Autumn Turkey Soup

This is an easy recipe that can be served on a cold, autumn evening. Served in a pumpkin bowl, this recipe will add a decorative touch to the dinner table.


water and/or vegetable stock or broth

bite size cubes of pumpkin

bite size cubes of two different kinds of squash

bite size cubes of potato

bite size cubes of sweet potato

chunks of leftover turkey

1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic

fresh or dried parsley

fresh or dried rosemary

  1. Pour the liquid into a pot, and add the pumpkin, squash, and potatoes, as well as the diced garlic.
  2. Allow to cook most of the way, then add the turkey.
  3. Add the parsley and some rosemary to taste.
  4. Pour into pumpkin bowls and serve.


  • Purchase stock or broth on sale, as store brands.
  • Better yet, make your own.  This will save even more money.
  • Use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to save more money.
  • Use organic herbs and produce from your garden for the ultimate savings.
  • Roast the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle them over the stew once it is poured into the bowls.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with a fruit salad.

What autumn stews are favorites of your family?


Homemade Chicken Soup

When my siblings, cousins, and I were young, our Nan had a standard chicken soup she would sometimes make. If one of us was sick and wanted her to make a soup, she would cater it to our particular likes. Did you have someone who would do the same for you?

While chicken soup is good on a cold winter day, it is also satisfying any time you’re not feeling well or when you need comfort food. Homemade is best, especially when made with homemade chicken stock. I do not have measurements for this particular recipe.


Chicken or vegetable stock

Chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces

Diced potatoes

Diced carrot

Parsley, chopped fresh

Garlic, chopped fine

  1. Pour the stock into a pot and add the chicken and vegetables.
  2. Add the garlic.
  3. Cook on high until boiling, then lower to medium heat and continue cooking until carrots and potatoes are tender.
  4. Add the parsley five minutes before done.
  5. Remove from heat.


  • Add chopped celery and onion during step one.
  • Add pasta in time for it to cook thoroughly.

Serving Suggestions



4 Meat Chili with Butternut Squash

I never was a fan of chili, until I started trying to live a Paleo lifestyle. At that point, in my ongoing search for the perfect Paleo recipes that would be absolutely delicious and satisfying, I came across a chili recipe that looked like it had potential. I tweak, and keep changing it up.

Chili can be made in so many ways. I like to change-up the meats I’m using, and am experimenting with other add-ins as well, as you’ll see here. I use as many organic ingredients as I can, but budgeting is necessary.

(You may also like the one here.)


2 (3-qt) crock pots

2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil (If you need to brown meat before adding to the crock.)

4 pounds of assorted meats, 1 pound each (I buy what is most affordable.)

3 cans organic diced tomato

2 cans organic tomato paste

1 cup diced butternut squash, sweet potato, or organic pumpkin puree

3 Tablespoons chili powder

3 Tablespoons cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons parsley

2 teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup of organic beef/vegetable broth

  1. Brown the meat (if necessary) in about a tablespoon or two of coconut oil. Drain, and split between two 3-qt crock pots.
  2. Chop the any other meats and split between the crocks.
  3. Pour the diced tomato (including liquid) and squash over the meats.
  4. Add a can of tomato paste to each.
  5. Add the oregano, parsley, and spices, splitting each equally between the two crocks.
  6. Pour half cup of beef broth over the contents of each crock, and cover.
  7. Heat on low 6 or 7 hours/high 4-5 hours. Turn the slow cooker off.


  • Buy ingredients when they are on sale; specially the meats and spices. If you can afford to stock up at that time, do so to be prepared for future meals.
  • Combine sales with coupons when possible, to save even more money.
  • Use produce for your own garden for even more savings, and better quality and taste.
  • Try using different combinations of meats.
  • Experiment with different types of vegetables.
  • Freeze the leftovers, and use them to create new recipes.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve over spaghetti squash, with cucumber rounds and carrot sticks on the side.


Crock Pot Meal: Pork and Vegetables

Have I mentioned that I love to cook? I look forward to having a day off from work because I know I’ll be making good food to have during the busy week ahead. This recipe was made a couple of weeks back, and came out tasting delicious.

