Posts Tagged ‘frugal recipes’

This makes a bunch and can be frozen.  Very versatile – use whatever you have in your pantry!

2 pounds ground hamburger meat, browned and drained
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed with the meat
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope dry Ranch Dressing mix
2 cans tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can sliced mushrooms
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans shoe peg corn
1 can yellow hominy

Combine and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes to an hour (or longer in the crockpot). Serve over chips (Fritos are good) topped with cheese.

VARIATIONS: I have omitted the mushrooms, pinto beans, and the shoe peg corn, then added a can of Ranch style beans (undrained), can of black beans (drained), one small can of V8 juice, can of beef broth, and sliced olives. I’ve also added a pound of Velveeta to the whole mix. You can do basically anything with this – be creative! 😀


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Frito Pie

Excellent on a cold winter’s night!  I like to serve this with coleslaw just to cool it a bit (buy the packaged slaw from the store and add salt, pepper, a little sugar, and mayo or Miracle Whip – about 1/4 cup or so.  Be sure not to overdress the slaw.  The salt will pull moisture out of the cabbage so you’ll wind up with more dressing than you start with. I make it ahead of time and let it sit for an hour or two before serving).


1 ½ lbs ground beef, browned and drained
1 chopped onion (cook with beef)
1 – 15 oz can enchilada sauce
1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
12 oz Velveeta

1 pkg corn chips (Fritos)

Combine all ingredients (except chips) and cook over low heat until cheese is melted. Serve over corn chips.

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This is my version of the Applebee’s classic.  VERY good and easy to make.  (Not to mention much cheaper than eating out!)


Marinate chicken breasts with fajita seasoning (we like the McCormick Grill Mates Mesquite flavor) and some lime juice. Grill or fry in a little olive oil. Cut into strips.

Use regular salad greens and add: chicken, grated cheese, and diced tomato/onion/jalapeno – optional. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, and chopped green onion. Can also add tortilla chips if you’d like.

The dressing is the secret: Mix ranch dressing with some salsa or picante sauce. I don’t even measure it – just pour some of each in a bowl and stir it up until it looks right (start with around equal proportions of each one, but I think I use a little more ranch than salsa).


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Store this excellent taco seasoning in a mason jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid.  Making it from scratch is much cheaper than buying the little packages at the store.   I usually make a bunch of this at a time.  Buy your spices in bulk at discount clubs such as Sam’s and you’ll save even more.

6 teaspoons chili powder
4 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons onion powder
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano

Combine everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake/mix well. Store for 6 months to 1 year at least.  Makes about 1/2 cup.

7 teaspoons = (1) 1.25oz package of taco seasoning.   I also use a couple shakes of hot sauce. You could add some cayenne pepper also (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon), but we haven’t missed it in this recipe.

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I’m not sure what else to call this, but it is great stuff, makes a lot, and makes great gifts!  For Christmas, I have packaged it in holiday-themed cello bags, and tied with a bow.   I also make it for our kids at church on Wednesday nights as a snack, and have also served it for VBS.  For the Wed. night crowd, I double the recipe and it makes plenty to feed around 50 people.  For VBS, I multiplied everything by 4 and had TONS left over (needless to say, everybody went home with a bag!  LOL).

3 regular sized packages popcorn – popped (I normally use butter flavor, but use whatever you have)
1/2 to 1 whole bag of pretzels (any shape you prefer)
1 package vanilla almond bark, melted (microwave for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes, stir well)
1 – 2 cups of any of the following: M&Ms, pecans, peanuts, etc. (for the kids, I use M&Ms)

I mix this in a large dishpan so there’s room to stir.   I also pour the popcorn into a separate bowl, then scoop it out so the unpopped kernels remain in the bottom.  You do not want to chomp down on a kernel in this – ask me how I know!   🙂

Mix all ingredients together very well, then pour out onto wax paper (or freezer paper) to harden. Store in ziploc bags (or new large brown paper grocery sacks).

