Carnival Of The Recipes – Cooking On A Budget Edition

It’s time for the Carnival of the Recipes – Cooking on a Budget Edition! This carnival features the efforts and ideas of those who enjoy cooking and creating wonderful recipes. It’s like a great recipe swap every week!

If you are new to A Penny Closer, welcome! This is a blog about a couple who are working together to reach their goals through budgeting, saving, and learning about frugality. You can read more about our story here or view a single page of all of our posts in our archives.

I have a serious love affair with cooking so every week I feature a recipe called a “Reducipe“. They are recipes designed to reduce your grocery bills by making an expensive meal cheaper, or an already cheap meal better.

Saving money through cost cutting measures in the kitchen can greatly impact your bottom line. I feel it is one of the most flexible and dynamic areas of the budget. With the holidays right around the corner who couldn’t benefit from saving some cash on meals?

We had a lot of wonderful submissions this week and I’ve marked my personal favorites with a star (*). Please enjoy!

Holiday Related

*Christine presents Vin Chaud – Hot Wine for the Holidays! posted at Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France. This is a simple and inexpensive holiday drink to serve at parties. I love that she tried this with expensive and cheap wine and the cheap wine was better! That is always a plus. She also shares with us a kid-friendly version in Hot Orange Juice and Honey for the Holidays!

*Karen Weideman presents Corn Casserole Recipe posted at Balance In Diet. This corn casserole sounds creamy and sweet. I like that it uses cheddar for that savory and salty kick. I’m definitely going to try this one very soon.

Grean Beans*Adam presents Green Bean Casserole Alternative posted at Men in Aprons. Even though I tend to like traditional-style green bean casserole (as long as it is doctored up) I can certainly see why MIA is against it. So many of those casseroles ARE nasty. I think his alternative sounds great – maybe it is time to ditch the condensed soup after all!

Suzanne presents Our Yummy Stuffing Dressing posted at :: adventures in daily living ::. This dressing features raisins, pecans, and tangy dried cranberries. Very festive!

Chef Andrew presents Black Eyed Pea Dip posted at The Recipe Bank. Although he says this is good for a tailgating party I bet this recipe would do fine at an office party or potluck as well. Black eyed peas are traditional around the holidays so this is something I’d love to try.

Diabetic Recipes presents Crunchy Banana-Colada Bread posted at Diabetic Recipes. It says this makes a healthy banana bread perfect for the holidays. Personally, I think anything using coconut is great with the holidays and using granola bars is very inventive.

Career Counselor presents Holiday Season: Simple Ways to Increase Morale and Happiness at Your Office posted at ask the CareerCounselor. Help drum up the holiday spirit around the office with some yummy treats! Here are 6 links to scrumptious looking snacks you can make for co-workers. The holiday bark sounds delicious!

Chef Andrew presents The Recipe Bank: Appetizer posted at The Recipe Bank. Chef Andrew shares a collection of appetizer recipes perfect for casual parties. The layered barbeque bean dip looks like an interesting variation on the popular 7 layer dip. Anything with bacon makes it a hit for me!

Soup’s On!

Chili and Chips*mom & dad presents Making Chili With Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey posted at Making chili is a wonderful way to use leftover turkey and this recipe looks really good and family-friendly. The spices would help change the flavor enough to help you keep on using up those leftovers even after you get sick of turkey (usually by the third day for me). Nice photos, too!

*Betsy Teutsch presents High-Quality-of-Life Double Mushroom Barley Soup posted at Money Changes Things. This hearty recipe just begs to be eaten on a frosty winter night. The fact that it is vegetarian is a bonus because I can make a big pot and share it with all of my friends.

Bill presents Crockpot Beef Stew posted at Slow Cooker Recipes. This looks like classic comfort food to me. It’s funny how some of the most soothing food is so simple and inexpensive to make.

Tim Abbott for David Churbuck presents On Chowder posted at I don’t see much chowder where I’m from so I wouldn’t be able to identify a proper version if I wanted to. I loved this well-written story about a man and his memories of making chowder. The story made me hungry even though I had just eaten!

