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Meals on the Cheap - under $2 meal ideas - Page 6

post #101 of 419
We made these the other night and just loved them. The recipe makes enough for 2 meals, so the total is going to be about $4. You just put the extra batter in the fridge and make more when you want.

Savory Cheesecakes

2 8 oz bars of cream cheese ($1 each bar, so $2)
4 eggs (1/3 of the carton, so about $.40)
4 oz sour cream (about $.50)

These ingredients can vary a lot, use whatever you have!
Canned chicken ($.50)
Roasted red peppers (small amount of the jar bought at the dollar store, $.20)
Sun dried tomatoes (small amount of the jar bought at the dollar store, $.20)
Onion ($.20)

Chop and caramelize the onion. Chop the roasted red peppers. Mix the cream cheese until it's fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the sour cream. Fold in the other ingredients. Put in individual ramekins. Bake the ramekins at 375 for about 30 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes (they'll still be warm, or you can cool for longer and put in the fridge if you like them cold).

Total: $4 for 2 meals, so $2 for each individual meal. It can also use up leftovers, which would make it cheaper.
post #102 of 419
Subbing to this lovely thread, and to say Thank You for the link to Hillbilly housewife !! I love it!!!!
post #103 of 419
Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post
I just made a cheap recipe I got from a link off the Nutrition & Good Eating forum here at MDC....for Honey-Baked Lentils:


It took maybe 3 minutes to put together...you don't even have to chop anything up! And I only baked mine about 35-40 minutes and it came out perfectly. It honestly is delicious!

To die for!!! Honestly, even my DH loved this and he hates to eat beans. I could live on this all week. I'm going to figure out how to make a huge batch in my crock pot!!!

oh, and it was so easy, my 3 year old made it! (with only a little help from mama)
post #104 of 419
post #105 of 419
post #106 of 419
I buy the rotisserie chicken at Costco for $5. They are HUGE!
The 1st night we have the chicken sliced with some veggies, then leftovers on sandwiches at lunch. Then I made stock from the bones and chicken soup (tossed in a couple cups rice, carrots, and the leftover chicken scraps, lots of rosemary and black pepper).

That's 3 meals for 2 adults and 1 preschooler-- not bad.
post #107 of 419
I make a crockpot tomato sauce for pasta that is good for about 5 meals, so it works out to be less than $2/meal. I use it for spaghetti, lasagna, manicotti, ravioli, etc...

1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, sometimes a small pepper, and a shredded carrot (sometimes I also use shredded zucchini - great for that summer bumper crop), all sauteed in olive oil

3 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes or a bunch of your garden tomatoes chopped up to an equivalent amount

3/4 c dry red wine or 1/2 cup water

2 tsp turbinado or regular brown sugar

2 tsp dry or fresh basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

pepper, to taste

Put all in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Use some today, then freeze in smaller portions to use later. This recipe was adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.
post #108 of 419
I love curries, the cost varies depending on what I have in the garden and what is on sale but it works out to 2 meals (1 dinner, one lunch; great in a wrap) for us (2 adults 2 kids).

Saute 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic in olive oil.

Add veggies - 4 cups of cauliflower OR potatoes OR your choice (I like potatoes!)

Stir in 1 (16-oz) can diced tomatoes

Add 1-2 tsp curry powder to taste, cover and let simmer

Stir in 1 can chickpeas and 1 cup frozen green peas

Dissolve 2 tsp flour in 1 cup milk, stir into skillet until thick

You're done! Serve over rice. Adapted from Vegetarian Family Favorites by Nava Atlas
post #109 of 419
I made chicken/veggie soup the other night. Stock was made from a roasted chicken I had had from last week (the stock itself went for 5 nights worth of soup!). I cut up two chicken breasts to have fresh chicken in it ($2 worth of meat), and I figure about $.50 of other ingredients. I made corn bread muffins one night and dumplings the next. So, around $2.50 for two nights worth of dinner. Comes to $1.25/night to feed a family of 5! And, I have enough for me for lunch today!
post #110 of 419
Didn't read the others, but some of our favorites are:

Vegetable soup using leftover vegetables that will soon go bad
Scrambled eggs/omelets with toast
Bean burritos
post #111 of 419
Rice + Vegetables. Add a few wraps here and there, with some lettuce and pickles, and it's a healthy cheap meal
post #112 of 419
post #113 of 419
My mom has tons, lets see what i can remember and what i do

1 potato
5 eggs
any veggieswhich are kinda getting yucky in the fridge ( squash, carrots, squash, kale, green peppers, spinach.Whatever) shred, chopped or diced up
1 onion diced up
and a little cheese
slice the potato in really thin slices and put them in a pie plate with olive oil rubbed on the bottom and sides of pie plate. then put the veggies on top of that.
Beat the eggs really well and pour over and top with the cheese.

Bake 30 minutes at 350.

Corn bake
1 box jiffy corn bread mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can corn you do not drain
2 eggs
mix in all together and put in baking dish..bake 350 for 30 mintutes
My dh likes it with salsa and sour cream

Fried rice
3 cups cooked rice
1 diced onion
2 egg beaten
1 cup frozen veggies
soy sauce
put alittle butter in a wok or fry pan and add hot rice,add onion veggies. add a litt e soy saucepush it all to the side on your pan leaving a little space in the middle,pour in the egss and mix like scrabbled eggs. then mix it all together. add a little more soy suace and salt and pepper

Muffin Pizzas

English muffins with sauce ,veggies and cheese on top. Broil for a few minutes.I toast my muffins first to make sure the are real crunchy and warm all the way.

