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under $2 meal ideas Thread compilation--COMPLETED!!--See Dedication!!

5879 Views 23 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Mirta
I've finally completed my compilation of the Meals Under $2 Thread, you can find all the recipes in messages 3, 4, 9 and 19 or you can message me and I will send you the 50 page word document. (it is nicer having it all together in one document and neatly formatted.)

Enjoy your frugal cooking!!


Was x-posted in Frugality & Finances..also mentioned in the original thread, but since I knew some people were intimidated by that big thread I thought I would post this here, too!

I'm presently working on a compilation of the Meals on the Cheap - under $2 meal ideas Thread .. I went through and cut and pasted everyone's meal suggestions and recipes into a word document, but I ended up realizing that the 54 page document as a bit overwhelming and too disorganized to do me any good, so I'm now trying to organize it by recipe/suggestion type (ex: Mexican foods, pastas, soups, etc..) Because the project is so time consuming I have decided that once I finish it I am DEFINITELY going to be sharing it with friends, family and of course all of you, since you inspired it!

My question is, somethings could go in two or more sections, such as Beans, Mexican and/or Casserole, but because I want to be able to mail this to people I need to keep the document as short as possible since some people's email programs won't handle really large attachments, so which would you prefer the recipe was under, Beans because it is the main ingredient, Mexican because it is the style, or casserole because it is the way it is cooked? Or am I over thinking all of this?!

Thanks in advance...

PS... Feel free to add more meal ideas and recipes and I will include them in the compilation!! I think the thread is invaluable which is why I'm doing this, and the more ideas, the better!!!

Part One of Compilation is in post #3!! Part Two is in Post #4 Part 3 in Post #9 Part 4 in post 19!!DEDICATION POST 20
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thank you so much for taking the time to do this!!!

I think you could probably put it under beans, because that's the main ing. and then people can pick what style they want kwim?
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I dedicate these pages to all the women on who have taught and inspired me over the years. I've learned so much from all of you, about mothering, frugality, cooking, writing, etc, etc, This was a work of love for all of you and for my friends and family; I pray it will bless each and every one of you and your families. A special thanks to all those who posted the recipes below. ~~Kym Aka Mirta

Notes: 1. under $2 is relative, It is based on how the person who posted the recipe interpreted the idea.. Some based it the whole recipe, some based it on cost per person...also, the thread originated in 2006 when prices were cheaper for some items.
2. In some places people listed only the names of recipes and not the recipes themselves. I've gone ahead and included these to give you more ideas of things you can cook. Google these and find the recipe that most appeals to you. Remember if you can "shop" from your pantry/fridge/freezer vs going to the store for new ingredients you're saving money!!

I hope you find the recipes delicious and inspiring. Enjoy some frugal cooking!

Under $2 Meal Ideas

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.)

From sophmama: In general, any recipes that contain mostly: Beans (dried are cheapest and there are a lot of varieties), Rice, 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 $.
From madskye: Also, I will add a can of white beans to almost everything I cook if it goes for the extra protein. That might push you over $2 on this recipe, though.

One week of meals
Posted by Realcraftymama
Day One: Baked Chicken, salad, homemade bread, veggie of choice.
Day Two: Chicken carcass, slow boil all day, strain and add carrots and celery - leftover veggies, salad w/croutons made from leftover bread and garlic powder.
Day Three: Pasta, sauce w/ground turkey, salad, homemade bread.
Day Four: Leftover sauce, kidney beans, chili seasoning, ground turkey, cheese and sour cream.
Day Five: Roast beef w/potatoes, carrots, onions, homemade bread and salad.
Day Six: Hot roast beef sandwiches on leftover homemade bread, salad.
Day Seven: Pancakes, turkey sausage, eggs, hash browns from leftover potatoes plus green pepper, onion and cheese.
This is a typical week of meals around our house, under fifty dollars for the four of us, including two boxes of cereal for the finicky.

Here are our dinners for the week:
Posted by dharmamama
Lentil Potato Soup (twice)
Beans and cornbread with broccoli
Spaghetti with tomato sauce and Lima beans
Irish Potato Meal I got from this thread
TVP Macaroni and green beans
Veggie/tofu stir-fry with brown rice

I spent $102 for groceries this week for a family of five. That includes $3 for sparkling cranberry juice I took to a holiday party, $11 for milk (due to allergy, we drink rice and almond milks, which are pricey), organic oranges, pears, apples, and bananas, lunches for my dh to take to work, and a "stock-up" at the local bulk foods place, where we buy lentils, spices, flour, oatmeal, dried beans, rice, etc.

I can at times get our grocery bill as low as $80 a week if I am not replenishing my stocks of things. I know it would be lower if I shopped at ALDI or Save-A-Lot, but I do the bulk of my buying at Trader Joe's and buy as much organic as I can.

This website is good for frugal meals:
I also wanted to mention this blog here, because he has some very good ideas for cheap meals. It's called Cheap Eats. Here's the link:
Posted By merrijayne: Anyone ever read the MORE WITH LESS COOKBOOK it is a great read with lots of ideas. Published by the Mennonite community.
wife&mommy's blog

(Dried are cheapest and there are a lot of varieties)
Tip from my brother--When cooking beans, the addition of kombu is particularly recommended because it helps soften the beans, reduces cooking time, and makes them easier to digest.

Posted by UmmIbrahim
A super cheap and quick Iranian recipe. (Can add ground meat if you want, we normally just eat it with fresh plain yogurt)
-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 colander but SAVE THE LIQUID!!! Now, take 2 cups of basmati rice or 1 and 1/2 cup depending 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 you cooked the lentils will come in). Turn on the fire, add a tablespoon of butter-or olive oil and enough salt so the water is *just* salty tasting...anything more and it'll be too salty, anything less and the rice wont fluff. Turn to medium and let cook until 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. Because of the water the lentils cooked in, the rice will be a brownish color and if you 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 want 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.

Baked Bean Casserole
Posted by Groovy Mom
1 can of baked beans and 1 can of the pre-made biscuits 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.

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Bean and Cornbread Casserole
Posted by zmom
Here's a casserole that is cheap and easy. When I have leftover beans, I put them in a layer on the bottom of a casserole dish. Then I sauté whatever veggies I happen to have in the fridge and layer them next. If I have cheese, I'll grate some and put that next. Then finish with a layer of cornbread mix. Cook according to the cornbread directions. You can top the cornbread batter with cheese too.

Beans and Rice

Bean Burritos with chips and salsa from the local discount grocery outlet

Bean Soup
Posted by rgarlough
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.

Bean Soup
Posted by BusyMommy
-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; i.e. big Bell peppers. Teaspoon + sea salt. Pepper Maybe not $2.00 but close and if you have your own broth, closer. Can eat alone or served over rice

Bean Soup
Posted By luv-my-boys
-1 carton of organic beef broth
-1 package of dry mixed beans (soaked)
-Little cut up onion, salt, garlic, pepper to taste.
Hearty meal and most times I just set up in my crock pot.

Beans Tortillas and Cabbage
Posted By spring978
-Homemade tortillas for 5 about 30cents
-1lb pinto beans $1
-1/4thinly sliced cabbage 25 cents
-1/2c. Grated cheese $1
-Onion 50 cents
So about 3.00 for 5 adult servings and 1 toddler plus enough beans leftover for 6 more servings.

Black Bean and Cheese Tortillas
Posted By melissel
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. I'm not exactly sure if this is under $2-- but its close!

Black-Bean Burritos
Posted By kandkrose
-1 small can enchilada 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 don't 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 enchilada 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.

Black Beans, Corn, Egg, and Rice
Posted By melissel
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!

Black Beans, Onions, Tomatoes and Sofrito
Posted By MaShroom
Here is something I picked up from my BIL who would eat black beans for every meal if my sister let him. You can use chicken in it too, but I don't. If you do, just precook and cube or stick a filet on top or the side. It is super cheap and easy and even the people in my family who don't like onions chow down. I don't ever measure anything; I just guess and always cook extra so I can have leftovers so this is subject to any quantity you want. It turns out different every time, but always good! The following will feed 4 normal people which means it will feed 2 people in my house. Caramelize an onion in oil. Throw in a regular size can of tomato sauce and some jarred sofrito. Add the sofrito to taste, a couple of tablespoons is good to me. Add a can of black beans and simmer for a few minutes. Serve over rice and yuuuuuum!

Black Beans, Rice, and Egg
Posted By melissel
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.

Black Bean Soup
Posted By BeauGeek
-1 can of black beans
-1/4 cup of salsa
-1/2 cup of chicken stock
Blend everything together and heat.

Black Bean Soup
Posted By Attila the Honey
The only thing I add to our black bean soup is vinegar, spices (bought in bulk, pennies), salt, a chopped carrot or two ($2/5lbs and I use maybe 1/10th - 20 cents?), a chopped onion (.99/3lbs and again, maybe 1/10th of the package - 10 cents?), a couple cloves of garlic (IIRC it's usually 3 heads of garlic for $1 and I used maybe 1/2 of one head- so 16 cents?). Even with the plop of sour cream I like on top (15 serving/1.59 container and each person gets one serving on their bowl of soup - 10 cents) and with a cornbread on the side (from scratch, bulk ingredients) it doesn't come in over $2! Heck, I could add brown rice to the soup and still come in under $2, I bet.

Black Bean Vegetable Soup
Posted By bright_eyes
Here is one of our favorite meals. It is really good with grate cheese sprinkled on top and a bit of plain yogurt. I tend to use 1 pound of dried black beans when I make the recipe, so 1 traditional sized package of black beans
-1 tbsp vegetable oil
-1 onion, chopped
-1 clove garlic minced
-2 carrots, chopped
-2 teaspoons chili powder
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-4 cups vegetable stock (I make it w/ chicken stock)
-2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 (8.75) can whole kernel corn (I use frozen)
-1/4 tsp ground black pepper
-1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
In a large saucepan, heat oil over med. heat; cook onion, garlic and carrots, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock, 1 can of beans, corn and pepper, bring to boil. In food processor or blender, puree together tomatoes and remaining can of beans; add to pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Posted By caiesmommy
-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 vegetable you have on hand really
Mix some not all salsa with about 2 TBS tomato paste. Mix with all veggie. Place some bean on tortilla. Place vegetable/salsa mixture and roll up. Place in greased casserole dish. Pour salsa on top. Bake for 15-20 min

Chickpeas and Cheese
Posted By Groovy Mom
We eat chickpeas for lunch sometimes. Open the can, drain, heat and eat with Olive Oil and grated cheese

Chickpea Salsa
Posted By rainy32
Rinse 2 cans of chickpeas (59 - 80 cents each) and throw them in the blender or food processor with 5 cloves of garlic, a handful of chopped parsley, and half an onion. Coarsely chop this -- don't puree. Fry this coarse mixture in a couple teaspoons of oil (olive, canola, safflower), until a little golden and crunchy. Pour the warm chickpea mixture over bowls of romaine lettuce (1.00 a head). If you've got them on hand, add a couple tomatoes or cucumbers. Squirt some lemon juice over the whole thing. Then (DH's inspiration) add some ranch dressing (which is free, because you already have it on hand). YUM. And healthy. And good protein.

Posted By Scribe
First, soak 1 cup of bulgur in 1 cup of liquid. Tomato juice is great, water is fine. While that is soaking, dice up an onion about four cloves of garlic, then cook them up in some olive oil until they're soft. When they're soft, add a big can of tomatoes (crushed or whole ones crushed up w/ your hand) with the juice and three smaller cans of beans. I used red beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans this last time and it was very good. Add all the bean liquid as well. Then add the bulgur, some salt and pepper, and whatever else you have around for spices (cumin, chili pepper, cayenne, etc.). Simmer for a bit and voila, dinner (and two days of lunch, at my house). Good with crumbled cheese in it and crackers or cornbread if you've got it.

Posted By Red
I use 3/4 of a lb of dried beans to make a BIG pot of chili. With a can of tomatoes at .99 (I get them for less on sale), a bit of chili powder, and an onion, it costs about $2. Since it feeds me, DH and two teens, twice it's actually a one dollar meal. So, I can add some cheese ($1.50 for 8 oz block) 1/2 a block is $.75.

Chili and Cornbread
Posted By ***Heather***
Assorted dried beans, some hamburger meat, can of diced tomatoes, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, garlic. Cornbread made from scratch

Chili Dogs
Posted By Dezimber
My nephew adds the cheese into the chili while it is heating up

Cuban Breakfast
Posted By Rebecca
-1 can black beans (spiced with taco seasonings, onion and garlic to taste)
-2 plum tomatoes, sliced
-2 slices mozzarella cheese
-4 eggs cooked over easy
-Dollop of sour cream
Cook the beans however you like them seasoned. I like this dish with a Mexican flavor, so I use cumin, garlic, onion (taco seasoning, essentially). Spoon the beans onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Put a few slices of tomatoes on the beans, and the mozzarella cheese on the tomatoes. Cook the eggs either sunny side up or over easy if you don't love runny eggs. Pile them on top on the beans/tomatoes/cheese, and put it all under the broiler for a couple mins, until the egg firms up and the cheese is melty. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a hearty side of toast.

