Holiday Money Saving Tips

Keep your budget and nutrition on track this holiday season

To kick off the holiday season, we sent a group of moms on a mission to make a tasty meal while also exploring and evaluating at least three different grocery stores for their ingredients. They were asked to compare prices, seek out healthy choices and create a recipe for their family, all under $20. With the help of registered dietician Kim Galeaz, they were able to solve the mysteries behind those big cost differences and determine the best way to create inexpensive, healthy recipes for their families.   


CRYSTAL – Mom for Less

“Italian Beef Sandwiches”

One of the issues I’ve struggled with as a mom is “food guilt” – wanting to feed my family the healthiest foods I can but feeling like those options are out of my price range.

Click here to read Crystal’s experience, the cost differences she found, and view the recipe for Italian Beef Sandwiches.

 three italian meat sandwiches on a plate with french fries

HEATHER - 3 Kids & Lots of Pigs

“Super Easy Pizza Casserole”

Our mission was to buy the ingredients for one recipe at 3 different stores to compare the selection, prices, and such. It was so much fun and tiring.
We visited Kroger, Trader Joe's, and Meijer.

Click here to read the whole story, and view the recipe for Super Easy Pizza Casserole.

meat and pepperoni casserole on a plate 

JEN – Farmwife Feeds

“Crock Pot Chicken Noodles”

We visited Kroger, Walmart and Earth Fare.  I normally do my grocery shopping at either Kroger or Walmart, so for me it was interesting to shop for the exact same items as both of these places to see if there is a cost difference.

Click here to read more about Jen’s experience, and view her recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Noodles.

chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and green peas on a blue and white plate 

LIZ – Farmwife Cooks

“Fiesta Chicken Chowder”

I think I am a pretty good shopper. I try to watch prices, buy things when they are on sale but let’s be honest, if I have both the boys with me my goal is to get in and out as quickly as possible and with as few casualties as possible. We shopped at Kroger, Walmart and Fresh Thyme Market for the ingredients for Fiesta Chicken Chowder.

Click here to read more about what Liz found, and view her recipe for this yummy Fiesta Chicken Chowder.

 a bowl of fiesta chicken chowder soup with silver spoon and white plate


ANGIE – Just like the Number

“Ground Beef Tacos”

We shopped at three Indianapolis area stores that fall into different categories: a traditional store, a high-end/specialty store, and a discount store. I chose the one miracle recipe that makes everyone in our family happy to sit down and eat: my homemade ground beef tacos.

Click here to read more about what Angie found, and her most-requested recipe, homemade ground beef tacos.

 a soft beef taco with red radish and cheese


STEPH – Indy Home School

“Baked Turkey Meatballs”

To organic or not to organic? Is everything OK in moderation? Do you suffer from brand loyalty? These are the types of questions Steph had to face as she shopped with Kim Galeaz.

Click here to read more about her experience, and view the recipe for her Baked Turkey Meatballs.

a dish of spaghetti and meatballs 


ASHLEY – Simply Designing

“Homemade Baked Ziti”

The good news is that there are so many healthy food options at every grocery store.  And most foods are ok in moderation. I was in shock at the price difference between these three stores.  I expected to pay more at some stores than others, but I never would have guessed how BIG the price difference really was.

Click here to see just how big the price difference really was, and view the recipe for Ashley’s Homemade Baked Ziti.

homemade baked ziti topped with cheese 

LEAH – Beyer Beware

“20-Minute Skillet Pizza Casserole”

When families are on the go like ours is, meals, especially healthy meals can be difficult. I have had to figure out meals I can make in 20 minutes. This skillet pizza is becoming my go-to meal more and more these days. I love my ground pork. Grocery stores don’t seem to have the same love. I could only find ground pork at one store. ONE.

Click here to read more about what Leah found, where she found it, and view the recipe for her 20-minute Skillet Pizza Casserole.

pepperoni and cheese pizza cooked in a skillet 


JEANETTE – Fencerow to Fencerow

“Crockpot Lasagna Soup”

I’ll admit to really loving the grocery store.  I like looking at packaging, products, marketing and new items. I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi’s and Kroger’s.  Plus I visit the locally owned Amish market.  Those are the only places I shop.  Today I was shopping for ingredients to make Crockpot Lasagna Soup.

Click here to follow Jeanette through her grocery shopping experience, and view the recipe for Crockpot Lasagna Soup.

lasagna soup with noodles, beef, cheese, and tomato sauce cooked in a crockpot 


Special THANK YOU to Kim Galeaz, RDN, and Liz Kelsay for sharing their time and wisdom.




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