Monday, December 11, 2023

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen #2 December 2023 ~ Menu Plan Monday


Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen

My Frugal Week

I've been going over the recipes I intend on making for Christmas, taking into consideration expensive ingredients and making adjustments and changes to more from scratch recipes in order to keep my grocery bill this month under budget.  

One thing I'm doing differently is not buying a ham for Christmas dinner. Instead I am buying a ham steak as that is more than enough for the three of us and considerably lower in cost. I also already bought crescent rolls at the grocery outlet (UGO) for $1.00 each. I'll serve this with broccoli casserole. 

Frugal Fail

On Sunday I made a batch of chocolate nut clusters, but didn't like the end product as it seemed gritty to me. So, back to the drawing board. 

Recipe of the Week

Fool Proof Pie Crust


1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons milk 


Spray your pie plate with cooking spray. 

Toss all the dry ingredients together  in the pie plate. 

Then stir in the wet ingredients. 

Pat the dough along the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. 

Fill with your favorite fruit filling. 

Top with a crumb crust and bake for 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


If you want to bake the empty crust, bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Don't forget to prick the crust all over with a fork, cover crust with aluminum foil, and fill with dry beans to keep it from shrinking and bubbling.

Crumb topping:

Sift together:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cut in 3 tablespoons of cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

What’s for Dinner

Monday ~ Chicken, Fried Okra, and Steamed Carrots. 

Tuesday ~ BBQ Chicken Pizza for movie night.

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday ~ BBQ Country Style Ribs, Hot Potato Salad, Baked Beans. 

Saturday & Sunday ~ Egg Roll in a Bowl, Broccoli and Carrots. 

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

These are the items we have on hand that I can use to make meals this week. Be sure to come back next week to see what sides we serve with these main dishes.

Homemaker at Heart
Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree

~ She looketh well to the ways of her household ~
Proverbs 31:27


  1. That pie crust is like the one I used to make for rhubarb pie, except I crumbled the same thing on the top. My son asked for more 'cookie,' meaning the crust and top. He never cared for fruit pies except for the pastry part. Of course, he had to eat the fruit, too.
    Practical Parsimony

    1. Awwww that is a sweet memory, Linda. I love the pastry part best too especially in a cobbler.

  2. Hi Belinda. Saw a spiral sliced ham in BJ's, $35.00!!! Saw another in Lidl, 25.00. Just about fell over in the stores. Ridiculous prices.
    Take care. Bun

    1. OMG on that ham! Yes, the prices are so shocking to me. I very rarely ever buy a beef roast anymore for that reason. They are all over $20 at the store. I can make other things much cheaper than that!

  3. I like your suggestion for serving a ham steak for Christmas instead of buying a ham. I will see if there are any good sales on ham, but I may end up roasting a turkey since I have a couple of those in the freezer.j
    Your menu sounds good. I haven't made a broccoli casserole in a while so that may be on my menu too. Thanks for the pie crust recipe, maybe I could even make a good pie crust after all.
    My son is wanting to make crockpot candy, so I hope it will turn out well. Ingredients are too expensive if the candy isn't tasty.
    Hope you have a great week. Hard to believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I figured the ham steak would save us money and it did.

      Right?, on the pie crust. I've bought several over the years, but I like this recipe too.

      Turns out, Bailey really likes the candy, so I was really happy about that because I was concerned about wasting ingredients too. You're right, it is too expensive if the candy does not taste well.

      I can't believe Christmas is so close either.

      I hope you have a terrific week. :)

  4. Smart idea on the ham steak. I never really thought of that - it would be great for me. Your meals all sound yummy as usual.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I read that tip somewhere online and decided it would work for us too. The Ham steak was about $3.00, so perfect for us.

  5. I have stack of ham steaks in my freezer from sales but I will buy a ham so we have the leftovers for sandwiches, breakfasts and casseroles. Lidl here has hams for .89 a pound. That is pretty inexpensive meat.

    1. That is a great price for ham, Lana. Using your Christmas ham for leftovers is the smart way to handle a big ham like that. Kudos to you. Some people toss out the ham bone, but there is a lot you can do with that too.

    2. We make ham bone cabbage soup. Delicious!!

      Link for Brenda Lee on the Grand Old Opry special

    3. That sounds so good, Lana. Yum! Thank you ~ I'll be sure to check out the Grand Old Opry video. :)

    4. Oh Lana, she did a good job on that. I love that and she looks really good for her age. :)

  6. I found some nice big hams for 6 dollars each . I bought three!
    I found turkeys for 59 cents a pound and stocked up on those too .
    This is the time to fill those freezers girls!
    I do the same thing every year .
    Saves me a ton of money.
    I used to find big turkey breasts for 6 to 8 dollars each. Not anymore.
    I'm not giving anyone 35 dollars for a ham. Unless they come cook and serve it!
    Our grocery outlet hasn't had any good deals in a while.
    They used to be packed with things.
    I think they are having trouble getting goods. Have a lovely Christmas.

    1. Oh, what a great price on the hams! I would have bought a few of those too. Good deal on the turkeys too. Yes, it is a good time to fill up the freezers. I hope we find some after Christmas to put into our freezer because, like you said, it saves a lot of money.

      Bahaha! Yes, $35 has to include cooking, serving, and cleaning up afterwards. LOL

      Yes, supply chain issues are the case here too at times.

      Thank you and I hop you have a lovely Christmas too. :)

  7. Thanks for the pie crust recipe. My rolled out crusts always tear apart.

    Good idea with the ham slice. When it's just the two of us at Thanksgiving or Christmas, we prefer a baked hen instead of a huge turkey. The cats are the only ones that miss out on scraps with the downsize.

    I keep hoping to catch chunk cheddar cheese on sale for the cheese balls I make at Christmas. It's been on sale, the store is just always out. I keep forgetting to get a rain-check. I guess my mind is blown from all the price increases by the time I get to the check out.

    I hope everyone has a good week. Sky

    1. Thank you, Sky. I hope you have a good week too. I hope you like this pie crust recipe. A chicken is a good idea too rather than a turkey since there are two of you. I got two blocks of cheese last week for the whole month. I usually make cheese balls at Christmas time too, but didn't get cream cheese on our last grocery order, so I'll probably just wait on those.

  8. I think I could actually make that pie crust and have it turn out!!!

    God bless.

  9. Of the nut clusters are just chocholate and nuts is melt I’ll all down in a double boiler and redo them. Worth a try

    1. That’s a good idea, thank you. Bailey has been eating them and likes them, but I’m still going to experiment with them.


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