Easy Spiced Lentils and Brown Rice
Posted By aurinia
-3/4 cup brown lentils
-1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
-2 2/3 cups chicken broth
-1/4 cup white wine (I just use more chicken broth...cheaper that way)
-1 medium onion, diced
-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
-1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
-1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Swiss or parmesan are all good)
Mix everything except 1/2 cup of the cheese together in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and let sit covered for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Eating Well Sweet Potatoes with Warm Black Bean Salad
Posted By wife&mommy
OK this has to be close to $2 if you already have the spices... not sure on exact amount.
-4 medium sweet potatoes
-1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
-2 medium tomatoes, diced
-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground coriander
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
-1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places. Microwave on High until tender all the way to the center, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a baking dish and bake at 425 degrees F until tender all the way to the center, about 1 hour.)
2. Meanwhile, in a medium microwaveable bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, oil, cumin, coriander and salt; microwave on High until just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan over medium heat.)
3. When just cool enough to handle, slash each sweet potato lengthwise, press open to make a well in the center and spoon the bean mixture into the well. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Ease of preparation: Easy Per serving: 295 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 9 g fiber; 572 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (450% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Fiber (38% dv), Folate (25% dv), Iron (15% dv), Potassium (15% dv). Source: EatingWell Make It Tonight

Garbanzo Salad
Posted By BetsyS
Easy but I don't have measurements. You take a few cans of garbanzos and drain them, but reserve the liquid. Put the beans in a bowl with a chopped tomato, a chopped bell pepper, a chopped onion and several sliced anchovy-stuffed green olives (use regular if you must, but you're missing out). Mix that all up. Then you take about a cup of the reserved liquid and add a cup or so of olive oil to it, white vinegar to taste, salt and pepper. Put it through the blender until it is thick and milky, and then pour it over the garbanzo salad. Let it marinate in the fridge for a bit before eating, and get GOOD BREAD, not crappy stuff, and dunk it in the sauce.

Honey-Baked Lentils
Copied from she originally got the recipe from MDC!!
-1 cup lentils (I use red)
-2 cups water
-2 tbsp honey
-2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tsp ginger
-1 clove garlic
-1 small onion
-salt & pepper to taste
Bake in a covered dish at 350 until tender (about an hour and a half). You could also substitute 1/3 cup of rice or barley for some of the lentils...and add whatever "winter" vegetables you have on hand. When I made it, I used squash and potatoes. It was delicious. We ate this as a soup, but it could also be eaten over brown rice or quinoa, or on some flatbread. We eat it as the main dish, but it would be a great side dish as well. Can't wait to make this again!
MissLotus: I just made a cheap recipe I got from a link off the Nutrition & Good Eating forum here at MDC . Honey-Baked Lentils: It took maybe 3 minutes to put 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!
kijip: I made a double batch of this tonight, all organic, plus greens, for less than $4 and I did not have to leave the house. Thanks for posting it. It is delish.
formerluddite: something easy enough for me to make! and we have red lentils (aka: dal) around the house because dh is indian. this was a big hit on a group trip last weekend. i threw in kabocha squash (doesn't need to be peeled), swiss chard, barley, used maple syrup since it mixes in well (honey clumps), fresh ginger, and teriyaki since that was what was in the fridge. after baking/cooling i filled a half gallon container with it and tossed it in the cooler for the trip, nuked it at the cabin. it was even better than the day i made it.
Mom2Joseph: 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)
ScribeThe Honey Baked Lentils ARE good! I used sesame oil rather than olive oil for a little kick, and they're awesome.
mimiharshe also, I made the honey baked lentils and I must have overcooked b/c they were mooshy...SO I added some flour to thicken a little more and made 6 "balls" and fried them up....honey baked lentil patties. YUM!

Italian Split Peas
Posted By USAmma
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.

Italian White Bean Soup
Posted By normajean
-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 instead 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.
p1gg1e (I add bacon to mine and didn't have sage and it's still super yummy with cheese on it.)

Lentil, Chickpea, and Rice Dish
Posted By caiesmommy
-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 from first salsa dinner)
-1 1/2 TBS tomato paste
-1 cup rice
-Garlic to taste
-Chili pepper
-1 cup fresh cilantro
-Chopped mint to taste (if you have)
-1/2 carrot
-Cumin to taste
Cook lentils. Cook rice. Place salsa, 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!

Lentils and Rice
Posted By zmom
The trick is to top it with an onion or two that have been caramelized. Sounds super plain but the onion really adds a lot!

Lentil and Rice Salad
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 (the Hillbilly Housewife). 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.

Lentil Soup
Posted By *MamaJen*
I also like making lentil soup (a bag of lentils, some onion and garlic and celery, some herbs and salt and pepper and a cup of rice). It winds up being about $2 for ten servings.

Lentil Soup
Posted By PumpkinSeeds
The best cheap and easy lentil soup:
-Olive oil
-1 large chopped onion
-2-3 garlic cloves chopped
-2 tsp. ground coriander seed
-1 tsp. ground cumin seed
-1 bell pepper or chili pepper chopped
-2 cups lentils
-6 cups water or stock
-1 can chopped tomatoes
-Juice from one lemon
-Salt and pepper
Heat some oil in a pot. Add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin and bell pepper and sauté over medium low heat for 10 minutes (sometimes I do even 15 minutes).Add lentils, water and tomatoes. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 45 minutes. Take soup off heat and add lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can add any vegetables with the lentils, water and tomato. I sometimes clean out the vegetable drawer with this soup.

Lentil Stew
Posted By amyamanda
Here's my cheap lentil stew recipe, which gets rave reviews every time I serve it (even to company, LOL):
-1 c brown lentils
-1/4 c brown rice
-1 med onion, chopped
-1-2 cups carrots, chopped small
-1-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. oregano
-1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
-4 c water or broth (5 c if you prefer it "soupy")
Sauté onion in bottom of large pot in a little oil. When onion is soft and getting brown, add water and then add other ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until the rice is soft (maybe 45 min? though it isn't hurt by longer cooking). That's it. It's even better as leftovers.

Lentil Taco
Copied from
•1 cup finely chopped onion
•1 garlic clove, minced
•1 teaspoon canola oil
•1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
•1 tablespoon chili powder
•2 teaspoons ground cumin
•1 teaspoon dried oregano
•2 1/2 cups chicken broth
•1 cup salsa
•12 taco shells
•1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
•1 cup chopped fresh tomato
•1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
•6 tablespoons fat free sour cream
1.In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.
2.Stir in salsa. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.
frogguruami I like to use this for burrito filling on homemade flour tortillas and a little cheese. (That one may end up being more than $2)

Posted By snowbunny
-1 Large Yellow Onions ($.89)
-2 T Olive Oil ($.38)
-1 C Lentils ($.47)
-1 C Brown Rice ($.23)
-Salt and Pepper to Taste
Boil lentils until tender--about 45 minutes. Cook rice in a rice cooker until done--if you don't have a rice cooker, cook it as you normally would. While rice and lentils are cooking, slice the onions very thin and then fry it in the oil until they're well-browned and slightly crispy on the edges. Drain lentils, serve over rice and top with fried onions. If you have some tomatoes and parsley from your garden, it makes a nice addition. The cost estimate is based on prices in my area (100% organic, with everything purchased in bulk through our buying club except for the onions).

Pintos and Cornbread
Posted By Cassifrass
No real recipe for this... but here's my meal for tonight:
Crockpot pintos ($0.79 for one bag)
Cornbread muffins ($1.00 for cornbread mix)
Sliced tomatoes and whole green onions from neighbor's garden (free!)

Pinto Beans with Smoked Sausage

Pizza Beans
Posted By rainbowmoon
This is a favorite here of my kiddos
-2 c. beans (cooked)
-1 c. pizza sauce*
-1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 bell pepper & 1 onion chopped
Lightly oil a pie pan. Spread beans evenly in the pan then top with 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 sauce I use a can of tomato paste mixed with water (until the desired constancy is reached) then add spices-oregano, basil, garlic powder, etc). You can use leftover spaghetti sauce too.

Polenta and Black Bean Casserole
Posted By caiesmommy
-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 stalk 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 different 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!!

Pork and Beans Open Face Sandwich
Posted By Dezimber
Layer beans, cooked bacon, and cheddar or American cheese. Heat in oven until beans is warm and cheese is melted.

Red Lentil Soup
Posted By freespirited
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.

Rice and Beans
Posted By kidspiration
We're fans of black beans and pintos around here, cooked with some garlic and cumin and a touch of salt, spooned over steamed brown rice with whatever cheese we might have on hand, a dollop of salsa, some chopped cilantro and plain yogurt if we have some. Yummy, filling, easy, cheap and ohsogood.

Rice, Salsa, Refried Beans, and Cheddar Cheese
Posted By Blooming
Cook rice, spread in bottom of baking dish, layer with beans, the salsa, and sprinkle with cheese. Stick in oven till heated thru and cheese melted.

Sloppy Joes with Lentils
Posted By zmom
I make sloppy joes with lentils. (We're vegetarian.) Cook 1/2 a pound of lentils then follow the directions for the sloppy joe mix. We put it on whatever bread we have around or I'll buy a pack of the buns at the store and freeze them so we have them available when we make sloppy joes. It's a one pot meal and it's cheap.

Spicy Pakistani Chickpea Stew Posted by *MamaJen* -- See Middle Eastern Dishes

Split pea soup
Posted By madskye
-1 lb split green peas
-8 cups of water
-Diced onion and garlic sautéed in olive oil with dried herbs like rosemary.
Cook until green peas are the consistency you like.

Sweet Potato Burritos
Posted By LeahC
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-1 onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-6 cups canned kidney beans, drained (I use black beans and use dried)
-2 cups water
-3 tablespoons chili powder
-2 teaspoons ground cumin
-4 teaspoons prepared mustard
-1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
-3 tablespoons soy sauce
-4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
-12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
-8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
3. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.
aprons_and_acorns: This recipe is a favorite at our house too! It is so yummy and it freezes really well, too.

Taco Casserole
Posted By shelbell
One of my favorites is Taco Casserole; 8 servings for $2.02. Not super-healthy because of the canned items, but better than Taco Bell!
-2 Cans Black Beans (.43 ea)
-1 Can Yellow corn (.33)
-1 Can Mexican-Style Diced Tomatoes (.50)
-1 C. Rice (0.00 -- I usually get it free after coupons)
-1 Pkt Taco Seasoning (.33, but I make mine from a recipe on so really .20 or so for the spices at home which would bring the total to 1.89)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Dump all ingredients (including liquid in cans) except water into dish and mix. Add in a little bit of water (usually 1/4 c. to 1/2 c.) until the ratio of liquid to rice "looks right" (real scientific, I know!). Bake at 375, stirring every 15 mins, for about 45 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. If desired, top with cheese or nutritional yeast after last stirring. My SO loves that casserole, especially when served with chips, salsa, sour cream and jalapenos. All of that would make it more than $2, but that's HIS fault, not mine!
aircantu1: This was dinner last night. Only I added 3/4 of a pound or so of ground beef. It was good too.

Tamale Casserole
Posted By Attila the Honey
Quick and easy and CHEAP.
First in a cast iron skillet I sautéed onions, garlic and a bell pepper in olive oil until soft. Then I added about 1/4 bag of frozen corn and maybe a cup of pinto beans from the freezer. I added some salt, pepper and chili powder and a small baggie of tomato paste from the freezer (maybe 2T) and some water and simmered until everything was warmed and mixed.
In the meantime I made a pot of cornmeal mush - 4C water and 1C of cornmeal, simmer until thick. I put half aside to warm up for breakfast today, the other half I salted and peppered and poured over the veggies in the skillet. I topped the cornmeal with 1/3 of a pound of shredded cheddar cheese and I stuck it in the oven until bubbly and the cheese has melted.
I was pleased because it used up one of my red peppers (I got 8 for $2 in the damaged produce bin, they were a little smooshed but very firm and fresh) and it used up one of my many baggies of leftover tomato paste. The 25 cent red pepper was probably the most expensive part of this meal, and we have enough leftover to eat for lunch today

Veggie Burgers
Posted By RoundAbout
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 what's in them.
Copied from
-1 cup cooked pureed white beans, including some liquid or beans, of your choice (try Bush's baked vegetarian beans!)
-1 cup cooked brown rice (try yellow rice!)
-1/2 cup uncooked quaker multigrain cereal (or oats)
-1 cup cornbread stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm is good)
-1 tablespoon parsley
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
Mix ingredients all together. Shape into patties. Fry on low heat in olive oil, till each side is browned. Serve with lettuce and tomato and grilled onions on a bun, with your favorite toppings.

White Bean Soup
Posted By Tilia
-3-4 carrots, peeled, sliced medium (0.40)
-5 stalks of celery, sliced medium (0.40)
-1 can of Navy beans, undrained (0.50)
-1 can chicken broth (0.50)
-1 package Ramen noodles, no seasoning packet, noodles broken up (0.13)
-1 teaspoon cumin (0.05)
-1/2 tsp garlic powder (0.05)
-1 tablespoon minced onion (0.05)
-1 tsp pepper (0.05)
-Enough water to make it soupy
$2.13 (a little over)
Bring the broth and water to a boil while you chop the veggies. Toss them into the boiling broth. Add the beans and seasonings. Simmer on medium for about 20 minutes (until the carrots are soft enough for your taste). Add the crunched up ramen and boil for 3-4 minutes. Recipe makes enough for 4 big bowls, more if you keep adding water!

