Nifty Thrift Week: Day 4 with Janelle Nehrenz

Welcome to day four of our Nifty Thrifty week featuring ideas, stories, recipes and GIVEAWAYS from five frugal guests.

(And it all started with my devotion entitled The Boomerang of Blessing. You can click here to read it but be sure to come back!)

Today as our guest we have the culinary expert Janelle  Nehrenz from Comfy in the Kitchen. She and I have connected through doing online ministry together and I just love her site! (Not to mention that she is a baseball mom which I also love!)

Janelle is a Christian wife and mom of three young children. She has a meal ministry, co-leads a Summer Bible study, and happily stays busy volunteering at church and her children’s school.

Her spiritual gifts are a mix of “hospitality and evangelism” and she shares all about it on her blog Comfy in the Kitchen.

Today in our frugal series, Janelle is giving us some great ideas for making meals on a shoe-string budget. If fact, she is including a link to a free resource she was featured in from Ebay Deals so all my readers can take advantage.

In addition, one reader will be chosen at random to receive a $15 Target gift card to put toward some some kitchen essentials like a Crock Pot, pans, cookie sheets, bowls, etc. As with all the posts this week, you have until Sunday night at midnight EST to comment and be entered in the drawing. All the winners will be announced Monday.

Now, enjoy the cooking Queen Janelle!

Crockpot Oatmeal and 89 MORE Meals under $1.25

Cooking on a budget does not have to be bland, boring and repetitive. With a little imagination, wisdom, and willingness- anyone can make homemade meals to fit their bill.

One delicious and economical breakfast I make often is Crockpot Oatmeal…in fact, it was recently featured in Ebay Deals FREE E-book: 90 Meals Under $1.25! For just $0.33 per serving your family can wake up to the amazing aroma of vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon just waiting for them in the kitchen. Mmmm….

(For this great post with these wonderfully delicious but oh-so-inexpensive dishes click here)

Reading through the other amazing recipes in this book, I became so impressed by the “comfy” and “economical” cooks we have here in cyber world. Ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners are all laid out in this great resource! These recipes will certainly be a blessing to all of us who want to make delicious meals yet not break the bank.

Here are some great tips provided by ebay deals on how to cook on a tight budget:

Cooking on a tight budget starts with an understanding of which ingredients are most economical as well as how to get the most savings on higher-priced items. Check out these quick tips for significant grocery savings:

  • Prepare meals around which items are on sale that week at your grocery store. Stock up on meat when prices are low and freeze it for later.
  • Buy seasonal produce. Summer vegetables can cost you several times more in the winter, and they don’t taste nearly as good.
  • Don’t let anything go to waste. Soups are both economical and a smart way to use up leftover vegetables and meat scraps.
  • Avoid items marked up for convenience, like pre-cut vegetables, individually packaged meats, and bottled salad dressings.
  • Shop in the bulk bins. You’re not paying for packaging, and dried beans cost significantly less than canned.

In this book, there are enough meals to feed you breakfast, lunch and dinner for a month, all at around $1.00 per serving or less.

You can follow ebay deals on FB if you’re interested in getting their deal updates!

Now, to be entered in the Target card drawing, what are YOUR favorite frugal recipes? Please share below!!!


  1. I have a rather strict, small budget for our family of five, but I have learned to have fun with it because I am a foodie at heart. Many “frugal” meals just seem less than appetizing :( I always use coupons matched with sales, buy seasonal and reduced produce and meat, and let creativity flow. A favorite of everyone is Southwestern chicken. 1 lb of chicken divided into foil packets for the grill, placed in the crockpot or roasting pan; marinate or sprinkle with any southwest or Mexican spices; top with a mixture of one can each of RoTel, black beans and corn; before serving sprinkle with cheese, cilantro, etc if you have it on hand. This is versatile, and can be served with a side of rice or a green salad; it can be shredded and used for tacos or nachos – a definite recommendation for leftovers. If you have some on hand and use the crockpot, add some cream cheese! Yummy, and definitely less than a $5 meal.

  2. My family LOVES my Shepherd’s pie. I can create it using either ground beef or ground turkey, whichever is on sale. With the meat, veggies, and mashed potato topping, it is very filling and nutritious.

  3. Mmm…lentil soup with any kind of veggies like carrot, celery, potatoe, a roch of salt and one bay leaf for flavor. Yummy and so inexpensive.

  4. That oatmeal sure looks great! I like using oatmeal in other things too, like coffee cake, biscuits, even soup! I have a favorite coffee cake recipe called Oatmeal Streusel Coffee Cake, which I make for Sunday breakfast.

  5. Not sure I have a thrifty meal… if I did it might have to be pancakes and eggs. I like those items you can get on sale really cheap too… can always make something with them!

  6. That oatmeal looks delicious! I’m not a great cook, so I’ve always wanted to make yummy meals that aren’t too expensive. I like to watch YouTube videos for frugal recipes and ideas :)

  7. I have tried crockpot oatmeal before and it is wonderful. My favorite “frugal” meal is to make chicken and rice with canned chicken from the $ Tree (2 cans), 1 box of rice mix $1, and a bag of frozen broccoli (.99 for frozen store brand) $4 makes 4 large portions or 6 medium. Since it’s just my hubby and myself and he doesn’t eat rice, I usually freeze the extra portions and have them for several weeks. Less than $1 per serving!

  8. I too plan my meals around specials. I love buying large packages of meat (e.g. ham or chicken) when they come on sale. They are cheaper in first place, and then when they are on sale!! From one big package of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, I can make a chicken fajita pizza, a chicken casserole, and quesadillas. I do the same when ham is on sale.

  9. Buying whole chickens at .99 a lb. I cook two at a time (there are 6 of us), and after removing all the meat for dinner, I boil EVERYTHING that’s left with celery, onions and carrots and make homemade chicken broth. I get a chicken dinner, leftover meat and a big pot of broth all for about $9.

  10. Homemade pasta with homemade roasted tomato sauce – cheap, not too hard to make, and everyone feels spoiled!

  11. My economical go-to meal is spaghetti. I even like it better without sauce which makes it less, but I still use good cheese. My husband loves sauce, so I freeze individually portioned sauces for him or for pizza, so there’s no waste.

  12. I make rice or pasta dishes adding whatever veggies I have from our garden. I use the ones I freeze in the winter. I grow a few herbs and use them to season my dishes instead of creamy sauces! You can dry the herbs for year round use! I add chicken to most of these recipes.

  13. Love it! Such a great resource! How refreshing it is to find mother’s still following Biblical values as wives, mothers and women. :)

  14. Thanks for the recipe; oatmeal is a favorite breakfast of mine :) One of my favorite frugal recipes is rice and bean burritos

  15. I’ve made soup twice in the last week because I had stuff I just needed to use before it went bad. Now they’re both in my freezer for use at a later date! :) Quick and easy!

  16. I like Pineapple Salsa Chicken, Beans and Cornbread; and we do lots of things with good ole’ potatoes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *