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I need some CHEAP dinner ideas...list yours! - Page 2

post #21 of 27
my favorite pastas are ww pasta, veggies, cheese. my faves are brocoli, sauteed onions, and gruyere chhese. or kale, garlic, cannelli beans, and parm. or bacon, winter squash, onions, and mushrooms. or cauliflower, bread crumbs, gruyere, and a dash of mustard. or asparagus, parm, and bread crumbs. or potatoes, onions, and fontina. yum. i toss the stuff with pasta (after cooking the veggies) - if it's too dry i add a splash of olive oil.
post #22 of 27
Do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? I had one of their samples a few months ago and have added it to my lineup of dishes... It costs less than $7 for a HUGE amount of food!

Rotini pasta is what they used, but you can use anything (16oz bag)
1 jar of their roasted vegetable bruschetta
1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and cut up
1 pkg of feta cheese with mediterranean herbs

Cook the pasta and mix all the ingredients - it's that easy! It's great warm for dinner and then cool for pasta salad over the next few days...
post #23 of 27
we do pasta with pesto, white beans and tomatoes--either fresh when we have 'em in the garden or homemade sundried from a jar. it's a pretty healthy meal and one we can afford to do organic. another cheap meal is hummus and tabouli--just chick peas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic for the hummus and bulgher, parsley, tomato and spices for the tabouli-we make roll-ups on ww tortillas and top 'em with hot sauce, yum! also, we eat lots of soups, tonight we're having roasted butternut and apple soup with homemade multi-grain crutons(using up the stale bread), we definitely eat soup for dinner at least once a week in the fall/winter and for lunch at least twice.

good luck, there are lots of great suggestions in this thread.
post #24 of 27
use lots of lower cost ingredients, and we love them. And if you modify the rice mixture a tiny bit, and double it, you can use it in stuffed peppers too. (I don't use beef in them, and they are good that way too. I'm going to experiment with using different types of beans to replace the meat)

Also, Santa Fe Pasta (think southwest meets rotini)
post #25 of 27
I think one of the cheapest meal planning ideas I've come across so far is to buy a whole chicken. I got an almost 6 lb organic pastured chicken from my Farmer's Market for $14. I know...it sounds like a lot, but here's what we've had to eat from that one chicken for our family of 3:

Roast Chicken, Squash, and brown rice
Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I took the bones and leftover miscellaneous pieces that you would otherwise throw out and made my own chicken stock and then made:

Chicken and Dumplings (one dinner and one lunch)
Chicken and Rice Soup (leftover chicken and rice from the first meal) for a couple of meals

So...six meals, three people that's $.77 a serving per person for the chicken. The rest of the ingredients were fairly cheap as well (I actually already had them on hand) so I'd say we ate for less than $2/person all from that one chicken. You can do the same thing with any bone-in piece of meat.
post #26 of 27
post #27 of 27
One of my favs are enchiladas. You can make them cheaply or slightly more expensive, but they are not too expensive either way.

Basically what you need are:
-Tortillas (whole wheat is my favorite, but you can use corn or any flour types)
-Beans (if you cook your own whole beans and use them it's much cheaper. But you can used can refried or canned whole if you prefer)
-Enchilada sauce (one can, we use mild. Or to be cheaper, make your own. You can google recipes)
-Cheese (as much or little as you want, if you grate your own cheddar cheese from a larger chunk it's cheaper).

Basically you put a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan. Then, fill each tortilla with beans and cheese, roll up, and place in pan. When they're all in the pan, cover with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes or so. If you have a bit more $$ to spend, you can replace the beans with meat sauteed with taco seasoning.

We usually have them with brown rice and a veggie.

Other cheap ideas:
-homemade chili and cornbread
-If you can get eggs on sale cheap, quiche with broccoli or spinach and cheese
-pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic, and steamed veggies
-breakfast for dinner (waffles, pancakes, etc)

A big part is to try to get stuff on sale and if you can, use coupons. When you can get fancy stuff cheap, it is a frugal meal.
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