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cheap meals?

June 1st, 2012 at 11:02 am

I'm pretty good at cooking cheap meals such as stir frys, sheperd's pie, hot dogs, pasta, salads and things like that but it gets kind of boring eating the same thing over and over. Anyone have any different ideas? I have $50 budgeted for groceries this week and already on the list of things I need are: cat food, milk, bread, eggs, cooking oil, fruit, and lunch meat. I do, however, have free coupons for a frozen pizza and ritz crackerfulls! Plus I have plenty of frozen chicken in my freezer.

13 Responses to “cheap meals?”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Twice baked potatoes? Bake it, scoop out the filling, mix that with butter, cream cheese, salt pepper, bacon bits, cheese, or whatever you like, put it back in and bake again until the top is slightly browned. If you rub the skin with oil & salt before baking the first time, the skin is utterly delectable.

    Here's an idea I do with iceberg lettuce as the base: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/asian-lettuce-wraps-2/ If you don't have these particular seasonings, improvise with whatever you have in the pantry for your stirfrys!

    Hoppin John is a great, cheap idea. I make a vegan version, with brown rice, and soak & cook the blackeye peas from scratch. There are many recipes online.

    Quesadillas are cheap and easy, and you can serve with a side of beans n rice, or rice pilaf, or refried beans to make it a complete meal.

    Gnocchi is a twist on pasta, and all you need to make your own are potatoes, flour, oil and salt. Serve w/ tomato sauce, with a side salad or on a bed of fresh spinach.

  2. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    french toast w/fruit and a few slices of grilled ham or deli meat for protein. go easy on the syrup, make your own instead with fresh fruit (berries)

    smoothies w/fruit, yogurt, tablespoon of pnut butter

    pizza bagels (toast the bagel first, then create a little pizza on it and pop in a toaster over broiler for 6 minutes or so)

    soup in the slow cooker (really easy to make vegetable stock and add rice or noodles or leftover chicken, you name it)

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Biscuits & sausage gravy, egg casserole, homemade mac & cheese, fried rice (with veggie & meat bits), spaghetti, chili, chili baked with corn bread topping, nachos, French dip sandwiches, chipped beef on toast -- these are some of my favorites.

  4. Swimgirl Says:

    Something with lentils... I've made terrific Indian and African dishes in the last month or so.

    Spinach salad with whatever veggies and dressing you have around.

  5. lilmama Says:

    Thanks for all the ideas! It's giving me lots of options to choose from.

  6. ThriftoRama Says:

    I shred my left over chicken and make chicken salad, but as a twist I add curry powder and sliced grapes. It's fabulous...

  7. baselle Says:

    I've been wilting spinach in a pan w/olive oil and butter, clearing little circles to make 'hot spots' in the pan, then cracking and cooking eggs in the hot spots. If you like it hot, dabs of chili garlic sauce really can spice it up.

  8. Jerry Says:

    Good job on the food front, it will lead to some insurance of better health in the long run! I recently started making a protein shake in the morning because it is faster, but it depends on what you can do. Good luck!
    Jerry

  9. Looking Forward Says:

    Soups. You can make a big batch cheap and be able to freeze half. I make a veggie soup and add in leftover chicken.

  10. snafu Says:

    I suggest not buying non-edibles like cat food, paper products and detergent at the grocery store as they are typically cheaper at Discount and Dollar type stores.

    It is incredibly cost efficient to write-up a meal plan. It's not written in stone but using loss leaders from flyers/ads, and the items already in your cupboard, you avoid that horrid 'what-to-do-for-dnner' stress. Pasta is exceptionally versatile with more than 70 shapes/types so it can be a hot dish, cold dish, soup, salad or side dish. Rice also cooks in 18 minutes and absorbs whatever flavor or color you want. Try www.cooks.com for mealtime suggestions. Just type chicken breasts in 'Search' and you get lots of suggestions with details you need.

    If you have time, it's fun and inexpensive to make buns and bread. Best of all you avoid all those chemicals that aren't really good for you.

  11. crazyliblady Says:

  12. SicilyYoder Says:

    I made homemade pizza and whipped up a tossed salad for dinner. I do French Toast, homemade pancakes, and I use whatever fruit is seasonal. For example, I marinated strawberries in a little Sherry cooking wine and sugar. I put these over my homemade pancakes. I used the leftover pancake batter, adding spices, milk, and more flour to whip up a Mandarin Orange Cobbler.
    I love tuna, so I make tuna salad and eat it on a bed of lettuce with shredded cheese. I get most of my groceries from Aldi, where i help the food bank. This morning, I made sausage and biscuit and gravy.
    You can get strawberries at Aldi for.99 right now. Buy one extra container and make them into freezer jam. My Mennonite aunt has taught me a whole lot about saving money. You can whip up a lot of foods with four, butter, milk, and spices. I love lentils and make burritos. I also fix Haystacks, which is corn chips with pinto beans, chopped onion, chopped tomato, finely chopped cilantro, and ranch dressing. I make my own ranch dressing at times. You could do one meal of pinto beans and cilantro corn muffins and then another meal of haystacks.

  13. patientsaver Says:

    Expanding on Thriftorama's idea of chicken salad, I add purple grapes, canned pineapple chunks and water chestnuts to mine. Very good.

    Frittattas are super easy. Add beaten eggs and whatever veggies you like; i add sun dried tomato, mushroom, onion, broccoli and cheese, then bake for 10 minutes.

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