10 Delicious Frugal Meal Favorites To Beat Grocery Store Hikes

When creating a budget, food is the hardest to calculate. With working full time, many of us don’t have the time to find the sales to keep our food costs down.

However, a frugal online community says you don’t need to kill your budget when making these delicious, frugal meals.

1. Ramen

Ramen is simple, cheap, and easy to jazz up. Some say to put butter to heighten the flavor. In comparison, others add vegetables, last night’s leftover meat, tofu, eggs, etc.

One user says to try a few drops of sesame oil, garlic powder, and white pepper. Then, they say, “throw in some leftover chicken, too, if you have it, and you have a whole meal for under a dollar.

2. Peanut Butter Sandwich

The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is easier to change up than you think. There is a variety of jellies and jams to change the flavors. Skip the jelly and add honey, pickles, or banana instead. You can also change up the side dish, chips, carrots, celery, or a handful of grapes. Finally, one user suggests grilling or frying your sandwich. “So good.”

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is for more than just breakfast. One user advises cooking it with chicken stock and adding cheese, and top with a fried egg. Another chimed in they like to mix pesto with theirs. Another great suggestion was to make summer oatmeal.

They instructed, “put oatmeal on the bottom of a bowl, frozen fruit, yogurt, dash of whatever sweetener, if any, and refrigerate overnight. Lots of different combinations to try also.”

Related: 60 Mouthwatering Vegan Breakfast Recipe Ideas 

4. Popcorn

“Popcorn is the best snack ever!” exclaims one user. There is a whole lot you can do to change up popcorn. One says to top it with coconut oil, and another suggests ghee or cheese. Whether you eat it plain or choose to decorate it up, popcorn is an easy cheap snack that can be relatively healthy too.

5. Fried Rice

One dish that is easy to make is fried rice. All you need is some rice and whatever leftover protein you already have, some fresh or frozen vegetables, and a bit of soy sauce. One user adds, “I can feed my wife and me for two or three meals for $10.”

6. Crock Pot Meals

Not all crock pot meals are frugal, but you can make many dishes with frugal shopping. One user informs whenever they buy vegetables for their week’s worth of meals; they always have a few leftovers that will sit in their fridge and go bad.”

Additionally, they will swing by the store and buy meat that is on sale due to it expiring soon, mix it with the leftover vegetables, then throw it all in the crock pot with some broth and seasoning, and you have a soup to last all weekend.

Related: Should I Buy An Instant Pot? 6 Reasons To Say “Nah.” 

7. Borscht

Borscht is easy to make and very filling. Vinegar, beets, vegetables, beef, and beef stock is all it takes. Find a cheap cut of beef, and you’re saving even more. If you’re feeling fancy, one user suggests adding some sour cream and saltines. “Either way, make a big pot and eat for a week.”

8. Potatoes

Baked, put in soup, mashed, or fried, potatoes are one of the easiest starches to add to any meal. Not usually the main dish, potatoes are mainly used as the filler of a meal. Being inexpensive only helps the frugal buyer make their meals have a bit more pizzazz without breaking their budget.

Related: 15 Potato Salad Recipes for Your Next Cookout 

9. Sardines and Rice

Are you a sardines fan? One frugal foodie says to try canned sardines on rice with vegetables. They usually use the oil from the fish can and a few splashes of soy sauce for some saltiness to cut through the oil.

10. Chili Dogs

Chili dogs are a household favorite whether you make chili or buy cans. All you need is the buns, hotdogs, and chili. Then, add some cheese and chopped onions to spice it up.

Another way to jazz it up, one user answers, “I place the buns in a baking dish, slice the top the buns to fit the dogs, brush melted garlic butter and herbs, put the hotdogs in, top with the chili and some cheese and bake them.

This thread inspired this post.


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