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Easy Crockpot Baked Potatoes

Easy Crock Pot Baked Potatoes (with or without foil)
by Michelle Jones, Founder @BetterBudgeting

Potatoes cooked in crock pot, with a pat of butter and dried chives.

Category: Recipes, Frugal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

Potatoes often get a bad rap with dieters but they are actually very nutritional and a staple food for most frugal families. Potatoes, a root vegetable, are rich in vitamins, essential minerals, and dietary fiber. They contain vitamin C, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B12), folate (vitamin B9), magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc. Red, Purple, and Russett varieties also contain vitamin A and antioxidant flavonoids. In addition, potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, and low calorie.

OVEN: When you're cooking other items in the oven it's easy to wrap potatoes in a bit of foil and place around the rack edges. (I love to bake them at 475 for about an hour, without foil, just butter and salt.)

MICROWAVE: You can also microwave potatoes for about 4 minutes for a tender and super fast spud.

CROCK POT: However, if you'd like to cook them slow in the crock pot for dinner tonight while you go about your busy day, try this recipe.

It's so simple it will make you smile! :o)

How to cook potatoes in the crock pot.


4-6 potatoes (Russett or Idaho)
Butter or olive oil (omit if desired)
Sea salt (if no butter or oil is used, leave washed potatoes slightly damp so the salt will stick)
Pepper (if desired)


Wash potatoes and pat dry. Prick the top side of each potato with a fork about 3 times. (Not sure why 3 times, I've just done it this way for 30 years. HA) Rub potato skins with a little bit of butter or olive oil, or whatever oil you prefer, then a pinch of sea salt and pepper, if desired. Though it is not necessary to wrap the potatoes in foil, you can if you really want to. It's okay. (My family likes them either way!)

Place potatoes in crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.



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Shepherd's Pie with Red Bell Peppers

Shepherd's Pie Recipe with Red Bell Peppers at FrugalFamilyRecipes

Shepherd's Pie with Red Bell Peppers
by Michelle Jones, Founder @BetterBudgeting

Category: Recipes, Frugal, Dinner, Beef
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

I've been making variations of this frugal dinner for my family for more than 20 years, it's just that GOOD! Though traditionally made with lamb, we prefer ground beef, and, HOMEMADE mashed potatoes. This yummy dinner is easy on the budget and easy to make, it just requires a bit of time. If you wash dishes and clean up as you go, that will help!


2 pounds lean ground chuck (or ground turkey)
Olive oil
Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large Vidailia sweet onion, chopped
1 each of red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, chopped in large chunks
Brown gravy mix (enough for 2 cups of gravy)
6 med-large potatoes, cut into quarters, boiled and drained
2 T. butter
Salt and pepper
Cheddar cheese, shredded


In large skillet, brown ground beef and drain. While browning ground beef, in 2 separate pans with a drizzle of olive oil, saute sliced mushrooms in one, and the onions and bell peppers together in the other.

browned ground beef and mushrooms in skillet

When ready, stir the mushrooms into cooked and drained ground beef (NOT yet on the peppers, let them continue to simmer on low heat). Next, to the ground beef mixture, add brown gravy mix with 2 cups water (or as directed on pkg.). Heat until gravy is thickened, then simmer while preparing mashed potatoes.

How to Make Homemade Mashed Potatoes...

When potatoes become fork tender, drain and place into mixing bowl while still hot.

mashing potatoes in mixing bowl

Mix on med-high speed until fluffy.

creamy mashed potatoes in mixing bowl

Add 2 T. butter and salt/pepper as desired. Add a splash of milk and continue mixing until potatoes are smooth.

red, yellow, and orange bell peppers

In a 10x13-inch baking dish, layer beef mixture, then the sauteed onions and bell peppers.

beef, veggies, and potatoes layered in baking dish

Spread mashed potatoes over veggies evenly, gently drag fork over potatoes if desired, then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Shepherd's Pie with Red Bell Peppers at FrugalFamilyRecipes



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Crispy Barbecue Chicken Wings with Lime Marinade

Crispy Barbecue Chicken Wings with Lime Marinade
by Michelle Jones, Founder of

Here's another dinner we now make at home saving big bucks. We've cooked chicken wings in many different ways, including garlic, Teriyaki, and our favorite barbecue sauces. Here's our latest favorite.

Have to give credit to hubby for this one, he just takes it to the next level... and they are SOOOO GOOD!!!


Fresh or frozen chicken wings and/or drumettes (thawed completely)


In a large bowl, mix together the following ingredients

1/2 c. olive oil
2 limes, juiced and zested
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. smoked paprika
1 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and crushed black pepper

Additional sauce, if desired...
Buffalo (mild or hot)
Sauteed garlic w/butter or olive oil


Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing


Place marinade and chicken wings in sealed container, toss to coat wings evenly, place in fridge overnight. Remove wings from container when ready to cook. Place on broiler pan or baking sheet with rack. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until almost done.

