Beef and Bean Dip – Frugal Family Dinner

This beef and bean dip is a favorite around here when the weather gets cooler. Fall is making its presence known around here right now and thus, this frugal family dinner has made an appearance on our meal plan a couple times already.

Ok, so part of that is because I needed to make it so I could take photos of it for the blog. And I might have forgot to do that the first time I made it, so I was pretty glad to have the ingredients for another round in the fridge and pantry.

We still love it.

Beef and Bean Dip Recipe - A Frugal Family Dinner

A couple notes for this recipe:

  • I use a 6 quart Lodge dutch oven for this. It makes it a one-pot meal.
  • This recipe makes a LOT of food. We typically have it for dinner (6 of us, half usually have more than 1 serving) and then we will have it for lunch at least one more time. Sometimes I freeze portions of it just so we can have a small amount ready whenever we want it.
  • It freezes well.
  • You can make this vegetarian by leaving out the ground beef. I use 6 cans of beans when I use roughly 1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef. I would increase the beans to 8 or so to make up for leaving out the meat.
  • To make this super frugal, start with dry beans and home canned tomatoes.
  • I was super excited to see that Red Gold tomatoes are Non-GMO Project verified. They are local to my home state and it made me happy to see.
  • The cans of beans I use are from Costco. They are organic and at my local store, cost less than $1/can.

Red Gold petite diced tomatoes - ingredient in beef and bean dip recipe.

Organic beans from Costco - an ingredient in the beef and bean dip recipe from Simply Vicki

Beef and Bean Dip
Print Recipe
This recipe is as frugal as you want it to be, simply adjust the amount of ground beef or even leave it out.
    Prep Time
    10 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Prep Time
    10 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Beef and Bean Dip
    Print Recipe
    This recipe is as frugal as you want it to be, simply adjust the amount of ground beef or even leave it out.
      Prep Time
      10 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Prep Time
      10 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Servings: 5-quart pot
      1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, brown the ground beef with the onions. Drain unwanted fat off.
      2. Add in tomatoes, sauces, beans, and spices. Stir. Bring dip to a simmer and let heat through thoroughly.
      3. Scoop into bowls, top with shredded cheese and sour cream. Eat with a spoon or tortilla chips.
      Share this Recipe

      Frugal Family Dinners – Beans

      You can’t not think of beans when you think of frugal family dinners. Dry beans are very economical, even organic ones. It’s a great way to save money on feeding your family.

      The PROBLEM with beans, for me anyways, is that I can never think of how to actually fix them. I’m sort of on a mission to whittle down our food costs and I want to take advantage of the economical protein that is beans.

      So I took to the internet to find some options.

      Frugal Family Dinners - Beans - 40+ recipes to help stretch your food budget.

      Frugal Family Dinners – Beans

      I’m going to do my best to organize these, but there is some overlap.

      Meatless Bean Recipes

      Or mostly meatless.

      Beans as Meal Stretchers

      Or recipes with meat and beans.

      Chilies with Beans

      Slow Cooker Bean Recipes

      Bean Side Dishes

      Beans for Breakfast

      Yes, seriously. (And yes, I realize this post is called frugal family dinners…)

      There you go. Over 40 frugal family dinner ideas for beans. I have added a few to my list to try, which ones do you think you would try?

      New Sides to Try This Thanksgiving

      New Sides to Try this Thanksgiving

      Thanksgiving is all about the food. You may have tried-and-true recipes that you rely on each year or you may be more adventurous and like to try new recipes each year. Today I have a list of sides for your Thanksgiving dinner planning consideration.

      Salad Sides

      Slow Cooker Sides

      Traditional With a Twist Sides

      Tell me, are you a more traditional dinner fan or do you like to mix it up and try new things?

      4 Other Uses for Pizza Dough

      4 Ways to Use Pizza Dough...That Aren't Pizza -

      Pizza is not the only thing you can make with your pizza dough. There are enough options between creative pizza toppings and these extra options to keep your homemade pizza dough in a weekly meal rotation. Often enough that you will likely memorize the recipe, but not get bored.


      Calzones are delicious. All you do is divide your dough into  equal parts or you can take handfuls of it off at a time like I do. You roll out your dough until it is thin, but not super thin. On that you put your cheese and other typical pizza toppings. Then you fold it all up into a nice pocket, carefully sealing any edges, and bake.