The carrots were free, from my parents garden. I rarely eat pork, but decided to that week.

Pork and Vegetables

(Made 5 lunch meals for me)

2 large sweet potatoes
5 or 6 small carrots
1 lb boneless pork chops

water or vegetable stock

  1. Wash the vegetables; pat them dry with a clean towel.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and take the end off the carrots.
  3. Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces, placing the pieces into the crock.
  4. Place the pork over the vegetables. No need to cut the pork, as it will cook long enough for it to pull apart easily.
  5. Pour water or vegetable stock over the ingredients, and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or low 6 to 7 hours.


  • Try different vegetables, such as Idaho potatoes, carrots, and squash.
  • Grow what vegetables you can to save money.
  • To save even more, buy meat when there is a sale.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve with a side salad of greens.



Autumn Sausage Slow Cooker Meal

Autumn is here, and I’m using the slow cooker more and more. I love this time of year! The beautiful colors. The smell smoke from a wood stove here and there while out walking. And the aromas coming from kitchens as people are baking and cooking.

The squash I used in this recipe came from my parents garden, and it was delicious. I also used some of this squash when making the Butternut Squash and Carrot Mash.


2 carrots
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 small-medium butternut squash
19.5 ounces beef sausage

beef broth to cover (or you could use water)

  1. Rinse the vegetables.
  2. Cut the ends off the carrots, and peel the sweet potato and squash. Save the carrot ends and sweet potato peels in an odds and ends bag in the freezer, to be used when making homemade stocks and broths. Throw the rest out or compost it.
  3. Cut the vegetables into bite size chunks and place them into the crock.
  4. Add the sausage after cutting it into bite size pieces.
  5. Pour beef broth or water over the contents of the crock.
  6. Cover and cook. High = 3 hours/Low = 5 or 6 hours. Carrots should mash easily with a fork.


  • Try different types of squash. Acorn is a good one, and there are others.
  • There are also different varieties of carrots.
  • Grow your own vegetables to save money.
  • Use coupons combined with sales when buying sausage to save even more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a side salad of greens, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes.

You may also enjoy

Thanksgiving Leftovers – Yum!

Harvest Salad



A Good, Healthy Lunch, on a Budget

Earlier I showed you a typical breakfast. Now I’m showing an example of a budget friendly lunch. This is not necessarily a typical lunch for me, as one usually consists of a salad, a piece of fruit, and some type of protein. But this was an affordable option for me a couple of weeks back. It worked and, while not 100% Paleo, it filled me up for the cost.

The picture shows what I had, except for the beverage.

Orange sections, left over from a pitcher of fruit water I made. (Try this water recipe for something refreshing to go along with this lunch.)

Peas in pods, carrot rounds, celery, broccoli, tomatoes

4 slices of ham

4 slices of cheese

I wasn’t sure if this would keep me full or not, but it held me over just fine. I did have a few cups of water in between lunch and dinner, so that may have helped.

What healthy lunches do you make when your budget is tight? I rarely eat grains and dairy, so I’m always on the look out for Paleo type lunches.


Pineapple, Chicken-Beef Soup

Previously I posted my Pineapple Kielbasa Soup. It is a tasty recipe that does not require much prep time.

The recipe in this post is almost the same, but I used two different types of sausage: Chicken and Beef. The combination made for a delicious soup this time around as well. I was pleased.


20 ounce can of pineapple chunks, or you could use a fresh pineapple

13-16 ounces of beef sausage, cut into bite size pieces

13-16 ounces of chicken sausage, cut into bite size pieces

water or chicken stock

desired herbs, such as parsley

  1. Put the pineapples into the slow cooker. If it is canned pineapple, the juice can go in with it.
  2. Add the sausage and enough water or stock to fill the slow cooker 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  3. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or on high 4 hours.
  4. 10 minutes before serving, and any herbs desired.