White Bean and Ham soup
Posted by beansricerevolt
Very very yummy 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.
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 Just a note - I wanted to warn anyone who doesn't 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.)

Yummy Lentil Potato Soup
Posted By dharmamama
-2 c lentils
-3 medium potatoes, cubed
-3 ribs celery, diced
-1 T salt
-1/8 t pepper
-7 cups water
Throw it all in a pot and simmer until lentils are tender.
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Pancakes from numerous people: Huge money saving dinner option for us. I live in an area w/an abundance of blueberries when they're in season, so we can get them very cheap and have blueberry pancakes often!
You can spread them with jelly, sprinkle them with sugar, put honey on them, or real homemade maple syrup! Posted By crayon: ANOTHER ONE FOR PANCAKES! What we do is take a browning banana and mix it with some dry mix and a bit of water until smooth. Then I mix half a box of mix with water and add 1/2 a teaspoon of Almond extract and a tad of sugar. MY KIDS EAT IT UP! It is by far one of the best meals we have.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes
Posted by Thursday Girl
1 cup Oat bran
1 Tbsp Baking powder
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Apple diced very small
2 handfuls raisins boiled and drained
1 cup sour milk*
Whole wheat flour to thicken mix
Mix the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to sour milk. Add apples and raisins to dry mix add wet mix. Stir. Add whole wheat until mix is the right consistency. Cook top with cream cheese and honey. Enjoy (they are very filling so for our family of four they make a meal and then are good for snacks later. especially great plain as snacks while you are out)
*sour milk 1Tbsp lemon juice or key lime (we have a key lime tree so we replace all lemon juice for this) enough milk to make that 1 C let sit 15 min
You can also use vinegar and it only needs to sit for 5 minutes or so.
SusannahM: Or you can just use plain milk in baking instead of sour or buttermilk and use baking powder instead of baking soda, most of the time. Then, the cream of tartar in the baking soda is acting as your acid.
Oh, btw, anyone using baking powder who doesn't like aluminum in your food, either check the label very carefully and get a brand that doesn't contain aluminum or use a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar instead of the baking powder to ensure you're not getting anything in your food you don't want.

Giant, Giant Pancake
Posted By papschmitty
3 T. margarine
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 margarine 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 leave in 5-10 minutes longer. Sift powdered sugar over (if you're using). Serves 4. We top with syrup, jam, fruit, etc.

Puffed Oven Pancake
Posted By Let It Be
Here's a variation on the pancake idea (still cheap, but not as heavy):
2 tbs butter
3 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. orange marmalade (or substitute any flavor jelly, jam, syrup, etc.)
Sliced fruit (fresh or frozen)
Put butter in a 10 inch skillet or small round cake pan. Place in 400 deg. oven until butter melts. Meanwhile, beat eggs and add flour, milk, and salt. Stir until smooth. Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake for 20-25 min (well browned).
In a separate saucepan, melt the marmalade or jam or warm the syrup over low heat. Cut the large pancake into wedges, cover with sliced fruit, and add warm topping. Also top with powdered sugar, if desired.

Baked Potatoes
Ideas from numerous people
I did a potato bar for DH's birthday party. It was a cheap, great way to feed a LOT of people! YUMM!!! And it was super easy to make them bulk. You cook them wrapped in tinfoil for about 45 minutes, then put them in a cooler packed in tight next to each other. They will finish cooking themselves in the cooler and stay warm for the party for hours! It worked great!
You can let folks pile on whatever toppings they want. I can think of scallions, sour cream, tomato, cheese, etc. It sounds yummy.
Come to think of it, I went to a posh wedding where baked potato was served in martini glasses. Then, you picked what you wanted to put on top. You could make this fun for kids by serving them in parfait glasses.
Our favorites are chili potatoes or "pizza" potatoes. We top our microwaved potatoes with chili (and cheddar, sour cream, etc) or with spaghetti sauce (and mozzarella, pepperoni, etc). Sometimes I do cheddar, broccoli, and ham, too.

Baked Potato Soup
Posted By beansricerevolt
2 large potatoes
3tbsp. butter (we use soy butter)
1 large onion
2tbsp. flour
4 Cups veggie stock (I use cubes to bring cost down)
2 cups water
4tbsp. cornstarch
1tsp. salt
3/4tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. thyme
1 cup of soy milk (or reg. milk)
1 1/2 cup of instant mashed potatoes
Bake potatoes at 400 for 1 hour and allow to cool melt butter in large saucepan and sauté onions until translucent. Add flour and stir to make a roux add stock, water, cornstarch, instant mashed potatoes, and spices and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cut cooled potatoes in half and scoop out the contents. Chop potatoes into bite sized chunks and add them, along with soy milk, to sauce pan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15mins. We garnish with cheese & green onions.

Baked Potato Wedges and Garlic Mayonnaise
Posted By nicoley73
Peel potatoes and cut into wedges - 6-8 per potato. Toss with oil (I use olive oil), salt and pepper, and throw in some unpeeled garlic cloves. Bake in a 450 degree oven until crispy - you'll need to turn them once. Watch the garlic - it needs to come out when soft and it's usually done before the potatoes. Peel the garlic and mash into mayonnaise to use as dip. I serve it with a green salad - it's not a nutritionally complete meal but it's really yummy.

Corny Mashed Potatoes
Posted By ~Megan~
This is what we did tonight. It's not the most nutritious but I'm thinking if we added some spinach it might be really tasty. I just discovered that potato flakes are really good and much less work than raw potatoes before I had spurned them. I made up 2 cups worth of mashed potatoes and covered them with the following in individual bowls. One can of corn drained and heated. Half a handful of shredded cheese. Leftover finely chopped taco seasoned chicken. DH and DD loved it. I'm taking some for dinner at work tonight. I've had something similar before but they used chicken gravy over the top. I bet this would be great if you subbed peas for the corn.

Fried Potato Sandwiches

(to eat with lentil soup).

Peasy Potatoes
Posted By amyamanda
Probably my cheapest meal:
Sauté several sliced onions (or leeks, if you grow them) in the bottom of a large stockpot in a bit of oil or fat. When they are soft and turning brown, add water - or broth if you have it! - And a few pounds of chopped potatoes (peeled is yummier but unpeeled is fine). Water should just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn down and simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain off most of the water (save it, though!) and mash potatoes and onions together. (Leave it a little lumpy for texture, if you like, so you can enjoy the onions.) Add a little of the potato water back in at a time if you need it to make the potatoes creamier. Mash in some margarine or butter if you have it (optional). Salt to taste. Serve in a big mound with gently heated frozen peas piled on top. Sprinkle pepper on top if you like pepper. We sometimes also serve this with eggs, but the peas are sufficient protein without them.

Potato Dinner
Posted By bdavis337
Stir fry up some onion, carrot, etc. and use it to top your baked potato. Put a bit of cheese, sour cream or what have you and if you have leftover chicken or similar, all the better. Use a big potato and you enough for two people.

Potato Leek Soup
Posted By Red
Simply chicken broth, (2 qts) make your own from leftovers, in which you cook 4 or 5 potatoes. When nearly done, add 2 chopped leeks. Cook till leeks are done. Push through a strainer or mash, or whip, or use your blender. Return to pan, add milk or cream or half and half. (You can decide how much!) Add LOTS of black pepper! Serve with homemade bread. Very filling and delicious

Potato Onion Omelet
Posted By kijip
1 cooked potato, 6 eggs, 1/2 an onion. In most places that would be about $2 for a family of 4, especially if you buy things in bulk. We used to buy eggs by the 5 dozen so 6 eggs works out to be less than 75 cents. Now we buy them at the co-op organic but even all organic, this meal comes in under $4-5. Add a little teeny bit of cheese and it's the high life.

Potato Pancakes
Posted By bwylde
My favorite cheap meal is potato pancakes. I grate a bunch of potatoes (6-7) on the biggest setting (it's also really good finely grated but I don't have the patience, lol!!). I then add an egg or two, about a teaspoon of baking powder, a few shakes of salt and up to a cup of flour to hold it together. Cook on high heat until crispy and cooked through. Very yummy with ketchup or butter or molasses. I figure it's about 50 cents a batch and there are always leftovers.
Posted By huggerwocky: They're great; I put onion into mine, too. We eat them with apple sauce

Potato Pancakes
Posted By caiesmommy
I have a new twist on potato pancakes...a little more healthy! Might be a three dollar meal? But worth the extra dollar!!
1 can of kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 chopped small onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of cracker crumbs (OR old bread seasoned and made into crumbs)
Puree kidney beans and small onion and garlic in blender. Mix in a bowl with cracker crumbs add seasonings to taste (cumin, chili etc.)Sautee in frying pan with oil until brown

Potato, Tofu and Zucchini
Posted By dharmamama
Potato wedges fried with canola oil, oregano, basil, and chili powder. Mix with tofu cubes and chunks of zucchini sautéed in olive oil and the spices of your choice.

Potatoes/Zucchini Baked With Parmesan Cheese on Top

Shepherd's Pie
Posted By beansricerevolt
Leftover veggies
1 large tomato or 1 14 oz. canned tomato undrained
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 C. leftover beans of any kind, cooked
1/2 tsp. basil
1 TBS.Braggs or soy sauce
3 med. Potatoes
1/4 C. Soy milk or milk
1 tbsp. of butter or olive oil
Sauté veggies until tender. Add beans and basil and salt and Brags. You can even mash beans prior to mixing if you want. We usually mix them whole. Stir and simmer. Mean while, after potatoes are cooked, mix ingredients together and make mashed potatoes. Put veggie mixture in pie pan and layer potatoes on top. Bake 15 min. at 350

Posted By jenangelcat
2 large potatoes, diced and cooked until slightly tender
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup peas, frozen or canned is fine $0.50
¼ cup ghee or butter
2 tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
? Tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tsp lemon juice
1 package phyllo dough, thawed $2.50
Oil, for frying
Heat ghee on medium high in a sauté pan. Add coriander and cook for about 30 seconds. Add onions and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes until onions are soft. Add remaining spices and garlic. Cook stirring another minute. Stir in potatoes until dry 1 more minute. Stir in peas, heat through. Add lemon juice and adjust seasonings. Fold each piece of phyllo lengthwise until desired size. Spoon filling onto corner of the dough. Fold across into a triangle and continue folding the entire strip of dough to encase the filling. Wet edge with water to seal. Heat oil in a pot or deep fryer until 350F. Add 3 or 4 samosas at a time and cook 2-3 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels and serve with a cool pickle, yogurt or ketchup. I'll add another $2 for the misc ingredients, potatoes, spices, butter to bring this up to $5 for 20 samosas. Say 5 samosas per person which is $1 per serving.
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I think I could hug you, Mirta!! Thank you so much for taking the time to compile everything - what a great resource!!!
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Wow! At dinner tonight we did the math and realized we were eating for under $2 a person. How funny to find this post tonight (I'm a newbie). Here's our dinner:

Sweet Potato Hash:
grind raw sweet potato in food processor until hash-like.
Heat some olive oil in skillet
Cook sweet potatoes just 5-10 minutes until soft
While cooking, melt butter in another skillet and add a clove of garlic and some sage leaves. Once browned, drizzle over the hash and serve

Brown rice and aduki beans warmed up (used leftover brown rice) with the sage butter drizzled throughout

Sauted swiss chard, cut into little strips, and lightly cooked in the skillet the butter was made.

Beautiful, healthy, and satisfying dinner....under $2 a person!

Thanks for the compilation. Have you considered publishing it as a cookbook? I know tons of people who would buy it right up.
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Sweet! I have a ton of beans. When you say 'kombu' you mean kombucha right?

List things under main ing. and under "mexican" list "check Beans". Does that make sense?

Again, so awsome
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Beef and Barley Soup
Posted By Red
Buy a morrow bone for the broth, use leftover beef for the soup

Beef Tacos
Posted By onlyzombiecat
I mix refried beans with the meat to make it more filling and stretch farther

Cabbage Rolls
Posted By ***Heather***
Mix hamburger meat, spices and rice (or oatmeal, crackers etc also works. can also use cubed potatoes) wrap in cabbage leaves, place in roast pan, cover with diced tomatoes and/or tomato juice. Bake in oven.

Cabbage Roll Casserole (Canadian Funds)
Posted By jenangelcat
1 head cabbage, chopped $1
2 lbs ground beef $2
1 can tomato sauce $1
1 can diced tomatoes with juice $1
1 cup rice
1 onion chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
Brown meat and drain. Mix all ingredients together. Place in casserole dish. The original recipe then calls for 2 cups of beef broth to be poured on top but I used the 1 can of tomatoes instead. It may still need the broth, I haven't baked one yet. Bake for 1 hour, covered at 350F. Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes. This made 5 two serving portions. I froze them in tinfoil loaf containers to be defrosted and baked at a later date. It works out to be about $0.50 a serving.

Posted By my2girlz
My kids love my dad's recipe for goulash. It's right around $2.
2 cups of cooked elbow noodles (I get a large box for .99 so I guess .25)
2 cans of tomato soup (.88)
1lb or less of hamburger (I buy in bulk at .99/lb so .99)
Squirt of ketchup (.05)
Cook noodles, brown hamburger, drain noodles, mix everything together and let simmer for 5-10 min.
So total is $2.17. This feeds 8-10.

Meat and Potatoes
Posted By ***Heather***
A cheap meat and potatoes meal that's quick and easy: brown hamburger with onion and spices. Add water and flour to make gravy (mix 1t-1T flour in a glass with warm water, stir into sauce.) eat with mashed potatoes and veggie on the side.

Sausage and Potatoes
Posted By ~Megan~
Under $2 is hard to get so I'm posting a meal that is $3.50 and delicious.
1 T oil of choice -pennies
1 package of beef sausages (on sale) - 2.15
4 potatoes - 0.35
1 sweet onion - 0.65
Handful of spinach - 0.25
Several good pinches of sea salt
Couple grinds of pepper
Shake of garlic powder
Shake of oregano
Coarsely chop it all and put in a lidded pot with the oil. Cook on medium for 20-30 minutes until onions are translucent and potatoes are soft. Serve with a shake or parmesan cheese if desired. I just gave DH, myself, and 2 kids' generous portions and have one leftover for DH's lunch tomorrow. I bet some finely shredded carrots or chopped kale instead of spinach. Mushrooms or zucchini would be good too!

Black Beans, Corn, Egg, and Rice Posted By melissel-See Bean Dishes

Black Beans, Rice, and Egg Posted By melissel-See Bean Dishes

Eggs and Collard Greens
Posted By ItsBasilThyme
I'm from the south, so one of my favorite cheap recipes naturally uses a good amount of collard greens. I'd imagine you could use any bitter green for this (kale, Swiss chard, mustard, etc) but those would probably all put you over the $2 limit. Since collards are in season now, I can usually find huge bunches for about $1.50 - $2.00.
Anyway, here's the recipe!
1/2 bunch collards ($0.75 - $1.00)
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
2 cloves garlic
1 T honey
8 eggs (about $0.75)
Heat up the oil over medium in a sauté pan, and then add the garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the collards and salt (chopped into large squares). Once the collards have softened to your liking, remove the pan from heat and add the honey (this cancels out a lot of the bitterness). Meanwhile, fry up the eggs how you like (I like runny yolks) or hard boil them and slice. Plate up the collards and top with eggs (2 per person). It doesn't sound very filling since there's no carb part to it, but it definitely is! If you're watching your cholesterol (like my DH is) then you can use 12 eggs and do 3 whites and 1 yolk per person. This might put it over the $2 limit, though.

Eggs and Veggies
Posted By ~Megan~
Okay, this does require leftover veggies but I often have these at home to use up.
3 eggs ($0.50)
A bit of powdered milk reconstituted (pennies)
Bits of chopped veggies including ($1):
Parmesan or any strong flavored melty cheese, only an ounce or so is needed if you shred it ($0.25)
Olive oil, 1T (pennies)
Sautee veggies in olive oil until tender
Mix eggs with reconstituted milk, until scrambled then pour over veggies, stir occasionally until done Sprinkle with salt/pepper and cheese You can serve this with a piece of whatever bread you like with butter too Very yummy and very filling. This should serve 3 people for about $1.75 or just under $2 with bread. You can add other veggies but this is the magic mix for me! If you want to serve one more person add another egg and a bit more veggies. You can also thin it out more with more reconstituted milk.

Egg Bake
Posted by Babytime
A dozen eggs blended with a splash of milk, a handful of cheese and some diced peppers -- pour into a 13 x 9 and bake

Egg Burritos

Egg Drop Soup
Posted By amyamanda
I use the second (or third) day's worth of Crockpot broth from a chicken carcass, or else I just season the soup water with Herbamare (a seasoned salt mix) and soy sauce. I put in a small amount of cut up veggies, a few handfuls of whatever we have (frozen or fresh - we like it with carrots, peas, and corn), boil it, whip up a few raw eggs and add them while stirring contently until they are mixed in and cooked. Hard to explain. But it's yummy, cheap, has veggies and protein, and feeds the whole family (for one or two people you could do with a half-handful of veggies and one or two eggs). And best thing: my kids will eat it up. It's also good reheated.

Eggs in White Sauce on Toast
Posted By ***Heather***
Slice hard boiled eggs and add to white sauce made from flour/butter/milk, serve on toast

Egg Nests
Posted By rainy32
Preheat oven to 350.
Take 4 pieces of wheat bread (the cheaper the better, for this recipe!) and flatten them out with a rolling pin. Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray, and then line each one with the flattened bread. In a small bowl, combine 10 chopped mushrooms, 2 chopped scallions, salt, pepper, and some paprika (this is cheap if you have these things on hand from another recipe). Divide that mixture into the 4 ramekins. Crack one egg on top of each ramekin mixture. Take 2 slices of Swiss or Muenster cheese, chop them into little pieces, and put them in the ramekins over the eggs. Bake these 20 - 30 minutes (until eggs set). Serve with warm bowls of canned tomato soup (bought on sale, 2 cans for 1.00).

Eggs, Rice, and Leftovers
Posted By Monie
Melt a little butter in a pan. Add a couple spoonfuls of leftover cooked rice. If you have leftover meat or veggies, you can chop them finely and add them in, too. When they are hot, beat a couple eggs and pour over top. Let sit for a minute, then scramble and cook until done. (I like my eggs overcooked!) If I use leftover stir-fry, I add a little soy sauce. If I use leftover fajitas, I add salsa. One of our favorites is just plain broccoli and rice, with some cheese sprinkled on top. It occurs to me that I would like to try it with my leftover black beans and rice, but we ate the rest for breakfast!

French Toast

Posted By littlemama06
1 potato
5 eggs
Any veggies which are kind of getting yucky in the fridge (squash, carrots, squash, kale, green peppers, and 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.

Posted By Red
1/2 dozen eggs, veggies on sale, cheese, homemade crust

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Salsa
Posted By nannymom
On whole wheat tortilla Dirt cheap and packed with nutrition

Scrambled Eggs and/or Omelets with Toast
Posted By Red
Get a dozen eggs ($1.00), make a loaf of bread and have eggs and toast.

Posted By Rebecca
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 mushrooms 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 handfuls? 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.

Salmon Patties
Posted By ~Megan~
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 it's 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, and 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.

Tuna Mac
We also have Mac-n-cheese with canned tuna and a can of sweet peas....Really yummy

Tuna and Noodle Casserole

Tuna Pasta
Posted By sliceofheaven
How about a tin of tuna mixed with a dollop of mayo and some cut-up cucumber for crunch over warm, oiled pasta? It's one of my favorites!

Tuna Patties
Posted By mum4boys
Canned tuna (4 for $1.00 during lent. It's always a loss leader item), bread crumbs, one egg, and seasoning, shape into 4 patties and fry.

Tuna in Biscuits
Posted By wife&mommy
We had this one for dinner tonight, it was really good. It is probably a little over $2, but would be close if you made your own biscuit dough instead of canned, and tastes better that way, too! I didn't use quite that much relish and I used more mayo.
1 can (6 oz.) tuna
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. sweet pickle relish
2 green onions, minced
3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can refrigerated biscuits
Combine tuna, mayonnaise, pickle relish, onion cheese, salt and pepper. Press each biscuit in greased muffin pan to form a cup. Spoon tuna mixture into each biscuit. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. There is a picture of these on my blog if anyone wants to see I really like your blog too, I find it inspiring!

Asian Pork Filling
Posted By RoundAbout
Here's one of my favorites. The base of this recipe is around $2 but gets more expensive depending on what you add. It makes a lot!
1 lb ground pork (on sale, 99 cents)
2 Tbs minced garlic (10 cents?)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes from baking section (30 cents)
2 Tbs. soy sauce (10 cents?)
1/3 cup lime juice (40 cents?)
1 tsp ginger (pennies?)
Toast coconut, and set aside. Brown ground pork with garlic and then toss with lime juice, soy sauce, and coconut and ginger. Depending on your budget and what you have on hand you can add:
Chopped onions or shallots
Chopped chili peppers
Chopped peanuts
Fresh ginger
Bean sprouts
We eat this as a filling inside fresh lettuce or cabbage leaves. Very tasty!

BBQ Pork
Posted By Groovy Mom
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).

Cheese and Bacon Dogs
Posted By Dezimber
Partially split a wiener lengthwise then carefully add small pieces of cheddar in the split, wrap a slice of bacon(may be partially cooked as long as it isn't too crisp) in a spiral manner use wood toothpicks to secure bacon. Heat in the oven until cheese melts. May be served with or without a bun.

Ham and Cheese Baked Ziti
Posted By Norasmomma
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 Dijon mustard
2 cups cheese grated
1/2 cup APF (used WHOLE WHEAT)
Butter or oil-2 tbsps
Boil water for pasta-melt butter or oil in pan on med-sauté 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 [email protected] $ 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
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.

Pea Soup
Posted By karne
We love pea soup! Whenever I have a ham bone I make as much stock as possible. Peas are cheap, and the soup is so filling.

Peking Ravioli
Posted By Red
I made Peking ravioli the other night. I didn't think it would come in so cheap! I mixed 3/4 of a lb of ground pork with a small head of cabbage, some mushrooms, and soy sauce, etc. I made the wrappers from scratch, which took FOREVER. (Be warned) But it was simple. If anyone wants the recipe, I'll post it. If you have small kids, you'd need help, or to use wonton wrappers from the store. We ate them for two nights, had enough leftover to call "MooShu pork" last night.

Mapo Dofu (Spicy Chinese Tofu)
Posted By RoundAbout
Here is one of my new favorites - it's a spicy tofu recipe. I pay $1.25 here for a large brick of tofu and buy ground pork here in the marked down meat bins when it is .99 cents a lb (so only $.25 for this recipe). The rest of the seasonings should be less than $0.50 if you buy on sale or in bulk. I serve it with plain white rice.
* 3/4 pound firm tofu
* 1/4 pound ground pork
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* Pinch of cornstarch
* 1 clove garlic
* 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
* 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon Chile paste with garlic
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn or ground coriander
Drain the tofu and cut into cubes. Marinate the ground pork in the soy sauce and cornstarch for 20 minutes. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the Chile paste and garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the ground pork. Stir-fry until the pork is nearly cooked through. Lower the heat to medium, and add the brown bean sauce and the tofu cubes. Cook over medium heat until the tofu is browned (8 to 10 minutes). Add water or chicken broth as needed. Just before serving, sprinkle with the Szechuan peppercorn or ground coriander.

(Costs more if you have two teens, but one pizza would be under $2) with leftover whatever as a topping

Posted By Tilia
I think I figured out a way to make 2 pizzas for $2.06
2 packets of pizza crust, bought on sale ($ 0.33 each) $ 0.66
1/6 of a can of pizza sauce $ 0.10
1/2 can of mushrooms $ 0.25
Sprinkle of garlic powder $ 0.05
2 cups of any kind of shredded cheese, block bought in bulk $1
Prepare each pizza crust according to the package. Mine involved adding 1/2 cup of hot water. Roll the pizza crust out onto 2 pans. Top with pizza sauce. Sprinkle the exposed crust with garlic powder. One pizza has mushrooms, the other is cheese! Bake according to the pizza crust package.
Or if you want, one pizza can be mushroom; the other can be cheesy bread. Instead of pizza sauce, brush the crust with melted butter. Top with garlic salt and 1 cup of cheese. Bake like normal.

French Bread Pizza
Posted By SusannahM
Loaf of French bread ($1)
2 small cans Tomato sauce spiced up to make pizza sauce ($.25/can = $.50)
8 oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese ($1.44)
Slice the loaf of French bread in 1/2 lengthwise. Spread on pizza sauce. Spread 1/2 of bag of mozzarella cheese on top. Put on other toppings that are desired (we use up our leftovers in this way). Cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
1/2 of the French bread loaf makes enough for 2 small children and two adults. So, the ingredients listed make enough for 2 dinners. So, the total price for each dinner is $2.94/2 = $1.47.

From Hillbillyhousewife.Com
Posted By JenLove
For the Crust:
2-1/2 cups unbleached flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dry yeast
* 3/4 cup water
* 3 tablespoons canola oil

I also use her sauce recipe
For the Sauce:
8 ounce can of "no salt added" tomato sauce
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning OR 1/2 teaspoon basil & 1/4 teaspoon oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon onion powder
* 1 teaspoon olive oil for flavoring (optional)

Hamburger Bun Pizzas
Posted By becoming
Toast buns, add toppings to hamburger bun & bake until cheese melts

Homemade Pizzas
Posted By kidspiration
I bought a brand new bread machine off of craigslist for super cheap. I found a great thin crust pizza dough recipe online and I just throw the ingredients in the machine, and 55 minutes later the dough is ready. I usually make the dough in the morning and let it ferment for the better part of the day just because it tastes better that way. It is a fraction of the cost of ordering pizza and it tastes infinitely better. Tip...heat your oven as hot as you can get it, it makes for a crispier tastier crust.

Muffin Pizzas
Posted By littlemama06
English muffins with sauce, veggies and cheese on top. Broil for a few minutes. I toast my muffins first to make sure they are real crunchy and warm all the way.

