Frugal Popsicle Ideas

Spring and summer are the best times for popsicles. Sitting on the front porch with the family on a warm evening, enjoying a popsicle, and watching the stars, was one of my favorite things when Skye and Zowie were little.

These popsicles are easy for children to make, though mom or dad may need to cut the fruit for them.

You can make popsicles from these drinks by simply pouring them into popsicle molds bought for $1 per set at a dollar tree, making these very frugal treats for everyone. Pull them out when you hear the ice cream truck approaching.

Liquids for Popsicles

Fruit add-ins for popsicles

Adding fruit to the popsicles will make them extra special.

  • kiwi
  • banana
  • apple chunks
  • pear chunks
  • strawberry chunks
  • raspberries
  • blueberries

What are your favorite popsicle liquids and add-ins? Let us know in the comments.

Shannon

 

 

Fruit and Chocolate Trail Mix

I don’t eat snacks often but, when I do, I’m trying to make healthy choices. These mixes can be placed in small jars and stored in the pantry, so you can quickly grab one when putting together a meal for work or when you want a snack.

Trail mixes are easy to make, and allow me to use up leftovers from other cooking ventures. The chocolate chips are not Paleo, but they are organic – as are the other ingredients.

Ingredients

( 4 (8 ounce) servings)

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

2/3 cup dried cranberry and blueberry mix

2/3 cup slice almond and dried cranberry mix

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands.
  2. Divide between four 8 ounce canning jars.
  3. Cover and place in the pantry.

Notes

  • Use different types of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, for variation.

Serving suggestions

Shannon

 

 

 

 

September Baking Day

I love September because it’s the month I start having huge baking days each year. I had one such day on the 9th. Mind you, it was still quite warm, and I rent a room so it heats up quickly. At this point, the AC is used to keep the temperature regulated on baking days. Soon, it will not be necessary.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015This is what I ended up with at the end of my baking day. Quite a bit, and well worth my time.

  1. I made applesauce in one of the slow cookers, using the red delicious apples I had left from the previous week. All I did was core and peel them, slice ’em up, and layer them in the crock. I covered the slices with water, filling to just above thePhotograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015 tops of the apples, then cooked on high for 3 hours. I ended up with enough applesauce to go with 4 meals. At no added cost for the week because the apples were left over.
  2. I cooked up a batch of this wonderful Apple-Pumpkin Butter (Civilized Caveman Cooking) in the other slow cooker. It came out perfect. I did not add the pecans, because I don’t eat them, but the recipe still came out well. I got almost 3 jars of this, put one in the refrigerator and 2 in the freezer. (This butter is very good on both the muffins and the cornbread below.) (It is also a great topper for Paleo ice cream.)
  3. Pumpkin Muffins (PaleOMG) were next, using another Paleo recipe. Paleo muffin mixes are not going to be exactly like regular ones, but they turned out well. This recipe made 10 muffins. (NOTE: I did not add the chocolate chips, but I bet they are delicious in them. I knew I was using the chips in another recipe, plus already had no-bakes. I didn’t need any more chocolate.)
  4. Then I started the Paleo Cornbread Muffins (Empowered Sustenance). Again, these are not the same as regular cornbread but turned out well. This recipe made a dozen.
  5. And I wanted to have a breakfast on hand that would be quick and easy to put together each morning, so I made some Paleo Pumpkin Pancake batter (Paleo Newbie) and put it in the refrigerator to be cooked up as I wanted, at a rate of 1 pancake per day to go with a smoothie.

My budget for groceries was only $3.00 for the week. A lean week indeed. I bought a package of hot dogs for $.70, a 3-pack of string cheese for $1.00, and a can of peas for $.69. Everything else I already had on hand, except some cucumbers, kohlrabi, a tomato, and zucchini from Mom’s and Lloyd’s garden.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

Lunch was a simple, leftover mixed salad. I topped it with some string cheese. It was a refreshing, light lunch.

 

 

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

And this was dinner. I cooked the hot dogs and peas in a fry pan, and served it with fresh cucumber, tomato, and kohlrabi. This made a few meals.

