cooking, just take it out of the freezer and zap it in the microwave!! Supper!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just came home from getting groceries. Problem is, my freezer is small. So can't get much in there and still have ice.

      Delete
  36. I have to say food seems to be our biggest non fixed expense, and it just gets worse it seems. I'd love to cut back on spending in this area. We are thinking of joining Costco (they seem to have a good rebate program if you use their Amex) and maybe joining a food co-op as well. I usually only buy meat items when they're on sale also. I've noticed for some food items like a prime grade steak, if it's not on sale it's sometimes cheaper to go out to eat! Crazy, but true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think it's often cheaper to eat out. For one person, to get everything to cook something, I could have eaten out and done it cheaper. I hear we may be getting a Costco.

      Delete
  37. We have been budgeting our food costs for a couple of years and now that stuff is so much higher we either had to cut back on what we buy or go way over budget. I shop sales and if the meat is not on sale we do not get it. Lots of chicken, but there are so many different ways to fix it that we do not feel like we eat the same thing over and over. I have always loved vegetables and really have gotten more into simple ways to fix them lately. Roasted cabbage and cauliflower steaks have become favorites at our house. Also sweet potato hash. Here is the link to the recipe for the cabbage steaks. http://www.everydaymaven.com/2012/garlic-rubbed-roasted-cabbage-steaks/ I have a great selection of recipes on my Pinterest boards and try to find new recipes that are budget friendly and can be split easily to make it for 2. We also have soups a few times a month, and also I will bake a chicken breast and then cut it up in fresh salad, makes a nice meal. I feel really bad for people that have children and are trying to keep food on the table, we had our 3 Grandkids for 3 months recently and the food costs were through the roof. I do not know where all this is going to end but I do know that it seems that just the basics now take most if not all of people's paychecks. I will plant a garden and hope to save some money that way, at least it will be fresh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be planting veggies in my containers this year along with herbs and my flowers. (Of course flowers!) I don't know how parents afford milk for their children. I just have it on cereal and it's still so expensive.

      Delete
  38. There are lots of veggie recipes on my vegetable board on Pinterest. Please feel free to snag and grab any of them that look good to you. http://www.pinterest.com/craftybynight/eat-your-veggies/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be heading over there to check it out, and I'm sure others will as well!

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  39. This is better in the summer. I put fresh veggies like three or four colors of bell peppers, squash, a little bit of onion and/or tomato in my wok to stir fry. I top it with grated cheese at the end so it will melt over everything. I have reflux and can eat a few cherry tomatoes cooked like this. In the winter I buy a large bag of stir fry veggies and add Ramein. There is a website for Ramein noodle recipes. I also make a chicken pot pie from canned chicken, mushroom soup, Veg-All and Bisquit. It makes a bunch so I freeze it. Salads with Greek olives add variety for me.

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    1. I've never attempted chicken pot pie. I have reflux too and must be careful what I eat.

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  40. One of my favorite websites is 99 cent chef. GREAT recipes at reasonable prices.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! We'll all be checking it out.

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  41. In your toaster oven you could roast veggies, use a variety...sliced cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mini sweet peppers...toss or brush on olive oil, seasoning salt..or just salt & pepper.
    400* after 15 minutes, start checking.

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    1. Sounds delicious! I shall try that. I noticed at Target they now have quite a few meatless TV dinners. They were on a good sale, so I got some.

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  42. Look into these Youtube videos! They are portraying broke, stoned college kids (for fun) but one is an accomplished chef and the recipes are pretty good. They have numerous videos to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZMevpv7T2s

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    1. It will be worth it just to see the broke and stoned college kids!

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  43. We have starting eating more eggs. If cholesterol is an issue use only 1 yolk and 2 whites. You can't taste the difference. The Pillsbury biscuits are often on sale here for 10 packages $10. I stock up. I take a package of those and line a muffin pan with it. I mix my eggs and whatever else I have on hand together, and pour the mixture into the lined muffin pan. Bake 350 about 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Some things I use are green pepper, a bit of onion, cheese, bacon if I have it. A pan of 12 muffins regular size or 6 of the jumbos is enough to make 2 dinners, and a 1/2 lunch for the 2 of us. As for the bacon it has become very expensive like everything else so when buy it I get a few pounds at a time and freeze them. I don't just use the bacon as a side. Now I include little bits for flavor in things. I also use small amounts of lunch meats for flavor.

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    1. I'm trying to picture the muffin tins with biscuits and eggs over it. Doesn't spill over? Sounds good!