      I usually bake calzones at the same time and temp as our pizzas, 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Serve with small bowls of marinara sauce for dipping.

      Bread Sticks

      After your dough has risen, you shape them into whatever shape you want. Add any toppings like garlic butter or olive oil and parmesan cheese and let the bread sticks rise about 20 minutes or so before putting them into the oven.

      Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

      Cheesy Bread

      Ok, so essentially this is pizza with no sauce or toppings other than cheese. That doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious. Roll out your dough on your pizza stone and slather it with garlic, olive oil, and cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. When slightly cooled, use your pizza cutter to slice any way you want.


      I discovered this way to use pizza dough about a year ago when I was needing something for pizza night that wasn’t pizza. It is really good. Here are a few different recipes with various ingredients (don’t used store bought doughs, homemade is super easy):

      I never realized there were so many stromboli options! I’ll be trying some of these soon. How about you?

      How to Make Your Own Pizza Dough + 20 Ways to Top It!

      How to Make Your Own Pizza Dough Plus 20 Ways to Top It!

      For a long time, we had pizza weekly. Sometimes even twice because we would have homemade pizza one night and then have pizza when we did our Costco shopping. While Costco pizza is a super good buy, it is still cheaper to make your own.

      Especially if you are picking up your ingredients at Costco. Which I do.

      We kind of got burned out on pizza, but it is now finding its way onto our meal plans again. I used to have the recipe memorized, but since it has been so long the most recent time I made it, it kind of flopped because I thought I could remember the recipe. Turns out, no.

      Don’t you worry, I grabbed my recipe card to share with you here. This started as a dinner roll recipe for me and I tweaked it a bit to make it a yummy pizza crust.

      Pizza Dough Recipe

      • 1 1/4 c. warm water
      • 3 t. yeast
      • 2-3 T. sugar
      • 1 t. salt
      • 6 T. butter, cut in pieces and at room temp OR 1/3 c. olive oil
      • 4 cups flour

      Put the yeast in the bowl of your mixer and pour the warm water over it (do not get this too hot, it will kill your yeast). Let this sit for a minute or two, this is called letting your yeast bloom.

      Add the sugar to your water/yeast mixture. Drop in the butter pieces or pour in your olive oil. Sprinkle your flour on top and then the salt. Using your dough hook, mix up the dough until it is soft and holds together nicely. I usually do this for about 8-10 minutes. Sometimes you need to add a little extra flour or a little water to get your dough the right consistency.

      Cover the mixing bowl with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let sit for about 1 1/2 hours. The dough should be double the size it started from. This dough is enough to make 2 large pizzas on my large pizza stones.

      Spread your dough out on your oiled or seasoned pans/stones and then top them with whatever toppings you want.

      I usually bake the pizzas at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.

      Ways to Top Your Pizza Crust

      Our favorite ways to top our pizza crust:

      • mozzarella, pepperoni, and pineapple with regular pizza sauce
      • chicken, bell peppers, red onion, pineapple, and mozzarella with barbecue sauce
      • chicken, bacon, and mozzarella on ranch dressing
      • brussel sprout, bacon, mozzarella, and parmesan

      There are many creative ways to top your homemade dough. Here is a list of ideas to get you going beyond the traditional cheese and/or pepperoni:

      Dinner Tonight (Mostly GAPS Legal)


      Our mostly GAPS legal dinner from tonight.


      Side salad. This is where the mostly legal comes in. Feta and ranch dressing are not GAPS legal. Everything else is, as far as I understand. Frankly, giving up this feta cheese will be a far fetch for me. This stuff is awesome. It is a sheep’s milk feta we found at Costco. Scrumptious.


      Butternut squash latkes. These were delicious. I loved them warm with lot of salt, but hubby said they were even better completely cooled.


      This was a combination of homemade and store bought applesauce. The apples I got at our local orchard were so small and a pain to mess with, so I just cooked what I had the patience to peel and chop (just toss in a pot with a sprinkle of salt to draw out moisture, stir occasionally until soft). Then I tossed in a jar of unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon and voila, chunky applesauce.

      Overall, a winner of a dinner.

      If you want to learn about the GAPS diet, I have a few boards on Pinterest that you can check out: