A few of our favorite frugal, family friendly recipes

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Say that 5 times, fast! ha!

Eating good quality, tasty, healthyish and budget friendly food is such an important part of our lifestyle here at This Tiny Blue House. Mer has a big appetite – he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy while although I enjoy my meat and potatoes I tend to prefer more savory combinations of protein and vegetables. Our meal plans are often a mix of both and after some trial and error we’ve settled on a few recipes that satisfy both our palettes and make repeat appearances week after week.

I don’t create recipes – I modify them. So, I take absolutely zero credit for the base recipes I’m providing below. What I am offering is a few frugal hacks to reduce the cost of each dish without sacrificing the quality and taste.

I generally prepare and cook all these dishes on Sundays. I then store them in our fridge and pop them into the oven to reheat as we need them throughout the week. I cannot tell you how much easier this makes life – not only is dinner prepared but there is virtually no clean up.

Mediterranean Chicken from The Clever Carrot

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[Source: 1]

First, we omit the bocconcini altogether. I’m not a fan of melted bocconcini and quite honestly this dish is incredibly tasty and satisfying without it. We then substitute 1 can of artichokes for a can of marinated artichokes (price difference is roughly 2$), using our own oil and spices to marinate the chicken. Chicken thighs are weirdly more expensive than chicken breast in this area so to save a couple of bucks we use breast. Finally, we use frozen herbs from our summer garden instead of fresh.

It produces approx 6 servings so plenty for dinner and leftovers for lunches. It’s Margs approved too. Frugal math tells me that it comes our to roughly 3$ per serving.

Cottage Pie from BBC Good Food

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[Source 2]

This is probably our current favorite since it’s so savory and has such great depth of flavor. I actually found this recipe by accident, decided to give it a try and have continued to make it ever since. To save a a couple of bucks I buy the economy size container of ground beef so I can make two pies at the same time. I also use frozen mixed veggies instead of fresh and sometimes omit the cheese in the potato mash altogether. Frugal math tells me this runs about 2.20$ per serving.

Unstuffed Cabbage Role Casserole from Give Recipe

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[Source: 3]

This is a great recipe that can be eaten as a side dish with a meat protein or by itself. I usually make this once a week and we use it many different ways during the week. It’s great for a quick lunch or to go along side roast chicken for dinner. To frugalize the recipe we often omit the beef altogether and add frozen white beans from our garden instead. Frugal math tells me this runs around 1.00 per serving. Also, we omit the mint because we just don’t do mint in this house.

Pasta e fagioli con Proscuito– due amiche in cucina

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[Source:4]

I actually grew up eating this at least once per week and until very recently I hated it. With the cold weather and lack of time to prepare more complex meals during the week Mer and I have really started to appreciate a hearty bowl of pasta and bean soup. To save some cash we use bacon instead of prosciutto – honestly, prosciutto just tastes funky when cooked so we prefer the bacon. We use frozen garden beans and our own homemade tomato sauce. This recipe essentially costs us a half bag of pasta and a few strips of bacon. Frugal math tells me this sets us back roughly 0.60 cents per serving.

What are some of your go to favorite meals? I love trying new recipes so I would greatly appreciate any that you have to share!


Giving credit where credit is due
[1] http://www.theclevercarrot.com/2013/05/dinner-tonight-mediterranean-baked-chicken/
[2] http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/775643/cottage-pie
[3] http://www.giverecipe.com/unstuffed-cabbage-casserole
[4] http://www.dueamicheincucina.ifood.it/2015/04/pasta-e-fagioli-con-prosciutto-di-parma-e-croste-di-parmigiano-reggiano.html

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Beginning

I signed up with wordpress yesterday with this desire to share my thoughts and ideas with the world. That’s a grand gesture no? I mean, my intention was to create a place where I could share my thoughts, recipes, DIY ideas and discuss parenting because parenting is so so hard most days. Then, I sat there staring at this tiny blog wondering how in the world would I introduce myself  to “the world”. Let’s be honest, maybe one person is going to read this right? In any case, I struggled to come up with a grand way to introduce myself and really summarize what this blog is all about. I guess I’m not even 100% sure what this blog is all about – I just know that I’d like to communicate with people.

So here goes.

I’m Jenny. I’m a mid-thirties (how the eff did that happen?) mom to one living child (more about that another day). I live in a tiny blue cottage in a gorgeous little suburb  outside a major Canadian city. My husband and I moved here with our tiny bundle just over 3 months ago. This is our first home, it’s a work in progress and we’re loving every minute of establishing our lives here as a family of three.

I’m a stay at home mom. Before this I educated other people’s kids and loved it. Now, I spend my days loving on my miracle and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I plan to write about our adventures a lot.

I also love to cook and bake and do all those other housewifey things (who would have thought – I originally started off in the corporate world and would never in a gazillion years thought I’d ever enjoy this mom and housewife gig). I plan to write about that too. Share recipes and stuff- because everyone like to eat. I try to cook healthy but ya know sometimes good tasting food is important too.

I’m also somewhat of a minimalist (recently – since the move because we had so much shit cluttering our lives) . I’ll write about that too from time to time.

I’m also an anxious mess. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder about 10 years ago. I’m medicated and feeling well-ish these days but I have my moments. Raising a kid with anxiety is effing hard. Really hard. I’d like to write about that too.

Clearly this is a hodge podge. Clearly I’ve got nothing and everything to say about everything and nothing all at the same time.

Follow along. Share your experiences. Talk to me.

And now, a photo of our walk through Saint Bernard Island Sanctuary yesterday because how else am I going to end this big awkward “this is me in a nutshell”, welcome to my blog post. Awwwwwkward.

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