Category Archives: frugality

Debi’s Confetti Salad

Gluten-free.  Meat-free.  Cheese-free.  I even made ours sugar-free.  Sounds like there’s nothing in it but air, doesn’t it?  Nothing but yummy deliciousness, that is!

Debi’s Confetti Salad

  • 3 cups cooked rice, cooled (your choice of white, basmati or brown)
  • 1 can (16-oz) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) corn (drained)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small or half a large green or red pepper (finely diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (if available)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander (optional)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Place first set of ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad in large bowl.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

This goes together really fast once the rice is made.  And if you have leftover rice from a previous meal, so much the better (and faster!).  This is an easy dish to play around with … add a can of garbanzos … chop up a cucumber … use different beans … add a little freshly squeezed lime juice.  Maybe some diced avocado!  Yum … I’m getting hungry again.


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Filed under budget, budget meals, cooking, family, food, frugal living, frugality, gluten-free, recipe, recipes, salad, simple living, Vegetarian

Debi’s Evolving Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Personally, I find a lunch consisting of a warm grilled cheese sandwich and a hot bowl of tomato soup to be one of the all-time great comfort foods that exists.  Brings back warm, fuzzy memories of both my mom and my grandma. Continue reading

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Got Budget Woes? Simple Grocery Savings Ideas


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


Groceries are one of the few flexible items in a family budget, but it can sometimes be challenging to find creative ways to save on regular family food costs. The following are some simple tips for reducing your grocery expenses. If you’re an old pro at frugal living, some of these may be old hat, but I’m amazed at how many people still find these types of tips helpful.

  1. Plan ahead. Whether you’re cooking your meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, or just planning your menu and shopping lists in advance, it helps to know what you’re going to eat, and when. With fewer last minute food-related decisions, this also helps keep your family away from developing a first-name relationship with the pizza delivery guy! (And your own home cooking is probably a lot healthier than the pizza guy’s wares, anyway.) Continue reading

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Mix-and-Match Skillet Meals


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


The following recipe is one I prepare regularly to use up leftovers or clear out the cupboards. I keep a copy of this taped to the inside of my pantry door at all times.

This recipe is adapted from my book, Mix-n-Match Recipes (now out-of-print). I’m always amazed at the meals I can create from these simple, basic formulas. I also save money by choosing ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes I even surprise myself with a delicious nearly-gourmet combination or two!

Also an excellent way to use up leftover turkey or ham from your holiday dinners.  🙂 Continue reading

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Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, cooking, dinner, food, frugality, ground beef, ham, hamburger, kitchen ideas, leftovers, lunch, meal planning, pasta

Debi’s Baked Ziti


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough. I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?” Always a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too. Continue reading

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Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, cooking, dinner, family, food, freezer, freezer cooking, freezer meals, frugal, frugal living, frugality, ground beef, homemaking, kitchen ideas, make-ahead, meals, OAMC, once a month cooking, pasta, recipe, recipes, saving money

Debi’s Hacienda Breakfast Sandwich

In a hurry for breakfast but have a few minutes to scramble an egg? With no more effort, you can make this simple breakfast sandwich (or substitute the English Muffin for a corn tortilla for a gluten-free burrito option).

This recipe is for a single serving, but simply multiply each ingredient by the number of people you’re feeding. It doesn’t take much longer to scramble one egg for yourself or four for the family.

And making a breakfast sandwich at home is so much cheaper than buying one on the way to work at the local drive-thru.  Tastes better, too.

Enjoy!  😀 Continue reading

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Debi’s Mix-n-Match Quick Bread & Muffin Recipe

I’m always on the look out for recipes that are quick, easy, family-friendly, inexpensive and flexible. This quick bread meets all of my criteria for a budget-worthy recipe. Plus it’s tasty and super-simple, too! :-)

Quick Bread Tips: When making any quick bread (banana bread, zuchini bread, cornbread, etc.) be careful not to overmix. Stir mixture until just combined or it may become heavy and too dense. Also, be sure to bake in the center of the oven where the temperature is the most consistent. Continue reading

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Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month (42% off!)

Not sure how long this special deal/sale will last, but I thought I’d let you all know that the original Frozen Assets book is currently discounted by 42% on Amazon! That’s actually more of a discount than what I get when I order these books myself directly from my publisher. Seriously!

Frozen Assets – 42% off at Amazon.com

So if you’ve been meaning to order your own copy of Frozen Assets, this is definitely the time to do it.

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Mix-n-Match Soup Recipe

The following recipe is not only easy and delicious, it’s also a simple way to use canned, dried, and other easily stored food items in a delicious homemade soup. Excerpted and adapted with permission from Mix and Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Busy Kitchens by me, Deborah Taylor-Hough (this title is currently out-of-print).

Mix-and-Match Soup (8 generous servings)

Broth (choose one)

  • Tomato: One 12-ounce can of tomato paste plus two 16-ounce cans of tomatoes with juice (chopped) plus water to equal 10 cups total
  • Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
  • Beef: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water

Protein (choose one — 1 pound or 2 cups, cooked)

  • Ground beef, browned
  • Leftover meatballs or meatloaf, chopped
  • Cooked chicken or turkey (cut up)
  • Ham (cut up)
  • Lentils
  • Frankfurters, sliced (or any sausage or Kielbasa)
  • Pepperoni, sliced
  • Beans, cooked or canned (pintos, kidney, Great Northern, etc.)

Grain (choose 1 or 2 for a total of 2 cups)

  • Rice, cooked (any variety)
  • Barley, cooked
  • Pasta, raw
  • Corn
  • Dumplings (add near end of cooking time)

Vegetables (raw, cooked or canned, choose 2 or more for a total of 1 to 2 cups)

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Broccoli
  • Peas or pea pods
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell pepper
  • Zucchini (add raw)

Seasonings (choose 2 to 4 spices, 1 to 2 teaspoons each)

  • Basil
  • Cayenne (dash)
  • Chives
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Marjoram
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Oregano

To Prepare Soup:

Bring the broth to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer one hour.

Slow Cooker Prep:

Pour the boiling stock and other ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 to 12 hours or overnight on LOW setting.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series. You can visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com

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Super Simple Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (12-ounce) frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries

Instructions:

Heat apple juice in a medium saucepan until boiling (don’t add water, just use the frozen juice straight from the can).  Sort out any bad cranberries, then add the entire bag to the boiling apple juice.  Stir.  Reduce heat to Medium.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries “pop” and their innards burst out into the juice.  Turn off heat.  Press any unpopped cranberries against side of saucepan to squeeze out their insides.  Stir thoroughly.  Place in refrigerator for several hours.  The sauce will thicken as it cools.  It’s best to make this the day before to make sure it has plenty of time to cool and thicken.

Easy peasy.  And so yummy!  (And healthy, too!)

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