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Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition!

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 13 Comments


Welcome to the Real Food for Busy Moms Series! We’ve already covered a quick and fabulous egg drop soup, a decadent  copycat Whole Foods salmon dip, but there’s so much more to cover. Thanks for stopping by!

Have you ever contemplated the irony . . .

Of “Fat-Free Sour Cream”? I mean, really, cream without fat??? I’m always curious about how these oddities exist, so I checked the label. Apparently they should be calling it “Low-Fat Guar Gum,” but I’m guessing that wouldn’t fly off the shelves.

My point is, some concepts by definition exclude others. Last summer, after creating only one post in what was supposed to be series about real food on a budget, I started to believe those two terms were mutually exclusive as well. To be more accurate, I knew it could be done, but I was not willing to eat beans and lentils everyday. :)

Fast forward a few months. Trimming our budget has become more of a priority, so beans and lentils it is . . . or so I thought. After reading the Food Stamp Challenge series at Nourished Kitchen, I was inspired. Jenny convinced me that we could save a lot of money and still eat very well. And the best part? I did some research and discovered lots of tips for eating real food on a budget, plus the delicious recipes below. Perfecto.

Here are a few I wanted to pass along:


Perfect Eye of Round Roast from The Domestic Man – I love this recipe because it turns an inexpensive roast into a beautiful and tasty meal. It only takes about 10 minutes of active time, but actual cooking time is 2.5-3 hours.

Healthy Sloppy Joes from Real Food RN


Moroccan Spiced Beef And Veggie Skillet from Following in My Shoes – Ground beef is often one of the most affordable options out there, but it can be a challenge to keep things interesting. This recipe does just that.


Summer Vegetable Frittata from Healy Eats Real

Asian Pork Stir Fry from Plaid and Paleo

Ginger Chicken from A Girl Worth Saving

Pakistani Kima from Whole New Mom – This ground beef-based recipe that incorporates inexpensive sweet potatoes for a hearty, filling meal.

Gratin of Mussels from Nourished Kitchen – Rich in B12, phosphorus, selenium, manganese and other vitamins and minerals, this simple dish is ironic in its own way. It’s brown, muted tones remind me of a peasant meal, but the delicate flavors are decidedly aristocratic. My family loves it, even Daddypotamus although he’s practically declared under oath that he doesn’t like seafood.

The fresh mussels at Whole Foods were a little more than I wanted to spend (maybe they are out of season?), but I found some raw chopped clams in the freezer section for $5/pound.

Throw the ingredients together will take 10 minutes max. Just bake for 40 minutes and voila! To get the recipe, download the Meal Plan at the end of this post.

Hamburger and Barley Stew from Nourished Kitchen

This sounded so gross to me I almost didn’t make it, but I figured it had to be better than lentils and I was so . . . right! This hearty stew is comfort food, pure and simple.

It’s also oh-so-simple to make and will be making regular appearances on our dinner table. To get the recipe, download the Meal Plan at the end of this post.

Do you have a favorite budget-friendly recipe? Please share it below!


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13 Responses to Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition!

  1. Tweets that mention Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition! « The Mommypotamus -- says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heather Dessinger, Heather Dessinger. Heather Dessinger said: new post: Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition! […]

  2. Stephanie says:

    Since my blog is private, I’ll just leave it in the comments. 😉 I recently revamped one of my favorite crockpot recipes (though I usually end up making it on the stove top).

    1 lb dried black bean
    1/3 cup salsa
    2 1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsn pepper
    2 tbsp garlic, minced
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp oregano
    3 bay leaves
    1-2 cup cooked quinoa

    1. Sort and rinse beans in colander.
    2 Put in a crock pot (or large pot) with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and enough warm water to cover for 12-24 hours.
    3 Drain and rinse, cover with water plus about 2 inches over top of beans.
    4 Add all ingredients, except rice.
    5 Cook on low in crock pot about 6-8 hours til tender. (Add water if necessary)
    6 Add quinoa and cook until warm.

    We like to eat this with sour cream, avocado and salsa on top, a side of veggies and cornbread. This has become a staple in our house, and my hubs (who normally likes a lot of variety in the menu) always likes eating this.

  3. Miriam says:

    Love these ideas! Thank you, Mommypotamus!

  4. Arden says:

    I think I am going to give that stew a try! Comfort food sounds good right about now :)

  5. Karen says:

    LOVE THIS! Thx for the recipes!

  6. Beth says:

    One of my favorite quick & inexpensive meals, albeit a bit seasonal is eggs poached in tomato sauce.

    Where I live, pastured eggs start to become hard to find around now (December), and I do have to rely on my pantry for the home-canned summer tomatoes. However, in the late summer and fall when both eggs and tomatoes are plentiful, this is a lovely inexpensive option.

    if you are lucky enough to be able to find good eggs and have home-canned tomatoes in the cooler months, this recipe works really well to shake off winter’s chill and offer a glimmer of hope for sunnier, warmer days.

  7. Heather says:

    Pastured eggs are a staple in our home (Texas is warm enough that hens lay year-round for the most part) so I’m always looking for new ways to serve them. Thanks Beth!

  8. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer says:

    Here here to the full fat sour cream! Full fat also gives me a smaller waste, who knew! I just found your blog while searching for fermented salsa. I am going to try the apple cider too because I just baked some Sourdough and probably will have great results with that.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Natasha – It’s great to “meet” you! Homemade sourdough sounds delicious right now. Wish we could swap some of our wares in real life . . . I have tons of salsa!

  9. Almond Pancakes {Gluten-Free} « The Mommypotamus says:

    […] couple of months ago I asked for your healthiest budget-friendly recipes. You responded with all kinds of yummy ideas . . . only I didn’t know until last […]

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