We all know that eating at home is one of the best ways to save money on your food budget and eat healthy, too. But it can get old after a while if you are always making the same meals every couple of weeks.
If you’re anything like us, it can be a struggle to decide what you want to make in your meal plan.
Don’t fall for the “What should we have for dinner?” fight with your significant other or family. Instead, try out these 3 money saving recipes that are perfect for fall.
Don’t worry – we’ve tested them ourselves and if we can make them, you can too!
Whole30 Friendly Vegetable Beef Soup
Using a crockpot to make delicious soups and stews is one of my favorite things about fall. I got this recipe from a friend a few years ago when I was doing a Whole30/Paleo eating challenge, but it’s stayed in my rotation ever since because it’s delicious even if you aren’t eating a Whole30 or Paleo diet. It’s also pretty easy to prepare.
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 1/2 carrots, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced cabbage (or bagged coleslaw mix)
2 cups beef broth
3 cloves minced garlic
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
15 oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 tsp thyme
2 tbs parsley
1 bay leaf
Put all in crockpot on low for 6 hours. Remove bay leaf. Serve.
Sometimes I’ll use other vegetables that I have on hand in my refrigerator. This is a good recipe to use up those last bits of vegetables before they pass their prime. I also love the tomato-y flavor of the broth from the tomato sauce mixed with the beef broth. This makes it better than using beef broth alone to make the liquid base for the soup.
Spaghetti Squash “Pie”
I have to give credit where credit is due, because I’m definitely not a chef (I pretty much fail at any kitchen endeavor). However, I tried this Pizza Spaghetti Pie recipe from PaleOMG a few years ago, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been craving some fall-like food and decided to make it again last week.
I’m an extremely picky eater, and pasta has always been a staple in my diet. Unfortunately, as everyone knows, it’s not the best for you. So when I heard about spaghetti squash, I was intrigued.
Turns out, it’s just a crunchier version of spaghetti, and it’s super versatile because it takes on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking with. So why not make a sort-of pizza with it?
When spaghetti squash is in season, I’ve seen it go as low as 99 cents a pound, and it’s very filling, so the cost per serving isn’t bad. It also heats up amazingly well, so if you’re not the biggest fan of leftovers, don’t worry.
You can easily follow the instructions on the page I linked to – the “hardest” part is slicing the spaghetti squash open, cleaning out the seeds, baking it, and then scooping all of the strands out. But it’s worth it for a healthier meal!
Instead of making it with sausage, I substitute a pound of ground beef with no problem. Other ideas for this recipe include adding some cheese (especially ricotta if you want to go for a lasagna pie), or putting the mixture in a cupcake pan for mini-pies.
I’m sure you could use ground turkey or chicken if you wanted as well, and if you have your own marinara sauce or red sauce, you can use that instead of pizza sauce. There are so many ways to experiment with this recipe, you won’t be bored of it anytime soon.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
I mentioned during this week’s episode that one of my favorite meals to make is chicken tortilla soup. It’s delicious, filling, and perfect for anyone who loves food with Mexican flavors. I use this recipe as the foundation for hearty chicken tortilla soup but I made a few adjustments to make it into my own (just looking at the images used in this post will get your mouth watering).
Basically, here are a few ingredients you’ll need right off the bat:
Red and Green Bell Pepper
Mexican Seasoning Blend (I use a combination of salt, cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper, garlic powder)
It takes about a good 30-40 minutes to prep everything for chicken tortilla soup but on the bright side, you can prepare it in a crock pot or cook it on the stove top for an hour. I usually cook a big batch so we can warm it up and have leftovers for two or three days.
Do you have any fall recipes that you love? Share them in the comments below.