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I have been seeing a lot of frugal meals and recipes on different blogs and websites, and thought I should make contributions as well. After all, we don’t eat out much and I do all the cooking in this household. I admit that we are not very frugal when it comes to food, and you can see the proof in our expenses (November and December). Food is one of the highest expenditures for us.

GBoy has a bunch of food restrictions, and almost everything cooked at home is according to his restrictions. This is what causes our high expense, I think. I tried analyzing our grocery bill, and it is usually so high because of all the goat cheese and the gluten free dairy free desserts I buy for him. We also try to buy organic food as much as we can. It doesn’t help that I don’t shop at places like Costco or BJ’s, or even Market Basket. My regular grocery store is expensive, but is on the way to everything I go to regularly. Convenience beats frugality in this case.

This recipe here is one of my go to recipes since it is very easy to cook, is fairly healthy and GBoy eats it without an issue. It also helps that I have all the ingredients at any point of time. Let’s also look at how much it costs per serving.


  • 1 packet ramen noodles (20 cents)
  • 1 clove of garlic (10 cents?)
  • 4 oz frozen shrimp (2 dollars)
  • 5 oz stir fry vegetables – frozen (1 dollar?)
  • oil – 1 tsp (doesn’t really matter what oil you have. I have tried it with olive oil, canola and coconut oil)
  • salt to taste.
  • serves two.

I give up – I just spent 20 minutes trying to find out how much each ingredient costs. So my disclaimer, all those prices are approximate. I think they cost less than what I have there, not more.

There is my contribution, 3.5 dollars for a meal for two. Is pretty filling too.


  • Cook the ramen noodles (ditch the flavoring!) according to packet instructions, set aside.
  • Let the shrimp thaw – I use hot water for this. I also cut it into smaller pieces or GBoy won’t eat it.
  • In a pan, stir fry the garlic.
  • Add frozen vegetables before the garlic burns, cook for a 4-5 minutes
  • After the vegetables cook, add the shrimp.
  • Keep stirring for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the cooked ramen noodles to it, toss it until everything is blended well
  • Serve immediately!

I know, I called ramen noodles healthy. Well, there are too many ingredients in the typical ones, and I never get them. I get these ones from Amazon and that costs 1.50 dollars for two servings, instead of 20 cents. It has exactly two ingredients – organic millet and organic brown rice flours, or so it claims. I have seen it in the local stores as well, but I have found that Amazon is sometimes cheaper.

I sometimes find that frozen vegetables turn mushy when I try to stir fry. My solution is to use a stainless steel pan and heat it well before adding the frozen vegetables. However, do not use olive oil if you are going to heat it too much. For health reasons, oil is not supposed to smoke while you cook, and olive oil tends to do that at lower temperatures than other oils. I bought this set from Amazon, and use it almost exclusively for all my cooking. Even though it is expensive, I have found it very useful and it has been able to withstand everything I have done to it so far.

If you think it is too complicated to make because I managed to break that up into 8 steps, read the steps before you make assumptions. I just didn’t want to write dump this, dump that, and you are done. Essentially, that is what this is.

It is easier to cook this than getting fast food, and costs about the same. And I don’t have to tell you that it is way healthier!

I don’t think this recipe was inspired by anything else out there, but you probably could find something very similar, I guess. If you know of a link that has the same recipe, let me know and I will add a link. It was inspired by the need to feed a kid, no time to cook and an almost empty refrigerator. GBoy loves garlic, and I can get him to eat almost anything if there is enough garlic in it.

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Sunday, May 28, 2023