Who said holiday meals must be extravagant or expensive? With enough creativity in the kitchen and just $10, you can turn anything into a delicious feast. Perfect for small families around Thanksgiving or Christmas time.
Small batch cooking is when you cook in small portions.
I’m going to show you a small batch holiday feast that I made for my family.
Something that’s great about small-batch cooking is that it can save you money.
Check out these other cheap family meal ideas or struggle meals for when times are tough during the holiday off-season.
Sometimes our budgets don’t align well with the holidays and we feel we still have to do something festive, even if it means more effort on our part.
Trust me, I know that struggle.
Cooking for a crowd is easy, but cooking for a small family, or yourself can be difficult.
Recipes aren’t normally meant for such small serving sizes and either require you to cook it up big and eat leftovers for weeks or do
Leftovers can be great; I love repurposing leftovers into new meal dishes. But eating the same main ingredients day after day can get monotonous. Not to mention, quite a few people despise leftovers so that could leave you with a bunch of food waste. Not a budget-friendly option.
So today I’m going to show you how I made a delicious Holiday worthy feast for $10 worth of ingredients.
Brown sugar roasted carrots
As shown in this picture, my ingredients were:
- 5 eggs
- 3 potatoes
- 1 package of ham (pre-sliced) $4.78
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- baby carrots.
- Not shown ingredients are mustard, mayo, olive oil, brown sugar, half a fresh broccoli head, and basic seasonings like garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Truth be told, I had everything on hand already, so I didn’t pay anything out of pocket for this meal.
But if I were to go to the store and repurchase the items needed, in the quantity used, It’d be about $10, with the most expensive thing being that tiny ham. Why is ham so pricey?
First, boil the eggs and cook the potatoes. I personally used the microwave potato cooking option. It is such a time saver.
I used the microwave for the potatoes because I love how fast it is compared to the oven.
Peel the potatoes and eggs once done and set aside.
Take a large cooking sheet and line it with aluminum foil (saves you effort at cleanup, so worth it.)
Take a sandwich bag, or bowl and mix baby carrots with about 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1tsp garlic powder
I like doing stuff like this in sandwich bags, just
Chop up half a head of fresh broccoli and put it into a bowl or sandwich bag. Add in ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt ½ tsp black pepper and about 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix it up well and place in a corner of the cooking sheet.
Put in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
During this time, slice 3 eggs in half lengthwise, take the yolks and place into a bowl.
Shred or chop the other two and place them in a bowl. Dice one potato and place it in with the shredded eggs.
Take the third bowl, and place the other two potatoes in there with about 3tbsp melted butter.
Now take the ham slices and place them strategically on the other half of the cooking sheet so that each piece can cook thoroughly.
Place back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes.
In the bowl with the egg yolks, add in enough mustard and mayonnaise to make a thick paste. Spoon back into the egg yolks and sprinkle with paprika. Deviled eggs are done.
In the bowl with the potatoes and eggs, mix in mustard and mayonnaise until wet, adjusting to taste as you continue to add more of either slowly. Sprinkle in some paprika, and your potato salad is finished too.
In the bowl with the potatoes and butter, mash and mix, adding in a little milk to make a creamy mashed potato texture.
Those are now done too.
Now peel and chop the apple, place it in a big bowl. Add chopped banana, and sliced strawberries and grapes (or any fruit you have could work.) How much you add of a specific fruit I up to you based on your families likes, I used a handful of grapes and about 5 strawberries, giving me plenty of fruit salad.
Once all of your fruit is together in the bowl, mix it and it’s done.
Pull the cooking sheet out from the oven and start plating everything. You now have very full plates that look like they came from a buffet table of options. Hardly any leftovers, if any at all. (We only had leftover ham, giving us breakfast meat for the following day.)
You can, of course, adjust any of this to suit your family’s style, I know not everyone enjoys the same exact recipes, or some may not like mustard (we don’t like mayo by itself.) Some adjustments and creativity are all it takes to create a nice holiday meal on a budget.
I hope this has inspired you to realize that you can enjoy a holiday feast on a budget, for a small family, or just for yourself.
Frugal Dessert ideas-
Dollar tree has fruit-filled freezer pot pies and a small quart size container of vanilla ice cream.
If you found an extra $5 in your budget, your family of 4 could each enjoy a personal size fruit pie and scoop of ice cream.
A dollar more and you could afford a 2ltr of root beer and use leftover vanilla ice cream to make root beer floats.
This meal plan is simple enough that children ages 5+ could help in preparation.
If you’re repeating this meal plan based out of financial need, and don’t want to worry the kids by informing them of your finances, invite them to join you in the kitchen and make it into a family time moment.
They’ll have fun helping you and spending time together.
If you include the idea of the pie that I gave, I can almost assure you a child will be so excited about a whole pie to themselves they won’t question anything else and will announce it to be the best day ever.