Grilling & Chilling: Our favorite frugal summer BBQ meals + a BBQ scraper giveaway
This post is sponsored by BBQ Scraper. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting TTBH.

Morning friends! How was your weekend? We were at a beautiful wedding on Saturday and rather than recovering from our super late night (think 3am) we were up and busy at 8am Sunday morning. After swimming lessons, a trip to the grocery store and a meeting with a potential daycare for Margsy we headed back to the house to get going on preparing some delicious food for our out guests who arrived at around place right around lunch time for a BBQ. I’m exhausted today but it was oh so worth it! Also, stay tuned for an awesome giveaway in honor of both Father’s Day and the beginning of the grilling season at the bottom of this post!

Grilling and chilling is probably our favorite summer activity. Seriously, nothing beats hanging round the fire pit, sipping cold drinks and grilling up a delicious meal with friends and family. When we lived in the apartment this sort of thing was pretty much impossible. Our place was small, we didn’t have a backyard and cramming a bunch of people onto our back balcony really wasn’t ideal. So, when we were buying our first home our priority was having an awesome backyard space that was inviting and would work well for big cookouts and BBQs.

Well, we got just that and we pretty much entertain every other weekend or so throughout the summer. As a frugal family that means that we’re spending a bit more money on grocery which if you’ve been reading for a little while you’ll know that we’re perfectly okay with because spending quality time with friends and family is important to us. Frugal living isn’t about deprivation folks (have a read of this post if you want even more clarification). I know I sound like  a broken record but frugal living gets a bad wrap when it comes to things like this and I’m all about demystifying those fallacies. Basically, if we feel that what we’re spending money on is important to us then we are perfectly okay with it! So, we entertain a ton because we love catching up with friends and family and spending quality time with them!

When it comes to preparing menus for our cookouts we absolutely apply frugal principles (If you’re interested in how we approach grocery shopping have a read of this post) We’ll never deprive our loved ones but we still try to be as conscious and frugal as possible when it comes to shopping for meals. So, today I want to share a few of our favorite BBQ meals that can feed a bunch of people delicious food on a pretty decent budget! They are all super easy to put together too which is a huge bonus!

Enjoy!

Marinated Chicken: We like to keep things super simple in these parts. Our go to marinade is actually no-name  Italian salad dressing. We marinate our chicken for approximately 24 hours in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator and then grill it up on our BBQ. The awesome thing about preparing chicken this way is that you can marinate any type of chicken: chicken legs, breast, thigh and even wings work really really well. The chicken is always incredibly moist and flavorful.

Grilled potato and red onion salad: After scrubbing potatoes clean I chop them into cubes. I then add some raw red onion and toss everything in a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Once they’re well coated I transfer the potato and onions to a tin foil envelop and pop them on the grill for approximately 20 minutes. When the potatoes are fork tender I remove them from the foil, allow them to cool off and season with some fresh parsley, balsamic vinegar and garlic.

Grilled veggies: Veggies are so versatile and cook up beautifully on the BBQ. When planning a cookout we usually buy whatever veggies we can find on sale: bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, snap peas, green beans etc. Once they’re washed I toss everything into a bowl and season with a little olive oil. I wrap them in tin foil and pop them on the BBQ. Once they’re cooked and cooled off I season with some greek yogurt, garlic and olive oil – salt and pepper to taste of course. Delicious, cost effective and incredibly healthy.

Grilled fruit salad with Mint: We love grilling up fruits like strawberries, watermelon and pineapple. Making fruit kabobs is an incredibly easy twist to make fruit even more delicious. After I’ve cut the fruit into bite sized pieces I toss them in a little vanilla extract and fresh mint. To prepare I just layer strawberries, melon and pineapple and pop on the grill for a few minutes allowing the fruit to develop char marks and just warm slightly through.