Posted By llamalluv
Around here, it's 1 cup water, 2 tsp yeast, 2 T olive oil, dash of salt, 4 cups flour (let rise an hour), then top with leftover spaghetti sauce, and whatever vegetables are hanging around. Sometimes I get fancy and cut up sandwich ham and toss on some asparagus.
Our usual pizza is pepperoni, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. And the obligatory mozzarella cheese, which is the most expensive part ($3.69 for 24 oz.) We shop at Aldi's and the $2 package of pepperoni lasts us about 10 pizzas, because I pile on the veggies.
I once calculated it at about $3.50 for a pizza, and we each eat half, making it $1.75/meal. Add in my $0.99 bottle of red pepper flakes (which lasts about a year) and the Parmesan sprinkles (which last 2 months) and it comes to about $2.
Posted By Chicky2
Using leftover grilled veggies is an awesome way to jazz up a pizza!!!! Eggplant, zucchini, onion, fennel, bell peppers, and radishes (yes, radishes!), etc.....

Posted By Bad Horse
I used "pizza crust recipe I" from The cool thing with that is it's a yeast recipe but doesn't require rising, which made it quick and all of us really liked the crust.
Pizza 1 (for Miles) was Alfredo (I had bought a jar of sauce and used just a few TBs, so that will be good for many more pizzas), pepperoni (10? out of a package), and some mozzarella. That was probably a $1 pizza, because the cheese was kind of pricey.
Pizza 2 (for Max) was sautéed spinach (bought a bag frozen for $.89, used 1/4 bag on this pizza) with garlic and maybe 1/2 tsp olive oil. For red sauce I used a can of tomato sauce I seasoned (bought a case of organic tomato sauce from Costco, don't remember how much per can it ends up, but not much) and some mozzarella.
Pizza 3 (which was another crust recipe that I made 1 larger pizza with for me and dh) was topped with a few TB of alfredo and a few TB of tomato sauce, then the rest of the sautéed spinach, a small can of mushrooms ($.50?), and about 10 green olives sliced, with the rest of the 1lb bag of mozzarella I bought for all 3 pizzas. Oh! And I had a little grated Romano left I threw on there too.
So, total I would say this cost about $6, being generous, but we had leftover pizza for two more meals, too, and the kids LOVED their leftover pizzas the next day. I also had enough to give small pieces to 3 of my friends the next night to try. Trying to talk them into their own pizza nights

Pizza Sauce
Posted By NewMama2007
Just an idea to make it cheaper - we buy a can (32 oz) of tomato puree, divide into thirds, freeze two for future use, and use one on the pizza as the sauce. I add spices too. It's only 33 cents a pop! You could use whatever pasta sauce too, we just like tomato puree because it's just tomatoes and ascorbic acid, and cheap! This also makes a pretty awesome pasta sauce when you mix in spices. I made it this week for a quick dinner for dd and myself - added some leftover chopped steamed brocolli and some spinach too - it was awesome. And no high fructose corn syrup like in those cheap pasta sauces!

"2nd Day Roast Chicken" Soup

"2nd Day Roast Chicken" Stew Over Biscuits

Baked Mushroom Chicken
Posted By crayon
We do take chicken breast (2) and take a large can of soup (mushroom) and bake for about 4 hours at 300 degrees covered then add some cheese to the top and broil until brown- YUMMY! And it feeds all 4 of us. With a half a bag of veggies that are $1.50- It think this is right around $2

Breaded Oven-"Fried" Chicken Strips

Chicken and Dumplings
Posted By mrmansmama
Buy a pack of 5 chicken leg quarters (.59 / lb) - cost about $2.50 Use 3 of them to make chicken and dumplings (boil chicken and celery covered in water until done. Make dumplings (baking powder, milk, flour) lump on top, cover and cook for 20 min without lifting lid. Remove chicken and dumplings and keep hot in oven while making gravy from broth. This makes a ton of gravy so... Next night...use the other 2 chicken quarters (and any left-over meat from previous night)...cook and pick off the meat. Add some green olives and the left-over gravy. Serve over toast. (Chicken-ala-king)

Chicken Tacos
Posted By onlyzombiecat
I mix refried beans with the meat to make it more filling and stretch farther

Chicken Veggie Soup
Posted By bec
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's worth of dinner. Comes to $1.25/night to feed a family of 5! And, I have enough for me for lunch today!

Chicken with Egg Noodles

Creamed Chicken
Posted By Nicole!
6 T. Butter
6 T. Flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk
1.5 cups chicken broth
Cooked chicken
Melt butter and mix in flour, salt, pepper until a paste is formed. Slowly add chicken broth and milk. Heat until thick and boiling. Add as much cooked chicken as you desire. Serve over torn up pieces of bread. This will probably feed a family of 3-4 (2 adults), as long as no one is a huge eater.

Curried Chicken
Posted By RoundAbout
Vermont Curry Mix - $1.80 (this is the kind that comes in a "brick" like S&B)
Chicken breast - I use about $1 worth in this dish.
2 Potatoes - 50 cents?
2 Carrots - 10 cents?
Onion - 10 cents?
Brown rice - 25 cents (I pay $1 for a 1 lb bag)
Total: $3.75
However, this easily makes enough for 2 dinners for my family so divide by 2 and you get less than $2 per meal.

Posted By 2 in August
I just made Gumbo and cornbread a couple days ago. I used a Zatarran's mix for $1.45 (would be cheaper if I looked up the spices and made my own). I add extra water and rice (only $1 for a big bag at Aldi's and I only use part of it). Then I did a Jiffy cornbread mix $.39. I had chicken in the freezer that I had gotten b1g1free so the 2pcs I added didn't cost me much and when they were cooked I chopped them into tiny bits.

Posted By serenetabbie
Did anyone mention Jambalaya? 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 leftover 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 Jambalaya). 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!

Leftover Turkey or Chicken Casserole
Posted By Red
Leftover turkey or chicken, onion, uncooked white rice, fresh broccoli, twice as much chicken broth as rice. Put in a casserole, bake at 350 till broth is absorbed, about 30 minutes. (Way better than it sounds!) Top any casserole with cornbread batter, time depends on the corn bread recipe. Makes it tasty and more filling.

Mushroom Broccoli Chicken
Posted By Jetka
1 bag of frozen chicken tenderloins from Aldi's - $5.99 a bag and it has about 6 servings so that's about $1 a serving.
1 bag of frozen broccoli - $1 and it has 3 servings so that's .33 a serving
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup - .50 a can at Aldi's
So that's a total of $2.33 (And when I say a serving - I mean a meal for both myself and my husband. The baby eats off of my plate.) Plop the chicken, soup and broccoli into a pan. Put into an oven at 375 degrees for about an hour. It's delicious

Oven-Fried Drumsticks
Posted By *MamaJen*
I'm a vegetarian but I've been trying to find cheap meat recipes for DP. It's so hard cooking meat when you don't eat it. It's like painting blind or composing music deaf. I found this oven-fried (i.e. baked) drumstick recipe he said was really good. It's also cheap and easy. I think I paid $5 for 16 drumsticks and that's like, five meals for him. I cooked half and froze half. I've also been roasting whole chickens. They cost five or six dollars and you get a ton of meals, especially if you turn the leftovers into soup.
About 4 tbl melted butter
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used the Italian seasoned kind)
approx. 12 chicken drumsticks
Grease baking pan with cooking spray. Dip each drumstick in the melted butter then roll in the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Bake about one hour at 350 degrees.

Pasta Sauce with Ground Turkey

Peanut Butter Chicken and Rice
Posted By rachelagain
Cook 2 cups of rice as directed (makes 4 cups)
1/4 c Peanut Butter
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.
MomToKandE: We made this last night and it was a huge hit! I bet it would work with pasta or rice noodles too.

Pesto Chicken Pasta

Rotisserie Chicken
Posted By peachpie
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.
Posted By KatWrangler: I make my own in the crockpot. Its quite yummy.

Spaghetti Pizza
Posted By lilgsmommy
It rounds out to around $2 for the meal if you have most of the stuff in your house already.
1/2 spaghetti noodles (broke in half)
1 can of jar of spaghetti sauce (or homemade if you have some on hand or frozen)
2 eggs
8-10 turkey sausage meatballs (I buy 2lbs of the turkey sausage a month, make meatballs and freeze them for meals)
1 cup shredded cheese
Boil noodles. In a bowl whisk the 2 eggs add a little salt and then add the cooked and drained noodles. Mix well, and pour into a greased cake pan. Spread eventually. Pour sauce on top and spread evenly. Chop up the meatballs into fourths and toss on top of the sauce. Sprinkle on the cheese and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until cheese starts to brown around the edge.

Posted By bright_eyes
Another favorite it this one. It asks for ground beef but we like it way better with ground turkey or chicken (which makes it slightly more expensive, though).
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing on the taquitos
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1 cup salsa, plus more for dipping
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack
Sour cream
1. Heat the oven to 400°. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook them for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the beef and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break it up while it cooks, until it is no longer red, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the salsa, the chili powder, and the salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
2. Place the tortillas on a plate and cover them with damp paper towels. Microwave them until warm and pliable, about 45 seconds. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of the beef mixture, spreading it to an inch from the edges. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the beef.
3. Roll up the tortillas and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet with the seam sides down. Brush the taquitos lightly with vegetable oil, and then bake them until the filling is heated through and the tortillas are lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Serve them hot with sour cream and/or salsa. Serves 4 to 6.

Turkey and Rice Soup
Posted By Red
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!)

Turkey Leftover Ideas:
Posted By ***Heather***
Turkey bought on sale at Christmas time (I think it was 10lbs @ $.89/lb CAD...) I roasted it up the other day, saved the broth and divided it into 6 meals. Some meals had more meat, some less. With the meat I made:
-soup: broth, salt & pepper, basil, turkey, onion, carrot, cabbage, turnip, rice (this was a quick and easy meal, veggies were purchased on sale last fall, cut into soup sized bits and stored in freezer)
-turkey and biscuits: turkey, cubed potatoes, carrots, onion in creamy sauce (butter/flour/milk) with homemade biscuits
-turkey rice dish: turkey, rice, fresh mushrooms, green peppers, celery, onion with seasoning or can of mushroom soup.
-Turkey on tortilla with green peppers, bits of mozzarella cheese, mayo
-Turkey, mashed potatoes and veggie
-Turkey linguine: Cream of mushroom soup, green pepper, onion, fresh mushrooms, chunks of turkey breast.

Turkey Stuffing Quiche
Posted By Mamatolea
(Works great for leftover holiday stuff too!)
2 1/2 C. leftover stuffing -- (2 1/2 to 3) or a box of generic stuffing mix
1 C. chopped cooked turkey (or ground turkey)
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese (or another cheese, I use mozz)
4 beaten eggs
1 Can evaporated milk
Press stuffing into a 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish, forming a crust. Bake in 400 degrees oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine meat and cheese. In another bowl, beat together eggs, milk and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle meat-cheese mixture into hot crust. Pour egg mixture on top. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake quiche 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings. YUM! Even DH loves it and he is pretty picky!

Whole Chicken
Posted By freespirited
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.

Arroz Sin Pollo (Rice Without Chicken)
Posted by Sol_Solved
It was cheap, tasty and oh so fast. I put some oil in the bottom of a pan, added half an onion, diced, then two celery stalks and half a bell pepper, cubed. I added raw rice and fried it a little bit, then three cups of water, a little paste made of ground saffron threads with water, red chili pepper powder (or paprika), salt and a big tablespoon of homemade tomato sauce. I cooked it on high until most of the water evaporated and the rice was done. We had it with a can of garbanzo beans drained and sautéed in a little oil, onion and mustard seeds.
(The original recipe calls for chicken that is browned in the oil first of all, removed, and then added along with the water).

Black Beans, Corn, Egg, and Rice Posted By melissel-See Bean Dishes

Black Beans, Rice, and Egg Posted By melissel-See Bean Dishes

Chirashi Zushi
Posted By KathinJapan
Here is one for cheaper sushi.
Make sushi rice pile on a plate, on top add chopped cucumber, tomatoes, tuna, scrambled egg (broken up into chunks) etc. Anything you like. Use one sheet of nori and fold in half a few times and cut with kitchen shears into match strips. Drizzle with wasabi soy sauce. If nori is the expensive ingredient this should cut the cost down. This dish is very popular in Japan, and is traditionally served on Girl`s Day which is March 3rd.

Easy Spiced Lentils and Brown Rice Posted By aurinia

Fried Rice
Posted By littlemama06
3 cups cooked rice
1 diced onion
2 eggs beaten
1 cup frozen veggies
Soy sauce
Put a little butter in a wok or fry pan and add hot rice, add onion veggies. Add a little soy sauce push it all to the side on your pan leaving a little space in the middle, pour in the eggs and mix like scrambled eggs. Then mix it all together. Add a little more soy sauce and salt and pepper

Fried Rice
Posted By llamalluv
I do egg "fried" rice. Sometimes I toss in leftover bits of meat, too.
For the two of us to have supper, plus a lunch or two for the next day, I scramble and cook 2 eggs, then add 2 cups of cooked rice, thinly sliced carrots (2-3 baby carrots), 1/2 cup of frozen peas, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, and whatever meat I might be tossing in (leftover beef or pork roast, or chicken). Soy sauce to taste (usually about 1/4 cup). When I feel fancy, I throw in a handful of cooked shrimp and some fresh minced ginger. The bag that I buy at Aldi's lasts months.

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.
Posted By kijip: Perfect way to use up leftovers. You can pretty much do any theme you want. Just take the leftover veggies and meat. Dice it up and stir fry in a pan with a little oil and a few eggs. You really can make a meal out of it.