Maximizing Meals

Autumn Sausage*DeputyHeadmistress presents Autumn Sausage posted at The Common Room. Autumn Sausage – A great inexpensive entree with sweet potatoes (one of Eric’s favorites), sausage, and apples. Sounds hearty and the sweet potato and veggies are healthier than what you would normally eat with sausage.

Kathee presents Chicken Style Sloppy Joes posted at Chicken Recipes. This is a nice sloppy joe recipe that uses chicken instead of ground beef. Who needs canned sloppy joe mix when you can make it from scratch so easily?

Chef Andrew presents The Recipe Bank: International posted at The Recipe Bank. This first recipe on this page is a Chimichurri Burger (there are lots of great recipes at this link). Eric and I enjoy a burger night every once in a while. To save money, we usually buy a large amount of ground beef and separate it into portions of a little over 3/4 a pound each. We can then freeze these and we split on portion of hamburger for meals that require it. This burger sounds very interesting with lots of unusual ingredients (cabbage, carrots, and cilantro among others). Eric always loves an exotic burger so I can’t wait to try these out.

Thelly presents Chicken Lasagna posted at Chicken Recipes. This reminds me of a local favorite called King Ranch Chicken. I bet this would be great with chili powder and cumin. Reinventing shredded chicken is an art form and variety like this is key to keeping it interesting.

Elisson presents PIZZA OF THE WEIRD posted at Blog d’Elisson. I think pairing apple with cheddar is a good combination. I love that he used these flavors to create a pizza. The picture looks great!

Pancake Recipes presents Lemon Pancake Recipe posted at Pancake Recipe. I wasn’t sure where to place this one. Eric says that when he lived in the Netherlands that they used to eat pancakes as a main course. This recipe sounds great, and the addition of cottage cheese or yogurt makes me believe these pancakes will be extra yummy. I’d probably use yogurt since Eric absolutely loves it.

Healthy Eating

World Famous Recipes presents Healthy Turkey Loaf – Turkey Meatloaf posted at World Famous Recipes. This meatloaf looks simple and spicy. It uses salsa and peppers to add flavor rather than fat. I bet it would be good with more salsa poured on top of each slice just before serving.

Turkey BurgerTurkey Recipes presents Turkey Burgers posted at Turkey Recipes. This turkey burger uses a dried tomato sauce made from minced dried tomatoes and yogurt instead of ketchup as a condiment. It sounds light and tasty and the onion bun is a nice touch!

Joel Fuhrman, MD presents Green, Green, Food, Food! posted at Disease Proof. Wow – just reading this trio of green veggie recipes made me feel healthier. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate the good stuff into our diet.

Deb Bixler presents Cheap Family Meals posted at Increase Metabolism & Live Healthy. Deb gives us tips and tricks on how to eat healthy when on a budget. You know, it’s funny but I find the weeks that I buy mostly fresh food are more expensive than other weeks. I guess that is because fresh foods usually don’t have coupons.

Saving On Sweets

*Stephanie presents Rice – The Perfect Frugal Food posted at Stop the Ride!. Incredibly simple, very flavorful and inexpensive dessert. You can’t get much more frugal than this! We almost always make too much rice when we cook it so this sounds like a great way to use that leftover rice.

*Lucynda Riley presents Apple Biscotti posted at Quietly into the Night. What a cool idea! She says this is like an apple pie in biscotti form. With all the apple pie spices it seems perfect for the season.

Puppy Chowcookingfor5 presents Puppy Chow, Chex Chocolate Snack Mix posted at Simply Cooking. I remember this oddly named snack from years back as well. It was very addictive!

Famous Recipes presents Fudgy Pecan Pie Recipe posted at Famous Recipes. I have had plenty of pecan pie but never fudge pecan pie. Sounds delicious!

Smarter Dollar presents Peach Pound Cake posted at Famous Recipes. Oh man, pound cake! Pound cake is a favorite of mine and this recipe looks great with the fresh peaches. Yum!

Lucynda Riley presents Roasted figs with honey and Rosemary posted at Quietly Into the Night. There is something so elegant and sophisticated about figs. If you have a fig tree you are in for some really good, cheap desserts.

