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Meals on the Cheap - under $2 meal ideas - Page 8

post #141 of 419
TVP Macaroni

3 cups dry macaroni
3/4 cup TVP
oregano (optional)
olive oil

Cook the macaroni and dissolve 1/2 a bouillon cube in it. Reconstitute the TVP in water with 1/2 cube bouillon in it.
Fry the onion in olive oil, then add the TVP and brown.
Melt butter in the macaroni.
Mix the TVP and macaroni, add seasonings to taste.

My family eats this with peas as a veggie and it's a family favorite. My dh created this recipe.

post #142 of 419
I don't know if this officially qualifies as under $2 but I was making it this morning and it dawned on me that these are pretty darn cheap. My mom made them when I was a kid and I still love them! We're dairy free so I use soy maragine and rice milk.

Giant, Giant Pancake

3 T. maragine
3 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
powdered sugar (optional, we never use)

Preheat oven to 45o degrees. Melt maragine in 10 inch skillet (we use a cast iron skillet). Beat eggs; add flour and salt. Beat smooth. Stir in milk and melted butter. Combine well. Pour batter back into skillet. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leav in 5-10 minutes longer. Sift powdered sugar over (if you're using). Serves 4.

We top with syrup, jam, fruit, etc.

post #143 of 419
This is an easy pasta/soupy recipe. It's actually somewhere in the middle, depending how much broth you use. Could be under $2 if you buy your beans in bulk, or if you hit the Can Can sale at Shop-rite!

1 box small pasta (Ditalini is best, small shells or orzo or elbows work too...)
1 can diced tomato
1 can vegetable broth, plus enough water to cover past
1 can cannellini beans
add crushed dried rosemary and boil til pasta is cooked.

This is a freewheeling recipe--you can add roasted red pepper to this, or hot crushed pepper. I like it with the rosemary because I get tired tired of Mexican and Italian and the rosemary swings it over to the French side! You eat this with a spoon, but it's very thick.

If you have garlic bread on the side, even better.
post #144 of 419
Did anyone mention Jambalya? We eat that a lot. I make my own broth (like a lot of people here do), can my own tomatoes (or buy them at the scratch & dent for 10 cents for a big can), rice (69 cents for 3 pounds), celery, onion, whatever other left over veggies I feel like throwing in and add left over meat scraps (usually chicken, sausage of some sort or ham... I put it all in a freezer container until there is enough to make a pot of Jambalya). Where I live that certainly comes in at or less than $2 for a dinner for a family of four with leftovers... and it is made mostly from leftovers!

We eat a lot of pancakes and eggs, rice and bean type stuff for dinner too. I am glad we are not the only ones. We eat loads of pasta (I buy it at the scratch & dent for 40 cents a pound or at Aldi's for 89 cents for 2 pounds). Ramen pride made with the leftover bits of veggies in the freezer or spinach is something the kids and I eat quite often when DH is at work.

Something my mother used to make when she was a kid growing up very, very poor (I am talking one meal a day, no running hot water or indoor bathroom poor) was "tomato soup with dumplings". You take on large can of tomato juice and put it on to boil in a big pan. Then you mix flour and a little salt with water until it is sticky and drop that into the "soup" by the spoonfull. They are done when they puff up and are not gooey in the middle. It's good and costs about $1 if you buy generic tomato juice.
post #145 of 419
YEA I have something to contribute .

I get a big mix of beans from the bulk section and store them in a tub. Then, I basically copy the recipe on the commercial box of mixed beans.

Bean soup
2 c. beans soaked overnight and drained
1 big cooked sausage cut up
big can diced tomatoes
small can tom. sc
bay leaves
1 big box of CostCo organic (no MSG) chicken broth
Crockpot on high all day

Throw in any veggies; ie. big BEll peppers
Teaspoon+ sea salt

Maybe not $2.00 but close and if you have your own broth, closer.

Can eat alone or served over rice
post #146 of 419
Originally Posted by paxye View Post
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...
I can honestly say you have one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen! SOOOO cute!
post #147 of 419
post #148 of 419
Subbing! Thanks for all the great ideas, and keep 'em coming!

