Friday, April 2, 2010

Tonight's Frugal Dinner

Well, I guess the picture isn't too inspiring, but oh well. It would have looked so much nicer with some butter or cheese on top to make it really golden and crispy. Hmm, something to think about for next time.

So glad to be getting back into the swing of eating at home. (Curse you, spring break and payday combined! You've ruined us for the rest of the month! Seriously, we've had 2 weeks' worth of eating out in 2 days.)

I thought I'd post about our dinner tonight because it happens to be quite frugal AND convenient. Like, I could cook this on PTM night convenient. It's the first time I've made it, and we haven't tasted it yet, so I suppose this post is a little premature. If it's awful, I'll leave a comment below. :)

Quick and Easy Shepherd's Pie
adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe I found on

1 tub Bob Evans Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1/2 T. oil
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 to 1 carrot, diced
a handful or two of corn or peas (I didn't want this mixed in; kind of a weird thing with me. I used some Steamfresh broccoli in the microwave instead, to be served alongside the shepherd's pie.
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. beef stock or broth (I used chicken because I didn't have any beef.)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I added a bit more since I was using chicken broth.)
shredded cheddar cheese, optional

In a skillet, brown ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. After beef has begun to brown, add onion and carrot. Let cook together for a few minutes. In another skillet, melt butter, then add flour. Stir to create a paste. Whisk in stock and Worcestershire sauce to create a gravy. Add the corn or peas to the meat and veggies mixture and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Add beef gravy and stir.

Set the oven to broil on low. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in beef and gravy mixture. Spoon potatoes in an even layer on top. Broil until the potatoes are golden on top. Add cheese, if desired, and allow to melt in the broiler for just 2 minutes or so.

Here's the cost breakdown:
potatoes -- bought on B1G1 and with a coupon -- $1.20
beef -- bought in bulk and broken into smaller portions -- $1.89
onion -- $.15 (estimate)
didn't use carrot -- all out
butter -- $.20
flour -- $.05 (est)
Worcestershire sauce -- $.10 (est)
broth -- $.50
broccoli -- bought on sale with a store coupon stacked with a manufacturer's coupon -- $.05
didn't use cheese -- kiddos don't like cheddar, weird
Total cost: $4.14

If I had used cheese (on sale w/coupons) and a carrot, I would estimate that dinner would have cost around $4.50.


  1. The recipe looks like it would be delicious! Hope it tasted great :)

  2. It really was quite good. Better than I would have thought for some
    thing so easy. I'll definitely make it again.