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Cheap spring eats for the family

Cheap spring eats for the family

Spring time is a great time of year for hanging out with friends and family without breaking the bank. If you’ve been invited to a picnic or BBQ — or are hosting one yourself — you may be looking for inexpensive ways to feed your family for less. Read on for budget-friendly ways to enjoy the summertime, while staying within your budget.

Saving Money On Meat:

If we are hosting a BBQ, we generally revert back to good old ‘Dogs and Burgers. Or maybe Bratwurst now and then for variety. I have been known to put on a July 4th shindig for up to 75 people, and when I do so, I like to offer a variety of meat options. Fried Chicken is a favorite stand by for me. I discovered a pulled pork recipe that saved me heaps of money and kept me away from sites like this, and ever since then this dish has become a family favorite, producing spicy-smokey tender pork for sandwiches. But as we all know: hot dogs and hamburgers are one of the least expensive ways to feed a crowd.

Saving Money on Salads:

From potato salad to Jell-o ring, salads rule the buffet table. If you’re tired of the same old potato salad, try a fresh recipe like Red Potato Salad with Dill, or German Potato Salad. Pasta salad is one of the most wallet-friendly ways to go if you need a salad to take to an event. Pasta (as a side dish or “filler”) can be done so many ways. Italian pasta salad can be as simple as cooked pasta, a bottle of Italian salad dressing, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and black olives. I have a favorite pasta salad that my family asks for time and time again.

Here is a go-to recipe for a tasty summertime salad that bring compliments every time.

Creamy Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound cooked pasta. I like to mix Penne and shell pasta for texture.
  • 1 Cup Real Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 Cup Sour cream
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Half & Half, Milk or  Water
  • 2 Teaspoons White Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas, defrosted
    (A simple way to do this is to toss them in with the boiling Pasta during the last few minutes of cooking)
  • 1/2 Cup Colby, Cheddar – cubed
  • 1/4 Cup white or yellow onion, minced


In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, sugar, vinegar and seasonings. Add pasta, onions, and cubed cheese. Mix well and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving – 3 hours is optimal. The mixture may seem like it has too much milk/mayo, but the reason for this is because the pasta tends to soak it up after sitting in the refrigerator.