Meals on the Cheap - under $2 meal ideas - Page 12 - Mothering Forums

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#331 of 419 Old 12-04-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaPam View Post
Tomato Curry Soup
In saucepan, melt: 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
Add: 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. curry
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Stir with whisk until thick and bubbly.
Gradually add 46 oz. 100% tomato juice and 1/4 cup sugar

We add more curry but I'm not sure how much more. We also make grilled cheese or cheese quesadillas usually with this.

I'm not sure of the total cost, but it is super cheap for us because we can get the tomato juice, and cheddar cheese to top the soup and for the grilled cheese on WIC.
Sounds delish, I am going to try this one! The off-brand tomato juice costs me $1, so this recipe is under $2 for me.

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#332 of 419 Old 12-04-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hummingmom View Post

Thai-style: If you have fish sauce and peanut butter on hand, a simplified version of Pad Thai can be made very cheaply. Our local Asian mega-mart often has rice noodles for $0.50/12 oz., coconut milk for less than $1/can, and green onions and cilantro for $0.33/bunch. At those prices, you could make a huge batch (enough for multiple meals) for under $5, including a little tofu or ground chicken if desired. [Coconut milk has lots of good fats and "staying power", but you can make Pad Thai without it. We actually prefer it that way. Just substitute regular milk or water.]

Do you have a generalr recipe you follow?

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#333 of 419 Old 12-05-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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Do you have a generalr recipe you follow?
Not really; I usually just poke around online to find a recipe, and then make a bunch of alterations based on taste or what's on hand.

This blog post, and this one, both have simple and flexible instructions for making something resembling Pad Thai. The first one also has some useful comments. They'd probably be good starting points.
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#334 of 419 Old 12-05-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hummingmom View Post
Thai-style: If you have fish sauce and peanut butter on hand, a simplified version of Pad Thai can be made very cheaply. Our local Asian mega-mart often has rice noodles for $0.50/12 oz., coconut milk for less than $1/can, and green onions and cilantro for $0.33/bunch. At those prices, you could make a huge batch (enough for multiple meals) for under $5, including a little tofu or ground chicken if desired. [Coconut milk has lots of good fats and "staying power", but you can make Pad Thai without it. We actually prefer it that way. Just substitute regular milk or water.]

If you made a less-than-huge batch of Pad Thai -- and ended up with leftover tofu/chicken, coconut milk, green onions and cilantro -- you could add a can of straw mushrooms, some stock, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice (or even vinegar, in a pinch), and make a Thai-style soup to serve with plain rice. [Again, the coconut milk is optional.]
I'm going to have to try this because it's one of my favorite resturant dishes. Also I've been growing sprouts at home and you can make a big mess mung bean sprouts for almost no money. Limes are in season too and I have tofu and the tale end of carrots from my garden that I should use up too.
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#335 of 419 Old 12-20-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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who is freaking sick of spaghetti!!!???
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#336 of 419 Old 12-20-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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I got one I made tonight and I think it will be delish.

This would feed 4 comfortably(2 adults and 2 kids)

Ham and cheese baked ziti

8 oz ziti(or other hollow pasta)
2 cups milk-used 1-12oz can evap. milk and 1/2 cup milk(from powdered)
1 cup ham diced
dash of salt
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp dijion mustard
2 cups cheese grated
1/2 cup APF(used WW)
butter or oil-2 tbsps

boil water for pasta-melt butter or oil in pan on med-saute garlic. add flour, salt and whisk until bubbly. add milk gradually, heat until boiling, add cheese(1 1/2 cups) and melt. add in ham, mustard and pasta-toss to coat. put in a baking dish and top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs if desired. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Now this may not always be cheap(and may never be for some). for us it was because we had all ingredients and they were bought super cheap.

Here's the breakdown:

1/2 lb pasta-.50(bought Barilla ziti@ $ store $1 a lb box)
ham-.50(ham was on sale 2lb ham was 2.00*for natural ham* super deal)
can of milk-.50
cheese-.75(or free if it was WIC)
oil or butter-.10-20
mustard-.10
garlic-.5

Alright it *probably* was close to 2.50 for the meal, not quite 2.00, but super close. Yummy comfort food for cheap. Plus many of these ingredients are on sale now, so it could be made for pretty inexpensively. HTH.