Leftover Rice
Posted By lil_earthmomma
Leftover rice
2 cups torn up spinach (could easily use frozen)
Sauté 2 cloves of garlic in 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
Add 2 tbsp flour to make roux
Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (I used the cheepy stuff)
Throw in 1/2 cup milk, allow to thicken, add spinach, allow to wilt, add rice and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. You could add left over chicken, shrimp... pretty much anything! We just had it as is, and it was SO yummy.

Lentil, Chickpea, and Rice Dish Posted By caiesmommy -See Bean Dishes

Lentils and Rice Posted By zmom -See Bean Dishes

Lentil and Rice Salad Posted By marybethorama -See Bean Dishes

Meatless Ploughman's Share
Posted By Eben'sMama
We like this quick, frugal meatless version of the Ploughman's Share: Brown Rice (or you can use white--jasmine, basmati, etc.) Steamed Carrots and Broccoli (you can also add others) Put steamed vegetables over rice in a bowl, top with shredded white cheddar cheese and soy sauce/Tamari to taste!

Mexican Rice
Posted By WC_hapamama
1 can of diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (14.5 oz)
A little bit of oil
2 cups of rice (uncooked)
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper
1 can of black beans
1 can of corn
Dump the rice in the pan with the oil and let it go until it's golden, add the water, salt, pepper, tomatoes, drained black beans and drained corn. Bring it to a boil, then simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed.
It works out to a bit more than $2, but for me, it's generally all stuff I keep in my pantry at all times.

Peanut Butter Chicken and Rice Posted By rachelagain -See Poultry Dishes

Rice and Beans Posted By kidspiration -See Bean Dishes

Rice and Bean Burritos

Rice and Corn
Posted By hookahgirl
Brown rice and corn cooked in broth (you can use a bouillon cube, for meals under 2 bucks you gotta get cheap!) with some tomato paste thrown in (or left over pasta sauce!). It's kind of like a southwest soup when you add whatever spices you have on hand (pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder)

Rice and Eggs
Posted By freespirited
Did anyone post rice and eggs? I do this often because my girls love it, and so do we. You just take some eggs, let's say four of them, mix them with a fork in a bowl, add 2 or 3 cups of cooked rice and a couple TBS of soy sauce to taste, then cook the mixture in some butter until cooked. Salt and pepper to taste. I've added frozen veggies (cooked), diced fresh zucchini, fresh spinach or chard, etc. Whatever your kids will eat, you can add it, or just do it plain. This is a true under $2 meal!
Posted By Bad Horse: I do this sometimes for us. I don't mix it up, cause the kids don't like it so much unless I'm doing a full on fried rice. But what I do it just scramble a couple of eggs and cook in a pancake shape, then cut into strips and put over steamed rice (we use jasmine), then soy sauce, rice vinegar, rooster sauce (schriacha?) to taste, and then I usually put a can or two of baby corn, just rinsed, out for the kids to add to theirs as they want (they LOVE baby corn). Oh! Sesame seeds, too, for whoever wants them.
I usually add furikake to mine, so does DH. Mmm.. So cheap and easy, and quick. 20 minutes to make fresh rice if you don't have any to throw in the microwave already.

Rice and Sausage
Posted By rachelagain
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 sausages (or 1-2 c. other meat, hamburger, chicken, etc)
Add any veggies you like: (1-4 c.)
Cabbage, broccoli. Zucchini, 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.

Rice and Vegetables
Posted By amyb15
Add a few wraps here and there, with some lettuce and pickles, and it's a healthy cheap meal

Rice, Beans, and Onions
Posted By freespirited
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.

Rice, Corn, and Chicken
Posted By CarsonBookworm
I mix Brown Rice, Canned Corn and chicken taken off of the bones (Just 2 drumsticks) and put pepper in it. Sauté in a little olive oil.....that's a good dinner for us!

Rice, Onions, and Eggs
Posted By Staceyy
For breakfast I like to sauté some chopped onion in a bit of butter in a skillet until soft but not brown, then add some leftover rice and continue sautéing. Next add a couple beaten eggs and stir until done. Serve with soy sauce. This meal goes well with bacon, applesauce and toast.

Rice, Salsa, Refried Beans, and Cheddar Cheese Posted By Blooming -See Bean Dishes

Rice with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Posted By ~Megan~
Boil brown rice with frozen broccoli & cauliflower with added garlic and broth. Add curry and a bit of shredded cheese.

Posted By Red
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 an avocado, it's even better, and you can leave out the zuke and beans. 10 sheets of nori, $1.99. I use 5 sheets and have enough left over for one lunch. Rice costs $4.99 a bag and I can make 6 batches of sushi with it, so it's $.83. One carrot and 1/4 of a cucumber...cucumbers are $.50 each....that's another $.13 and the carrot would be another $.10. I believe that's $2.06!
Posted By grisandole: I love sushi; we do veggie sushi, or add eggs for protein. My 4yo LOVES it!

Veggie Fried Rice
Posted By grisandole
I keep soy sauce on hand so I don't count the cost of it in the ingredients.....just cook some rice, put some oil in a pan, add chopped veggies or frozen veggies of your choice, stir in the rice, add some soy sauce, yummy! I usually add scrambled eggs (for protein) and whatever frozen veggies I have on hand.
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Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement... It has been a massive under taking, but also a definite work of love: love for my family, my friends, and all of you! I remind myself that it is for all of these that I do it!

The word document of completed sections is now 32 pages long.. and I only have FOURTEEN more pages for sort and compile!
Next two sections Pasta Dishes and Soups!

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OK you've probably thought of this, but just in case... have you tried changing the document margins and page settings to fit the most on the page as possible?

And, just curious, are you giving credit to the authors of the recipes?

Thanks for putting it together, it sounds great!
rachel, I have set the margins to the absolute minimums..well I had for the main document that I created.. just checked at the document that I was putting the completed sections in wasn't set for minimum margins! Now it's ONLY 28 pages!

As for giving credit to the authors of the recipes.. I would love to, but I'm afraid I'm running into a time crunch... I'm about to start a new job, so I'm rushing to get this done and LOTS of other projects done around the house so I don't have them hanging over me and distracting me when I'm supposed to be working.. So it's either finish it or attempt to do credits for several hundred recipes and ideas which requires a LOT of time search the thread, and maybe never finish it, because I have to put it on the back burner once my job starts..
ging When I first copied everything from the original thread it was just for me... I wasn't planing on doing all of this organizing it and sharing it, so I didn't think to copy who wrote the various recipes. Sorry.
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well 28 is better than 32 I guess! Haha!
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Thank you so much for this Mirta! I really appreciate all of your effort!!!
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rachel, I thought a lot about your question about whether or not people would be credited for their recipes and I realized it was the right thing to do, so I am going back through the document and giving credit for all the actual recipes. -thanks for that kick in the butt to do the right thing!!

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Originally Posted by Mirta View Post
rachel, I thought a lot about your question about whether or not people would be credited for their recipes and I realized it was the right thing to do, so I am going back through the document and giving credit for all the actual recipes. -thanks for that kick in the butt to do the right thing!!

OMG you are a saint! That is SO much work!
btw I am fine w/o credits there, I don't have anything I want credit for at all, I was just wondering so if I used the recipes on my blog or something I'd know who to credit for the recipe! Please don't do it because of me! I hope it didn't come out the wrong way.
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Don't worry Rachel, your didn't come across badly, I just realized that some people went through a lot of work to create the recipes and/or post them and they deserved credit for that. Just finished going through my documents and giving credit for all the recipes! Now I can finish the compilation!!
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Apple Cabbage Bake
Posted By kijip
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.

Baked Bean Casserole Posted by Groovy Mom-- See Bean Dishes

Bean and Cornbread Casserole Posted by zmom -- See Bean Dishes

Cabbage Roll Casserole Posted By jenangelcat-see Beef Dishes

Corn Bake
Posted By littlemama06
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 minutes. My DH likes it with salsa and sour cream
Posted By 2 in August: I used to make that with some hot dogs (I know, I know, I said used to, lol) chopped up in it and a sprinkle of cheese on top.

Leftover Turkey or Chicken Casserole Posted By Red-See Poultry Dishes

Polenta and Black Bean Casserole Posted By caiesmommy-See Bean Dishes

Pot Pie Made With Leftovers

Savory Cheesecakes
Posted By SusannahM
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.
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.

Strata or Quiche

Taco Casserole Posted By shelbell -See Bean Dishes

Tamale Casserole Posted By Attila the Honey-See Bean Dishes

Turkey Stuffing Quiche Posted By Mamatolea - See Poultry Dishes

Veggie Pie
Posted By Needle in the Hay
You mix:
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
Pour batter into a buttered pie plate. Put in 3 cups or so of cooked veggies (season them first with salt, pepper, herbs, whatever), leaving a strip around the edge of the pie plate for the crust. Cook in preheated 400 F oven until it starts to become golden, top with some grated cheese and put back in oven until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Veggie Pot Pie
Posted By DevaMajka
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 onion, chopped
•8 ounces mushrooms
•1 clove garlic, minced
•2 large carrots, diced
•2 potatoes, peeled and diced
•2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch wide
•2 cups cauliflower florets
•1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped into 1/2 inch pieces
•3 cups vegetable broth
•1 teaspoon kosher salt
•1 teaspoon ground black pepper
•2 tablespoons cornstarch
•2 tablespoons soy sauce
•1 recipe pastry for double-crust pie
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Cook onions, mushrooms, and garlic in oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in carrots, potatoes, and celery. Stir in cauliflower, green beans, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3.In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, soy sauce, and 1/4 cup water until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Stir into vegetables, and cook until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
4.Roll out 1/2 of the dough to line an 11x7 inch baking dish. Pour the filling into the pastry lined dish. Roll out remaining dough, arrange over the filling, and seal and flute the edges.
5.Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust is brown.
As is, the recipe costs about $4 to make (I use frozen corn/peas instead of cauliflower and green beans), but it easily makes 4 meals for us. I make the whole recipe because DP LOVES it even as leftovers for days.
So, halve it, and you have 2 meals for $2 (remember, one "meal" is enough to feed DP, myself, and our 3yo).

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Posted By DevaMajka
•2 cups vegetable broth, divided
•1 teaspoon yeast extract spread, e.g. Marmite/Vegemite
•1/2 cup dry lentils
•1/4 cup pearl barley
•1 large carrot, diced
•1/2 onion, finely chopped
•1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
•3 potatoes, chopped
•1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon water
•salt and pepper to taste
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 1 1/4 cups broth, yeast extract, lentils and barley. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine remaining 3/4 cup broth, carrot, onion and walnuts; cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
4.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash.
5.Combine flour and water and stir into carrot mixture; simmer until thickened. Combine carrot mixture with lentil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes over lentil mixture.
6.Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.
I don't use the walnuts. I used brewer's yeast in place of the vegemite. I also use homemade stock out of scraps, so I don't that cost in. It ends up costing less than 2 dollars to make (about $1.70) and easily makes 2 meals for us.

Arroz Sin Pollo (Rice Without Chicken) Posted by Sol_Solved -- See Rice Dishes

Beans Tortillas and Cabbage Posted By spring978 -- See Bean Dishes

Black Bean and Cheese Tortillas Posted By melissel -- See Bean Dishes

Black-Bean Burritos Posted By kandkrose -- See Bean Dishes

Black Beans, Onions, Tomatoes and Sofrito Posted By MaShroom -- See Bean Dishes

Burritos Posted By caiesmommy-See Bean Dishes

Cuban Breakfast Posted By Rebecca -- See Bean Dishes

Lentil Taco -See Bean Dishes

Mexican Rice Posted By WC_hapamama -See Rice Dishes


Sweet Potato Burritos Posted By LeahC-See Bean Dishes

Taco Casserole Posted By shelbell -See Bean Dishes

Tamale Casserole Posted By Attila the Honey-See Bean Dishes

Taquitos Posted By bright_eyes - See Poultry Dishes

Addasi Posted by UmmIbrahim -see Bean Dishes

Coconut Milk-Based Curries over Rice

Posted By daekini
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). Sauté 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

Posted By hummingmom:
Indian-style: Make a curry with potatoes and your choice of other vegetable(s), and serve it with sliced hard-boiled egg on top.
Scandinavian-style: Basic split-pea soup simmered with a small amount of reasonably healthy sausage/hot dogs (left whole). Slice the meat and serve it with the soup.
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.]
German-style: Spaetzle is super cheap -- basically just a flour and water dough, made into little dumplings that are boiled in water and drained. The spaetzle can be served with butter, applesauce, cream sauce, gravy, or pretty much anything. Children like them, and they make a nice change from noodles.

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

Posted By Sol_Solved
In a pressure cooker 1/4 cup masoor dal, 1 peeled and cubed potato, 1 cup of veggies (I used frozen carrot and peas) a pinch of turmeric + 1 cup of water until 4 whistles
In the meantime, grind 2 cm of coconut, 3 green chilies, 2 cm of ginger, 5 peppercorns, 1 tsp of cumin seeds + 1 tomato until it makes a smooth paste
1 tbsp of oil in a pan, a pinch of mustard seeds, chana dal and masoor dal until the mustard pops. A few curry leaves. Add the previous paste, fry for a minute, add the veggies with dal and water if needed. Let it come to a boil, turn off heat, add salt. Serve with rice. Now, all these spices can be a bit expensive to buy at first (although Indian stores are rather cheap), but they last so long it's really worth it. In the end we spent barely more than the money for 2 cups of veggies + rice, but it's a nutritious flavorful meal.

