Frugal Foodie Challenge #1: [Mozzarella]

January 8, 2008 at 1:39 am 2 comments

I like to think of myself as a frugal shopper. I cut coupons. I look for the deals between store brand and name brand. I make shopping lists…. etc etc. But my foodie friend, Lorena, IS my frugal foodie hero. I am constantly asking her questions and reading her frugal saving tips on her blog. Groceries for a whole week and she only spent $16? Thats just impossible! LOL. I usually spend on average $75-100/week. Thats about to change!

I am uber excited that she is hosting her very own monthly Frugal Foodie Challenge to help spendthrifts like me keep accountable on what they spend on food. Her challenge is unlike any other “challenge” or “contest” that I belong to. This will definitely test my creative cooking and budgeting skills.

The first FFC challenge is Mozzarella with a $7 budget. First thing that came to mind … PIZZA! and a side salad for some greens.

Pepperoni Pizza Snacks

(Recipe from Katorade | photos from me!)

Makes 16 servings (1 snack=1 serving)


1/2 pkg of sliced pepperoni, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese*
1/2 tomato, chopped*
1/4 cup italian dressing*
1 Tbsp pesto
1 pkg Grandes refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms*, optional

[NOTES: I only used 1/4 of the pepperoni package because I also added some chopped mushrooms. I had some leftover biscuit dough but no more topping so I made a couple plain mozza cheese ones too.]

Cost benefit analysis–
pillsbury grande biscuits $2.79
store bought pesto $2.50/10oz jar —> 1 tbsp (.5oz) = ~$0.13
pepperoni $2.49 —> 1/4 package = $0.62
TOTAL = $3.54
* already had in my kitchen


Preheat oven to 350. In bowl, combine pepperoni, cheese, tomato, dressing, and pesto. Cut each biscuit in half. Place biscuit halves into greased miniature muffin cups, pressing gently to fill cups. Spoon 1 Tbsp of filling into each cup. Bake 20 minutes.

[NOTES: 1 tbsp of topping doesn’t seem like much for each biscuit but don’t overfill because when the biscuit bakes/expands the topping will overflow if there’s too much. Probably also why I had biscuit dough leftover too.]


Husband rating: A
He liked them (he ate 7!) but prefers regular pizza sauce vs the pesto italian.

Wifey rating: A
Ditto hubs.


Crunchy Romaine Strawberry Salad

(Recipe from | photos from me!)

Makes 12 servings


1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles*
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter*
1/4 cup vegetable oil*
1/4 cup sugar*
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce*
8 cups torn romaine*
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (I only used 1 cup b/c they were big strawberries)

Cost benefit analysis–
chopped walnuts $3.40/2 cups —> 1 cup= $1.70
red wine vinegar $1.80/12 floz (24 tbsp) –> 2 tbsp= $.02
chopped green onions $1.05/12 stalks —> 5 stalks= $0.44
fresh strawberries, sliced $3.98/4 cups –> 1 cup= $0.99
TOTAL = $3.15
* already had in my kitchen


Discard seasoning packet from ramen noodles or save for another use. Break noodles into small pieces. In a skillet, saute noodles and walnuts in butter for 8-10 minutes or until golden; cool.

[NOTES: Next time I might reduce the amt of butter because I ended up draining a good amt before adding to salad.]

For dressing, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce; shake well. Just before serving combine the romaine, onions, strawberries and noodle mixture in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently.

Husband rating: A-/A
He’s not really into sweet-tart-fruity type salads, but he finished his plate so it couldn’t have been that bad. :)

Wifey rating: A/A+
I really wasn’t sure how I’d like this salad but I was pleasantly surprised. It was really yummy! I’ll definitely make again.


w00t w00t! I stayed under budget and the food was delish!

Please check out Food by Lorena at the end of the month for all the entries.


Entry filed under: cheese, Frugal Foodie Challenge, pizza.

Foodie Question of the Day Potato Flake Chicken

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tattooed Mama  |  January 8, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    contact me through e-mail (
    i don’t mind making you a cute logo for your blog! :)

  • 2. CB  |  January 8, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    you’re too good to me! Are you talking about my food blog or my cuppycakes blog? YGM!


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