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The holiday season is upon us, which means you may be hosting a lot of guests. But you don’t have to shell out a ton of money to keep them fed and happy.
Rustic Joyful Food author Danielle Kartes recently invited us on a shopping trip to share some of her best tips for saving on groceries (follow along in the video above), plus 7 recipes below.
GROCERY SHOPPING TIPS
TIP NO. 1: SHOP THE FRONT OF THE STORE
“The very front of grocery stores always have great sales,” Danielle says. She likes to bring her meals to life by shopping the produce section and avoids buying pre-packaged fruits and vegetables.
TIP NO. 2: SWAP OUT PRICEY INGREDIENTS
For Danielle, chicken thighs will always win. “I’ll take a chicken thigh over a breast any day, especially for the price,” Danielle says. “[...] They’re moist, tender and you can never overcook a chicken thigh.” Additionally, Danielle loves to swap out chow mein noodles for spaghetti. She uses both budget-friendly ingredients for her Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken and Chow Mein Noodles.
TIP NO. 3: BE COMFORTING. BE STRATEGIC.
Danielle believes it’s best to offer up a comforting meal for your guests’ first night. “You want to have a dinner that’s nourishing, delicious, cooks all day and is easy,” she says. She also suggests being strategic when planning your meals. Figure out how to prepare dishes that can roll over into other dishes.
Now that you have all the tips, it’s time to cook! Here’s Danielle’s menu for an entire week’s worth of meals for just $100.
This Asian-inspired dish comes together with the help of boneless, skinless chicken thighs – which are always an incredibly affordable option.
Watch her make it in the video above!
GET THE RECIPE: Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken and Chow Mein Noodles
For a quick and simple dinner, go for these sheet-pan nachos. Danielle shreds the leftover meat from her Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs with Caramelized Mushrooms.
GET THE RECIPE: Sheet Pan Nachos with Pulled Pork
Make it a pasta night with this budget-friendly meal. Linguine gets topped with a pork ragu and paired with garlicky asparagus.
GET THE RECIPE: Linguine with Country Pork Ragu and Garlicky Asparagus
Spare ribs are always a great option when cooking for a group because they’re flavorful and affordable. Danielle braises the meat with caramelized mushrooms and serves the dish over pasta or rice.
GET THE RECIPE: Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs with Caramelized Mushrooms
No. 5: Shakshuka in Pork Ragu
Danielle gets extra use of her ragu from that linguine from earlier in the week. The shakshuka is eggy, tomato-y goodness and it’s all soaked up with crusty bread.
GET THE RECIPE: Shakshuka in Pork Ragu
Your brunch plans are set. This gigantic Broccoli and Sausage Frittata is a great option when cooking for a crowd.
GET THE RECIPE: Broccoli and Sausage Frittata
This is a sure crowd-pleaser and super simple to make. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs get browned and mixed in with a medley of vegetables. The lettuce “cups” get some kick from chili flakes and Sriracha.
GET THE RECIPE: Spicy Chicken and Nut Lettuce Cups