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  44. Here is our favorite warm weather salad:

    1 head lettuce, broken in pieces
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    3 green onions, chopped fine
    1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack
    1 can red kidney beans, washed and drained
    1 can pinto beans, washed and drained
    1 bag Fritos
    1 8 ounce bottle Ranch dressing

    Mix green onions and lettuce. Layer rest of ingredients except Fritos and dressing.

    Just before serving, mix in dressing. Serve over Fritos

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    1. Oh, that sounds good and easy too! I just bought Ranch dressing.

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  45. There are some wonderful ideas from the previous responses. Just make sure you are eating protein. Legumes and beans are always economical. Spices also make a difference. Stay away from white, like white rice, white potatoes for the most part. There is so much more food value in brown rice or sweet potatoes. And you are right about the prices. I send my husband to buy groceries every once in a while and he comes back with sticker shock....which is why I send him. Then he understands the high food bills a little better. Also, while cheese can be expensive, I like to sprinkle a little over a finished dish for taste and color. Then I'm not using too much or spending too much.

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    1. I do eat some white potatoes with frozen veggies over them at night. I just bought sweet potatoes today. Love them!

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  46. Ive seen a lot of great recipes on here..thanks! But not many tips for saving on groceries. Here are some of mine (nothing new :)
    I shop at Sams every couple of months and buy meat in large packages, divide and freeze...much cheaper. I'll buy a whole boneless pork loin and cut into 2 roasts, some chops, cubes for stews and small slices for stir fry. I get a lot of meals that. I get the large pack of ground chuck and make some hamburger patties, meatballs, meatloaf (I mix all the ingredients right in a gallon freezer bag and freeze..then just thaw and its ready to bake).
    Same with chicken...divide and conquer! I also shop Winn Dixie's buy one get one free sales and stock up (within reason! ) I shop the sales weekly and try not to buy at full price. If im out of something not on sale ill wait to buy it unless I absolutely NEED it! Obviously, there are certain things that dont or hardly ever go on sale! All you can do is try! :)

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    1. Okay, my tip is I eat lots of eggs and potatoes. I will boil a few eggs and eat it for a meal. And I bake a lot of potatoes. Potatoes are still fairly cheap! I eat twice per day and munch a bit in between. If I eat out, it's only at lunch, when the meals are cheaper. And I like to go to places that give senior discounts.

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  47. I am by myself as are you Brenda. I have learned to eat 2 meals a day, help to lose weight. If I get hungry at night, I eat yogurt or crackers and the skinny cow cheese wedge. I dont buy sodas at all. I stopped buying water and bought a brita pitcher. I dont eat a lot of meat as well. I use my crockpot some and freeze soups I make there too. I like beans and cornbread and white bean soups are good too.

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    1. I grew up on beans and cornbread. We lived way out and my great-grandmother did not own a car or drive. So we walked to town for what groceries we had to have. But we had a great big garden full of veggies and fruits. And she canned for winter.

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  48. I like bacon. So I fry about half pound and keep in refrigerator for a week. Taking out only a few pices to warm in microwave. Use to garnish bake potato or to have with homemade flash frozen waffles. Also could put some crumbles on salad. Etc. lots of good comment ideas. Cannot wait to read them all.

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    1. I think it is a great idea that you and a commenter above had to not eat the bacon like it is, but to crumble it up and put it over another food. Great way to stretch it out. I haven't had anything but turkey bacon for years. But I probably haven't bought any in a year or so.

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  49. Hi Brenda, I too make many meals with my slow cooker or crock pot. For the winter months I do chili, soups, stews and more with turkey hamburger a bit less expensive and healthier too.
    I also make a chicken dinner in the slow cooker by using chicken pieces, mushrooms, tomato sauce, one can of tomato paste and italian spices. Very inexpensive to make and very tasty. Adding this to a pasta dish also makes a great full dinner.
    Let cook all day and it just melts in your mouth and the flavor is great. Add a veggie for a side with a salad and you have a meal for a couple days.

    I have a crock pot link for ideas in my files. I'll try and send it to you. Here is a new recipe I just found for Chick Pea Salad~ which is very inexpensive too. Full of protein and healthy.
    One 15oz. can chick peas
    1/2 cup red peppers chopped
    1 small red or sweet onion chopped
    1 medium cucumber chopped
    1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or you could use regular white vinegar
    3 tbsp. olive oil
    1/4 tsp.garlic powder and oregano~ I left oregano out and it is still good
    salt and pepper to taste
    Mix all together, chill and serve serves 6
    This would make a great side dish to stretch a meal for several days. Great with tuna or salmon on toast.
    Also the Dollar stores and Dollar tree has a food section with better prices on can goods and so forth.

