Frugal Foodies

March 29, 2008 in Humble Garden, Local Food


(Depleted cheese course)

What is it about frugal recipe sites on the web – the ones I find are like bad knock-offs of Sandra Lee almost homemade (or whatever) on the Food Network (or is that rip off the other way around?)

Sandra Lee’s formative culinary experiences were around subsistence living off of food stamp/WIC foods that she could get at a CONVENIENCE STORE .. her mom, it seems, was couch-bound and not into feeding the kids so little Sandra Lee had to walk to the local Slurpee-Burpee convenience store to get something for her and her sister to eat. My heart aches for the thought of that little girl taking on so much responsibility. Thing is, now she is making big bux off of presenting similar foods as something more than the stop-gap food that it is.

A lot of frugal recipes I see out there really seem the same – its heavily laden with store-brand oversalted canned veggies and canned meats, day-old white breads and pastries (think of the aging transfats), and velveeta to bind it in the gut.

I am willing to bet that the foods people ate in the great depression did not include a whole lot of velveeta and knock-off brand cans of cream of mushroom soup.

I think we have a lot to learn from elders who coped during the depression.


(Main Course)

Perhaps “Frugal Foodie” is an oxymoron? You tell me. Do I have to have five different iberian jamons hanging in my larder to qualify as a foodie?

These days, due to months of underemployment with no paid health insurance but MASSIVE COBRA payments, we are doing the frugal thing because we need to.

I have never been the “usual” food blogger really. Our family has not gone to a restaurant in more than 2 years and we do not do vacations. My food is all about what I make at home for us to eat, food shot for the portfolio (and to eat), or the important outreach I do to learn more about local sustainable food in the Massachusetts area.

For these reasons, a frugal stretch with the occasional indulgence works ok with this blog.

Our chickens are laying about 9 eggs a day now so thats definitely an ingredient.

Homegrown Free Range eggs - silkies laying now

(Homegrown Free Range eggs)

We just got two little girl baby LaMancha baby goats (which we bartered for) and we will be getting an adult goat LaMancha, in milk, soon so milk products will be available ingredients.

Feeding the new baby goats

(Feeding the new baby goats)

Our garden sprouts are coming along.

Here you can see some early start-corn.. growing like crazy and have been nibbled by cats, unfortunately.

Giant corn sprouts

(Corn Sprouts)

I also planted a mess of spicy and sweet mesclun that will be ready for it’s first indoor harvest not too long from now. I can wait for these and also for the garden as a whole.


(Greenhouse Mesclun)


(Greenhouse Mesclun – close up)

To me, frugal proteins are not animal based (eg: chicken, beef, pork) but rather vegetarian mixes that make for complete proteins (rice and beans, rice and lentils etc). The problem with being frugal is that it CAN get boring if you let it.

3 bowls cookbook review - 1

(Organic lentils on homemade bread)

So, I need your help!

I am interested in hearing about tasty healthy frugal recipes that you know about or sites that you can recommend.