Baked Zita
spagetti sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
a little grated parmesean cheese
Boil pasta, drain and mix well with sauce.It can have meat in it if you eat meat but i just add a bunch of veggies to it. Put in a baking dish and speard with sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes

Sloppy bows( this was our favorite when we were kids,i kinda hate it now but kids love it and my dh loves it: )
1 box bow tie pasta
1 can sloppy joe mix
A little cheese.
Cook pasta,drain and mix with sloppy joe sauce.put in baking dish and put alittle shredded cheese on top.Bake for about 20 minutes

post #114 of 419
LOVING all the recipes on this thread!!!! here's one of my favorites!!!

~1 small can enchelada sauce (about 60-cents for old-el-paso)
~vegetable oil, crisco, butter, or olive oil - whatever you have on hand that you can fry with - can be frying oil from another fry....
~1 can black beans (about 50-cents)
~8 large tortillas (cheaper if you can make them at home, but we dont so it comes out to about $1.08 i think?)

total $2.18

make black-bean burritos with the tortillas. heat oil in skillet on stove on med heat - with tongs, gently place burrito seam-side down in oil. flip when golden. remove from heat and allow oil to drain 2-3 min on paper towel (or even junk mail hehehe) to absorb excess oil. top with enchelada sauce

these are SO GOOD. I get rave reviews every time i make them. they're not the healthiest things on earth but you could definitely health-them-up by grilling the burritos instead of frying them - or just lightly frying them in non-stick spray (fat free), and adding any veggies you have on hand or salsa.

super delish!!! it serves 8 also (one burrito will seriously fill you up). I usually serve with a side of corn (50-cents for a can) or rice (super duper cheap). Since we usually eat this for 2 meals, it comes out to under $2 per meal.
post #115 of 419
Originally Posted by peachpie View Post
I buy the rotisserie chicken at Costco for $5. They are HUGE!
The 1st night we have the chicken sliced with some veggies, then leftovers on sandwiches at lunch. Then I made stock from the bones and chicken soup (tossed in a couple cups rice, carrots, and the leftover chicken scraps, lots of rosemary and black pepper).

That's 3 meals for 2 adults and 1 preschooler-- not bad.
I make my own in the crockpot. Its quite yummy.
post #116 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.


i made this for supper last week. it was so awesome! thank you!!!
post #117 of 419
this thread!
post #118 of 419
you can make this in a crockpot or on the stove.

1 large baking potato (or a few small red ones) cut into bite size pieces
1 or 2 cans of mushroom soup
Add 1 or 2 cans of water
1 can carrots
1 can peas
1 can corn
1 can grean beans
Salt & Pepper to taste
Add hot sauce (about 2 tablespoons)

Cook on high for 3 hours in crockpot or until potatoes are done

this is a delicious filling cheap soup! you can use 1/2 bag of frozen mixed veggies too in place of the cans.
post #119 of 419
post #120 of 419
So...we don't eat meat at home so really our meals are fairly cheap!!!!

My dh fav is roasted root veggies!!!
We buy huge bags! Granted they are more then 2 dollars but they last forever!!!

A cheap meal I make for the two of us is a polenta and blackbean casserole!
Sooo good!!

1 can of black beans(dried are cheaper..I use 1/2 can for two people)
cornmeal(follow package to make polenta)
garlic cloves(as many as you'd like)
1/2 carrot
1 stock celery
1 onion
1/2 can corn(for two of us)
salsa(this is where it gets expensive...I buy the cheapo biggest jug of salsa around 7 bucks here and it lasts like 5 differrent meals where I use salsa!)

Make the polenta(season with chili, oregano, anything you have on hand)
Put the polenta into a casserole dish, bake to harden(15 min)

Dice garlic, carrot, celery onion, mix corn and beans all together. Pour on top of polenta then pour salsa on top and bake!!

My dh LOVES this!!

Other meals I make with the salsa is...a lentil, chickpea, rice dish

Cook lentils(about 1/2 cup for 2)
1/2 can chickpeas(i use leftovers either for curry..or HUMMUS MMMMM)
1/2 can corn(use leftovers frm first salsa dinner)
1 1/2 TBS tomato paste
1 cup rice
garlic to taste
chili pepper
1 cup fresh cilanto
chopped mint to taste(if you have)
1/2 carrot
cumin to taste

So cook lentils
Cook rice
Place sasa, cilantro, tomato, cumin,garlic in blender and puree until smooth

Heat oil(i use chili or olive) in pan. Add onion, carrot, celery, cook until a little soft.
Add pureed mixture, rice lentils and chickpeas
Heat through!!!!

A third salsa meal!!!
I use store bought tortillas(dh LOVES taking them to work)
refried beans
1/2 can corn
1/2 carrot
tomato paste(use up leftovers)
whatever veg you have on hand really
mx some not all salsa with about 2 TBS tomato paste
mix with all veggie
Place some bean on tortilla
place veg/salsa mixture and roll up
Place in greased casserole dish
pour salsa on top
bake for 15-20 min

Another go to dinner is always fried rice!!!
Dh LOVES fried rice out of leftovers!!! He loves it with tofu and egg!

Mac and cheese was always a cheap meal growing up..with canned tomatoes
We dont eat cows milk anymore so thats no longer a cheap meal!!

Miso Soup!!!!

Sooooooooo good!!!!
Broth or water
miso to taste
sliced or dried mushrooms
chopped tofu or chicken
chopped green onions
sesame seeds

Cook all together
But dont let miso boil loses healinng abilities!!
This was my fav thing right after having ds
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