In my family, holidays are a time for deliciousness. Oh how we just love to gather around a table full of sweet fellowship and amazing food. But as a single mom, this presents a bit of a challenge: money. With an extremely tight budget, I’ve had to get creative about how to create the same “holiday” feelings without blowing the month’s budget.
With ever-rising groceries prices, I imagine you’ve felt the same pressure to try and lower your Easter dinner food bill. Is it possible to have an amazing easter dinner and remain within you normal food budget? Of course it is! I’ll show you how to create a frugal Easter menu that feeds a family of 5 for just $11.42. You can’t even eat at McDonalds for that!!
My best tips for a frugal Easter menu—>
Shop your pantry: If you are a frugal shopper all year, you’ll find it easy to keep the cost of a holiday dinner within your budget. The first step in my menu planning process is always to look and see what I might have in the pantry already.
Now, I’m no extreme coupon shopper. You won’t find a basement full of pasta or cereal boxes around here. I simply employ the most basic of grocery savings principles: buy what’s on sale, use a great coupon, and get enough to last you 6-8 weeks. Doing that, I easily feed my family of 5 for around $300-$350 a month.
Shop the sales for weeks in advance: Once I’ve evaluated what I have in the pantry, I shop the sales at my favorite stores to find the items that I want for my holiday menu. Each week, I put aside those things that might be on sale or have coupons until the whole menu has been built. But let’s face it, that’s best case scenario and this year it just didn’t happen for me. So here we are a little over a week before Easter and I need another plan.
Build your menu around the sales: As you read above, this is my plan B, but it’s not a bad plan. In fact, it’s kinda fun! All you need is a list of your local sales and an open mind. This is where my Favado app comes in. Have you seen this amazing app yet? With the Favado app, you simply type in your zip code and they autofill the local stores for you. You can select which store(s) you wish to shop at and the app tells you everything you need to know. You get a list of what’s on sale, AND what has a coupon (both digital and paper).
So this year, I sat down and created a holiday menu using my Favado app. I started with meat. I’m not really a fan of the traditional ham (plus it’s rather costly), so I first chose the meats category of both Publix and Wal-mart to see the sales for this week. Publix had a great sale on chicken, so I knew that would likely be the winner. Next, I went to the “best” deals section for Publix. Coupled with coupons, these deals can be a huge win! And I found the perfect one. Crescent rolls were on sale and there was a good coupon to go with it. My mind immediately went to a favorite menu item, but there was one ingredient lacking. A quick search of the Favado app revealed that Publix had cream cheese on sale and the deal was sealed. I knew immediately that I’d be making a family favorite: Chicken Puffs. We reserve these for special occasions, so I know it will be a delight on Easter Sunday.
The next item on my menu is green bean casserole. I’ll tell you why. First, my kids love it! Second, this time of the year, you will always find green beans, mushroom soup and those yummy crispy onions on sale WITH coupons. So to me, it’s a win-win!
Our next menu item will be sweet potatoes. Whole and natural food is almost always cheaper. I know that we tend to think differently, but it’s true a lot of the time. If I have a little extra money, I will go ahead and make sweet potato casserole (or if I happen to have the nuts and brown sugar in my pantry). But if I don’t, baked sweet potatoes are simply yummy and you can’t beat the price!
This year, we will finish the feast off with my Spring Cookies recipe. With cream cheese on sale and Wal-mart featuring the cake mixes at 50 cents a piece, this is a simple and delicious dessert that will make the family and the budget happy.
Looking for more great menu ideas? Click below for a printable menu and shopping list from Favado!
Our frugal Easter menu—> total cost: $11.42 for family of 5
Chicken Puffs (chicken $4, cream cheese $.75, 2 crescent rolls $1.34) total: 6.09
Green Bean Casserole (green beans $1.00, cream of mushroom soup $.67, french fried onions $.83) total: $2.50
5 sweet potatoes, baked total: $1.08
Spring Cookies (cream cheese $.75, cake mix $.50, butter $.50) total: 1.75
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 oz cream cheese
- Salt and pepper (as desired)
- 2 packages of crescent rolls (8 count)
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 T. butter, melted (optional)
- Boil the chicken in broth for about 10 minutes. Then shred in a stand mixer. Mix shredded chicken with the cream cheese. Add salt/pepper to taste.
- Take 2 crescent roll strips and press the seem together to make a rectangle. Place about 2T of chicken mixture on the rectangle and draw up the sides. Make sure you close all of the seems tightly or the chicken will seep through. Place on a baking sheet. If desired, lightly brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Makes 8 chicken puffs.
This post is sponsored by Favado. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.