Cooking Know-How

Greek Yogurt*Melanie Rimmer presents How to Make Greek Yogurt posted at Bean-Sprouts. Melanie shows us how to make our own Greek yogurt. She walks through the entire process with detailed instructions and pictures. Now I don’t have an excuse for not trying to make yogurt from scratch. We’ve made Greek yogurt before using store-bought yogurt and straining it with cheesecloth for Raita to go with some of our Indian dishes. It’s delicious! You can also eat it on it’s own (Melanie suggests adding honey too) as a dessert.

*Rebecca presents Design a Brine posted at The Experimental Kitchen. Brining is a wonderful way to add a lot of flavor to your meat before cooking it. We eat a lot of roast chicken and to save money we usually buy whole chickens. We’ll brine the chicken overnight (sometimes longer) and it adds a wonderful flavor. We’ll roast all the chicken at once but our first meal is always just the roasted chicken with some vegetables. Then we take the rest and remove it from the bones for meals for the entire week. In this post, Rebecca walks us through designing our brine to add the flavors we want, as well as the proper proportions depending on how much meat we are flavoring. Great instructions to follow!

Karen Weideman presents Easy Homemade Brown Sugar posted at Thrifty Mommy. I didn’t realize just how easy it was to make your own brown sugar! Karen shows us how to save some money by making it on your own.

Maria Fernandez presents The Silver Spoon – Il cucchiaio d’argento posted at Learn a foreign language – blog. Maria shares with us a very popular cookbook in Italy. I bet you can get a lot of fabulous recipes from that!


So many great recipes this time! Everyone’s got a lot of cooking to do now. Thanks everyone for submitting these wonderful recipes to the carnival!

Most images on this page are from posts for submitted recipes. Turkey burger image by jetalone.

The Carnival Review #12

I hope I’m tall enough this year…Oh my gosh, I completely forgot to do my carnival review during the week.  I suppose that’s because everything has been a little late this week.  The holidays sure throw a wrench in the schedule.  I wasn’t able to spend as much time as usual at the carnivals but they were still good as always.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the carnivals this week:

Overcoming My Fears: Canning @ The Motherload – I completely understand her fears of canning.  Knowing that if I mess up I could make someone very sick has kept me away from canning.  Yet people can food all the time and humankind lives on so I guess I need to try my hand at it.

Year-End Checklists for Flexible Spending Accounts @ Mighty Bargain Hunter – This is a useful list for people who take advantage of FSAs.  We signed up for next year and it will mean big savings for us.

Saving Money When Shopping Online @ One Frugal Girl – She goes through her steps in order to find the best deals online.  This could come in handy this holiday season!

20 Ways to Save Money at the Library @ Frugal Journey – I had no idea that libraries offer so many cost-saving alternatives.

Carnivals from around the web:

Carnival of Personal Finance #127 – Wonders of the World @ Moolanomy

Festival of Frugality #101 – Highway To Frugal Living Edition @ Rather Be Shopping

Make It From Scratch #40 @ Bean Sprouts

Carnival of Money Stories #35 @ Living Off Dividends

Image Source: PJLewis

The Carnival Review #11

I wanna ride!The carnivals are back in town!  Again, I only participated in a select few.  I think that will be standard for the next few weeks as the moving process intensifies.  No worries though, after the move I’ll be back to my usual carnival-going self again.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the carnivals this week:

Ten Great Reasons To Have Frugal Friends @ Saving Advice – I love having frugal friends! We can learn so much from each other and there is never any pressure to spend.  We both understand what our common goals are about.  My favorite frugal friends will be paying off their mortgage this year and I’m so proud of them.

In Defense of Home Ownership @ Two Wise Acres – I’m totally with them.  Lately there has been a slew of “renting is better” articles on the web.  In my neck of the woods that is absolutely NOT the case.  This article is a very good read.

Do You Pay People For Things You Could Do Yourself? @ One Frugal Girl – I am having this dilemma right now.  We have a lot tile in the new home so a lot of grout will need to be sealed before we can move in.  We will be rushing after we close to get things done so paying someone to do this tedious job is tempting.  But with the cheapest quote being $1400 I’m thinking that it is better for us to do it.  I think we should try to stick to paying for tasks that require skills we don’t have, not for tasks that just require time and effort.

Carnivals from around the web:

Carnival of Money Stories – International Phone Dictionary Day Edition @ Being Frugal – Woohoo!  My article about our anniversary indulgence was an editor’s pick! 

