Delicious On A Dime
Guest Post by Sarah from Joy Filled Days
Frugal. I dislike the word. It might as well be the word frogs, lizards or spiders. It has that same effect on me. So, I am not writing this because I am a penny pincher by nature. I am actually a consumer of the worst sort by nature.
I was raised in an upper middle class home where I thought that when you needed money, you just went to the bank and "gave them a check." I think I was about 18 when I realized that this wasn't the case--you actually had to have money in the bank in the first place. Peter and I have five kids. And eight years ago, we decided that he should go full-time into the ministry. So, there you have it.
I had to learn to be “frugal, ” but being the artsy person that I am, I prefer to think of it as learning to be creative with what I have. One of the ways I “got creative” was with our meals.
So today, I wanted to share some easy ways to feed your family and entertain others on a limited income.
1. Make homemade pizza once a week. Friday night is usually pizza night in the Beals' home. I make my own dough and it saves me money. I can usually make 2 sheets of pizza for about $6. Here is my dough recipe:
Dissolve 2T yeast and 2T sugar in 2 cups lukewarm water.
**(if you have a hard time proofing yeast, use your wrist as a gauge. Run your wrist under warm water. Your body is 98.6, so when you “just feel” warmth, you are at the right temp. If it is too hot, you’ll kill your yeast.)
Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. You should have a bubbly film on top of your yeast if it proofed correctly. 🙂
Now stir in:
- 6 cups flour
- 4T olive oil
- 2T coarse salt.
Knead for a minute or two, then let sit for 10 minutes.
This is enough dough for 2 square baking sheets of pizza.
Use Crisco to grease your pizza pans. Spread dough onto pan.
Then top with:
- tomato sauce/pizza sauce or leftover spaghetti sauce
- cheese- I grate my own. I buy the $2 extra sharp blocks at Wal-mart.
- toppings: pepperoni, pepper, onion, mushrooms, grilled chicken
- spices: oregano, garlic powder or whatever you prefer
Bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned.
People love homemade pizza and salad, and this is an easy way to have others over for a casual dinner.
2. Make homemade soup. Always delicious with rolls and a salad. Three of my favorite recipes are:
You can host a soup and salad get together with friends. Everyone brings a pan of their favorite soup and you provide the salad and rolls. You can serve the soup in mugs if you don’t have enough bowls. 🙂
3. Make Quiche and salad. This makes an elegant lunch. I throw in whatever I have on hand. Ham, sausage, or just sautéed veggies. I usually make two so that we have leftovers for lunch.
4. Make your own coffee at home. I love stopping at Dunkin Donuts as much as the next person, but making your own coffee saves a ton of money. I know. I hate it too, but it does!!
5. Invite people over for dessert. Hospitality for the Christian is not optional, so if you are on a limited budget, serving dessert can be a life saver. Brownie mixes go on sale regularly and can often be paired with a coupon. When they do, stock up! (I can usually get each mix for around 50 cents.) Then serve warm brownies with ice cream and coffee. Of course, seasonal fruit crisps, like apple crisp or blueberry are also affordable and delicious with ice cream. Yum!
Of course there are countless ways to save money on meals. How are you creative with your grocery money? Feel free to share in the comments below, so we can all benefit!