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Meals on the Cheap - under $2 meal ideas

post #1 of 419
Thread Starter 
I haven't seen a thread like this in a while so I decided to start one.

What are you best Under $2 meals???

Pasta is always a good one around here but hubby is not a huge fan of it. There was a lentil taco recipe posted recently that is very good. (Sorry I don't remember who posted it) I like to use it for burrito filling on homemade flour tortillas and a little cheese. (That one may end up being more than $2) Pancakes are also a huge money saving dinner option for us. We almost never have pancakes for breakfast but usually have them a couple times a month for dinner.
post #2 of 419
how about beans and rice?
post #3 of 419
Lentil Soup and homemade bread.
post #4 of 419

Leftovers

I always make extra and plan to serve it again. (The way I look at it, I've paid for the first meal's worth of ingredients, so the second meal is free. )


Edited by kathirynne - 11/2/11 at 12:10pm
post #5 of 419
salmon patties! YUM
post #6 of 419
one of my favourite pasta recipes is dirt cheap and really tasty....

1 can whole Italian tomatoes
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (can use fresh)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Penne noodles (or anyother noodle)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Reserving the liquid, drain can of italian Tomatoes. Spread tomatoes on a shallow pan and cut each in half (cut side up). Sprinkle with the crushed garlic, a tbsp of oil, salt and the basil. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.
3. In the last 10 minutes add the retained liquid that was in the can.
4. Boil pasta and cut feta into small cubes.
5. When tomatoes are finished baking they will be burnt a bit (that's what you want),transfer all to a small bowl and crush with fork. Add the rest of the oil.
6. Pour the tomato mixture hot pasta and toss.

_____________

Other cheap favs are
- tomato and Barley soup
- Homemade bread
- A sauce made with Coconut milk, Peanut butter, honey and curry paste and a can of Tuna served over rice (I see it as inexpensive because I usaully have the curry paste, PB and honey in the pantry so all I need to buy is a can of coconut milk and tuna)
post #7 of 419
brown rice and corn cooked in broth(you can use a bullion cube, for meals under 2 bucks you gotta get cheap!) with some tomato paste thrown in(or left over pasta sauce!).
Its kinda like a southwest soup when you add whatever spices you have on hand(pepper, garlic, cumin, chilli powder)
post #8 of 419
pancakes! You can get a $1.00 mix and just add water - we eat these a LOT and not just for breakfast!
post #9 of 419
When the ingredients are bought on sale, our black bean and cheese tortillas are under $2 for the 4 of us, and that includes the sour cream ( sour cream!). If I could find the time to make the tortillas myself it would be even cheaper.
post #10 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxye
one of my favourite pasta recipes is dirt cheap and really tasty....

1 can whole Italian tomatoes
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (can use fresh)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Penne noodles (or anyother noodle)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Reserving the liquid, drain can of italian Tomatoes. Spread tomatoes on a shallow pan and cut each in half (cut side up). Sprinkle with the crushed garlic, a tbsp of oil, salt and the basil. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.
3. In the last 10 minutes add the retained liquid that was in the can.
4. Boil pasta and cut feta into small cubes.
5. When tomatoes are finished baking they will be burnt a bit (that's what you want),transfer all to a small bowl and crush with fork. Add the rest of the oil.
6. Pour the tomato mixture hot pasta and toss.
Oooh, interesting! I have cans of tomatoes to use, and I even have feta already. But how much feta? It's missing from the ingredients list Also, what are Italian tomatoes? Are they seasoned already? Or are they just plum or Roma? I think I'll make this tomorrow night...
post #11 of 419
I'm not exactly sure if this is under $2-- but it's close!

Peanut Butter Chicken & Rice
Cook 2 cups of rice as directed (makes 4 cups)

Sauce:
1/4 c P.B.
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. water
sprinkle on some garlic powder
Heat and stir w/ whisk until creamy.
Add cooked/diced chicken- mix in with the cooked rice- delicious!
I would use either 2 chicken breasts, or I normally cook a turkey, eat it one night and freeze the rest of the meat in ziploc bags, each bag probably equals 1 cup of meat.
post #12 of 419
Tonight we had Turkey and rice soup with homemade bread. Dh likes just carrots and celery in his turkey soup....sooo cheap. (I bought the turkey on sale last xmas! $10.00 for 20 lbs, and we've had 3 dinners, 3 lunches and we're having more tomorrow, plus there's white meat in the freezer!)