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#337 of 419 Old 12-26-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Bumping for more since I got nuthin'! I make most things from scratch, but I'm pretty bad about cooking to suit our moods rather than the sales flyers...

* Holly * rural Seattle suburban SAHM to Elizabeth 11 * Cole 9 * Annie 5 * Blaise 3 * and Urban 2 mos *
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#338 of 419 Old 12-31-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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bump
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#339 of 419 Old 01-01-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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Stratas are cheap and easy. Delicious too.

Cube a loaf (or however much you need) of bread and cover the bottom of a baking dish, a few inches deep.
Chop whatever veggies you like in an omelet. Broccoli and onion and mushroooms are particularly good IMO. DH likes peppers. Sprinkle them on top of the bread cubes. My family likes cooked sausage with the veggies.
Shred some cheese. A cup? A few handfulls? Depends on how much you like. Spread it on top. Beat about 6 eggs. Pour it over the entire thing. Refrigerate overnight.

Bake an hour at 350.
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#340 of 419 Old 01-01-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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That's what I needed! A strata formula! Thanks.
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#341 of 419 Old 01-02-2009, 03:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rebecca View Post
Stratas are cheap and easy. Delicious too.

Cube a loaf (or however much you need) of bread and cover the bottom of a baking dish, a few inches deep.
Chop whatever veggies you like in an omelet. Broccoli and onion and mushroooms are particularly good IMO. DH likes peppers. Sprinkle them on top of the bread cubes. My family likes cooked sausage with the veggies.
Shred some cheese. A cup? A few handfulls? Depends on how much you like. Spread it on top. Beat about 6 eggs. Pour it over the entire thing. Refrigerate overnight.

Bake an hour at 350.
Ooh! I never would have thought of this but what a great cheap tasty idea. I can't wait to make one! Thank you

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#342 of 419 Old 01-05-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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This is a great thread!

I have to do some figuring and see how I came out in my Great Spaghetti Sauce Experiment to see if I was really as cost effective as I thought I was.

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#343 of 419 Old 01-21-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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bump!

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#344 of 419 Old 01-21-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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We had these homemade veggie burgers for the first time last night. They were incredible tasting and well under $2 since the main ingredients are pureed beans, brown rice, and oats. The cup of cornbread stuffing really makes the recipe zing, but I bought Stove top on sale - you could also probably do homemade. There is no soy or egg so I think these are great for people with allergies. We served them without a bun and with carrot sticks and potatoes on the side.

My toddler gobbled his up and these are much cheaper than the Boca burgers I've been buying. And I like the fact that I know whats in them.
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#345 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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Bump!

I'm boiling beans right now for the Italian white bean soup! MMMmmmm...
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#346 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Bump!

I'm boiling beans right now for the Italian white bean soup! MMMmmmm...
I have lots of white beans, want to share your recipe?
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#347 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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This is a new one I just tried out & its yummy. I doubled everything but the beans & the spices. As written it serves four.

Italian White Bean Soup

1 Tbs extra virgin Olive Oil,
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 15 oz cans white kidney beans, undrained (use dried beans cooked insetad of canned)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp sage, dried
1/2 tsp basil, dried
salt to taste
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped or frozen chopped spinach
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan, sauté the garlic and onions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery, carrots, sage, basil, beans, water and salt. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add black pepper and spinach. Simmer 2 minutes.
There you go!!

( I add bacon to mine : and didn't have sage and its still super yummy with cheese on it )
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#348 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Thank you so much. Guess what we'll be having for dinner this week. :
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#349 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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Very very yummy White Bean and Ham soup Thanks to "For the love of cooking" blog

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow sweet onion
1 cup of carrots sliced
2 stalks of celery sliced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 1/2 cups of cooked diced ham
4 14oz cans of white beans or navy beans (rinsed & drained) I used dry beans to bring the cost down
3 cups of chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, carrots & celery. Cook until tender. Add garlic and ham and cook for 30-60 seconds before adding stock, 2 cans of beans, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium low heat for at least 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaf and blend soup in pot with immersion blender (use regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender). Add the remaining 2 cans of beans to soup & simmer for a bit longer.
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#350 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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Split pea soup

1 lb split green peas
8 cups of water
diced onion and garlic sauteed in olive oil with dried herbs like rosemary.