    Thanks for sharing.
    xo

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    1. Thanks for adding the recipe! I don't like the taste of ground beef. I only get ground turkey once in a great while for chili. But the cost is prohibitive.

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  50. We've been on a cheese toast kick around our house. (real cheese, not the processed slice stuff) Quick, easy and yummy. We also love a pot of small white lima beans, served over cornbread or lately, brown rice. I think I like beans over brown rice the most! I've enjoyed reading the comments on this post.

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    1. I know. Some people are so creative with food.

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  51. I have a recipe on my blog for potato soup in the crockpot, using frozen hashbrowns. Its easy and very good.

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    1. I'll have to try it. My fav soup is potato.

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  52. Wow, I am so behind on this posting! Will have to come back later and read all these great ideas. One thing I like to make myself for lunch and it lasts a few days, is about 3 different cans of beans, green beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and I season it with some chopped onions, salt/pepper, a little soy sauce, oh how I enjoy that and it's filling!

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  53. I make a lot of casseroles and hearty soups that feed my husband and I several meals. I combine small amounts of tuna with pasta, ground beef with beans, chicken with rice, ham with potatoes - these kinds of combos stretch small portions of meat a long ways. Withthe right seasonings and other added ingredients like diced onions, peppers, and veggies are so tasty in casseroles or soups. We have a small raised bed garden in the summer which I can a lot from for the winter months. I can a lot of tomato sauce which I add different seasonings to make my own spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, and tomato soup. I also watch the sales and stock up on large packages of ground beef, chicken, and turkey which I then divide into individual servings and freeze. Sometimes I cook it before I freeze it. This week we have been enjoying homemade chicken and noodle soup, and Mexican casserole. Both will extend into several meals for us.... We are retired young in our late 50's due to medical disability and living on a small fixed income, so we have to be very careful with how much we spend on food. It is crazy how much food prices have gone up! I would go vegetarian myself, but hubby doesn't want to give up meat. We do eat some meatless dinners every week and we always eat all of our leftovers too. We don't buy junk food, no soda or bottled water either. We eat hot oatmeal everyday for breakfast with added sliced fruits that are in season and cheaper. We have a little milk mixed in with the oatmeal. Milk is so expensive now!

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  54. I wish I was a creative cook. Alas, I must use recipes to prevent culinary disasters! LOL

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  55. Hi Brenda,

    Here's a great recipe for Minestroni Soup, I take the tomatoes and put them in a blender because it makes the soup thicker and much more filling. This soup freezes really well and I often put them in single containers and if you want a bowl of soup it's ready for you.

    Slow Cooker Minestroni Soup


    Ingredients
    4 cups vegetable broth or 1 carton (32 oz) Progresso® chicken broth
    4 cups tomato juice
    1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
    2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
    1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
    1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 oz)
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
    1 1/2 cups uncooked rotini pasta (4 1/2 oz)
    Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

    In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except
    pasta and cheese.

    Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
    Step

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  56. I also will substitute V8 juice sometimes for the tomato juice or I will add it with the tomato juice and it gives it a different but very nice flavor.

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  57. Hi Brenda:

    Vegan Lasagna. Just substitute Extra firm tofu for the cheese and use a good marinara sauce. Slice the tofu and add the usual like sliced zucchini, sliced carrots, sliced mushrooms, etc. (When using sliced mushrooms, first sauté them with onions as they can be bland without this extra step) Make sure to add sauce between all the layers so that the flavor penetrates well. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes.

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  58. I use my crock pot religiously. I make a huge batch of steel cut oatmeal made with coconut milk in it; homemade veggie soup; a big batch of spaghetti sauce. Things that we can eat for several days without cooking. I spend 6-8 hrs a day at work and at nursing home with my 98 yr. old mama; feeding her supper each night then getting her ready for bed. A crock pot...simple whole foods...dark berries, kiwi as dessert. I bake 2 pkgs of bacon in the oven, easy peasy, then we can embellish breakfast or salads by nuking them to refresh/reheat. Right now, at age 63, life needs to be kept simple and no frills or fluff allowed to complicate. Like you, I live surrounded by quilts and color. Your blog is mental therapy for many of us!

