Hi and welcome to DC
Take a look in the Budget Meals and Meals in Minutes forums; there are quite a few threads with ideas for quick, tasty budget-friendly meals
A few ideas:
- Almost everything I make starts with sautéed sliced or diced onion and minced garlic.
- Add beef broth to your leftovers and turn them into soup.
- Make extra rice and make fried rice the second day by dicing any veggies you like and stir-frying them with your leftovers and adding soy sauce; finish with a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil. We almost always have bell peppers, carrots and celery in the house. Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage are some other options.
- Or do this with cooked pasta and you have lo mein!
- Make a sauce with Thai sweet chile sauce and hoisin sauce, thinned with broth if necessary. Like in a Thai restaurant, you can use this with chicken, pork, beef or shrimp and any combination of veggies you want.
- I posted a recipe for easy shrimp curry in the Ethnic Foods forum. Do a search for that. If it needs thickening, add a cornstarch slurry (2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water).
Hope this helps.