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Saving Money, Eating Well

We enjoy eating out but limit it how often to save money. Most evenings we're eating at home which is not only budget-friendly but saves time and gasoline. One of our fall favorites is a bowl of home-made chili.

Cooking in doesn't mean you have to make it from scratch, although that usually decreases the cost. I often use canned ingredients which is a huge time-saver when putting together a meal after a day at work. This recipe is one I learned from my mom many years ago. It is so easy I can make it from memory.

Shirley's Homemade Chili


  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 – 29 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 4 – 15 ounce cans of kidney beans
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder


Brown the meat with the diced onions. Drain the fat and then mix in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes to blend the flavor.

Optionally serve it shredded cheese or fresh onions on top. I like to add a side of cornbread.

Note on Chili Servings:

This makes 8 servings so you can halve the ingredients without a problem. We make one or two additional meals by serving the chili over hot dogs or potatoes and topping with shredded cheese.

Homemade Chili Cost

The ingredient prices are from a local grocery store chain. Prices may vary for you.

  • Ground Beef: $2.00
  • Tomato Sauce: $1.99
  • Kidney Beans: $5.00
  • Onion: $1.27
  • Chili Powder: $.034

Total: $10.60 divided by 8 = $1.33 per serving. It will probably be even less as these were not sale prices.

Thoughts on Dining for Less and Homemade Chili

Do you have a favorite chili recipe? If not, give Shirley's a try and let me know how you like it.

Elle: I love chili, so I was so glad to see that Kay Lynn submitted this. If you have a recipe you want to share, please send it in!

Photo Credit: flickr4jazz

About Kay Lynn

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8 comments add your comment

  1. Sounds good Kay Lynn! We also limit our going out to save up (we are paying off debt right now) and we eat really well for little money.

    I do the same thing on my blog by posting recipes with the cost. It is always surprising to see how little it can cost to eat a great meal in!

    • Dana, you are so right. Even with the high estimate and the cost of the side, it’s far cheaper than any meal out.

  2. Nice looking recipe. I love homemade chilli. I’m vegetarian so often replace the meat with 3 or 4 varieties of beans but essentially it’s the same.

    Chilli on a baked sweet potato or regular potato is a great alternative to rice too.

  3. Great recipe Kay Lynn! My husband and I love having chili on cold days, so we’ll be trying the recipe in a couple of weeks. 🙂