Recipe Idea: Simple Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw

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Having the most frugal grocery budget in the world isn’t going to help you any if you can’t put together at least a few healthy, tasty, and cheap eats! Every few weeks, The Outlier Model features a cheap recipe idea, along with the cost breakdown.

It’s BBQ season and nothing cuts through heavy BBQ sauce like a nice fresh salad.  I like to make coleslaw to go with things like pulled pork and BBQ’d chicken (Brian’s note: It’s amazing on a pulled pork sandwich with homemade BBQ sauce!).  As a frugal bonus, cabbage is a pretty cheap vegetable and full of fiber. Yum.

Photo Credit: avlxyz via Flickr

Photo Credit: avlxyz via Flickr

This recipe makes a simple and light salad using only a few ingredients.

Simple Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar ($0.50)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar ($0.10)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil ($0.25)
  • 1 quarter large cabbage, cut in thin strips ($0.70)
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin strips ($0.10)
  • Salt and pepper (< $0.10)

Toss the cabbage and carrot in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar mixture to the cabbage and toss.  Add oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for about 20 minutes then re-toss and serve.

Servings: 5

Cost per serving: $0.35

Feeling adventurous? You can add a bit of spice to this recipe using celery seeds.

And if you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like these:

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  1. Awesome! I love simple salad recipes. That looks great, going to try this on the weekend!


  2. Francieidy says:

    That sounds amazing. I love coleslaw. Might try that four our 4th of July lunch. Might substitute the sesame oil for olive oil though. I really love olive oil on everything.

  3. Cat says:

    I’ve done homemade coleslaw – it was yummy, but boy did I seem to get cabbage everywhere!!

  4. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Looks awesome! Maybe you could even add some Thai noodles for more substance.

  5. I made a carrot slaw salad last year with beets on top and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it sounds like it would be a quick and easy dish.

  6. I’ve never had oil and vinegar coleslaw, only coleslaw with mayo. This would be much better for my diet.

    • CF says:

      I like the mayo coleslaws as well. I actually love KFC style coleslaws… lol. But an oil and vinegar one is much lighter and it actually has a very similar taste, if you use red wine vinegar (it’s milder than regular vinegar).

  7. I am so making this. I love coleslaw!!!

  8. That looks and sounds delicious. I might have to make this for the fourth of July!

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