Also wanted to add a few more:

Pasta (any type) with butter & parmesan cheese
Peanut butter, apple & granola wrapped inside flour tortilla
Hamburger bun pizzas - toast buns, add toppings to hamburger bun & bake until cheese melts
post #149 of 419

Sopa de Fideos con Acelgas

(mexican tomato noodle soup w/ swiss chard)

2 tsp. veg oil
8oz fideos or angel hair pasta (broken into 1 inch pieces)
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes or you can use just reg. tomatos (or even tom paste mixed w. water to = 28 oz- in a pinch!)
2 cups veggie broth, chicken stock or water (whatever you have on hand will work, use some extra spices and garlic/onion if you use water)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1 bunch swiss chard (ribs removed and cut into thin strips)

heat oil in a skillet then add noodles, onion and garlic. stir constantly and cook until spagetti pieces are golden. add everything but the swiss chard to a soup pot. bring to a boil over med-high heat then cover and simmer 10 min. add swiss chard. cook another 5-10 min. until chard is nice and wilty. remove bay leaf before serving..you can top this with paremsan cheese but it's good without it!
post #150 of 419

pizza beans

this is a favorite here of my kiddos.

2 c. beans (cooked)
1 c. pizza sauce*
1 c. shredded mozerella cheese
1 bell pepper & 1 onion chopped

lightly oil a pie pan. spread beans evenly in the pan then top w. remaining ingredients. bake at 375 degrees (uncovered) for 20 min. serve over cooked rice, pasta, baked potato, on a sandwich roll etc. (very versatile) may not be exactly a $2 meal but very cheap, especially if cooked in bulk and frozen!

for my pizza sauce I use a can of tomato past mixed with water (until the desired consitancy is reached) then add spices-oregno, basil, garlic powder, etc). you can use leftover spagetti sauce too.
post #151 of 419
Heres a super cheap and quick Iranian recipie.

Addasi (can add ground meat if you want, we normally just eat it with fresh plain yogurt)

You will need.

basmati rice
brown lentils
*optional*-Mung beans

In a pot put in about 1 cup of washed lentils, add enough water to cook till 1/2 done.

Take pot off and strain lentils in a coriander but SAVE THE LIQUID!!!

Now, take 2 cups of basmati rice or 1 and 1/2 cup dept on how many will eat it and wash it really well.

Place washed rice in a pot and add the lentils.

You will need to have in total 4 cups of liquid for the rice (if using 2 cups of rice or 3 cups of liquid for the rice if using 1 & 1/2 cup of rice, add 1/2 extra for the lentils-this is where the water u cooked the lentils will come in).

Now...turn on the fire, add a tablespoon of butter-or olive oil and enough salt so the water is *just* salty tastying...anything more and it'll be too salty, anything less and the rice wont fluff.

now, turn to medium and let cook till almost all the water is gone save a small film of water on the top, turn to super low and cover, it will now steam for 30-40minutes.

becos of the water the lentils cooked in the rice will be a brownish color and if u used both mung beans and lentils it'll be greenish-brown.

This is SOOO good and is eaten with a lot of yogurt and nan (bread)

if you wanna add ground meat, pre-fry it, drain off the oil and add the cooked ground meat to everything when you turn it on to cook.

Umm Ibi
post #152 of 419
This is a GREAT thread. Getting my creative "frugal meal" juices flowing again

For cheap/easy meals (and being Italian) we eat a lot of pasta. With 7 people, though $2 meals aren't easy, so these might be a bit over.

Regular pasta with brocooli is one of our staples. Cooked pasta + cooked broccoli = meal. We use OO, grated cheese, vinegar and red pepper flakes as condiments.

Pasta + 1 can of canned tomatoes is good too. Just drain and toss with the pasta.

We eat chick peas for lunch sometimes. Open the can, drain, heat and eat with OO and grated cheese.