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Cheap eats

With the economy the way it is, we’re all looking for ways to save money.  I’m going to post a few cheap recipes in case this helps someone else make it til next payday.


Cheesy Ramen Noodles

We like the chicken flavor best – I don’t know how well it will work with another flavor.

1 pkg Ramen noodles with flavor packet
water – enough to cover noodles in a microwave safe bowl
2 oz Velveeta cheese

Crumble noodles in water, microwave for 5 minutes on high.  Pour off almost all of the water – I usually leave maybe 1/4 cup to make sort of a “sauce”.  Add the Velveeta in chunks along with some or all of the flavor packet.  Stir well until cheese melts.

Note: You could also add some chicken or even Spam to this to make it go farther.   Double the recipe for the whole family if you make this as a side dish.  We eat this for a quick lunch quite often.


Beef Rice-A-Roni
I make this in a skillet instead of a saucepan.

1 package beef flavored Rice-A-Roni (and water according to pkg directions)
1/2 to 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can Rotel or diced tomatoes
4 slices American cheese

Mix the Rice-A-Roni with water according to package directions, then add cooked meat and rotel (tomatoes). Cook about 20 minutes – until rice is tender. Turn burner off. Lay sliced cheese on top and cover until cheese is melted. Serve with beans and you have a complete meal.


If you have leftover taco meat or chicken, this is a great way to use it up.

fajita size flour tortillas (or make your own – they are cheap and good!)
ground beef with taco seasoning OR leftover chicken (or turkey)
shredded cheese

Spray a skillet with non-stick spray with the burner on medium heat. Lay one tortilla in the pan, sprinkle with a SMALL amount of cheese, then meat, then another small layer of cheese (helps hold it all together!). Lay another tortilla on top and heat until cheese starts to melt. Flip the quesadilla over and lightly brown the other side. Use a pizza cutter to cut into wedges and serve with taco sauce, sour cream, etc.

NOTE: You can also make “pizza quesadillas” by using mozzarella and/or cheddar cheeses, pepperoni, and serve with pizza/spaghetti sauce.


Kids and grownups alike LOVE these!  And they are much cheaper than take-out!

1 can refrigerated biscuits (I use the cheapest ones I can find – doesn’t matter if they are buttermilk or plain)
Spaghetti or pizza sauce
Mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Pepperoni or ground beef (optional)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper OR spray cookie sheet with Pam. Flatten biscuits with fingertips, top with a small amount of sauce, cheese, and meat. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes (or less – depends on your oven). They are done when the bottoms of the biscuits are lightly browned and the cheese is melted.



Don’t overlook breakfast for supper.  There have been many nights we’ve had biscuits, eggs, and sausage or bacon for our evening meal.  Pancakes work great too, and even cereal.


SOS (“Stuff” on a Shingle)
If you’ve been making your own bread, this is even better!  Basically, this is just milk gravy with meat added and served over bread.

1/2 to 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
2 or 3 tablespoons oil
2 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
salt & pepper
Bread to serve it on

Heat oil in a skillet, add flour and stir until combined. Add milk and stir with a whisk until all lumps are gone. Continue to stir over medium high heat until mixture thickens. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. (I go easy on seasoning and prefer to let everyone season their plates to their own tastes.) Serve over sliced bread and adjust seasoning if needed.


Chicken and Yellow Rice
Mahatma Saffron Yellow Rice may be regional, but you should be able to find packages of saffron yellow rice in your local supermarket wherever rice is located.  If you boil your chicken, use the broth from it in the rice.

2 packages Mahatma Saffron Yellow Rice
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 to 4 cups water or chicken broth
chicken – cut into bite sized pieces
Cavender’s Greek Seasoning – to taste

In a large sauce pan, add broth (or water) and butter – bring to a boil.   Add rice, chicken, and a few dashes of Cavender’s.  Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 25 minutes or until rice is tender.   I normally check this several times to make sure there is adequate broth or water.  If it seems to be getting too thick, add a little more. Stir periodically.

NOTE: This is really good with green beans or salad and cornbread.  My mom made this all the time when we were growing up!

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