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

Meals on the Cheap - under $2 meal ideas

frogguruami's Avatar frogguruami (TS)
03:21 PM Liked: 11
#1 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 2,768
Joined: Sep 2004
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.
tiffany21074's Avatar tiffany21074
03:22 PM Liked: 0
#2 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2006
how about beans and rice?
LuvMyLittles's Avatar LuvMyLittles
04:06 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 222
Joined: Jul 2005
Lentil Soup and homemade bread.
kathirynne's Avatar kathirynne
04:10 PM Liked: 11
#4 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 1,523
Joined: Dec 2004

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. )


Mom2Joseph's Avatar Mom2Joseph
04:12 PM Liked: 12
#5 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 793
Joined: May 2006
salmon patties! YUM
paxye's Avatar paxye
04:29 PM Liked: 25
#6 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 2,836
Joined: Mar 2005
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)
hookahgirl's Avatar hookahgirl
04:31 PM Liked: 12
#7 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 822
Joined: May 2005
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)
Cloth4Colin's Avatar Cloth4Colin
05:34 PM Liked: 10
#8 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 1,111
Joined: Dec 2004
pancakes! You can get a $1.00 mix and just add water - we eat these a LOT and not just for breakfast!
melissel's Avatar melissel
06:06 PM Liked: 18
#9 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 2,463
Joined: Jun 2004
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.
melissel's Avatar melissel
06:10 PM Liked: 18
#10 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 2,463
Joined: Jun 2004
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...
rachelagain's Avatar rachelagain
06:40 PM Liked: 16
#11 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 683
Joined: Jun 2006
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.
Red's Avatar Red
11:36 PM Liked: 21
#12 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 4,392
Joined: Feb 2002
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.
paxye's Avatar paxye
11:46 PM Liked: 25
#13 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 2,836
Joined: Mar 2005
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..
paxye's Avatar paxye
11:51 PM Liked: 25
#14 of 419
09-13-2006 | Posts: 2,836
Joined: Mar 2005
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...
grisandole's Avatar grisandole
12:20 AM Liked: 2882
#15 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 5,060
Joined: Jan 2002
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
Sativarain1's Avatar Sativarain1
01:13 AM Liked: 2053
#16 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 1,865
Joined: Feb 2003
paxye that pasta dish sounds delicous! Thanks for sharing

cheapest meal here would be

fried potato sandwiches
pancakes
leomom's Avatar leomom
07:40 AM Liked: 0
#17 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 2,491
Joined: Aug 2004
I second leftovers!

Going to try that past dish tomorrow!
EFmom's Avatar EFmom
10:48 AM Liked: 157
#18 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 7,802
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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.
paxye's Avatar paxye
11:07 AM Liked: 25
#19 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 2,836
Joined: Mar 2005
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...
Amys1st's Avatar Amys1st
12:40 PM Liked: 394
#20 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 8,322
Joined: Mar 2003
home made pizza dough w leftover whatever as a topping

lmk if you need a dough recipe
rgarlough's Avatar rgarlough
01:34 PM Liked: 0
#21 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 537
Joined: Jul 2002
I'm making it on Sunday in the crockpot. Got a bag of beans, mine is called 15 Bean but there are other varieties = $1.09. Got a 3 pack of smoked ham hocks although they can be left out for a veg dish. I'm using 1 for this batch = $.60/hock. I have carrots, celery, and onion already. I have a large crockpot and this one batch will be enough for all 5 of us for Sunday dinner and leftovers for my work lunches for a few days. I'll also use my bread machine and make a hearty winter bread with molasses, ww flour, flax, egg & cornmeal. My homemade bread is less then $.20/loaf since I purchased all the stuff in bulk.
Starr's Avatar Starr
03:34 PM Liked: 11
#22 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 6,061
Joined: Mar 2005
Cheapest meal I have found is pancakes. We usually have them for supper once every two weeks just because they are easy to have on hand and quick to make. Also make all in one meal hot dishes and you can have leftovers.
rachelagain's Avatar rachelagain
04:01 PM Liked: 16
#23 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 683
Joined: Jun 2006
Thought of another one:
Rice & Sausage
I have tons of variations to this, but normally I buy the hotdog shaped polish or smoked sausage, here I can get the big package for about $4- which makes at least 4 meals.
Cook 2 cups rice.
quarter and dice 4 sausage (or 1-2 c. other meat, hamburger, chicken, etc)
add any veggies you like: (1-4 c.)
cabbage, broc. zuke, carrots, onion, bell pepper, swiss chard, etc.
Fry the sausage and veggies
when mostly cooked add rice and about 6 eggs- beaten, stir until eggs are cooked, can cover and set on low for the veggies to "steam".
Kind of a fried rice dish, I guess.
sophmama's Avatar sophmama
04:16 PM Liked: 0
#24 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 2,347
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In general, any recipes that contain mostly:

Rice
Beans (dried are cheapest and there are a lot of varieties)
eggs
veggies

and don't use a lot of expensive meats are cheap. (I also use 1/4 lb. of meat where recipes call for 1 lb.)

I've decided to switch to powdered milk for cooking - save $.
bamamom's Avatar bamamom
04:32 PM Liked: 12
#25 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 4,005
Joined: Dec 2004
In the South, this is a Staple meal..

Pinto Beans and Cornbread...Lucks Pintos are 49c a can, and bag ones are even cheaper.

and we like

bean burritos with chips and salsa from the local discount grocery outlet
melissel's Avatar melissel
05:50 PM Liked: 18
#26 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 2,463
Joined: Jun 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
In general, any recipes that contain mostly:

Rice
Beans (dried are cheapest and there are a lot of varieties)
eggs
veggies
This reminds me of my DH's all-time favorite meal (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner)--black beans and rice in any form with an over-easy egg or two over top. The egg yolk breaks down into the beans and rice, which at first, I thought was soooo gross. Boy, was I wrong

I posted a similar version of this on another thread, but sometimes I combine one can of corn (drained, or an equal amount frozen or fresh, cooked), one can of black beans (drained), and half a jar or a whole jar of salsa, heat it all up in a pot, and combine it with rice. Then dish it out and put the eggs over top. We also add a liberal dose of Tabasco on top !
annekevdbroek's Avatar annekevdbroek
07:17 PM Liked: 13
#27 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 3,168
Joined: Jun 2005
This website is good for frugal meals:

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm
doublesnap's Avatar doublesnap
07:26 PM Liked: 0
#28 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 290
Joined: Sep 2006
Simple pasta tossed with olive oil and garlic, I add some cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

It's easy to make tons at a time and bring to work the next day.
marybethorama's Avatar marybethorama
09:45 PM Liked: 15
#29 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 3,376
Joined: Jun 2005
I cooked some lentils and rice with some carrots and onion. I did add spices since I already had them. They were okay but kind of bland TBH.

So today I mixed the leftovers with some Italian dressing to make a cold salad.

It was delicious. I had to stop myself from eating it all myself.

I did add some black olives (half a can) which may put it over 2 dollars but not by much since the lentils and rice were so cheap.
USAmma's Avatar USAmma
11:29 PM Liked: 2637
#30 of 419
09-14-2006 | Posts: 18,573
Joined: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by marybethorama
I cooked some lentils and rice with some carrots and onion. I did add spices since I already had them. They were okay but kind of bland TBH.

We just had this for dinner! It was $2 something for the package of mixed yellow/green split peas, one onion, 2 carrots, and I cooked it in veggie broth and some Italian spices and salt. It was pretty good, and we have enough left over for my lunch tomorrow, and 1/3 of the package of peas is still in the bag.
Tags: Meal Planning , Frugality , Budget

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