Friday, July 12, 2013

How to Feed a Large Family on a Small Budget

Please Welcome Melanie, from Mommy Has Cents! Melanie is  a great guest blogger who helps other moms save money without sacrificing! I can’t wait to share this with you! :) Thanks for guest blogging Melanie! 

Money has been tight for the past month. So much so that I had about $80 to spend on groceries last week. For my family of 7. Not cool. What’s a mother to do? 

I like to stretch as much as I can out of my grocery dollar. So I shop at Aldi and use coupons. Then I get creative with what little I can afford. I make my own things, when possible. Why pay $3.50 for a box of Bisquick when you can make your own

Last week I bought a whole chicken for about $7 at Aldi. I put it in my big 7 qt crock pot, sprinkled some salt, pepper and garlic powder on it and let it cook on low all day. 

Once it was done I got as much meat off as I possibly could, which turned out to be about 3 or 4 cups of cooked chicken. I saved the liquid that was left over in the crock and put it in the fridge. Then I re-boiled the bones. I just put enough water in to cover about an inch over the carcass and added a few bouillon cubes, pepper and a couple of bay leaves. After about a half hour, I strained all of the bones and general yuckiness and had about 10 cups of homemade chicken broth! Remember the liquid I had from the crock pot? All of the fat floats to the top so I skimmed all of that nastiness off and added it to my broth for extra tastiness.

So what to do with all that cooked chicken? Cook for an army, of course!

Mexican Skillet

Serves 6-8 


1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS minced garlic
Chopped chicken breast
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
3 cups cooked Mexican rice
1 packet of taco seasoning or 2 T of MYO Taco Seasoning


Coat large frying pan with olive oil. Saute onions and garlic. Add chicken, beans and corn. When everything has been heated through add the cooked rice. Serve immediately. Top with sour cream, or serve with shredded cheddar cheese on a tortilla.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 6-8


1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped chicken
3 cups egg noodles
1-1/3 cups sliced carrots
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion and celery in butter until just tender, 5 minutes. Pour in broth and stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add water until all the ingredients are covered with liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.

Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 8


Pie Crusts for two pies
4 T. Butter
1/4 cup Flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. milk
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
3 large potatoes diced and boiled for about 10 minutes
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables


Preheat oven to 400. Line 2 pie plates with crust. Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat and stir in flour, and seasonings. Cook until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk and broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly for one minute. Stir in chicken and veggies. Pour half of each mixture into each pie crust. Top with the second pie crust. Bake on cookie sheet 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Chicken Salad

If you have enough chicken left over you can make chicken salad with it. Just add mayo, relish and sliced celery and use it for a sandwich or to top a salad!


  1. This is a great post, I am always looking for ways to cut the grocery budget!

  2. It is always a challenge to figure out how far you can make the money stretch but whole chickens are a great way! I love to hear what other people do with theirs. I currently don't have any but I found the best recipe for an herb butter whole chicken that is amazing!! I highly recommend it.

    I went through the pantry and freezer last month and wrote everything down that we had to use for the next month. It helped me stretch things out a little more this month so we are near half way through and only $25 spent! I also made a plastic container of things that we had to use right away so that is my goal to finish before the end of the month :)

    Thanks for the great recipes!!

  3. If you cook your broth overnight in the crock pot it is healthier and more of a bone broth, I think.


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