10 Frugal Cooking from Scratch Recipes

It’s no secret to most that know my family in real life that we love food in this house. With hungry kids though, I’ve had to learn how to make some frugal cooking from scratch recipes to keep up with their appetites. I want to share with you my favorite foods to make from scratch.

frugal from scratch recipes

Cooking from scratch has saved me so much money over the years. But I’m going to be straight up honest with you – there are times in my life I need to take a break from strictly making food from scratch. I’ve found there are moments in my life that I feel exhausted from a busy season and the thought of making everything from scratch is overwhelming.

But usually I’ll take a bit of a break and then I’ll jump back into it. And the great thing is, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing kind of thing. You can make your soup from scratch (a really great meal that can be hearty and filling but can also stretch your food enormously to feed your crew) and buy your bread from the store.

Or you can make bread from scratch once every couple weeks and buy bread in between. Even some supplementation of from scratch recipes can help save you money.

Because, the truth is, many convenience foods really aren’t cheap.

But, with that truth comes another truth – It isn’t ALWAYS cheaper to make your own either.

I discovered this with pizza. I would make my own, but cheese and pepperoni are not cheap where I live. While the pizza I make at home is cheaper than buying pizza for takeout at a pizza place, it was actually cheaper for me to buy pre-made pizza in the bakery section of our grocery store that I just had to pop into the oven when I got home.

Of course, we still love homemade pizza as well because it tastes better, but now I mix it up as opposed to just making it all from scratch.

But there’s definitely meals that you will save a ton of money with by making it from scratch, like soups, stews, chilis, baked goods such as muffins and quick breads, and baked oatmeal instead of cereal.

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I also go through various seasons where I make more from scratch due to the weather. It’s easier to fire up the oven in the winter and make homemade bread and baked goods. But I don’t want to heat up the house anymore than it already is in the middle of summer, so I generally don’t bake too much in those hot months. If you do want to do that though, a good idea is to bake early in the morning when it isn’t too hot yet.

Of course, I’m pretty much a walking contradiction because while I won’t bake too much in the heat of the summer, I’ll sweat over a boiling pot of water while I can all my jams, tomato sauces, and pickles.

Anyways, today I’m going to share with you 10 frugal cooking from scratch recipes that you can make to save some cash, and let’s be honest – cooking from scratch tastes that much better!

10 Frugal Cooking from Scratch Recipes



Granola is so expensive in the store. It also only comes in a very small bag where I live and I have three kids so that just won’t do. It would be gone after one meal or snack. When we have granola in our house it’s always homemade and we use this recipe.


Potato soup

Potato soup is the king of all frugal recipes in my opinion. You can make it just with potatoes mostly if you are on an extremely tight budget, or you can add things like bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions to the top of it. It’s also a great crowd pleaser so if you have company coming it’s a very cost effective meal. Here’s the recipe.


Amish Oatmeal

Cereal is expensive, and I hate to admit it but we buy cereal because it’s super easy and I don’t function well in the morning. But Amish oatmeal is a great alternative to cereal. Oatmeal is a good breakfast food for kids as well because it doesn’t leave them feeling empty like cereal does. We add apples and cinnamon to ours but you really could add in a bunch of different things. I like to make this recipe the night before (because, as stated above, mornings and I don’t go well together.)


Rosemary Garlic Skillet Rolls

These dinner rolls are a cheap side to make and they are a favorite around here. Fresh bread is always welcome in my house. The only downside with making fresh bread is that you become a bit of a bread snob because NO OTHER bread tastes as good as fresh bread out of the oven. If there’s any recipe you try on this list, this is the one you want to do.



Again, another great dish that stretches and feeds a crowd, or leaves enough leftovers for the next day. You can make it in the slow cooker or on the stove. This recipe goes really well together with the Rosemary Garlic Skillet Rolls.


Roasted Whole Chicken

Learning how to roast a whole chicken is a life skill everyone should have. This is a really frugal food to make because depending on the size of your chicken you may possibly get 3-4 meals out of just ONE chicken. Check out this tutorial on how to do it complete with a few ideas of what meals you can make out of it.


Pan fried Pork Chops

We buy a big pork loin and we slice it into pork chops which makes it a lot cheaper than if we had bought the pork chops already sliced up for us. We marinate them and I’ll tell ya, marinating them makes them taste amazingly tender. We cook this recipe either in a pan or grill them on the BBQ.


No Knead Artisan Bread

This recipe takes four ingredients, and aside from sitting overnight, it takes about ten minutes to mix together.  It’s super simple to make, but also pretty cheap.  Not only that, but this bread makes it look like you spent all day slaving away in the kitchen.  No one has to know just how simple it is.  Grab the recipe here.


Chicken Bone Broth in the Slow Cooker

Chicken broth is one of those foods that is super healthy to make and insanely easy to whip up, yet so many of us buy it from the store instead.  The thought of making your own broth feels labor intensive, but it really isn’t.  See how to do it right here.


Homemade yogurt

Another cheap and easy dish you can make at home, and the homemade version is much better for you than the store bought yogurt.  People have different techniques when it comes to making homemade yogurt, but this is how I do it.

Try these foods to make from scratch and save money

Cooking from scratch has so many benefits. You’ll save money, but it’s also often healthier as it doesn’t have all the added preservatives that convenience foods have. Plus, you’ll love how it tastes. Homemade frugal food doesn’t feel cheap, it often feels like you are eating like a king on a peasant’s budget!

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