Thursday, February 25, 2016

How I Save on Groceries Without Coupons!

Using coupons, shopping when things are on sale or in season, buying in bulk, making your own, and sticking to your list are all great ways to save on your grocery bill.   I have to admit though one of the best ways to save on your grocery bill is to serve meals that are frugal.  Meals that cost less to make is a no brainier right?  But I can get caught up in what tastes good, what's good for us, or my idea that we have to have all the food groups in one meal.

I have to remind myself we don't need steak, potatoes, salad, veggies and a roll or something like it every time I serve a meal.  If I serve all of those items my husband will skip the salad anyway and go back for seconds on the steak and the rolls!  

Finding a list of good frugal meals that are your go to meals is key to saving on your grocery bill.  I say finding because if you typically don't serve a one dish meal, or soup for dinner your family may balk at the idea.  Sadly just because it is cheap does not mean they are going to like it, and eat it.  If they don't eat it you might have started with a frugal meal but you just wasted it when no one ate it.

So that being said you know what your family likes and what they are used to. If they are used to the whole full 7 course meal you might have to slowly work your way to some of these ideas.  Try making them with a side dish that you know they love or adding garlic bread or their favorite roll.  If they will eat what you serve them JUMP IN!  Start saving today!  

Soups On!  

Soup typically is a frugal meal depending on what you put in the soup pot.  Some of my family love soup, some don't.  Right now my oldest son moved out into his own place and so we have more soup than we used to.  My oldest really didn't care for soup.  He wouldn't complain, but he would put about a pound of crackers in it before he ever ate it.  That's not good!   If I put beans in the soup....forget about it!

Below are two of my family's favorite soup meals.   I really like the frugal factor.  I need to mention two things about the Roasted Garlic Soup.  One, it will cure any cold or sniffle in one day and two don't be afraid of the amount of garlic in the recipe.  It is roasted so it gives it a smooth mellow flavor that you will love.

1800's Onion Soup


5 medium purple onions (or any onion) sliced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste.


In a large pan
saute onions and olive oil over med heat stirring occasionally for about 10 min or until translucent and starting to golden.  stir in butter and once melted add flour and then add in beef broth.  Simmer on medium heat for 20 min.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I like to use Better than Bouillon for my beef broth.  I love the flavor and it is pretty frugal.  I cook my onions in a cast iron pan and then transfer the onions into my soup pot when I add the broth.  This is good over a roll, or toasted bread.  I like to by the bread rolls on the clearance rack and this is perfect for that.

Roasted Garlic Soup


25 cloves Fresh garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons Olive oil
2 medium Finely chopped onions
8 cups Chicken broth
1 tablespoon Flour
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Thyme
1/2 cup Sour cream

recipe makes 6 Servings


Heat oven to 350. Place garlic in baking dish drizzle with a Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper toss to cover. Roast 30 min and then cool. In deep skillet add rest of Olive oil and onions cook on med heat till translucent. (About 6 min) Add thyme salt and pepper cook 2-3 min. Add broth whisk in flour simmer about 20 min. Cut off ends of garlic cloves add to broth. Puree in blender in batches. Whisk in sour cream heat throughout and serve.
You can see by the picture below that I didn't use 25 cloves last time I made this soup.  Those cloves were HUGE!  They were the size of my thumb, so I didn't feel the need to use as many.   Please be very careful when you Puree in the blender because the soup is hot!  If you hit the pulse button you may blow the lid off your blender.  If you use a blender or a food processor make sure the lid is on tight and go slow to avoid burns.    I have made this a few times and forgot to put the sour cream at the end and no one noticed so you could even skip that ingredient for an even more frugal meal.

If you make your own chicken broth like I do out of my left over roasted chicken, it makes it all the better frugal wise, tasty wise and heath wise in my opinion

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