Serve Budget Friendly Meals With Taste

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The holidays have come and gone, and so has the urge to celebrate the season by spending a little more at the grocery store. Now it's time to be kind to the family budget – and cutting corners at the supermarket is a good place to start.

Spending less on groceries isn't just a matter of clipping coupons. There are a number of tricks of the trade that seasoned bargain shoppers know and use, such as buying economical cuts of meat to cook long and slow in the crockpot. Buying whole chickens and cutting them up is another money saver. The same principle applies to block cheese which is cheaper that the shredded variety.

Of course, coupons are always good when you can find them, and there are a number of online coupon sites – just google “grocery coupons.” Some stores offer double coupons on certain days of the week as well.

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No matter how you pinch pennies, the end result should be a meal with good taste. Try today's thrifty recipes (most are a dollar or less per serving) and see if your family can tell!

The recipes include: Baked Cavatelli, Spinach and Ham Frittata, Caraway Pork & Cabbage, Arroz Con Pollo.


2-1/2 c. cavatelli pasta, 12 oz. Italian sausage links sliced,

3/4 c. green onion, sliced, 15-oz. can tomato sauce, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 4 oz. mozzarella, shredded, 14-oz. jar spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In large skillet cook sausage until no pink remains; remove from skillet. Drain off fat, reserving 1 tablespoon. Cook green onion and garlic in reserved drippings until tender. In 2-quart casserole combine cooked pasta, sausage, onion mixture, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, half of mozzarella, Italian seasoning and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Bake, covered, in 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. Serves six.


8 eggs, 1/4 tsp. basil, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/4 c. onion, chopped, 1 T. margarine, 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped, 4 oz. cooked ham, sliced thin and chopped, spinach, thawed and drained, 1 T. Parmesan

In medium mixing bowl combine eggs, basil, and pepper; beat until combined. Set aside. In 10-inch ovenproof skillet cook onion in hot margarine until tender but not brown. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and ham. Add egg mixture; turn the heat under the skillet back on to about medium and cook for about 5 minutes or until the egg begins to set (no stirring!). Then bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven, 15 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and let stand for five minutes before serving. Cut into wedges. Serves four.


4 lb. pork shoulder roast bone in, trimmed, 2 tsp. caraway seed, crushed, 2 tsp. salt, 2 slices bacon, cut up, 1 head cabbage, 1 c. water, 16-oz. wide egg noodles

Pat pork dry with paper towels. Rub pork with caraway seeds, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside. In 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven cook bacon until browned. With slotted spoon transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In bacon drippings in Dutch oven cook pork until well browned on all sides. Remove tough outer leaves of cabbage. Cut cabbage into 8 wedges; remove and discard core. Arrange cabbage around pork in Dutch oven. Return bacon to pan. Add water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling. Cover Dutch oven and place in oven. Braise pork and cabbage two hours, stirring once halfway through. About 30 minutes before pork is done prepare noodles as label directs. Transfer pork to cutting board. Cut into thick slices and serve with noodles, cabbage and pan juices. Serves 8.


1 tsp. oil, 1-1/2 lb. chicken thighs skin removed, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1 med. onion, chopped fine, 1 green pepper, chopped, 1 lemon, 1-1/2 c. white rice, 1 lg. clove garlic crushed, 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper, 14-oz. can chicken broth, 1-1/4 c. water, 10-oz. frozen peas, 1/3 c. olives, sliced

In nonstick 12-inch skillet heat oil. Add chicken to skillet; sprinkle with black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add onion and green pepper to same skillet with chicken. Cook until chicken is browned and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, turning chicken over once and stirring vegetable mixture occasionally. With vegetable peeler remove 3-inch strip peel from lemon. Cut lemon into wedges; reserve. Stir lemon peel, rice, garlic ground red pepper, broth, water and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into mixture in skillet; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in frozen peas; cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in olives. Spoon into serving dish and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 6.