Mujadarrah Posted By snowbunny-See Bean Dishes

Spicy Pakistani Chickpea Stew
Posted by *MamaJen*
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 2 tomatoes, chopped (or one can diced, undrained)
• 2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans with liquid (or one big can)
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 bunch spinach, kale or other greens, torn into smaller pieces
In a large pot over low heat, warm oil and cumin seeds; heat until cumin turns a darker shade of brown. Add the rest of spices and lemon juice. Stir in tomatoes; once the juice begins to thicken add in chickpeas and mix well. Add onions and cook for about 20 - 30 minutes, until onion is soft. Add greens and cook until tender.


Cornbread and Milk
Posted By rainbowmoon
Cubed corn bread with milk poured over it served with baked beans on the side. I discovered this from another message board. my kiddos just absolutely love it and it's super cheap!

Posted By crayon
We eat this a lot too- I add sugar to it and we have buttered toast too

Homemade Bread
Posted By rgarlough
I'll also use my bread machine and make a hearty winter bread with molasses, whole wheat flour, flax, egg & cornmeal. My homemade bread is less than $.20/loaf since I purchased all the stuff in bulk.

Peanut Butter, Apple and Granola Wrap
Posted By becoming
Peanut butter, apple and granola wrapped inside flour tortilla

Posted By henhao
This is not a meal, but it's a treat for your little one and a lot less expensive than store bought. I made popsicles from one banana, about 5 strawberries and some yogurt. I mixed it in the blender, froze them in the popsicle containers and voila! Normally, six popsicles costs about $4, and I made them for much less. Plus, DD happily ate a lot of frozen fruit with vitamin C. =-)
Posted By rachelmarie I had just been using 100% fruit juice to make popsicles, but I like this idea much better! I'll definitely be trying it.

Asian Pork Filling Posted By RoundAbout-See Ham and Pork Dishes

Chirashi Zushi Posted By KathinJapan - See Rice Dishes

Fried Rice Posted By littlemama06, llamalluv, and kijip -See Rice Dishes

Peanut Butter Tofu
Posted By Attila the Honey
The peanut butter chicken recipe is very similar to something I make with tofu. I take firm tofu and freeze it, then thaw it and squeeze out the extra water and cut into cubes. I make that peanut butter sauce and toss the tofu in to coat it and spread it on a baking sheet and bake on 400 until browned and crispy. It's really good!
Peanut Butter Chicken and Rice for reference
Posted By rachelagain
Cook 2 cups of rice as directed (makes 4 cups)
1/4 c Peanut Butter
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.

Spring rolls
Posted By paxye
Rice Papers are cheap and a package can last a few meals... I fill mine with shredded Cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic, soy sauce and whatever else I feel like (ground pork is good 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...

Sushi Posted By Red -See Rice Dishes

Veggie Fried Rice Posted By grisandole -See Rice Dishes

Baked Ziti
Posted By littlemama06
Spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
A little grated parmesan 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 spread with sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes

Cheesy Tomato Mac
Posted By Canadianmommax3
Large Can of Tomato Juice
Elbow macaroni
Shredded cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni to almost done, drain, put back in pot and add the can of tomato juice, salt and pepper and shredded cheese. Bring to boil, once cheese is melted and macaroni is done enjoy. My DH loves it!

Cheesy Tomato Mac
Posted By caiesmommy
Mac and cheese was always a cheap meal growing up. With canned tomatoes. We don't eat cow's milk anymore so that's no longer a cheap meal!!

Easy Pasta/Soupy Recipe
Posted By madskye
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 till 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 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.

Eggplant Canneloni/ "Spinach" Lasagna
Posted By Leta
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 long ways, 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 sauté 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.

Eggplant 'Lasagna'
Posted By Cassifrass
1 medium to large eggplant (about 1 lb): $1.00
About 2 cups of tomato sauce (canned, jarred, or homemade - I used homemade made from free tomatoes, so this didn't cost me anything)
1/2 a package of mozzarella cheese: $.75
Items already in the cupboard/fridge:
About 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs mixed with seasonings of your choice
About 3 egg whites whisked with 2 tbsp water (negligible)
Margarine, oil, or non-stick cooking spray
About 3 tbsp grated parmesan
Cut off ends of eggplant and slice very thin. Dip into egg white mixture then coat with breadcrumbs. Fry in heated pan (when using oil, not much is needed) until brown and crispy. In a glass baking dish (I used a 9x9), spread about 1/2 cup of your sauce into the bottom, then lay your eggplant slices down in layers. Cover each layer with a thin coat of sauce before laying down another slice of eggplant, then cover the top with the remainder of the sauce and top with the grated parmesan and cover with mozzarella. Bake at about 400 for about 15 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve alone or on top of pasta.
*You could also top each layer with ricotta cheese to make it more 'lasagna-like.'

Fettuccini "Alfredo"
Posted By meister31
-------- this was on Oprah a few years back it's healthy & yummy 'Alfredo' sauce
2 cups canned canelli beans w/ liquid
2 cups soy milk (unsweetened)
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Blend all except cheese put in pot bring to just below simmer add cheese--serve over your favorite pasta

Ham and Cheese Baked Ziti Posted By Norasmomma See Ham and Pork Dishes

Macaroni and White Sauce
Posted By dharmamama
Our new favorite lunch is macaroni with white sauce (from the Hillbilly Housewife, how did I live before I found that site??), peas, and cut up fresh fruit. It probably costs more than $2 because we use whole wheat pasta and rice milk, but I saw FMV regular macaroni for 59 cents today at Kroger, and if you used powdered milk (we can't due to allergy), I'm sure this could be made for 50 cents to a dollar, including fruit.
White sauce copied from the Hillbilly Housewife :
•2 tablespoons margarine
•2 tablespoons flour (white or whole wheat)
•3/8 teaspoon salt
•1/8 teaspoon pepper
•1 cup milk
Get out a quart-sized saucepan. Melt the margarine in it over medium heat. When the margarine is completely melted, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the flour. It will lump up a little bit, so keep stirring it until it is smooth. I use a whisk to do this, but a fork will work in a pinch. Add the salt and pepper and return the pan to the heat. Cook and stir until the flour/margarine mixture bubbles up and sort of sizzles for a moment or two. This step keeps the sauce from having a "raw" flavor, and also permeates the sauce with the seasonings. Gradually stir in the milk. Do it slowly, so it doesn't lump up. Lumpy sauce is not the most aesthetically pleasing, although it still tastes pretty good. So after you stir in the milk, cook the sauce over medium heat until it boils. Stir it quite often, to prevent it from lumping or burning. When it boils, cook and stir it for a full minute, and then remove it from the heat. It is now done.
This sauce tastes really good poured over hot toast and eaten for breakfast. It is also used in many casseroles and a ton of other places. Once you've mastered this sauce, you officially know how to cook. Whole wheat flour makes a slightly ruddier sauce, while white flour gives you the traditional smooth, bright white sauce. Both give good results so use which ever flour you prefer.
Cheese Sauce: Add 1/2 to 1-cup of shredded or cubed cheese to the sauce after it boils for a minute. I usually take it off the burner, add the cheese, and cover the pan. Then I let it sit in the middle of the stove for a minute or two, to soften up the cheese. Stir it up until the cheese melts. Serve anywhere you like.
Bacon Sauce: When the sauce is cooked, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vegetarian bacon bits. This is really good on baked potatoes and over toast.

Macaroni 'n Tomatoes
Posted By freespirited
3 cups elbow macaroni
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup butter (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup!)
1-2 tbsp Lawry's Seasoning Salt (no substitutions)
Cook and drain noodles, add butter and seasoning salt, mix to coat, add tomatoes, heat through. I tried this for the first time last week and it was sooo yummy! This size above fed me, a hungry DH and our 2 LOs. It's a keeper.

Noodles and Veggies
Posted By Red
Only got $2 and need to buy a dinner? Oodles of noodles...$.16 so say two packages, buy two carrots from the bulk area, ask the produce manager if there's any damaged veggies out back for your rabbits.

Pasta and Tomatoes
Posted By Groovy Mom
Pasta + 1 can of canned tomatoes is good too. Just drain and toss with the pasta.

Pasta (any type) with butter & parmesan cheese

Pasta Bake:
Posted By Tilia
1 box of pasta (my favorite right now is Gemelli) $1.00
1 can of chicken broth $0.50
1 teaspoon garlic salt $0.05
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning $0.05
1/2 cup parmesan $0.20
Total cost: $1.80
Prepare the pasta. Cook according to the package, drain. Dump it into a casserole dish. Pour the broth over the pasta, add the seasonings and mix well. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so.

Pasta Salad (use leftover veggies)

Pasta Sauce
Posted By NewMama2007
Just an idea to make it cheaper - we buy a can (32 oz) of tomato puree, divide into thirds, freeze two for future use, and use one on the pizza as the sauce. I add spices too. It's only 33 cents a pop! You could use whatever pasta sauce too, we just like tomato puree because it's just tomatoes and ascorbic acid, and cheap!
This also makes a pretty awesome pasta sauce when you mix in spices. I made it this week for a quick dinner for dd and myself - added some leftover chopped steamed broccoli and some spinach too - it was awesome. And no high fructose corn syrup like in those cheap pasta sauces!

Pasta Sauce
Posted By paxye
One of my favorite 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 another 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.
Posted By aircantu1 I'm eating this right now and oh my gosh, YUM! Seriously delicious! I copied someone else's idea of putting the tomatoes in the food processor after they cook and it's really good.
Questions and paxye's response: 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...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.. If you all like the Pasta recipe feel free to rate it on recipezaar
Posted By Jenlaana : I have eaten about a dozen of the meals on this thread and they are GREAT I LOVE the tomatoes and penne recipe that was towards the beginning. My DH doesn't like the texture of tomatoes so after we cooked them we threw them in the food processor for a minute (along w/ the garlic and olive oil that they cooked with) and it was the BEST tomato sauce. I think I may skip the store bought tomato sauce from now on and just make variations of this recipe instead. Yummy Oh we also added some chicken and baked that w/ the tomatoes and cut it up and threw it in. was very yummy and 1 pc of chicken spread over enough for a whole box of penne and sauce.

Pasta with Cream Cheese Sauce
Posted By katheek77
This assumes you have these items (none are exotic). Obviously, if you're going out to buy a big old' gallon of milk just for this recipe, it's not so cheap.
5 oz cream cheese -78 c (1.25 pkg on sale)
1/4-1/2 C milk -32c (using 1/2 C organic (5.19/gallon)
1 T margarine or butter 3-8c (marg. is 1.00 here, butter is about 2.50/pkg)
1 clove garlic, minced -say 5c (20-30c. head)
2 T grated parmesan - 25c (4.00 for 8oz -and that's kind of pricy)
1 lb pasta - .75 cents (doesn't really matter what kind -elbows, linguine, etc)
Or, you can make your own pasta w/two cups flour (10c), 3 eggs (25c), 1 tsp. salt (pennies), and some water. Under 40c total.
So, it's 2.23 if you buy your pasta and use a full 1/2 C of organic milk and real butter, but it comes in at 1.88 if you make your own pasta. Less if you use less milk and margarine
Sauté garlic in butter. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese to garlic and heat gently - add milk, stir until heated through. If you like, add pepper/salt to taste. Cook pasta, drain. Add parmesan to sauce, toss with pasta.

Pasta with Pesto
Posted By kidspiration
The pesto from trader Joes is decent and it's $1.99 for a container. We use 1/2 of a container so it lasts for 2 meals. Good stuff.

Pasta with sautéed veggies:
Posted By rachelmarie
This is under $2 and super-fast, too. It's simple, but good.
1 lb any type of pasta (I used orzo) - $.50-$1 depending on type and sales
1 lb frozen Italian vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, lima beans, etc.) - $1 on sale at Kroger
1 or 2 tbsp olive oil
Oregano, salt, and pepper to taste
Parmesan (we used vegan parm)
Boil the pasta and while it is cooking (orzo takes about 6 or 7 minutes) sauté a bag of frozen Italian vegetables in the oil with the oregano, salt, and pepper. I let them cook for awhile so they won't taste like frozen vegetables. Combine the pasta and veggies when both are done. Next time I think I'll add chickpeas for some more protein.

Ramen and Veggies
Posted By serenetabbie
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.

Ramen Noodles
Posted By grniys
I can get those for like, .11 a pack. (I usually boil those until almost done, drain, rinse and reboil.) Add whatever kind of sauce you like or want. My husband likes a spicy garlic sauce, or you can buy jarred sauces and add a dab and it only adds a couple pennies to the cost. Or, use peanut butter, soy sauce, a dab of lemon, some garlic and whatever else and make your own peanut sauce (it may take time to find a tasty combination). Cook up a pork chop if you eat meat (if I get them in the huge family packs on sale one pork chop only adds about .50 onto the cost). If you have frozen veggies or fresh add them. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you like, and it really doesn't cost much at all. When we were really broke I used to do ramen noodle recipes for lunch sometimes. It costs nearly nothing and you can think up a million combinations.