Remove wings from oven and deep fry in hot oil (350) for 2 minutes or until crispy. Drain wings on paper towels, sprinkle with Kosher salt, then place in large bowl and toss with favorite sauce. Serve wings with dressing on the side.

Note: This marinade is so good, you can even skip the extra sauce. However, the wings are really wonderful with both!

Enjoy!!! :o)


Old Fashioned Creamed Potatoes

Old Fashioned Creamed Potatoes Recipe by FrugalFamilyRecipes

Old Fashioned Creamed Potatoes - Like Grandma Used to Make!
by Michelle Jones, Founder @BetterBudgeting

Category: Recipes, Frugal
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Here's another frugal family recipe that I should probably make more often because they are just so good! Creamed potatoes are a Southern delicacy. They are also easy to make, easy on the grocery budget and a nice change from regular baked and mashed potatoes. I learned how to make creamed potatoes from my mother-in-law many years ago and I'm sure she would love my version too. They are still just as creamy and prepared like grandma used to make, only with a little more seasoning. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!


2-3 lbs small red potatoes, washed and peeled
4 T. butter
1 T. bacon grease
1 tsp. each, sea salt and fresh ground pepper
4 c. water
1/2 c. milk


In a large pot, add butter and bacon grease (reserved from making bacon), then set aside. Cut potatoes into large chunks, they will be smaller after cooking. I generally cut the very small red potatoes into quarters and the larger ones a bit more. Place cut potatoes in pot. Add salt and pepper. Cover potatoes with water (if 4 c. is not enough, add more). Bring to boil over med-high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

As potatoes begin to cook, lower heat and continue cooking until they are very soft. At this point you will need to stir them gently so they do not turn into complete mush. They will be soft, but you want them to remain in chunks. Once the water has thickened like gravy the potatoes are ready (total cook time approximately 45 minutes). Remove from heat, add milk, stir gently, and serve warm.

Creamed Potatoes Recipe by FrugalFamilyRecipes

Oh my goodness, they are just SO GOOD! Did I tell you that already? ;o)



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Easy Crab and Pasta

Easy Crab and Pasta
by Michelle Jones, Founder @BetterBudgeting

Category: Recipes, Frugal, Dinner
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 -6 servings

Here's a quick and easy frugal recipe that my husband came up with years ago. This recipe makes a light meal, but its also quite filling. And, its delicious!


16 ounces spaghetti (regular or whole grain), cooked and drained
3 T. butter (you can also use olive oil, or half of each)
1 pkg. imitation crab meat
Salt and pepper


Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in crab meat. Cook to heat through, about 3-5 minutes. Add drained pasta and gently toss with crab mixture until combined. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Serve warm.



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Crescent Quiche with Ham and Turkey

Crescent Quiche
by Reader Recipes @BetterBudgeting

Category: Recipes, Frugal
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 - 6 servings

In my endless search for a good casserole this one turned out quite delicious, easy to prepare, and economical.  Hope you enjoy!


1 roll tube of crescent rolls
Any type of lunch meat, approx. 1/2 lb (I used sliced ham and turkey)
1 cup shredded cheese (any type you like, divided into 3rds)
1/4 cup each of banana peppers and bread & butter pickle slices
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. dried italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried dill
1/4 tsp. salt

You will need an 8x8-inch pan. First, open crescent rolls and separate in half, keeping triangles together press half of dough into bottom of your pan. Then sprinkle 1/3 of shredded cheese over dough, then begin layering your lunch meats, evenly spread banana peppers and pickles & sprinkle another 1/3 of cheese. In a bowl whisk eggs, milk and spices, then pour 1/2 of the mixture over casserole, place the other half of dough on top. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top, then sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese.

Lightly cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes. If center is still 'liquidy', place foil back on and bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with a green salad.

Submitted by Gina Siska

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Peanut Butter Grahams with Chocolate Drizzle

Peanut Butter Grahams with Chocolate Drizzle
by Michelle Jones, Founder of

Peanut Butter Grahams by FrugalFamilyRecipes

Category: Frugal Recipes, Desserts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


4 graham cracker halves
4 T. peanut butter
Whipped dairy topping (store brand)
Hershey's chocolate syrup


Place 4 graham cracker halves on a serving plate. 

Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on the top side of each graham cracker. 

Top with 4 dollops of whip cream in the center of each covered cracker.

Drizzle chocolate syrup over whipped topping, either individually or all together (see our photo above).



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