Rice and bean burritos, homemade pizza (costs more if you have two teens, but one pizza would be under $2), Beef and barley soup (Buy a morrow bone for the broth, use leftover beef for the soup), quiche, (1/2 dozen eggs, veggies on sale, cheese, homemade crust).

I got tomatoes on sale for .25 apiece this week. Dried tham and made tomato pesto with a .33 box of pasta. (walnuts instead of pine nuts)

Hummus and homemade baked tortilla chips. Or pita bread. And some fresh veggies.

Our new favorite...SUSHI! I got 10 nori sheets for $1.99. With just veggies, carrots, cuke, zuke, green beans. A swab of wasabi and a bit of lemon mayo. Yum. If you can add shrimp (cooked and cut in half) and a avocado, it's even better, and you can leave out the zuke and beans.

Baked stuffed taters and a salad. I just bake 'em, steam some broc, grate some cheese. Dh has a bacon fetish, so sometimes I cook some.
post #13 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel
Oooh, interesting! I have cans of tomatoes to use, and I even have feta already. But how much feta? It's missing from the ingredients list Also, what are Italian tomatoes? Are they seasoned already? Or are they just plum or Roma? I think I'll make this tomorrow night...
LOL... I took out the Feta from the list because it is a cheaper option... we make both ways and it is equally good... Mozzerella is also really good (cubed also)

Anyways.. 1/2 block of Feta is what we use... cut it up in little chunks and toss in with the hot pasta at the end...

As for the tomatoes... I use the Pastene Italian Tomatoes (the 796 ml not the 398 ml that is shown) but I have also used whole plum tomatoes and the results were the same..
post #14 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red
Our new favorite...SUSHI! I got 10 nori sheets for $1.99. With just veggies, carrots, cuke, zuke, green beans. A swab of wasabi and a bit of lemon mayo. Yum. If you can add shrimp (cooked and cut in half) and a avocado, it's even better, and you can leave out the zuke and beans.
Oh yeah.... now your talking

I love Sushi and once you have everything in the house then it is really cheap to make... I buy Nori in a 50 sheet pack for 10$ CND... For rice I just buy any store brand "Calrose" rice...
You can put whatever you want in it and it is so tasty and healthy...
post #15 of 419
Where are you finding Nori so cheap? I just bought some today, 5.00 for 10 sheets....I'm rural, so we don't have an Asian market here....Maybe I should try online?

I love sushi, we do veggie sushi, or add eggs for protien. My 4yo LOVES it!

For cheap, I do pea soup. Even if I buy organic peas, it's still cheap!

Buckwheat and bean chili is cheap and filling, too, I'll post the recipe when I have more time
post #16 of 419
paxye that pasta dish sounds delicous! Thanks for sharing

cheapest meal here would be

fried potato sandwiches
pancakes
post #17 of 419
I second leftovers!

Going to try that past dish tomorrow!
post #18 of 419
Fried rice or fried Chinese noodles. You can throw in whatever bits of meat you happen to have, and/or a scrambled egg or two, and a bunch of sliced veggies.
post #19 of 419
If you all like the Pasta recipe feel free to rate it on recipezaar

I buy my Nori at an asian market when I go into Montreal... around here it is SO expensive... It takes me a while to use up 50 sheets though so by the time that I use them all up I usually have the occasion to buy more...

I second... third? the Pancakes also and add French Toast...

Another favourite is Spring rolls... Rice Papers are cheap and a package can last a few meals...

I fill mine with shredded Cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic, soy sauce and what ever else I feel like (ground pork is god in there too)... just cook the filling until the cabbage and carrots are slightly limp but still have a crunch to them(pork cooked through of course) and then fill the rice papers and roll (you have to soak the rice paper first)
I serve them up with a spicy peanut sauce on the side...
post #20 of 419
home made pizza dough w leftover whatever as a topping

lmk if you need a dough recipe
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