Ravioli or Tortellini
Posted By Sonnenwende
If you have a Meijer, it is really cheap to buy their 4lb bags of frozen ravioli or tortellini. Just pour some cheap tomato sauce on it and a little bit of cheese and there you go. The ravioli is really good. I get about 4-5 meals out of a bag, easy, for 3 people. Lazy to do to boot!

Regular Pasta With Broccoli
Posted By Groovy Mom
Cooked pasta + cooked broccoli = meal. We use Olive Oil, grated cheese, vinegar and red pepper flakes as condiments.

Simple Pasta
Posted By doublesnap
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.

Sloppy Bows
Posted By littlemama06
(this was our favorite when we were kids, I kind of 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 a little shredded cheese on top. Bake for about 20 minutes

Spaghetti with Broccoli
Posted By madskye
Thin spaghetti with chopped steamed broccoli and garlic is good. Cook the spaghetti, steam small chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen) and then sauté with garlic and oil. And a dash of cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. Also, I will add a can of white beans to almost everything I cook if it goes for the extra protein. That might push you over $2 on this recipe, though.

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Stir-fry with pasta
Posted By Tilia
Double recipe
1 lb carrots $0.75
8 stalks of celery $1.00
2 yellow or white onions $0.40
1 box mini farfalle $1.00
1 can chicken broth $0.50
1 T. garlic powder $0.05
1 T. paprika $0.05
Total $3.75 for double recipe
Chop the veggies and sauté them in olive oil until the onions are clear. Cook the pasta according to the directions. I use a stock pot because it's a double recipe and it won't fit in a Dutch oven. Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot, and toss in all the ingredients. Cook on low until it's all warm.

Tomatoes and Couscous
Posted By chel
Make couscous
(2/3c couscous and 3/4c water)
Tomatoes - simmer below stuff together till couscous is done then put on top of couscous
1 can diced tomatoes
1TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS lemon juice
Garlic powder to taste
Sprinkles of crushed red pepper

Tomato Pesto
Posted By Red
I got tomatoes on sale for .25 apiece this week. Dried them and made tomato pesto with a .33 box of pasta. (Walnuts instead of pine nuts)

TVP Macaroni
Posted By dharmamama
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.

Sauce Hint: Posted By llamalluv
When I make chili or spaghetti sauce, I save the leftovers in 1-cup portions and pop them into the freezer.

Crockpot Tomato Sauce
Posted By daekini
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 sautéed 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, and then freeze in smaller portions to use later. This recipe was adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.

Posted By texasmommatotwo
A great sauce for cheap is
1 can cream of whatever soup (.89?)
1 cup of mayo (.40?)
1 tsp curry (or more to taste) (pennies)
Leftover cooked white meat (optional)
Cooked rice (.50)
Mix together and heat. Serve over rice. We also add in chicken and broccoli. I know it sounds weird cause of the mayo, but it is great! Not so healthy, but DH loves this. Lasts for two meals and lunch.
Posted By Paxjourney: This sounds like a great I'll have to give it a try. Another thing to do is to if omitting the meat and having the rice is to also add beans this would then make it a complete protein meal and be a tad more nutritious. I'm thinking maybe just a white bean like a great northern

Posted By texasmommatotwo
Another weird sounding one is
2 cans cream of celery (1.50)
1 can rotel (.89)
Italian seasoning (pennies)
1 chopped onion (.20)
Butter (.10?)
sauté onion (garlic too if you have it) in butter, mix in the rest and heat through, add cooked chicken or shrimp (optional) and pour over cooked rice. Spicy and delicious. This usually lasts us (2 adults, kiddo won't eat, too spicy) two meals and then some for my lunch.

Spaghetti Sauce
Posted By ***Heather***
Brown hamburger with onion, green pepper etc (whatever is on hand) add can of diced tomatoes and let simmer. To thicken sauce, mix 1t-1T flour in a glass with warm water, stir into sauce.

West African Peanut Sauce
Posted By nicoley73
Sauté half an onion. Add equal parts peanut butter and tomato paste - I use about 1/2 small can of tomato paste. Heat up one Maggi beef bouillon cube in one cup of water and pour it in. It must be Maggi to be authentic. Mix and heat until simmering. I usually add in tofu, but if I'm being very cheap then it's boiled potato. Serve over rice.

Baked Potato Soup Posted By beansricerevolt -See Potato Dishes

Bean Soups Posted by rgarlough, BusyMommy, and luv-my-boys - See Bean Dishes

Black Bean Soup Posted By BeauGeek and -Attila the Honey-- - See Bean Dishes

Black Bean Vegetable Soup Posted By bright_eyes -- See Bean Dishes

Posted By Red
I either use homemade, a small can of the store brand (.50 cents) or a couple of cups of water and a bouillon cube. I've never paid $3.50 for a can of broth.

Buckwheat and Bean Chili
Cheap and filling, too.

Carrot Ginger Soup and Biscuits or Sourdough

Chicken Veggie Soup Posted By bec - See Poultry Dishes

Easy Veggie Broth
Posted By Attila the Honey
I am a vegetarian, and we always have broth because whenever I cook a vegetable, any kind, I put the cooking water into an ice cube tray and freeze it. When it's frozen I add it to my big bag of broth cubes. When it is all simmered together it makes a good vegetable broth, or at least close enough for my taste.

Egg Drop Soup Posted By amyamanda-See Egg Meals

Fake Chicken Broth
Posted By Attila the Honey
If for some reason I don't have broth, or I want to make a 'chicken style' broth I just fake it with water, salt, some liquid aminos and some chicken style herb/spice mix that I buy in bulk at our co-op. It might not be the real thing, but it tastes good and does the job.

Five Can Soup
Posted By MelanieMC
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes (any brand really)
1 can of chili with beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can vegetable beef soup (or just veggie if you don't want the beef)
1 can of tomato soup
Combine all cans into one pot and heat until warm, or cook in the crock pot. This can be served with corn chips or cornbread. All of the ingredients are very cheap to buy - usually I can get all of it at a dollar store 4 cans for $1. When we make it we double the recipe, so it's really 10 can soup (and we usually have leftovers, which are good). It's yummy and very filling. Sometimes we eat it over cornbread as a soup, or we dip it with corn chips.
Posted By 2 in August: I just made this and it is good. I added a can of ranch style baked beans, some frozen peas and carrots, some ABC pasta and a couple diced potatoes.

French Onion Soup
Posted By wife&mommy
We are having this tomorrow; it's just onions, broth, cheese, and bread on top if you like.

Italian White Bean Soup Posted By normajean-- See Bean Dishes

Lentil Soup Posted By *MamaJen* and PumpkinSeeds -- See Bean Dishes

Lentil Stew Posted By amyamanda-- See Bean Dishes

Miso Soup
Posted By caiesmommy
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 don't let miso boil loses healing abilities!!

Miso Soup
Posted By kidspiration
I usually put whatever veggies I have in the fridge, so it's a hodgepodge. Carrots, peppers, onion, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash/pumpkin etc. along with a block of tofu and miso paste to taste. Fast, easy, nutritious and I make a huge batch that easily lasts us several dinners and lunches.

Potato Leek Soup Posted By Red -See Potato Dishes

Pea Soup
Posted By jenangelcat
1lb split peas, rinsed and sorted 1.00
Ham bone free
1 onion, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste.
Put peas, ham Bone, onion (sauté first if you'd like), salt and pepper in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low until peas have turned into a liquidy mush. Remove ham bone and serve. I'm guessing this makes about 8 one cup servings. It's still in my pot so I haven't measure yet. So that would be about $0.12 a serving. I usually serve this with some kind of homemade bun.

Pinto Bean Soup with Tortillas

Poor Man's Soup
Posted By elizawill
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 green 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.

Potato Soup

Red Lentil Soup Posted By freespirited-See Bean Dishes

Sopa de Fideos con Acelgas
Posted By rainbowmoon
(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. tomatoes (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
Salt, pepper
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 spaghetti 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 parmesan cheese but it's good without it!

Spinach and Egg Soup
Posted By PennyRoo
I often make a soup where I simmer veggie broth, then add a package of chopped spinach, then stir in a couple of beaten eggs. Sprinkle in a handful of grated parm, add a few grinds of pepper, and it's done! (PS If I have it on hand I sometimes add a few frozen shrimp along with the eggs. You could also add some leftover shredded chicken or turkey if you eat it.)

Split pea soup Posted By madskye-See Bean Dishes

Tomato Curry Soup
Posted By MamaPam
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.

Tomato Soup with Dumplings
Posted By serenetabbie
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 spoonful. 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.

Tortilla Soup

Veg. Chili and Cornbread

Vegetable Soup
Posted By Red
You can make a huge pot for under $2. Use the veggie scrapings, or leftover vegetables that will soon go bad some garlic, and a few bouillon cubes if you want. Any less than spiffy veggies can go in for the broth too. Simmer all day. Strain; add salt, pepper, lots more garlic, a couple of carrots, a few potatoes or some uncooked rice, a stalk of celery, whatever you have.
Posted By karne: We also make veggie soup out of any veggies in the fridge, and water, with a little stock. I find that my kids love any soup as long as there is fresh bread and grated cheese to sprinkle on top!

White Bean Soup Posted By Tilia-See Bean Dishes

White Bean and Ham Soup Posted by beansricerevolt-See Bean Dishes

Yummy Lentil Potato Soup Posted By dharmamama-See Bean Dishes

*NOTE Because meat tends to be expensive most of the recipes in this compilation are vegetable based, the ones listed here do not fit in any other category.

Baked Polenta
Posted By Sol_Solved
So today was a success, we had baked polenta: (for 2 people)
1 cup cornmeal bought from bulk (I am pretty sure this was 20 cents on sale)
2 cups organic milk (it can be made with just 4 cups of water, but I like the extra nutrition, so I do 2 and 2) It's 75 cents
I cooked the polenta yesterday and it didn't come that well. It was lumpy and not too tasty, at least compared to my polenta back at home. Usually, I must admit I would have just thrown it away. But I let it cool overnight and cut circles with a glass and sliced it really thin and baked it on a cookie sheet for about one hour. Now it's yummy! I mashed and recooked all the small odds and ends from cutting with some water and that's cooling now for a next batch.
Then, I added: 1 Tbsp olive oil for the cookie sheet (1/50th of a 750 ml bottle) 20 cents 4 Tbsp tomato sauce (we still have jarred, but I make yummy inexpensive sauce with a big can of organic diced tomatoes for $2 and half an onion for $0.50, and I get about 4 cups of sauce) Let's say it was 10 cents of sauce, because it was less than a quarter cup.2 Tbsp grated mozzarella cheese, this was hormone-free and the last cheese we had. I can't see it being over 30 cents. $1.45 We added just some steamed frozen veggies, and voila!

Roasted Root Veggies
Posted By caiesmommy
My DH favorite is roasted root veggies!!! We buy huge bags! Granted they are more than 2 dollars but they last forever!!!

Spinach cakes
Posted By beansricerevolt
2t. olive oil
1c. chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
2/3c. Instant potato flakes
2 eggs beaten
1/4c. Parmesan cheese grated
2t. rosemary
1/2c. Breadcrumbs
1/2t. Salt
1/2t. Pepper
Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and spinach sauté for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and combine well mixture should be thick and scoopable scoop into 1-3/4 inch balls and flatten into patties sauté both sides of cakes until golden brown (you may need to add oil in pan before so it doesn't stick)
place cakes on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 We serve with marinara sauce.

Sweet Potato Hash
Posted by Nourishing Bodies
Grind raw sweet potato in food processor until hash-like. Heat some olive oil in skillet
Cook sweet potatoes just 5-10 minutes until soft While cooking, melt butter in another skillet and add a clove of garlic and some sage leaves. Once browned, drizzle over the hash and serve. Brown rice and aduki beans warmed up (used leftover brown rice) with the sage butter drizzled throughout. Sauted swiss chard, cut into little strips, and lightly cooked in the skillet the butter was made. Beautiful, healthy, and satisfying dinner....under $2 a person!

Stewed Tomatoes in Crackers
Posted By mum4boys
Stewed tomatoes, crushed up soda crackers and seasoning. I can get the tomatoes for 40 cents without a coupon and crackers 1/2 of a sleeve which cost 12 /12 cents.

Stir-Fried Tofu and Green Beans
Posted By SiValleySteph
We use the organic tofu from Trader Joes - 99cents per block.
Frozen French green beans from Trader Joes - $2/bag, maybe? We use about 1/2 bag.
Some rice, we buy in bulk, so I don't know how much 1-1/2 c of (precooked) rice is.
Cube tofu and stir-fry in a small amount of oil over high heat until nice & crispy. Add in the green beans, some season salt and soy sauce, keep stir-frying until done. Serve over rice.

Posted By ***Heather***
Our families version: Always starts off with can of corn, can of kidney beans then include some/all of following: onion, green pepper, diced tomato, other kinds of dried bean. Add milk and smidge of butter for broth, pour over buttered or toasted bread.

Veggie Burgers Posted By RoundAbout-See Bean Dishes
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Just wanted all of you to see the new official dedication of the compilation! I love you all!!

I dedicate these pages to all the women on who have taught and inspired me over the years. I've learned so much from all of you, about mothering, frugality, cooking, writing, etc, etc, This was a work of love for all of you and for my friends and family; I pray it will bless each and every one of you and your families. A special thanks to all those who posted the recipes below. ~~Kym Aka Mirta
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