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GB 11-03-2005 12:17 PM

What do you cook when time and $ are short?
What you you like to make for dinner when you don't feel like cooking or when you only have a few minutes to prepare something or when you are trying to not spend a lot?


pdswife 11-03-2005 12:19 PM

Grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Scrambled eggs with onions and tomatoes.
Just some cheese and deli meat sliced up.

GB 11-03-2005 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by pdswife
Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

That is one of my favorites!

Andy M. 11-03-2005 12:32 PM

Sometimes we have breakfast for dinner, or quesadillas (tonight). We have lots of meals frozen so I can defrost tomato sauce and cook some pasta, or defrost chili, or soup and add a bagette.

Haloween night we had Lloyd's pulled pork to save time.

GB 11-03-2005 12:35 PM

Quesadillas are my old standby. I always have some sort of cheese in the house and I also always have tortillas. There are usually leftover meats or veggies that can be thrown in too. Great suggestion Andy!

texasgirl 11-03-2005 12:38 PM

Goulash is easy and cheap

Constance 11-03-2005 12:41 PM

We go for grilled cheese and soup, also. There are some awfully good canned ones nowadays.
Hot dogs are another fave, as is SOS made with chipped beef, white sauce, mushrooms and peas over toast or biscuits.

buckytom 11-03-2005 12:47 PM

where can i get some goulash??? :angel:

there's always leftovers in our house, and of course canned stuff and sandwiches, but if i have to make something from scratch, probably escarole e fagiole soup, or a chorizo, onion, and mushroom omelette are my quickest favorites. also, pasta alio e olio, with some steamed diced veggies tossed in. then there's always linguine alla vongole, red or white.

the old standby of a crusty loaf of bread, bottle of vino and a hunk of cheese, with roasted peppers and proscuitto or bresaola makes a great meal.

PA Baker 11-03-2005 02:22 PM

Pasta is the biggest standby around here, for time and money. I have a ton of basic tomato sauce made with my tomatoes and basil from the summer frozen in small zip-loc bags. We'll do pasta with evoo and veggies a lot too.

Other ones are quesadillas or stir-fried veggies or chicken and rice. If neither of us are very hungry we've been known just to have big bowls of cereal, too!

texasgirl 11-03-2005 02:23 PM


Originally Posted by buckytom
where can i get some goulash??? :angel:

come on down bucky!!:lol: And I can imagine what is holding that halo on your head:rofl:

buckytom 11-03-2005 03:39 PM

a large nail, put there by elfie and gb. :rolleyes:

urmaniac13 11-03-2005 03:45 PM

Spaghetti aglio, olio & peperoncino (garlic, evoo, red crushed pepper) and caprese salad, with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil.

licia 11-03-2005 03:46 PM

When I want something good and quick, I make grilled cheese sandwiches (sometimes using tortillas)with salsa and sour cream and a fruit salad. The fruit salad I make is one I've come up with over the years that we really like. I use gala or golden delicious apples, orange pieces, banana slices, golden raisins, chopped toasted pecans and add a bit of sugar to make the fruit juices run. It is a meal and a dessert all in one. Tastes great and doesn't cost much and made from stuff that is always around.BTW, I call it golden fruit salad.

middie 11-03-2005 04:10 PM

grilled cheese and soup here too.
and eggs, usually scrambled with

mish 11-03-2005 05:08 PM

You guys must be rich. :lol: I remember when I first came to Californ-i-a and had (not one, but) two rommies in a studio-like apt. One of us slept on a Murphy bed (a bed that pulls out of the wall), and two of us were unemployed. I ate TV dinners and Kool Aid (sp?). For transportation, we would hitchhike :ohmy: I always think of that time as the "lean" months... but had some of the best times.:mrgreen:

kadesma 11-03-2005 07:33 PM

We like tuna sandwiches and clam chowder, grilled cheese and tomato soup, mac and cheese and dh loves a grilled hot dog with it...sometimes waffles and bacon, or a quick burger on a french roll with chips...If I have left over roast, I'll slice it thin and make au jus and put it on buttered toasted rolls...We also like a large baked potato with everything and a salad of some sort..Take those thin sliced chicken breasts, pound a little, bread in flour and pan saute in evoo and butter, them put on a buttered and broiled large kaiser roll, top with jack cheese and add honey mustard and lettuce,,yummy:smile:

Piccolina 11-03-2005 08:20 PM

What a neat question GB! :smile: Some TNT on a shoe string meal ideas that I like to turn to are:

- Pancakes for dinner (I could do this every week, happily - DH might object :lol:)

- Pasta with nothing but one or two sauteed veggies and a drizzle of olive (a little cheese if you're "splashing out" and any herbs you have around the place)

- Everything in the pot soup/stew/casserole (self-explanitory :lol:)

- Rice, a little soy sauce (or sesame oil), green onions (scallions) and sesame seeds

- I'm a big cheese grilled fan too! (The Italian version "Mozzarella in carrozza" is fantastic and relatively inexpensive too)

- Oatmeal with whatever neat ad-ins I've got around (raisins, nuts, cinnamon, apples, etc)

buckytom 11-04-2005 09:45 AM


Originally Posted by mish
You guys must be rich. :lol: I remember when I first came to Californ-i-a and had (not one, but) two rommies in a studio-like apt. One of us slept on a Murphy bed (a bed that pulls out of the wall), and two of us were unemployed. I ate TV dinners and Kool Aid (sp?). For transportation, we would hitchhike :ohmy: I always think of that time as the "lean" months... but had some of the best times.:mrgreen:

mish, that sounds like my 2nd year in college, except we lived next to the #1 train. it sounds better, but it's actually more dangerous than hitchhiking.
i think i lived on chinese food (chicken chow mein for $1.50) everyday for weeks at a time, with only ice water to drink. lots and lots of icewater. hey you guys splurged with the kool aid.

you are right tho, about the lean times. you really appreciated everything you had. that's when you learn the most valuable things in the world, like love and friendship, don't cost a thing.
ok, well, my friends owe me some money, but you get the idea...:smile:

licia 11-04-2005 10:28 AM

I suppose most of us have had some rather lean times, unless we had parents who were well off. When we were first married, I was still in school and my dh was just starting out in a less than well paying job. We ate very low on the pig during those days (if we had any pig). We even ate spam a time or two. One thing we ate was to slice weiners almost to the skin - fill with cheese and mashed potatoes, pour melted butter on top and bake until slightly brown on top. My kids still like this.

subfuscpersona 11-04-2005 10:51 AM

Cheap Quick Main Courses

> pasta - any way!
> omlette with veg/cheese (or frittata - similar) - eggs are cheap and versatile!
> vegetable soup (if you keep stock on hand) - add ground meat at the last minute if you want meat in the soup too
> Chinese stir fry is a classic and quick way to make leftover rice (plus other leftovers) into a meal. BTW, cooked rice freezes well. If frozen for a long time it may get a little dry, which is easily rectified by breaking it frozen into smaller pieces and steaming it (covered) over boiling water (will defrost and rehydrate at the same time - or use your microwave oven if you have one).

if you chop your own veggies, any of these will take 30 min max. If you use frozen veggies, about 15 min max. Frozen veggies don't have to be defrosted first.
If you make and freeze your own stock, it doesn't have to be defrosted first - dump the frozen lump in a pan, maybe add a *tiny* bit of water at the bottom, cover, melt over med-hi heat.
PS - Thought I'd suggest quiche here too. Not as quick (prep time plus 30-35 min to bake) but can be cheap. Use prebaked pie shell or forget the pastry entirely and bake the "quiche" in a buttered cassarole dish placed in a pan of water. In this case, what you have is a savory custard. Yum Yum.

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