Frugal Recipes that Satisfy your Tastes and Budget

Looking for frugal recipes to trim down your food budget? You'll find some great recipes that will save you money right here! From beans to master mixes, I've given up some of my favorite resources and recipes for frugal cooking. I hope you'll enjoy the recipes and the savings just as much as my family.

There’s certainly no shortage of resources for recipes. The internet, your library, bookstores, why even government agencies offer up recipes for the taking. All of these resources offer frugal recipes that help get the most out of your grocery budget.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of cookbooks, recipe files, and now e-books and internet sites flaunting what seems to be an infinitely sufficient supply of recipes.

You may want to be a gourmet in the kitchen or you may just want to save some money by cooking it yourself. Whether it be for economics or not, you'll certainly have plenty of help from the "experts" in the whatever flavor of frugal recipe you desire.

For the purpose of relevance to the cause, debt free living and savung on the grocery bill, most of the frugal recipes here will be chosen for the budget minded.

Since your grocery budget is the most flexible and easiest way to cut down expenses, our goal will be to provide you with low cost frugal recipes that help reduce expenses on food and stretch the grocery budget. Any recipe can become a low budget frugal recipe when you use a variety of grocery savings tips to maximize your grocery savings.

Do It Yourself Mixes

Frugal Recipes for Beans and Lentils

Cutting back on meat consumption is a great way to save on groceries. Meat is usually the most expensive food to purchase and we generally consume more than is necessary for good nutrition anyway. You can find almost any kind of nutrition information you want at the USDA site,

Just about all bean recipes will prove to be frugal recipes since they are quite inexpensive. While beans are a great source of lower cost protein, not everyone likes beans. It is sometimes especially hard to convince children to try them. I am lucky in that all my children have tried and enjoy them. For some of you it may not be so easy. But, don’t give up. Try several recipes until you find one that satisfies everyone. I have offered up a few of my favorite frugal recipes for beans here, plus provided some links to resources where you can add more variety to your bean experimentations.

In preparation always look through beans and sort out bad beans (anything that looks different or strange is my rule!) and small stones. Follow whatever soaking method you choose as per package directions. Don’t skip this step. I have found through experience that beans tend to hold up to the long cooking process much better when this step is not omitted.

The "No Frills" Recipe for Beans

I call this the "no frills" recipe because it requires little effort on my part. I simply put everything in the pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer for several hours until done. A crockpot is essential if you’re not going to be home. Never leave the stove on unattended. You can use just about any kind of bean with this recipe. I find my children are more receptive to pinto, navy, or northern beans. They tend to shy away from the larger limas and kidneys.

You will notice that often substitute onion powder instead of using an actual onion in my recipes . That’s because I get the “Yuck” look from the peanut gallery if they actually see an onion. If I use an onion in any of these frugal recipes, it is minced beyond recognition.

1 lb soaked and drained beans
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Olive Oil or other vegetable oil
(Want to add a little frill? Instead of Onion powder -Mince one onion, sauté’ in the 1 tablespoon olive oil)
3 beef or chicken bouillon cubes (or substitute beef or chicken stock as part of water cover)
Water to cover beans 1 inch above top
1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer several hours checking water level occasionally.

*Lentil-Rice Casserole

3 cups chicken broth, or use water and 1 tablespoon vegetable seasoning
3/4 cup lentils, uncooked
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
3/4 cup chopped fresh onion
1/2 teaspoon sweet basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Blend all ingredients together in a casserole dish and bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. If desired top with shredded cheddar cheese during the last 20 minutes.(tightwad gazette recipe)

*I have not had a lot of experience cooking lentils. The recipe above is easy and it tastes wonderful. I think you will be surprised, as I was!

To find more frugal recipes for beans visit the following resources. Don't be afraid to experiment with new beans and lentils recipes. They are healthy and frugal.

More Bean Recipes: Bean Recipes and Legumes
Three Bean Chili and More!
Bean Casserole Recipes

Frugal Recipes: Do It Yourself Mixes!

These are truly frugal recipes. You will save time and a lot of money creating your own mixes instead of purchasing boxed mixes. These mixes should be stored in tightly sealed containers until ready to use.

Muffin Mix

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp.cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Mix in large bowl and store in a airtight container.

To Bake:
Place 2 cups mix in large bowl.
Add 2/3 cup water
1 slightly beaten egg
1/4 cup oil

With a fork, mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin tins or paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until muffins are puffed and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Master Baking Mix

This is just one of my favorite money saving mixes!

Sift together 3 times

8 lbs.

5 lbs Flour
3/4 c.baking powder
3 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

4 lbs

10 cups Flour
6 Tbsps.baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsps.salt
1 1/2 tsps. cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Cut in to consistency of cornmeal:

2 lbs vegetable shortening
2 cups vegetable shortening

Stir in:

4 cups dry milk powder
2 cups dry milk powder

Store in covered container at room temperature. To measure baking mix, pile lightly into a cup and level off with spatula.


Replace 1/3 of the white flour with whole wheat flour
Add 2 cup untoasted wheat germ to large recipe, 1 cup to small recipe
Replace 3 cups flour in large recipe or 1 1/2 cup flour in small recipe with soy flour
Dry milk powder in the mix is optional, but assures higher protein products.

Master Baking Mix Frugal Recipes

Yeast Breads

Edna Ruth Byler's Potato Dough Baked Goods

Another one of the wonderful frugal recipes from the More-with-Less Cookbook.

You can bake goods all at once (saving time and energy) and freeze baked goods to warm up for future meals or treats.
They can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Immediately after kneading, oil top of dough lightly, cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Refrigerate, punch down occasionally as needed. When you're ready to bake, simply take what you need for desired recipe, shape accordingly, let rise until doubled and bake.Usually about 2-21/2 hours for cold dough.

3 pkg. dry yeast in
1 cup lukewarm water

Mix in large bowl
1 quart scalded milk
2 cups mashed potatoes (no milk added)
1 cup fat (half butter, half margarine)
1 cup sugar

Let Cool to luke warm, then add:

Yeast mixture
6 cups Flour

Let stand until mixture foams up (about 20 minutes).


2 Eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp. Salt
11-12 Cups additional flour

A little more flour may be needed, but dough should be soft. Turn out on floured board and knead until satiny. Let raise in warm place until doubled in bulk or refrigerator for later use as stated above.

Potato Dough Recipes

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