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Old 08-12-2005, 12:09 AM   #1
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cheap eats?

Behind on some bills, gas prices are outrageous and a baby on the way, I need to do some budgeting. Any ideas for cheap dinner ideas? I'm going to have to quit my job in another month, so money will be really tight until I find another job probably next year. I'd appreciate any ideas.

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Old 08-12-2005, 12:21 AM   #2
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Mac 'n Cheese with Tuna 'n Peas! Quick Easy and cheap!
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:46 AM   #3
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Cora,

There are many things you can do...Buy only in season fruits and veggies, meat,chicken, fish when there are sales..Stews, beans, rice, pasta with just some roasted veggies and some evoo and garlic throw a salad together some biiscuits..You can do it and I bet everyone here has a quick easy and thrifty recipe to offer...I don't know if you like pinto beans, but my dad made a mean pot of beans with onion and maybe a 1/4lb. of bacon If you want it I'll post the recipe for you. My kids use to love what they called spanish rice...the highlight for them was the tiny meat balls about the size of a lima bean I made and put into the rice after I'd browned them..that and salad and some bread and a green veggie and they were set..Lots of time they only wnated the rice and salad..Tell us some of your likes and let us see what we can do recipe wise..
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:29 AM   #4
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A friend of mine makes a casserole in a pot that she calls "Shut up and eat it". It has ground beef, vegetables, noodles, sauce and cheese. She can make quite a large amount for very little money. They are retired military and she said she made if often when the kids were home and money was tight in their early years.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:14 AM   #5
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As someone mentioned before its not only the dishes but buying the ingredients that are important.

Number one rule for anything, do not by fresh produce or meat from a supermarket. Always more expensive, without fail.

Bone up on your pasta/noodle/rice dishes. Any italian chef would be put to shame by the variety of pasta dishes that a uni student living in residence knows :P.

Soups and stews are also great money savers as well. You can buy cheaper cuts of meat (which are generally more flavourful) and by cooking them long and slow come out more tender than the more expensive cuts, additionally you can pad them out with vegetables (carrots, celery, parsnips, sweeds/turnips, potato etc etc).
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:17 AM   #6
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We do what we call a "Mexican Spud" at our restaurant. Bake a potato...and top it with taco meat....or spiced up chicken....anything you like really!
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:23 AM   #7
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Also, eliminate waste. Economy isn't always buying lots of something. I like to make meals with planned leftovers. Many taste better the second time and it isn't like inventing the wheel over again. If there are leftovers they can be used in different dishes for a completely new idea. A totally free dish is soup made from leftovers - and one of the best. My dh would never eat soup until I started making it from scratch and he even took it to work for lunch each time I made it. You can vary it to suit your taste and it can be very healthy.
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Old 08-12-2005, 03:42 AM   #8
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Mince is usually cheap and has many uses. I find to save money I stop buying so much prepacked stuff and buy in bulk. Making biscuits and cakes is usually cheaper than buying snacks too. I have some great quick easy cake recipes if you like.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:30 AM   #9
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Here is a whole thread with some ideas
Meal Challenge

Some of these recipes are also inexpensive
Easy recipes for beginner cooks

This usually makes enough for 2 or more dinner's
Cornbread/Hamburger Casserole

1-1/2 lb. hamburger meat
2 15oz. cans Ranch Style Beans
1 medium jar picante sauce
2 cups shredded cheese (we use colby and Jack or mozzarella)
2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

heat to 350

Brown hamburger meat and drain
Place hamburger in a deep 9x13 baking dish
stir in beans and 3/4 jar picante sauce (or to your taste)
Top with cheese
Prepare cornbread as directed on box
pour cornbread over hamburger/cheese
Bake until cornbread is golden brown (appx 20-30 minutes)

A few more ideas
I need a new Ground Beef recipe!

I usually can eat off of this recipe for a week
Spicy Vegetable and Beef Soup

3 quarts boiling water
soup meat (any amount) uncooked
2 packages (1 box) lipton onion soup mix
1 lb. can tomato sauce
1 lb. can tomatoes, petite diced
1 1/2 t. marjoram, dried
1 1/2 t. basil, dried
1 1/2 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. salt
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 t. parsley flakes
2 large bags frozen vegetables of your choice
(over the years I have added small diced pototes and/or okra to the recipe)

Simmer meat and onion soup mix in water for 25-30 minutes.

Add next 9 ingredients and cook on low simmer for 15 minutes.

Add vegetables and cook on low for 2-2 1/2 hours.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. (I like to add a slice of american cheese to mine instead of the parmesan).
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:47 AM   #10
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Try this site.....http://www.betterbudgeting.com/frugalrecipelist.htm
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