Essential Traditions/Real Food Real Frugal

The archives for the old Essential Traditions blog and the old Real Food Real Frugal Blog

Lentil Chili

I am always looking for inexpensive ways to feed my family. Lentil Chili is one of the easiest and also one of my family’s favorite. It’s a simple meal that leaves enough leftovers for a second meal, which makes it extra economical. This is my recipe, along with the price breakdown.

1 lb. dry brown lentils ($0.99)
8 tbsp. apple cider vinegar ($0.12)
1 lb. ground beef ($7.00) (Grass-fed Beef)
2 (8-oz.) cans organic tomato sauce ($2.00)
1 can organic Rotel style tomatoes ($1.00)
2 tbsp. chili powder ($0.17)
1 organic onion powder ($0.75)
1 tbsp. Redmond’s or himalyan salt ($0.01)

Now, of course, the price goes up if you change the ingredients around. When I can, I do use organic. Also, what you serve with the chili will raise the price of the meal. We often serve it with a salad out of the garden, which is free, except for the salad dressings. Almost always, my husband requests flour tortillas and cheese. Another favorite way to eat this is with corn bread. So, all of these things will vary the cost per serving. However you serve it, Lentil Chili is a cost effective meal that’s cheap, filling and healthy for you!

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Frugal Beans, Rice and Chicken Crock-Pot Dinner

Frugal Beans :: Finding Beauty

Graphic by Grace Felt

We eat a lot of bean meals around out house.  Not just because they are frugal, but also because my family really loves them.  You should see how excited Riley gets when he knows beans and cornbread are on the menu.  Beans are so nutritious and frugal and they can really help lower your grocery bill, yet ensuring your family still has healthy meals.  Richy or poor, we’ll probably always be bean eaters, it’s just a meal that my family really loves.

Frugal Beans, Rice and Chicken Crock-Pot Dinner

2 cups dried beans (I use a combo of small red beans and pinto beans)
1 cup Uncooked brown rice
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (usually left overs from a baked whole chicken)
2 tbsp. taco seasoning (I use homemade)

I usually start this around 12 p.m. and it’s ready to serve at 6 p.m. In a crock pot, place the beans, rice, onion and garlic. Cover with water. Turn crock-pot on high and let cook. About 1 hour before dinner time, add the stewed tomatoes, shredded chicken and taco seasoning. We usually eat this with cornbread.

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