  • Purchase store brand canned pineapple and corn to save money.
  • Use home canned versions to save more.
  • Try other types of sausage for something new.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this soup with a side salad of greens and cherry tomatoes.


Ground Beef and Vegetables

This recipe calls for the use of leftover baked white and sweet potatoes, as well as a few other ingredients. It’s easy to make, and the other ingredients could also be from leftovers if you had enough available. It is a simple recipe that will not take long to make.


3/4 lb ground beef

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter

1 to 1 1/2 cups peas

2 cold baked sweet potatoes, chopped

1 cup chopped squash

desired seasonings

  1. Melt the fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until done, cutting the beef into small pieces as it browns.
  2. Drain off the access fat, then put the beef back into the pan.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook until warmed through, stirring as needed.
  4. Add seasonings. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat.


  • There is no need to buy peas if you have other leftover vegetables that can be substituted. Try carrots or celery.
  • Use fresh produce whenever possible to save on the food bill.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a fruit salad, such as watermelon and cantaloupe balls with mint.
  • Or, serve with a side salad of Romaine lettuce, cucumber and tomato.

Do you have a favorite recipe similar to this? Share with us in the comments below, or message me privately at



More Hamburger Helper Add-Ins

(Update 2017) I’ve gone back and forth for a year now about whether I should keep the Hamburger Helper posts and the like on the site. On the one hand, they are the most popular posts on the blog. Every day, more and more people check these posts out. On the other hand, they are so unhealthy even with the good stuff added. And this blog is supposed to be about eating healthy on a budget. What to-do, what to-do?

Well, I decided to leave them. For now. My figuring is that if people are adding the good stuff then they are benefiting somewhat on the health side. And those people may need to cut corners more than others. So the hamburger helper ones are staying. At least until I can figure out how else to get that information to people.


On March 8, 2009, I made a post here called Hamburger Helper Add-Ins. Ever since, the post has been one of the most popular each month. I decided to add some more ideas to the mix in a new post, but be sure to read through the comments of the original post because plenty of readers have given ideas for add-ins as well.

Meats are the main add-in, at anywhere from 3/4 to 1 pound. There are a variety of meats that can be used in a hamburger, not just ground beef. You could also switch up other helpers using these ideas.

  • sausage
  • ground beef & ground sausage
  • moose meat
  • deer meat

Vegetables add a boost of nutrition to an otherwise not considerably healthy meal. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables per pan. You may need a bit larger pan.

  • carrots, peas, & celery
  • green beans & broccoli
  • white potato & sweet potato
  • sweet potato, squash & peas
  • celery & carrots
  • diced tomato & fresh spinach

You might also decide to add extra flavor to your helper meal. Try one or more of these seasonings.

  • parsley
  • oregano
  • chives
  • rosemary
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Do you have one or more favorite add-in combinations? Let us know in the comments.


Tasty Beef Soup

Don’t know about you, but I love soups. Each winter I try to come up with one or two new variations. This is what I came up with a couple weeks back. Let me know what you think, and try some of your own recipes.


2 pounds beef stew meat

4 russet potatoes, rinsed and chopped into bite size pieces

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

2 carrots, rinsed with tops cut off

1 can diced tomatoes, with juices

1 can vegetable or beef broth

2 tablespoons basil

water, if necessary

  1. Place the root vegetables in the crock of a slow cooker.
  2. Put the meat on top, then pour the can of tomatoes over everything.
  3. Add the can of broth, then use water to fill the crock about 2/3 full.
  4. Cook on low 4-5 hours, or on high about 3 hours.
  5. About 20 minutes before you are done cooking, add the basil and give the soup a good stirring.


  • Try different vegetables, such as turnip or parsnip.
  • Grow what you can in your garden to save money.
  • Grow herbs on a windowsill year round.
  • Save money by using the potato skins and carrot tops for something else.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a salad of greens and cucumbers.
  • Use the carrot tops in smoothies, salads, or like an herb to flavor other dishes.
  • Use the potato skins to make sour cream and chive topped potato skins. (I don;t eat sour cream often, but do consider it a treat once in a while.)