Cooking on a Budget
Of course, this site is full of recipes for cooking on a budget! But here are some articles I've written that will help you more than just a single recipe.
First, figure out how much things really cost. Some meats that are cheaper by the pound have fewer servings in each pound so you may end up spending more to feed your family than you need to. Use my calculator to enter the price per pound and see how many servings are typical for each cut of meat. (Of course, stretch that meat even further by making meat a more minor part of the meal, like with fried rice or stir fry.
If you're just getting started, read my Kitchen Basics article to see what you might need to buy. You can always hit the thrift stores and probably find an old slow cooker, some mismatched pans, and a few other basic things. Upgrade later when you have more money.
- Quick Start: Desperate? Start Here
- Kitchen Basics: Some Basic Utensils
- Calculate the Cost Per Serving
- Cooking for One or Two
- Save Money with your Crockpot or Slow Cooker
- How to Cook Dried Beans
- How to Make Chicken Broth
- How to Roast Garlic
- Simple Meatloaf Recipes
- My Favorite Budget Cookbooks
Get Started with Batch Cooking Ideas
Doing a bit of batch cooking lets you take advantages of sales, whether you're stocking up at the grocery store or a big box store. (Note: Bring a friend to the big box stores with you and split a few things you wouldn't otherwise try!)
The idea of cooking lots of meals in one day can be overwhelming, plus who wants to eat what might seem like leftovers every day?! Instead, I like to prepare some starting points for meals. Having some cooked ground beef in the freezer in meal size portions, for examples, lets you fix some shepherd's pie, tacos, burritos or many other things much more quickly than if you had to start by browning the beef. And boiling the ground beef is much simpler! Likewise, having some flank steak frozen in a marinade means you can just pull the steak out to thaw the night before without doing anything else. Throw it on the grill or broil it the next day with some vegetables and rice and you've got dinner.
- Boiling Ground Beef
- Cooking for One or Two
- Meatballs: How to Make Them and What to do with Them
- Save Money with Chicken Leg Quarters
- How to Roast a Chicken
- Potatoes Every Which Way
- Save Money with Your Crockpot Slow Cooker
- Stretch that Beef Roast
- Stretch That Chicken or Turkey
Learn Something New
- How to Grind your Own Meat
- Making Your Own Summer Drinks
- Make Your Own Sauces and Mixes
- Things to Learn in the Kitchen
- Substitutions: What to Do When You Don't Have Something
- Fire up the grill and barbecue your vegetables
Holiday Help: Cooking Big Meals on a Budget
If you're cooking for a large crowd, check out another Ellen's site, Ellen's Kitchen, which has large recipes and menu plus planning tips.
Here are some of my favorite cookbooks. To save money, see if your library has them first and borrow for a few weeks before you spend the money buying them if possible.
- Favorite budget cookbooks
- Favorite cookbooks for fast recipes
- Favorite cookbooks for freezer cooking
- My all time favorite cookbooks
- A miscellaneous of other favorite cookbooks