Scanning the magazines in the grocery store or the countless recipe sites online, it’s so easy to get a little carried away with your holiday meal planning as you plan to make the stuffing that requires 20 ingredients or purchase the most expensive cut of beef.
The recipes might look delicious -- but they also could cost a pretty penny and put a serious dent in your budget if you’re not careful. But, here’s the thing: If you’re counting costs, you don’t have to pay top dollar for a memorable meal.
Whether you’re heading to your neighborhood’s annual holiday potluck or your office is replacing its big Christmas party with a pass-a-dish affair, you’ll want to whip up a delicious -- and frugal holiday recipe that will feed a crowd. Homemade macaroni and cheese checks all those boxes. And this recipe on CheapskateCook.com requires just six ingredients and costs 33 cents per serving.
Inviting friends or family over for a festive brunch to celebrate the holidays? You certainly could get fancy, whipping up all kinds of salads, side dishes and little finger sandwiches. But, really, these holiday gathering are as much about the people as they are about the food.
Egg casseroles always make for a hearty way to start the day. The Frugal Girls share this Breakfast Sausage and Egg Casserole recipe on their website. It serves 15 people and will cost you around $10 to make the entire meal. Spend a few dollars more to include some inexpensive fruit, such as apple or banana slices, and these homemade English muffins, which cost just 7 cents per serving.
Let’s face it, the kids are going to be focused on all of those presents under the tree. But you’ll still want to feed them a filling meal that will keep the “hangry” away, especially on Christmas day.
Pancakes, waffles, eggs and homemade muffins and coffee cakes all require just a little work -- and just a little bit of money. Look for $1 mixes in the grocery store that require some milk and an egg or even just water. But if you’re looking for something new and inexpensive to try, check out this recipe for egg nog pancakes on the Fabulessly Frugal site.
A giant roast turkey or roast beef may be your longtime Christmas dinner tradition. But, if you’re working on a tight budget, the best gift you can give yourself is a commitment to spend less this holiday season. So how about a baked ziti instead?
The filling dish can be prepared ahead of time, so you can doze on the couch as the kids play with their new toys. Having Fun Saving offers up an easy baked ziti recipe that comes in at $1 per serving.
If you’re on a budget, here’s a trend you should get behind when it’s time to bake some Christmas treats -- the three-ingredient frugal holiday recipe. Moneywise Moms offer a variety of three-ingredient cookie recipes that should meet your budget and total well under $1 per serving.
And, remember, as you set your meal plans, it’s not just about the food. It’s really all about the memories you’re making with your loved ones.
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