Frugal Meals, Frugal Food Tips

Eat Well on a Budget - Money Saving Tips and Recipes for the Tight Budget
People often lament how unaffordable it is to eat healthy food on a tight budget. I have actually found the reverse to be true and am sharing the money saving tips I use to stay on budget.

By using the frugal tips I share below and staying organized with a meal plan, our family eats healthy on just over $400 a month for a family of 5. When we ditched the box and started cooking our meals from scratch we found we were able to get more for our money.

$29 Grocery Budget, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Eating Healthy on a Budget

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 1 (Giant Market, PA)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 2 (ShopRite)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 3 (Wegmans)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 4 (Aldi)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 5 (Trader Joe’s)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 6 (Acme)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 7  (Walmart)

$29 Grocery Budget: Meal Plan 8 (Whole Foods)

Frugal Meal Planning

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 12

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 11

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 10

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 9

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 8

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 7

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 6

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 5

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 4

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 3

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 2

Frugal Meal Planning: Meal Plan 1

Whole Foods on Budget: 5 Meals, $62

More Money Saving Posts

7 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes – Stretch that Turkey

Ways to Save Money at Whole Foods

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By cooking our own foods from scratch we cut the sodium and preservatives so prevalent in boxed meals. Many times we have found that the box gave us the illusion of making dinner more quickly and easier when making the equivalent “hamburger helper” meal from scratch was just as easy. I hope these frugal meals and tips can help you feed your family a little more frugally while still delivering a nutritious healthy meal.

Need to save on the food #budget? I've got you covered w/ 50 tips & 20+ #realfood #mealplans.Click To Tweet

48 Frugal Tips for Saving Money on Groceries

Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

 Buy wild caught fish for optimal quality but buy on sale or pre-frozen.

Buy meat on sale or reduced rates, package in freezer bags and freeze.

Buy bulk meat at a lower price and repackage in family size.

Buy chicken on sale, pre-cook in the slow cooker, shred and freeze for easy meals.

Use 1/2 the amount of ground meat and mix with finely chopped mushrooms.

Use 3/4 the amount of meat and add in pre-cooked mashed beans.

Cut meat cubes smaller so they stretch farther.

Buy a whole roast or turkey breast. Roast it and slice thin for lunch meats.

When making a whole chicken, keep the leftovers and boil leftover meat
with bones in  water for soup the next day.

Pastas, Potatoes, Rice, and Beans

Lentils are small but filling. Add a handful to shepherd’s pie or soups.

When eating pasta for dinner, skip the bread.

Beef up brown rice with black beans and veggies.


When making soup use water not store bought broth.

Cook the chicken down in water and use that as a soup base.

Chop celery leaves right into soup for added taste.

Small amounts of rice, beans, couscous, barley, and pasta stretch a soup.

Stock up on frozen vegetables when they are on sale. Better than canned!

Buy canned tomatoes when they are on sale for easy homemade tomato soup or tomato sauce.

Wilted veggies are perfect for soup and won’t be wasted.

Freeze or package leftovers for lunch the next day.

Fruits and Vegetables

Use whole carrots, not baby carrots.

Wilted veggies are perfect for soup and won’t be wasted.

Use frozen, not canned. Canned seems cheaper but you get more with frozen vegetables and fruit.

You’re paying for the weight of the liquid in canned vegetables and fruits.

Compare prices of single produce versus larger packaging.

Plan your weekly plan around the produce that’s on sale.

Buy only what your family will eat.

Watch your produce! Make soup, stir fry, or freeze excess.

Use overripe and softening bananas in muffins or smoothies.

Check pre-cut produce. Occasionally you can get packaged pre-cut products for a bit less, but break the price down first.


Buy plain yogurt in 32 oz. containers and sweeten it yourself – it’s cheaper and has less fillers and lower sugar. Mixing in jam or fruit is a great way to sweeten also.

Make homemade oatmeal instead of buying the instant oat packages.

Premake waffles and freeze them for reheating.

Make homemade granola.

Make your own breakfast sandwiches.

Seasonings and Condiments

Use dried herbs and spices instead of fresh ones in cooking. Use fresh herbs in products that won’t be cooked.

Invest in a few high quality spices. Everything will taste better and they last a long time.

Cut down on condiments. If you season things well you will need less!

Make homemade salad dressing. It’s easy and better for you.

Make homemade guacamole.

Make homemade cream soups – gluten free cream of chicken soup and gluten free cream of mushroom soup.

More Money Saving Tips

Watch the store sales for great stock up prices on non-perishable products.

See if there is a food auction near you.  I have been able to buy so much produce in bulk
for a fraction of the price.

Shop at discount stores. Often you can find name brands cheaper or generics that taste just like name brand products.

Every store has a sale cycle. Keep track of prices so you can pick up your store’s sale pattern.

Spending a little more money on healthier foods  now will save long term money on medical bills.

Adding lunch meat to a grilled cheese will add protein but you only need a slice or 2.

20+ frugal recipes, tips, and meal plans |

20 Frugal Meal Recipes

Easy Egg and Black Bean Quesadillas 

A 5 Meal Plan with 2 Rotisserie Chickens

Chili Cornbread Casserole

Pancake Pizzas
w/ cream cheese spread & diced fruit

Tuna Sandwiches & fresh Veggies

Black Bean & Salsa Meatloaf
w/ mashed potatoes & fresh veggie sticks

Fish Tacos loaded w/ tomato & lettuce (I double up this spicy fish taco minis recipe)

Homemade Tomato Soup
& Grilled Cheese with lunch meat

Lemon Garlic Chicken w/ Rice and Broccoli

Rice and Beef Casserole with veggies

One Dish Sausage, Potatoes & Peas

Chicken Soup
w/ cornbread or biscuits

Beef Stew w/ Whole Wheat Cheddar Biscuits

Steak, Baked Potato & Veggies

Pasta w/ Pink Sauce (red/white combined)& Steamed Veggies

Chicken Sausage Ziti w/ Salad

Slow Cooker Sage Chicken
w/ Acorn Squash, Apples, and Onions

Stop and think about it, a few pounds of bananas cost less than a bag of chips, stretch farther, and offer more nutrition.

frugal tips and recipes20 frugal healthy meals 20 frugal tips for healthy meals


Heather McCurdy writes at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond, where she provides easy, affordable recipes for busy families, allowing women to embrace the budget and spend more time with their families without the guilt of needing perfection.

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    • says

      A little over half do. I missed a few links and just went through and added those. I meant the list as a combination of dinner ideas and recipes but as I make the recipes that don’t have links I will add them here. I tend to not cook with measurements so I need to make them with measurements for you all. 🙂

    • says

      A food auction is like a regular auction except you bid on food. They mostly have fresh produce and some day old baked goods. Occasionally they have a few other things and sometimes they do frozen food in the evening.

  1. says

    I love these frugal tips. I hate to admit the many times I’ve just grabbed something mindlessly just to feed the family. This is a great reminder of how just a few tweaks can make our cooking healthier and easier, too.– need this reminder, thanks!
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