Category Archives: DIY & Recipes

10 Weeks of Easy & Budget-Friendly Dinner Recipes

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Lots of inspiration for getting dinner on the table! Easy and budget friendly recipes for dinner on the cheap.

Readers often ask for easy, budget-friendly dinner recipes here at The Frugal South. So today I’m sharing LOTS of recipes in one post!

For a year I shared my weekly dinner meal plan here on the blog. I made affordable, healthy, and easy dinners a habit, so now I have a huge collection of go-to dinners that I make regularly!

So here’s ten weeks’ worth of my favorite dinner recipes from my year of meal planning…

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Disney Blue Glowtini Recipe

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This post was originally published on June 24th, 2015.

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I took this picture with my old cell phone on the first trip my husband and I took together to Disney World in 2010. I had this amazing Blue Glowtini at the Victoria Falls Lounge at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was such a memorable drink that I tried to replicate it when we got back home when we had some friends over.

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How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract {Photo Tutorial & Tips}

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This post was originally published June 19, 2015 and has been updated. 

Seven years ago my friend Brooke gave me a jar of homemade vanilla extract. I haven’t bought any vanilla extract from a grocery store since then! I discovered that homemade vanilla extract tastes so much better in recipes and is WAY cheaper than store-bought.

So here are the simple instructions for making your own.

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How to Make Homemade Yogurt {Photo Tutorial & Tips}

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I love fancy organic yogurt but I can’t stomach the price tag. $5 for a quart of yogurt is just pure craziness to me.

I’ve learned how to make my own yogurt at home for less than 1/3 of the cost of store-bough organic yogurt, and it is SO GOOD! Since there was a lot I had to learn before I made my first batch of homemade yogurt, I thought I would share the process to hopefully save y’all some time.

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Chinese New Year Recipe Round Up!

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The lunar new year is this Saturday – more commonly known as Chinese New Year! I like to serve up something Asian-inspired to commemorate the holiday, so here are some of my favorite easy and delicious recipes to celebrate Chinese New Year. 

Fried Rice from Gimme Some Oven – My favorite fried rice recipe – so easy and better than takeout!

Chinese Orange Chicken from Damn Delicious

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DIY Foaming Hand Soap {Don’t Buy Soap For YEARS!}

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I’ve made my own foaming hand soap for most of the past year and I’m finally getting around to sharing this with y’all… sorry it has taken me so long!

I learned somewhere on the web last year that “foaming hand soap” is actually just watered-down liquid soap that foams due to a special dispenser. Mind. Blown.

I tested this out and lo-and-behold, it appears to be true. 

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Easy DIY Gift Ideas (That Even Non-Crafty Folks Can Make!)

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Ok, I am definitely not the most crafty person out there. But when holiday time comes around, I try to create some thoughtful, handmade gifts for my family and friends. I find they carry so much more meaning than store-bought gifts.

So here are some DIY gifts I have made in the past or want to try to make this year! Maybe one will spark the crafting spirit in you.

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Pumpkin, Pecan, & Cinnamon Chip Muffins

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Here is a quick recipe for some pumpkin muffins in case you are pumpkin obsessed like I am. I suggest pairing these with a homemade pumpkin spice latte and enjoying every moment of the fall (my favorite season, of course!)

The pecans and cinnamon chips make these muffins pretty irresistible. They are also super moist (which means they can turn soggy), so I suggest keeping them covered with a kitchen towel instead of sealing them up to store them.

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My recent favorite easy dinner recipes

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As you may know, I haven’t been meal planning lately. I shared a weekly meal plan for about a year here on the blog (you can view all of my meal plans here) and I felt like I had accumulated enough “go-to” recipes that I didn’t need a formal meal plan to guide my shopping and cooking anymore.

That said, I have found some awesome recipes lately that I’ve been wanting to share!

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipe}

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Originally published February 14th, 2015

IMG_0229Sometimes life just calls for some homemade chocolate chip cookies, right?

This is my go-to recipe because it uses vegetable oil instead of butter (making them much more affordable) and has a unique taste thanks to both vanilla and almond extracts.

I have the recipe memorized because I have made them so many times. I wrote it down for y’all so you can make them,

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Some recipes for your July 4th celebrations…

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We are staying home and having a pretty chill July 4th this year. We are definitely still recovering from our recent house remodeling!

Here are some recipes that are perfect for celebrating with family and friends.

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A simple but impressive dessert – Berry Mascarpone Shortbread Tart 

 

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A super easy and refreshing salad – Corn and Chickpea Fiesta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing from A Teaspoon of Happiness

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A festive and delicious cocktail –

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Cinnamon Raisin No-Knead Bread {Recipe}

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I stayed with my dear friend Robyn this past week during our trip to Cincinnati for a wedding. While she was making this incredible loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, she casually mentioned that she hasn’t bought bread from the store in over a year.

Wait, what!?! I had no idea that her family of four lived totally on delicious homemade bread! As I watched her, I realized that she has this bread-making process mastered.

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Easy Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie {Recipe}

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Here are the words that frequent my recipe searches lately: “healthy”, “easy”, “one-pot”, “simple”, “fast”… noticing a theme here? 😉 I guess I’ve realized I just don’t have the patience (or time really) for recipes that require 40 minutes of prep or that use every dish in my kitchen!

So in the spirit of fast and easy, here is my take on a favorite comfort food – chicken pot pie.

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Weekly Meal Plan 3/13/16 with Recipes

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Since I was able to make a trip to both Trader Joe’s and Costco last week, our fridge and freezer are stocked with meal-ready ideas right now! This Sunday I made dinner for our family + Grandpa from part of a Costco rotisserie chicken, delicious Trader Joe’s Green Beans and homemade potatoes au gratin (which I somehow had never made before?) I got a 10 lb. bag of potatoes for $3.99 at Food Lion this week so I will try to sneak potatoes into our meal plan quite a bit in the next few weeks!

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French Green Lentils with Smoked Sausage {Recipe}

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Here’s an easy weeknight recipe that I’ve been making regularly for years. It is nice change of pace and I love that it’s packed with protein, fiber, and FLAVOR – a rare combination!

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The main ingredient, French green lentils (also known as lentilles du Puy), are an especially tasty and tender type of lentil. They also hold their shape better than other types of lentils,

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Weekly Meal Plan 2/28/16 with Recipes

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I’ve been hit or miss with meal planning lately and I have a one word explanation… Costco. After getting a membership last month, I stocked up on some frozen food (organic veggie mixes, fish, etc.) that made it super easy to throw meals together without a meal plan. The result was that dinner felt lackluster and uninspired for a while there. That’s the trade off, I guess – dinner without any planning or prep is nice but boring!

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Weekly Meal Plan 2/7/16 with (lots of new) Recipes

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I’m back to a meal plan after sorely missing one last week. I made the plan in reverse of how I normally do – I shopped first, then made my meal plan second. The main reason for this is that we finally got a Costco membership (through this fantastic Living Social deal) and I bought only the best priced items there. Then the meal plan came from what I got there plus what we had in the freezer!

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No-Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies {Recipe}

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One bowl, no-butter Snickerdoodles are the easiest and cheapest cookie to make! Last week I was was craving some yummy cinnamon and sugar coated Snickerdoodle cookies like my grandparents used to make. I was all excited to make some when I discovered I was out of butter, one of the main ingredients in my recipe. Arggghh.  I’m a determined sort of gal so I scoured the web for a no butter Snickerdoodle recipe.  It wasn’t easy, but I eventually tracked one down!

I’m sharing my version of the recipe with y’all because the cookies turned out so soft and delicious,

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