BBQ Scraper giveaway

When Mollen Living the awesome people behind BBQ Scraper reached out to me and offered to host this giveaway to one lucky TTBH reader in honor of Father’s Day and the start of grilling season I jumped on the opportunity because not only is their product eco-friendly but it makes cleaning your BBQ safe and easy .BBQ Scraper is 100% natural, as no chemicals or preservatives are used in the process allowing for a completely natural product!

The BBQ Scraper is awesome because it customizes itself to your grill pattern because of its soft wood which makes cleaning your grill a breeze. Once you use it on a hot grill a few times the wood takes on the shape of your grill and does an incredible job cleaning off all that messy gunk. After many many reports of BBQ brushes with bristles being unsafe Mer and I had actually abandoned our own BBQ brush in lieu of using crumpled up tin foil a few years back. In recent years, we were balling up a piece of tin foil and using long BBQ tongues to help guide the foil over the heated grills which although does the job semi-well, often results in singed arm hairs and skin burns. We tried the BBQ Scraper for the first time this weekend when prepping our grill for our friends and family BBQ and we’re hooked! The edge of BBQ Scraper is angled in such a way that grooves start to form into the scraper from it’s first use, quickly customizing to the user’s BBQ. The more it is used the deeper the grooves form until it perfectly surrounds the grilling surface and is able to perfectly clean the grill surface.

To enter the giveaway

It’s easy peasy.

  • Simply answer the question below to be entered to win a BBQ Scraper of your very own!
  • For extra entries tweet, pin and/or share this post on facebook and then post separate comments with the url to each of your shares in the comments below! Each share is an extra entry!
Like this post? Pin it to Pinterest!

 

Contest closes on Friday June 16th at 11:59 P.M. Winner will have a BBQ scraper shipped to them directly from Mollen Living! Open to U.S & Canada! Good luck!

What are your favorite BBQ recipe?

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20 frugal and delicious recipe ideas

One huge misconception about frugal living is that by taking a frugal approach to grocery shopping you consequently cannot eat well.

Food is expensive with fresh produce and meat likely the most costly of the items that make their way into your cart. At the outset of our journey, I vowed that I wouldn’t compromise the quality of the food we eat because what you eat is so important for living a healthy lifestyle. Not surprisingly, we had to get creative when it came to preparing meals because our grocery budget had to last us all week including, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. No exceptions. On average, we’re currently spending under 100$ per week to feed our family of 3.

Below are 20 of our  frugal family favorites. We’ve made each of these recipes and really enjoy them and I hope you do too if you decide to try them!

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[1]

World’s Best Taco Soup from I heart Naptime

Savory Bacon Zucchini Frittata from The Nourishing Gourmet

ShepherdsPieTop

[2]

Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepards Pie from One Ingredient Chef

Cobb salad with Blue Cheese Dressing from 100 Days of Real Food

Sausage, Potato & Pepper Skillet from 5$ Dinners

simple-chicken-coconut-soup

[3]

Coconut Chicken Soup from Frugal Living NW

Sweet Ham & Swiss Sliders from Double the Batch

Loaded Vegetable Soup from Cozy Country Living

Salsa Chicken in the Slow Cooker from The Happy Housewife

[4]

Meatball Parmesan Casserole from Shugary Sweets

Swiss Chard Tomato Quiche from Real Food Real Deals

Slow Cooked Whiskey Molasses Shredded Beef from Frugal Minded Mom

Broccoli Cheese Soup from Don’t Sweat the Recipe

Fish Tacos in a Bowl from Frugal, Debt Free Life

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[5]

Bean and Cheese Burritos from Pink Parsley

Salmon Patties from The Spruce

Quick Chicken Pot Pie from My Recipes

Hamburger Stroganoff from Food.com

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[6]

Salsa Chicken CasseroleSalsa Chicken Casserole from Budget Bytes

Walnut Breadcrumb Pasta from My Recipes

QOD

Have any favorite frugal recipes to share?


Giving credit where credit is due!