Cook until green peas are the consistency you like.
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#351 of 419 Old 02-16-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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LOL!! I came here hoping to find something easy with split peas. I have been craving them and have a bag in my cupboard. THANKS!!:

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#352 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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Very very yummy White Bean and Ham soup


Remove bay leaf and blend soup in pot with immersion blender (use regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender). Add the remaining 2 cans of beans to soup & simmer for a bit longer.
This recipe looks yummy.

Is it just any bean that is white? I usually stock northern beans in my cupboard.

Just a note on my highlighted portion - I wanted to warn anyone who doesnt use a blender regularly on hot stuff, only fill it up like half way with liquid or it will explode hot liquid all over you and your kitchen when you turn it on. That would suck. (It does suck.)
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#353 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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This recipe looks yummy.

Is it just any bean that is white? I usually stock northern beans in my cupboard.
Yup. I use white northern too
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#354 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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subbing

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
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#355 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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Eggplant Canneloni/"Spinach" Lasagna

a can/jar of marinara- homemade, or the $1 tall can from Hunt's

a box of lasagna noodles, or 3-4 eggplants if they are in season/in your garden/cheap

ricotta cheese- use the "Curds and Whey" recipe on Hillbilly Housewife- it's WONDERFUL! Also super cheap- only milk (powdered milk and water) and white vinegar, plus a little heat

greens- frozen or fresh spinach, kale, chard, etc.

Onions, garlic, spices, fat, and whatever other veggies you want to include- mushrooms are good.

Prepare your noodles per instructions, or the eggplant by slicing longways, salting, allowing to sit for 20 minutes, and then baking at 250 for 20 minutes.

Wash, drain and squeeze your greens.

Make your ricotta.

Get some hot oil or butter in a large sautee pan. Cook chopped onions, garlic, greens, spices, and whatever else goes your yummy goodness.

Mix the cooked veggies and the ricotta to make the filling. Add and egg or two if needed- I usually do this, it helps to hold everything together.

Now assemble. Pour some marinara in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish, and layer noodles or eggplant and filling until you have filled your dish. Pour the rest of the marinara over the top. Cover the top with shredded mozzarella if desired. Cook on 375 for about 40 minutes.

This will feed three hungry people for three or so meals, or six hungry people over two meals. It freezes and reheats beautifully. I often do it in four bread pans rather than one giant casserole.

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#356 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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Oh, thanks for this thread!

How about a whole chicken, if on sale you can get a good-sized one for $3 and make 2 meals out of it, a chicken soup with potatoes and veggies thrown in, and then use the extra meat for chicken salad, enchiladas, burritos etc.

Last night I made a delicious red lentil soup that everyone loved. It was just made with chicken broth, water, a tbsp of tomato paste, an onion, couple cloves of garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne or chili powder, and then drizzled with lemon juice. Yum.

We make brown rice a lot, it is meatier so it's more filling. I open up a can of black beans, and add it to a diced onion I caramelized in coconut oil, and I add the whole can with the juice and let it reduce while simmering. I add salt to taste, it's fantastic and cheap. I pay .58 cents a can. The onion is about 30 cents, and the rice also cents per serving. Kids love it too.
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#357 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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Bear Creek Soups... They are about $6-$7 but they make a half gallon of soup and can feed a family of 3 for three nights at least. They are very very very tasty!!

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#358 of 419 Old 02-17-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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This recipe looks yummy.

Just a note on my highlighted portion - I wanted to warn anyone who doesnt use a blender regularly on hot stuff, only fill it up like half way with liquid or it will explode hot liquid all over you and your kitchen when you turn it on. That would suck. (It does suck.)

Where were you 4 years ago? First time I made split pea soup I ended up with burns all over my face and chest. I just can't bring myself to make it again and my DH loves it.:
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#359 of 419 Old 02-24-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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thanks so much for this thread!! I hope it will help reduce my grocery bill by a LOT!!: I'll let you know!!

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#360 of 419 Old 02-27-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Bumping!

I wonder if we could get this stickied?
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