It was a pretty good meal, despite the hot dogs.

 

 

A couple of days earlier I’d made Chocolate-Coconut No-Bakes (Here on the blog.) and Easy Slow Cooker Taco Meat (Rubies & Radishes). Both recipes were absolutely delicious, and helped me get through the coming week. With all the fresh produce from the garden, there was plenty of food to last.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

This was one of my meals later in the week. Sweet potato topped with leftover taco meat, cucumbers from the garden, and the Paleo cornbread topped with the homemade pumpkin butter. It was a delicious meal.

What are you cooking up this month? Let us know in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I always reply to comments and emails.

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Red, White, and Blue Parfait

A simple treat that can be used as a side to any meal, or a snack, or even as a dessert. And, they are great when served at Patriotic holiday tables. Small children can help with this one as well, if you cut the grapes yourself.

Keep these in the refrigerator until they are ready to serve. The measurements will depend on how many you need to make.

Ingredients

red grapes

blueberries

coconut cream concentrate

pure vanilla extract

  1. Rinse the fruit. Dry carefully with a clean towel.
  2. Halve the grapes.
  3. Combine the coconut cream and 1+ tsp pure vanilla in a bowl, and whisk or beat a couple of minutes to blend well.
  4. Place some blueberries into the bottom of each sundae cup, and a dollop of cream, then add grapes.
  5. Add another dollop of cream to the top, and a few more blueberries.
  6. Refrigerate.

Tips

  • Rather than using grapes, try red apple slices, raspberries, or strawberries. Whatever will allow you to save a little money.
  • Drizzle the top with an easy syrup: Raspberries or strawberries, boiled in water to make a syrup. Do not add sweetener.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at breakfast with pancakes and sausage.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Fruit Salad

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Watermelon Stars

These snacks are so easy to make, and are great fun for children to help with. Be sure to do the cutting with the knife yourself, then set them to making the stars while you prepare the cream.

You will need a medium size star cookie cutter, or a set of different size ones. Set the stars out on a platter, or a large sheet of cardboard covered with aluminum foil.

Ingredients

1 medium watermelon (Because the children will want to eat some while helping!)

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1+ tsp pure vanilla

1/2 to 1 pint blueberries

  1. Rinse the fruit, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Cut the watermelon into slices thin enough so the cutters will go all the way through.
  3. Use star-shaped cookie cutters to cut stars from the watermelon slices, and place on a lined platter (or cardboard!).
  4. Pour the cream into a bowl and add some vanilla. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  5. Spoon a little cream on each star, smoothing it out evenly.
  6. Top each star with a few blueberries.

Tips

  • Try doing the same with honey-dew or cantaloupe sometime.

Serving Suggestions

  • These make great appetizers, or even snacks.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Fruit Salad

Berry Parfait

Don’t forget the take the kids outside with their own watermelon slices, and have a seed spitting contest!

Happy Fourth of July!

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: A Simple Food Platter Idea

What would a Fourth of July celebration be without a food representation of the US flag? This simple platter is placed out at the beginning of the party or picnic, for everyone to snack on until the main foods are brought out.

You are simply going to fill a rectangular food platter with red, white, and blue foods, in such a way that finished platter resembles the US flag.

Ingredients

1 pint blueberries

small watermelon

1 pound strawberries

2 pints raspberries, or another red berry

cheese cubes, enough to fill white lines – mozzarella/provolone/another type

  1. Cut the watermelon into slices. Chop into (about) 1 inch squares
  2. Rinse the berries, and use a towel to gently pat them dry.
  3. Hull the strawberries, and cut them in half.
  4. Place the blueberries into a square, white bowl, just big enough to hold them. Put this bowl in the upper left corner of the platter.
  5. Cut a few cheese cubes into quarters, to place on the berries to act as ‘stars’.
  6. Beginning next to the bowl, at the top of the platter, you are going to add lines – red and white stripes. Start with a line of watermelon for red, then a line of cheese cubes. End with a line of watermelon for red, and a line of cheese cubes above that. In between, use the strawberries as red lines, raspberries as red lines, and watermelon if you need to. Do these separately, so only one type of fruit is in each line. (The order does not really matter.) The white lines will all be cheese cubes.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Tips

  • Place on a table and let everyone enjoy while hanging out.
  • Cut expenses where possible. Look for coupons on cheese. If you notice a sale, most cheeses freeze. A sale combined with coupons will save a lot of money. Some fruits, such as watermelon, can also be bought when on sale and frozen.

