Frugal cookin’

Lots of people experience times when there’s more month than money, when that next paycheck just can’t come fast enough. In lean times the rent still has to be paid. So does the power. But the grocery budget — now, there’s a place where a lot of us could economize– if only we could find food that our families will actually enjoy.

Here’s my idea. Would y’all be interested in doing a ‘Frugal Meals’ carnival sometime later in April? I am picturing each participant sharing 3 days worth of menus and recipes, as well as total food cost for the three days.

Of course it would be fun to see who could come up with the lowest per-person 3-day cost. But the yum-factor is important too. I’d love to see what you cook when you’re trying to stretch your money while still pleasing your family.

Does this sound like a fun carnival idea? Would you be likely to participate?

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  1. I’d be into that 🙂 The cost per meal/person might trip some folks up though, especially as some readers might be overseas where posted prices would be irrelevent. I’m thinking that being an Aussie reader, some of the prices you folk talk about in the US are going to be pretty far fetched for us (I keep reading about CVS and drooling over those deals – NOTHING like it down here).

    So I’d be completely into the idea of a frugal meals carnival but could we make adding prices optional? Obviously some things like pasta, rice, potatoes etc are generally cheap the world over so traditionally ‘frugal meals’ could be adapted based on the local prices of the reader.

    Did that make sense? LOL

    Cheers,
    Lizzie

  2. I’m in.:)

  3. I’m in.

    Boy howdy, am I ever.

  4. I kind of laughed at Lizzie’s comment. Not because she’s funny, but because our grocery bill has gone up considerably since moving to a different part of the USA. I think in general, posting prices would be a good idea (everyone pretty much knows that some items are going to be more or less expensive depending on geography, I would think).

    Count me in.

  5. I’m in. My prices will be much higher than the rest of the US though. It’s the cost of living in NYC.

  6. Sounds like fun!!

  7. Jeanne A says:

    I’ve been shocked at the surge of pasta prices. No more buying macaroni at 3 lbs for a $1 or even 2 for a $1. Now it goes on sale for 10 for $10! The jump seemed to happen overnight!!!

    I’d love to participate but mostly to see if there are any new ideas out there!

  8. I think this would be a great idea! I don’t have my own family yet, as I’m still in college, but I love to cook. In addition to offering a few recipes of my own, I’d love to get some new ideas.

  9. Love it!

  10. yeah! Let’s do it!
    Thanks too, for bringing up “taste”. When I stumble on to “frugal menus” online, often the meals don’t even sound good, even though they may be frugal. I still want my five kids to experience a variety of good food that is healthy & tasty, while also keeping our grocery bills down.
    So, great idea!! I’m in!
    ~Sonya

  11. In general I don’t do carnivals (because I always forget) but I am with this one.

  12. I would certainly be up for it!

  13. Yes, PLEASE!

  14. I would be so interested in that! And it would help me! We are moving back to N. America soon and I am scared spitless of the higher cost of living there!

  15. Great timing! I was literally just logging on to see if I could come up with some cheap meal ideas. I can’t wait to see what people come up with.

  16. Sounds like fun.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  17. Sounds great, Mary!

  18. I would love this! I do a food swap with several ladies once a month, and we are always looking for frugal recipes that everyone loves.

  19. This sounds great to me! I need to try to cut back somewhere! ~~Pam

  20. Yes! I’d like to do this too- I bet my parents would be interested in seeing what their kids are eating at my house, and I’d love to find some new recipes they actually might eat. 🙂

  21. I’d love to participate…though we’ll have to wait and see if I have enough brain cells left to actually do it!

  22. I would love to join in. Now that our family is the same size as Mary’s, I would love to see what’s cooking! Plus our monthly grocery bill is more than our montly mortgage, so we need money saving tips!!

  23. This sounds like such a great idea Mary!

  24. Count me in, I will start planning! How fun!

  25. I think it’s a good idea, and even though prices are different across the country(ies) I think it can give everyone a ballpark idea of costs.

    (where I live you can get elbow mac. for $0.33 lb still!)

    I’m especially interested since I see comment #22 that her family is your family’s size… and ours isn’t that big yet, but we’re on our way with some pretty hungry kiddos. But I’d like to see low cost recipes for big families 🙂

  26. I would love to join in the fun! When are you planning on beginning?

  27. I would be interested.

  28. Yes! YES!! YES!!!!!!!!!

  29. This is a great idea, although I do think that calculating the costs might be difficult. I partly shop based on the pantry principle of stockpiling, and so sometimes I don’t even remember how much I paid for something, just that it was a good idea! I can guesstimate though, I suppose!

    I will definitely participate and will encourage my readers to do the same! This will be very educational, and it’s always so good to practice being as frugal as possible!

  30. I’m a fairly new reader of your blog…I’d love to hear everyone’s suggestions as well. We are “foodies” and enjoy cooking…and like someone else commented sometimes it seems that the “cheap” meals aren’t healthy or yummy. : ( So..I can’t wait to hear back from everyone!