1/ http://www.iheartnaptime.net/taco-soup-recipe/

2/ http://www.oneingredientchef.com/sweet-potato-shepherds-pie/

3/ http://www.frugallivingnw.com/healthy-coconut-chicken-soup-recipe-paleo-gluten-free-dairy-free/

4/ http://www.shugarysweets.com/2014/02/meatball-parmesan-casserole

5/ http://www.pink-parsley.com/2011/06/bean-and-cheese-burritos.html

6/ https://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/01/salsa-chicken-casserole/

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Say that 5 times, fast! ha!

Eating good quality, tasty, healthyish and budget friendly food is such an important part of our lifestyle here at This Tiny Blue House. Mer has a big appetite – he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy while although I enjoy my meat and potatoes I tend to prefer more savory combinations of protein and vegetables. Our meal plans are often a mix of both and after some trial and error we’ve settled on a few recipes that satisfy both our palettes and make repeat appearances week after week.

I don’t create recipes – I modify them. So, I take absolutely zero credit for the base recipes I’m providing below. What I am offering is a few frugal hacks to reduce the cost of each dish without sacrificing the quality and taste.

I generally prepare and cook all these dishes on Sundays. I then store them in our fridge and pop them into the oven to reheat as we need them throughout the week. I cannot tell you how much easier this makes life – not only is dinner prepared but there is virtually no clean up.

Mediterranean Chicken from The Clever Carrot

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[Source: 1]

First, we omit the bocconcini altogether. I’m not a fan of melted bocconcini and quite honestly this dish is incredibly tasty and satisfying without it. We then substitute 1 can of artichokes for a can of marinated artichokes (price difference is roughly 2$), using our own oil and spices to marinate the chicken. Chicken thighs are weirdly more expensive than chicken breast in this area so to save a couple of bucks we use breast. Finally, we use frozen herbs from our summer garden instead of fresh.

It produces approx 6 servings so plenty for dinner and leftovers for lunches. It’s Margs approved too. Frugal math tells me that it comes our to roughly 3$ per serving.

Cottage Pie from BBC Good Food

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[Source 2]

This is probably our current favorite since it’s so savory and has such great depth of flavor. I actually found this recipe by accident, decided to give it a try and have continued to make it ever since. To save a a couple of bucks I buy the economy size container of ground beef so I can make two pies at the same time. I also use frozen mixed veggies instead of fresh and sometimes omit the cheese in the potato mash altogether. Frugal math tells me this runs about 2.20$ per serving.

Unstuffed Cabbage Role Casserole from Give Recipe

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[Source: 3]

This is a great recipe that can be eaten as a side dish with a meat protein or by itself. I usually make this once a week and we use it many different ways during the week. It’s great for a quick lunch or to go along side roast chicken for dinner. To frugalize the recipe we often omit the beef altogether and add frozen white beans from our garden instead. Frugal math tells me this runs around 1.00 per serving. Also, we omit the mint because we just don’t do mint in this house.

Pasta e fagioli con Proscuito– due amiche in cucina

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[Source:4]

I actually grew up eating this at least once per week and until very recently I hated it. With the cold weather and lack of time to prepare more complex meals during the week Mer and I have really started to appreciate a hearty bowl of pasta and bean soup. To save some cash we use bacon instead of prosciutto – honestly, prosciutto just tastes funky when cooked so we prefer the bacon. We use frozen garden beans and our own homemade tomato sauce. This recipe essentially costs us a half bag of pasta and a few strips of bacon. Frugal math tells me this sets us back roughly 0.60 cents per serving.

What are some of your go to favorite meals? I love trying new recipes so I would greatly appreciate any that you have to share!


Giving credit where credit is due
[1] http://www.theclevercarrot.com/2013/05/dinner-tonight-mediterranean-baked-chicken/
[2] http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/775643/cottage-pie
[3] http://www.giverecipe.com/unstuffed-cabbage-casserole
[4] http://www.dueamicheincucina.ifood.it/2015/04/pasta-e-fagioli-con-prosciutto-di-parma-e-croste-di-parmigiano-reggiano.html

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