1 can of baked beans + 1 can of the pre-made bisquits is a good casserole. A little over 2 bucks, add on some meat if you want, or mix some chick peas. You just pour the beans in a casserole, add cooked meat and top with buns. Bake at 350 until the buns are brown.

This is more than 2 dollars, but I buy a pork roast, put it in the crockpot for the day and then shred it. I use some for tacos (just add some garlic, salt and pepper, heat in skillet, serve with tortillas and condiments) and some for bbq sandwiches (add bbq sauce or ketchup, apple cider vinegar and spices -- garlic, salt, pepper, dash of sweet, mustard).
post #153 of 419
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
home made pizza dough w leftover whatever as a topping

lmk if you need a dough recipe
I would love a recipe for pizza dough.
post #154 of 419
I made this last night because I hadn't been to the store and didn't know what else to make.

Potato wedges fried with canola oil, oregano, basil, and chili powder.

Mix with tofu cubes and chunks of zucchini sauteed in olive oil and the spices of your choice.

post #155 of 419
Great ideas. We are spending way to much of food. Maybe we can use some of these recipies!

post #156 of 419
1 can wild Alaskan Salmon or 2 cans of healthy tuna
a big scoop of mayo or 1-2 eggs and a few Tblspns of milk
1 T lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/4 c wheat flour and 1/4 c of corn meal, mixed
chopped veggies of your choice
3 T of fat of your choice

This recipe relies on finding the salmon on sale but its worth it.

One can of Wild Alaska Salmon, pull out all skin and bones then crumble by hand. Drain the liquid and put the salmon in a bowl.

Use on heaping scoop of mayo or an egg and milk. Add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice (or two if you are like me!). You can add in chopped veggies too like chopped kale, spinach, zucchini, or onion but you might need to add an egg for binding. Mix well, it should be quite wet. Add in any spices you like for example dill, pepper, paprika.

Sprinkle 1/4 c wheat flour and 1/4 c corn meal, mixed together, over the top and mix well.

Form into patties. Put the patties into you pan with melted fat (lard, coconut oil, etc I don't recommend butter though as it burns too easily) on medium heat. Cook on one side till golden brown then flip and cook until done.

If you add in lots of veggies then you have a meal! This makes about 6 palm sized patties.

I serve with a big romaine salad and tomatoes.
post #157 of 419
Originally Posted by spinmom View Post
I would love a recipe for pizza dough.
Hillbilly Housewife has several low cost recipes. I just made the Make Ahead dough the other day but we haven't tried them yet so I can't attest to the yum-factor.
post #158 of 419
We made Sopa de Fideos con Acelgas tonight and it was great!!

post #159 of 419
Here is something we had tonight:

1/2 a head of red cabbage thinly sliced/chopped
2 green apples, peeled and grated
a little oil, cinnamon, cloves... and ginger if you have it.
a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey
a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Mix the cabbage and the grated apples together in a bowl, add a little salt if you like.

Heat a little oil (like a tablespoon) in a pan on medium and heat the cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Add the cabbage/apple mixture and the syrup. Then reduce to med-low and cover. Cook about 30 minutes. Uncover, add the vinegar and turn up heat a bit to simmer off liquid.

Serve this with brown rice or whatever else seems like a good pairing in your budget. It is around $2 if you get a good price on cabbage. We served the above recipe with thin apple slices and fed 5 adults (1 woman and 4 men- my husband, father, brother and my brother's husband) and 1 child (4 year old boy). No leftovers whatsoever, but it was more than enough for dinner and my husband as well as brother and BIL eat A LOT.

Price breakdown, today, in Seattle:

50 cents for cabbage ($1/2- you only use 1/2 a head)
12 Apples for $3.99- I used 4 total (2 in the recipe, 2 on the side as slices) so a total of $1.20 for apples.
Everything else was in my pantry but was used in tiny amounts, so I guess around $2.50-$3.00. Pretty good for feeding 6. When we make it just for ourselves (1 couple+1 tot), we have lunch the next couple of days.
post #160 of 419
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