You may also be interested in

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Berries and Cream

Easy Burger Options

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Shannon

Banana Chip Trail Mix

Snacks for work need to be easy to grab. I don’t want to waste time in the morning, making something and packing it up. Trail mixes are good options for me.

I’m always coming up with different trail mix ideas for this purpose. Dried fruits and seeds make up the bulk of my trail mixes, and go with my Paleo way of eating. (Remember me posting recipes for the whole30. Paleo is the next step for me. A new way of eating that is making me healthier and aiding in my weight loss efforts.) A variety of nuts can also be added but, if you are living Paleo, remember that peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes and are best avoided.

I store my trail mixes in glass jars that I purchased jellies and fruits in, or in small canning jars. This way, I’m not wasting plastic baggies. The jars last for years, so they are not going into a landfill right after I use up the product I purchased. I  wash them out, and place on a shelf until needed.

This is a simple recipe that will only take a minute to mix up.

Banana Chip Trail Mix

1 cup dried banana chips

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  1. Measure out each ingredient into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it all up.
  3. Scoop into jars, cover, and place on a shelf in the pantry.

Tips

  • Save money by combining coupons and sales.
  • Drying your own fruit will save you even more money.

Serving Suggestions

  • This recipes serves as a great stand-alone snack.
  • Pair with a grilled chicken salad at lunch and vegetables sticks.

 

Enjoy!

Shannon

Quick Snack Idea: Green Peppers and Ranch Dressing

While picking green peppers (which I don’t like) at Moms last week, she mentioned that my niece eats them for snacks.

  1. Cut a green pepper in half and scrape out the seeds.

  2. Cut into strips.

  3. Dunk in ranch dressing and eat.

Happy snacking!

Shannon

Fruity Trail Mix

I love trail mixes. They are easy to make, store, and to carry with you for a quick snack anytime. This is the latest combination of ingredients I’ve been enjoying.

Ingredients

sunflower seeds

yogurt covered raisins

dried pineapple

dried berries

banana chips

dried apple slices

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl.
  2. Store in serving size containers or quart size canning jars.

Tips

  • To save money, use store brand products whenever possible.
  • Drying your own fruit will enable you to save even more money.

Serve Suggestions

  • Serve at lunch with fresh vegetable sticks and a hard-boiled egg or two.

Shannon

Note: I know the yogurt covered raisins aren’t the healthiest, but I don’t think it is necessarily bad to treat yourself once-in-a-while. You just don’t want to make a habit of it.

Ashlee’s Nacho Dip Recipe

Recipe contributed by Ashlee Perro

Ashlee is my niece, and she wanted to contribute this recipe for her nacho dip to Frugal Recipes. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Ashlee!

Ingredients:

1 pkg of cream cheese

a layer of any type of salsa

a layer of any type of nacho cheese

A layer of shredded taco cheese

  1. Get a medium size baking or microwavable dish, about an inch or two deep.
  2. Spread the cream cheese on the bottom so that the bottom of the pac is completely covered.
  3. Add a layer of salsa, spreading until no cream cheese is showing.
  4. Spread the nacho cheese on top of the salsa.
  5. Then spread the taco cheese on top of that.
  6. To Cook: You can cook it in the microwave for about 5-6 minutes or until its hot. Or, you can pre-heat the oven on 325* and bake it for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. After it is cooked,  stir it up to make sure its hot all the way through.

Tips:

  • Save money buy purchasing store or generic brand items, or by coupling sales with coupons.
  • Save even more money by making salsa from your garden produce.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Tastes very good with Cheese Doritos =]