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  59. Just a reminder for small freezer space: remove items from the store packaging and repack in a light weight plastic bag and then a freezer zip lock bag (this can be reused), flatten bag, put a paper label between the two bags (with date). It is amazing how much more you can store and how easy it is to rotate by date! How I cook chicken in the crockpot: crumple up (good way to use used foil) aluminum foil in bottom of slow cooker, throw in whole chicken or chicken parts cook on high (I usually go 6 + hours. This keeps the meat out of the juices and the meat won't boil. I often use my baster to pull juice out of the pot. With the "pulled chicken I can make BBQ sandwiches, use the meat in spaghetti or alfredo dishes etc. I try to take the skin off the chicken parts. I cook the whole chicken breast down. You can also bake whole potatoes in crockpot. Go to this site for a complete education on crockpots: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

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  60. Great post! I only have 150 flat each month for groceries.
    I am a vegetarian so I buy mainly fresh, legumes and beans
    to make at home. I never eat in restaurants or order out.
    I think we all need to return to very frugal ways as prices go up

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  61. I will make lots of crock pot stews and bean dishes, casseroles, etc. and make enough for several meals. Then I freeze them individually. Also lots of pasta dishes with some ground beef in homemade sauce (much cheaper than buying it in jars and it's easy). A little goes a long way, and I will freeze several meals out of this also. For some reason I find cooking in bulk and freezing the leftovers costs less and is less work than cooking every day.

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  62. I will make lots of crock pot stews and bean dishes, casseroles, etc. and make enough for several meals. Then I freeze them individually. Also lots of pasta dishes with some ground beef in homemade sauce (much cheaper than buying it in jars and it's easy). A little goes a long way, and I will freeze several meals out of this also. For some reason I find cooking in bulk and freezing the leftovers costs less and is less work than cooking every day.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wow, a group after my own dilemma. Most of the dishes all have mentioned are cooked. Although I am a pressure cooker gal and a meal is ready in no time. If I want meat, the cheapest comes out great. A couple of years ago I bought a smaller electric pressure cooker and couldn't believe how much faster it was. Bean soup in 20 minutes. The meals also seem to taste better the next day. I love veggies, but can only buy a couple at a time or they head south. And used to be an avid gardener, but the price of water is far more than buying food at the store. Has anyone noticed the can aisle is almost down to nothing? Read an article that said most people are going to freezer products and cooking as you are. I have never been able to get into the coupon thing and promised to. But lately the food coupons are for everything ready to cook. Then there are the smaller boxes and cans showing up with prices that look good, but your getting far less. Thanks for your tips and being part of my food buying issues.

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  64. Yeah, food prices keep going up, but the income doesn't. These days I rarely buy meat, and when I do it's seriously on sale -- like half price. Two or three times a year my local supermarket runs a special on boneless chicken breasts, buy 1 package get 1 free (which is the same as 50% off two packages). I get like six packages and freeze them. Using one package every two or three weeks lasts me until the next sale. I watch the store's weekly circular for things I use often, like olive oil, pasta and canned tomatoes, and stock up when they're on BOGO sale. I love knowing that half the meals I eat are free!

    The rest of the time I eat vegetarian, looking to traditional cultures around the world for recipes and inspiration. After all, it wasn't until the 20th century that any culture, even America, could afford to eat meat every day, or even every week. So they have had a long time to develop excellent meatless cuisines. A somewhat fancy idea you might try for your crockpot is stuffed cabbage. These are popular all over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece. You separate the cabbage into individual leaves and steam (or boil) them a couple of minutes until they are soft and flexible. Then you fill each leaf with a spoonful of any combo of cooked grains and beans (my favorite is rice and lentils with browned onions, pine nuts, raisins and Moroccan spices), and roll them up like a burrito. Layer them in the crockpot, covering each layer with tomato sauce as you go. Then cook. You can also cook them on the stove in a large stockpot.

    It saves money on electricity to do a large amount at one time, rather than cooking a new meal every day. If you cook once a week, say Sunday afternoon, and freeze most of it in individual serving portions, you will soon have an assortment of meals to choose from during the week -- just pull out your choice and nuke it.

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  65. Beans. My people love them. I sort and rinse them, then put them in the crock with a couple inches of water to cover. then I walk away. No soaking is necessary. Sometimes, I will add a few pieces of leftover BBQ, or something to season. then I fix cornbread. I have been on disability after a knee surgery back in October and funds are getting tight. Beans make you feel full and they are so good for you!

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