Get creative with seasonal foods and your food storage with these delicious winter meals on a budget.
Late winter has a reputation of being a lean food time. Certainly in history it could very well be, but in our modern times and with some wise pantry planning it can be a season of abundance.
Eating foods that are in season are always the most frugal choices. Winter can be tough for fresh food in the snow covered regions. However, there are still winter seasonal foods that can be found for a deal.
Citrus, storage crops like winter squashes and root vegetables, etc. can all likely be found in the local grocery store for cheaper than out-of-season foods like tomatoes or asparagus. Eat those first.
For folks in warmer climates, fresh greens and more are likely available. Choose locally available whenever possible for budget friendliness.
Don’t forget about sprouting or growing microgreens at home for fresh vegetables and salads even in a blizzard.
Hit the Pantry
This is the season to eat up all those jars you put up in the summer and fall. Use your home canned or dehydrated items in favorite and new ways for winter recipes that are nourishing and budget friendly.
Start here when planning the weekly meals. This is the most frugal option as the work and expense is already done.
It’s also a great way to make sure that these items are used up and the jars available when the next harvest season comes around.
Also check the freezer and use up those meats or fruits and veg there before buying anything new. This keeps your food rotating and prevents waste to freezer burn and other issues.
Food Storage Items
This is a great place to learn new recipes and techniques for all those dried beans, pastas, rice, and grains that store well and are kept in the pantry.
These are also generally frugal choices when purchased even in winter at the grocery store.
Make the beans and rice. Eat the big pots of soup. Bowls of store bought pasta tossed with homemade frozen is a comforting meal.
Soups & Stews
Hearty and warm foods are often needed in these days as we transition from winter towards spring. Soups and stews are a great way to use up odds and ends in food storage.
Hubbard Squash Sausage Soup is a creamy (though dairy free) and hearty soup perfect for warming up on a cold day.
Lentil bacon soup is a filling and easy bowl of healthy comfort on a cold day.
Easily made vegan, this hearty stew combines fresh sweet potatoes with dried beans for a frugal and tasty dish.
Combine quick cooking lentils with hearty beef and sweet potatoes for an easy meal from food storage.
Super easy and comforting while also be frugal and full of seasonal ingredients. Can't really beat those ideas.
Bulk up meals with side dishes featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as those preserved goods from the pantry and freezer.
Tart and tangy, this cooked apple and sauerkraut side dish is ideal served alongside pork but also makes a delightful warm salad for lunch.
Pumpkin casserole is a creamy and savory side dish perfect for fall and winter meals.
Pesto can do so much more than simply sauce pasta. Spread it on bread dough and roll it up cinnamon roll style for a savory and hearty side dish.
Dried apricots and almonds join butternut squash in this delicious and simple recipe that gets a hit of heat from harissa paste and a touch of the exotic with rosewater. Serve this along side richer cuts of meat for a perfect winter dinner.
Use dehydrated vegetables for a tasty hash brown side dish that skips squeezing out excess moisture and still packs on a ton of flavor.
Winter can be seen as a lean time but if the pantry is full and seasonal foods are available we can eat like royalty.
This spicy one pot casserole is the perfect family midweek meal served with crusty bread or toast to mop up the juices.
These Thai Chicken & Sweet Potato Noodles Bowls are a delicious way to give into your Thai craving while staying low-carb. Spiralized sweet potato “noodles” take the place of rice noodles, and are covered in a spicy satay-like sauce. Add in some fresh veggies and tender chicken, and you have a perfect meal for any night of the week!
Gorgeous sweet potato and beet wild rice salad recipe! This healthy, vegan salad is loaded with roasted root vegetables, a nutty wild rice blend, tart cranberries, and sweet pecans
This winter vegetable curry is an easy vegetarian dinner filled with hearty butternut squash, cauliflower, tuscan kale and chickpeas, you’ll never know the meat is missing!
Nutty, chewy Pearl Couscous infused with the flavors of shallots, cinnamon, star anise, ginger, turmeric, and paprika, and tossed with roasted carrots, butternut squash, and Andouille sausage. This dish is warm, comforting, and intensely satisfying, especially throughout the winter and fall.
For those days when dessert is a good idea, keep it in harmony with the earth by featuring seasonal ingredients and items from the pantry.
All those jams you put up over the warmer months can do more than just spread toast. Whip up this easy jam tart as a sweet treat.
These frosted orange cookies take advantage of are sure to please adults and kids alike with their soft and airy texture topped with a creamy icing.
Make use of those jars of apple butter by using it for a delicious and crumb-topped pie.
Use those jars of homemade applesauce for more than just snacking with this moist and lightly spiced chocolate applesauce cake. It is easy enough for weeknights and yet lovely enough for feasts.
Winter is the season of citrus and a grapefruit cake is a tasty and different way to make the most of it.