Carnival of Personal Finance #126 @ Million Dollar Journey

Festival of Frugality #100 @ Frugal For Life

Make It From Scratch #39 @ Laura Williams’ Musings

All Women Blogging Carnival @ RedSultana

Image Source: Jef Poskanzer

The Carnival Review #10

This feels like my life right nowWe didn’t participate in as many carnivals this week so this review will be a bit shorter than normal. Packing and getting ready for the move has taken over my brain and I simply forgot to submit to many of my usual ones. But the carnivals I did check out are jam packed with goodness!

Here are some of my favorite posts from the carnivals this week:

To Whomever Stole My Debit Card @ Gather Little By Little – An unfortunate story about how someone’s greed affected this family, while on vacation no less.

Great Gifts With Really Bad Unintended Consequences @ Money Changes Things – It never dawned on me that there would be issues surrounding giving small stocks as presents. I’ve never really thought about it. This is an interesting list of well intentioned gifts that have proven problematic.

If I Won’t Use It Frequently, I Don’t Buy It @ My Wealth Builder – My parents used to have a second living room with furniture that was rarely used except for holidays. It only gathered dust the rest of the year. This is a good article about how we should use what we have and not “save the crystal for the guests”.

I want it. You buy it. Any Questions? @ Brip Blap – Don’t find sassy shirts like this very amusing, especially on little girls. I really like Brip Blap’s shirts slogan ideas. Where can I buy those?

Carnivals from around the web:

Festival of Frugality #99 ~ Learning to Be Frugal @ I’ve Paid Twice For This Already – I’m honored that my article on frugality and losing touch was an editor’s pick!

Carnival of Money Stories #33 @ Moolanomy – I must be on a roll or something! I’m thrilled that my article on anniversary gift peer pressure was also selected as an editor’s pick!

Carnival of Personal Finance #125 @ My Two Dollars – My plan to test out our mortgage didn’t make top honors but it was included. Too bad I’m not three for three.

Image Source: StuSeeger

The Carnival Review #9

Carnivals rockStep right up, it’s time for the carnival review!

This week I hosted my first ever carnival, Make It From Scratch #37 – The Frugal Edition.  I really enjoyed being able to host one of these carnivals instead of just reviewing them!  If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out all the wonderful do-it-yourself projects in this edition you are missing out!

Here are some of my favorite posts from the carnivals this week:

Stay Away From Department Store Credit Cards @ Money Blue Book – I have been guilty of signing up for a Target card in the past just to save 10%.  But is saving a small amount really worth the ding to my credit and the added complexity of having more cards?  Probably not unless it is a huge purchase.

Money vs Time Off: Why We Don’t Take Vacations @ The Digerati Life – This is so true.  Eric has almost hit the maximum vacation time he can accumulate because he never uses it.  That’s about to change though.  He will be taking a lot of time off around the move.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent Debate @ Got No Dough – This makes me wonder.  Maybe we should focus on trying to cut spending somewhere else if we are trying to save money by making homemade laundry detergent.  Surely there are other places to cut before it comes to this. 

To DirectBuy or Not To DirectBuy @ Mrs. Micah -DirectBuy sales tactics are scammy and that is all there is to it.   “Sign up now and pay thousands of dollars or never come back” is guaranteed to make me run far, far away.  And it should for you, too.

Eating is to money as food is to debt @ Collecting My Cash – Interesting story about how stress can make you turn to something for comfort, whether it’s shopping or food.

Carnivals from around the web:

Carnival of Money Stores #32 – True Financial Horror Stories @ The Baglady – Eric’s sad story about when saying no can help was an editor’s pick!  Awesome!

Carnival of Debt Reduction #111 – What’s Scarier Than Debt? @ I’ve Paid Twice For This Already

Festival of Frugality #98 – The Happy Halloween Edition @ Being Frugal

Carnival of Personal Finance – Trick or Treat Edition @ Millionaire Mommy Next Door

Carnival of the Recipes – Tricks and Treats Edition @ Booklore

Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance @ Money And Values

All Women Blogging Carnival @ Mad Goat Lady

Twenty Something Finances @ My Adventures into The Street

Image Source: Jewe

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