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. Oh how I looove the title ‘Comfy in the Kitchen’. This is my recent great desire to be exactly that. Funny when I was a teenager I liked trying to cook different things but then grew away from the kitchen for whatever reasons. Years later now I really think I should try to work my way back in ’cause I am at the rediculous non-cooking level….so I am looking fwd to check-ing out the recommened website and also the ebay book…they dont seem to be intimidating for a non-cooker :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anything that can be frozen I double up on. Or if I’m making rolls, I freeze those too. You can freeze any bread product. Or crockpot meals, make more and then freeze. That way you can use your fresh stuff, but still have meals later. It doesn’t just sit in your fridge and you get sick of eating it. Just freeze what was left!

    I’ve been meaning to make crockpot oatmeal for some time!

    I’d love to win the gift card. Thanks for great posts.

  3. I like to do twice a month cooking. I look to see what proteins are on sale then I plan meals around them. I eat paleo so I don’t keep many pantry staples on hand. I take a day and prepare about 6-8 meals. I portion them and freeze them for later with instructions so that if I need to give one to another family or have my kids make the meal it is already all written out for them. I can’t wait to try the oatmeal out on my kids though (They don’t eat paleo strictly and I love my crockpot.). Thanks so much!

  4. Love Target and would love to win the gift card! Bought almost all of the shower and wedding gifts for my son and daughter-in-law at Target. Great store! Love your website too. It’s a new one for me and I quickly bookmarked it!

  5. BEANS!! Very cheap food, lots of protein, and can be used in many ways. I’ve also found that the Pinterest site has lots of money-saving recipes from other women that want to make good food but save a few cents. Would love the Target card:)

  6. My favorite summer recipe dessert is key lime pie and you only need 3 ingredients and 2 graham cracker pie shells – quick and easy. 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 12 oz cool whip, 4 oz of lime juice – mix together with a spoon and pour into the 2 pie shells, refrigerate for about an hour before serving. It’s a cool, light, refreshing and yummy pie for the summer and you have 2 pies to share with friends. Enjoy!

  7. My favorite frugal recipes are stews…they can stretch- especially with some homemade warm rolls from the oven…our three favorites? Ham,carrot and potato stew – homemade potato, bacon and cheddar stew – also homemade broccoli cheese and potato soup/ stew…mmmmm it is cold and rainy here- perfect time for one of these stews!!

  8. I love this oatmeal recipe! I did a poor job of planning the water-bath tho – got everything ready to go and the lid didn’t fit well with my smaller crock inside! It was still yummy :) but required a little more attention than a crockpot should. Guess I need a bigger crockpot… :)

  9. Breakfasts for dinner help with our food budget occasionally. I also plan a “leftover buffet” into our weekly meal plan.

  10. I don’t have a lot of thrifty recipe ideas. That’s probably why my grocery bill is so high! I do save leftover veggies in a freezer container and make soup with them when the container is full. Can’t wait to try some of these recipes.

  11. When in a hurry I open a can of hominy, drain it & add a can of chili with or without beans Top with grated Colby cheese & bake 20 minutes @ 350 degeees So easy & is fast & delicious! A true Texan recipe! :) Also make a gravy & add albacore white tuna drained Serve over toast & a chopped boil egg on top & fruit cocktail on he side in a bowl I try to always set my tabe nice with a candle & flowers when in season:) Your ideas are really great Thank you!!! Blessings, Donna

  12. I make meals where there are leftovers and we either eat them the next day or freeze them for another time. Very helpful on those busy days to be able to re-heat something. You can make a double batch of something in a larger crockpot and have plenty for several meals. Thank you for the tips and recipes.

  13. Great recipe ideas. I usually make omelets for Sunday morning before we head to church. I take our leftover ham and put it into individual baggies so that when I’m frying up my onions I just throw a baggie of ham into it. Also makes great fried potatoes. We are a pretty big family and I’m always looking for ways to cut costs. Thanks. :)

  14. Most anything in the crockpot. I have recently started making crockpot freezer meals which is great for meal planning and very little time to be spent in the kitchen which is nice especially on those days that you are tired or don’t really feel like cooking.

  15. We grow our own veggies so there’s nothing more frugal that eating stirfry veggies and salad gathered right from your own yard. I also make taco meat in large batches…you can do lots of things with it. Plus my son loves it in his lunch with homemade salsa and chips. :)

  16. I have found there is little difference the end costs of boneless chicken breast on sale at $1.99 v/s bone-in/skin on breasts at $.99/lb so to save time I purchase several packages of boneless breasts when they are on sale and freeze them in singles or pairs for my daughter and me. I make “forgotten chicken” which can be placed in the oven and cooked at a low temp for a few hours with no problem. I use 2-4 chicken breasts, 1 can ea cream of chicken and celery or mushroom soups, 1 can water, 1 pkg instant onion soup mix, and 2 cups Minute rice. Butter or spray casserole dish, mix soups, water and rice and pour into baking dish. Lay breasts on top and sprinkle pkg of soup mix over the top. COVER WITH FOIL!! Bake slow at 250 for 3hr (I use this for church) or at 350 for an hour. If I use 4 breasts I will add an extra can of water and cup of rice. I will also add some garlic or other seasonings to the rice blend to “get fancy with it” as my daughter says! Comes out really tender and is not expensive at all. I have really enjoyed this week’s series and have been truly blessed and inspired by all you ladies who have contributed!! Thank you!

  17. The oatmeal is wonderful! Thanks. Just getting started with cooking on a budget. Have always eaten out way too much. I’m really excited about being more healthy AND saving money!

  18. I’m a Mama to 7 blessings and I’m always looking for ways to save money in the kitchen feeding my crew! The oatmeal in the crockpot looks like something I will try!

  19. I love to make pots of soup; one favorite is stuffed green pepper soup. It goes far and is economical to make.

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