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Frugal Fridays–Feeding My Family for Fifteen (or less!)


I’ve been inspired by Crystal Paine’s Frugal Fridays,  but I sometimes get discouraged by trying to feed my family of 11 reasonably.  Most of the sites I’ve explored so far use a LOT of pasta or grains, which is not always the healthiest, especially as we get older.  Too many carbs can lead to type 2 diabetes at worst, or contribute to weight gain and other health issues at best.  Added to that, my husband doesn’t mind some pasta dishes, but he doesn’t want them all week long!


It gets challenging feeding a larger family, and while I know we can cut down in many areas, I’ve gotten discouraged in trying to have decent dinners for a reasonable price!


So I’m hoping to join the Frugal Fridays with recipes to feed a larger family for $15 or less.  Does that sound like a lot?   At  $5 Dollar Dinners she has listed dinners to feed 4 that are fairly healthy.  So I tripled that since there are 11 of us, and that gives one extra serving for my husband for work the next day.   A lot is going to depend on the prices of your ingredients, what season it is(more garden goodies for free in the summer and early fall months!),  and whether you have special needs such as allergies to work around.


I’m no expert by any means!   I’m just sharing as I travel on my journey!  If you have favorite dinners that aren’t dependent on a lot of prepared items, fairly healthy and reasonable, feel free to link to my Mr. Linky and share with me, too!


Tonight my 16 year old daughter prepared a yummy Potato Soup, Florentine Style from Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery, Broccoli/Bacon/Raisin Salad from The Best of Country Cooking, and Sweet Onion Muffins from Contest Winning Recipes.  


Potato Soup, Florentine Style

Makes about 6 servings (my daughter doubled it, but we probably have enough for lunch for most of us tomorrow!)


4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (we use organic potatoes, so she didn’t peel them)

1 onion, chopped

1 smoked ham hock (about 1 lb.) or 1 cup chopped ham (she used the chopped ham)

4 cups chicken broth (we use Better than Bouillon)

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt (we have our own homemade)

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 (9 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained (she used a little less)

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese

She also added 1/2 cup chopped zucchini (I adjusted for the recipe–since she doubled the recipe she added a full cup–just in case you wondered!)


In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, onion, ham hock or ham, broth, mustard, seasoned salt and pepper (and zucchini, if used).  Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or until potatoes are soft.  Remove ham hock; chop meat and discard fat and bone.  Return meat to cooker.  Turn control to HIGH.  Add drained spinach.  Cover and cook on HIGH 15 to 20 minutes.   Spoon hot soup into soup bowls and sprinkle with cheese (we had slices and she added it to the soup to melt in there). 


Like I said, she doubled this and we have a little less than half left! 


Seasoned Salt


1 cup salt

2 1/2 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. dry mustard

1 1/2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder




Broccoli/Bacon/Raisin Salad

Yields 12 servings


1 bunch broccoli (she used half broccoli, half cauliflower)

1/2 cup chopped red onion (she used regular onion since we didn’t have a red one!)

1 cup celery, chopped

1 pound bacon, fried crisp, drained and crumbled (she used half this amount–also, we like turkey bacon, and my 15 yr. old daughter found cooking it on the griddle saved time and wasn’t as time intensive as the microwave nor as slow as a skillet!) 

1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins




3/4 cup mayonnaise (we usually make our own, but we had some left from our "survival suppers" during the chicken pox epidemic!)

1/4 cup sugar

2 TB vinegar


Combine salad ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.  Combine dressing ingredients together thoroughly.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients; stir to blend.  Serve chilled.  Refrigerate leftovers.


Sweet Onion Muffins

(she made this recipe 1/2 again to get 18 muffins)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 chopped walnuts (we were out, so she chopped some almonds we had!)


1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat the eggs, onion and butter until blended; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in walnuts (or almonds!  ).


2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full (we don’t mess with the liners!).  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


My daughter doubled the soup, doubled the salad, and did 1 1/2 recipes of the onion muffins.  Total cost was $15!!!  We will get lunch tomorrow, not as big portions, and not including muffins, unless she makes more.  So the actual cost may be under $10. 


Not too bad, really!  


I hope this inspires you and helps you to feed your family good meals without breaking the budget!


Happy Cooking!


~ ..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
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((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*
"Home and family seemed by providence
to be my special field of duty."
                                     ~America Holton Ford, 1889~

Please sign my Mr. Linky linking to your site,  and post a comment so I can see your yummy recipes, too!   




2 Responses to “Frugal Fridays–Feeding My Family for Fifteen (or less!)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I only have 6 in my family, but my sister has 8, so when we get together we are feeding 14 and we frequently get together. I think the simpler the better. I have fed everyone spaghetti and salad for around $8, tacos for under $10 (including all the fixings), chicken stir fry over rice, and grilled hotdogs with all sorts of veggies and fruits for sides. Grains do end up taking up a lot our meals together, but you can do a chicken stir fry with a small amount of brown rice and a lot of topping or accomodate in similar ways. I just know that I wouldn't want to pay money to feed all 14 of us all the time, as it can be pricey to do it on occassion. Good luck!



  2. yes-theyre-all-ours.blogspot.com says:

    I'm looking forward to more ideas for frugal, but healthful recipes, for large families!!! I hope you will post a new recipe every Friday! I need an idea for tonight — quick!

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