What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

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frugalmom
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

Post by frugalmom »

My friend was telling me today that she made clam chowder(Progresso cans 99 cents each on sale) and bought a bread bowl for each 1.59 and had dinner for 12.00 and quick and cheap for a family of 5. She added some milk/cream to extend it and cheddar cheese on top. So I was thinking how could I do it for cheaper(she is usually a frugal blackbelt even more so than I am buying dollar store gifts like my elf on a shelf in warrior's costume for my son for 1.00 and JC Penney sold them this year for 35.00!). We are always thinking how can we do it for cheaper?!

So for me I also extend it with half and half or milk to make it creamy and not so thick,add Old Bay seasoning bc I like it,but I would skip the bowl(maybe two for the kids if they want it but usually I just buy a french bread loaf for .99 and eat it with the soup but in a glass bowl. I usually take mine to the beaches like Monterey or Bodega Bay bc the clam chowder there is very expensive. BTW I was reading aGreat Depression cookbook/story where the guy was a butcher and he would use brain(do they even sell that-the last time I bought it was in the 6th grade for a science experiment which we gave my brother to eat disguised with eggs and my mom and I were laughing as they ate it bc they did not know it was my science experiment! Anyways, the butcher would cut u p the brain and mix it into clam chowder and he said you could not tell the difference and it was a good substitute. Not that I would do that,just thought that story was interesting(lol I am easily amused). So that would cost me about 5.00 for the entire dinner-maybe add a salad too.

So what are your cheapest and fastest dinners and how could we make it cheaper(anyone can chime in with ideas)? What do you aim for dinner costs? Do you do a dinner as a whole for the cost or aim per person? Do you have a friend you do this with and compare costs and try to get it lower or get ideas from? I need ideas bc of the practices the kids have and they are long hours (I get home at 10 pm) plus games/tournaments. Chili cans (or crockpot or I like Wendy's chili) over spaghetti noodles and sprinkle cheese over it.

5.00 rotisserie chickens are lifesavers too-and they can go for two to three meals. You can make sandwiches,with mashed potatoes or stuffing,for sandwiches,shredded into chow mein(Ramen even easier),add to corn soup with egg drop,with alfredo,etc.

tammy65
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:23 am

Re: What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

Post by tammy65 »

I cut up a head of cabbage and put into a 9x13 glass baking dish and then peel 6 or 7 potatoes and cut up into chunks and layer on top of cabbage. I add salt and pepper to taste.
I then slice up a 16 oz. package of smoked sausage (you could use Lil Smokies, but then your price of the dish would be higher). I place the slices of smoked sausage on top of the potatoes, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. When the hour is up, I remove the aluminum foil and bake an additional 10 minutes to brown the top.
You do not add any liquid to the dish. If you like cabbage, you will love this dish!
When I bake this dish, it lasts for our supper and then I send it to work with my husband the next day (there is enough cabbage for my lunch the next day too.)
The meal can be made for under $5 easily and clean up is a breeze. The cabbage does not stick to the glass dish and the dish washes up easily.
In my area, the head of cabbage is usually 39 cents/lb., I buy the potatoes for around $2.50 for 10 lbs., and I usually catch the smoked sausage on sale for $1 for a 16 oz. package (I stock up and freeze the sausage at this price).

ownedbydogs
Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:26 am

Re: What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

Post by ownedbydogs »

Crockpot of pinto beans, a skillet of cornbread with cut up onions is about the easiest and cheapest we do. I seasoned with a pork chop.

Heloise
Posts: 835
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Re: What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

Post by Heloise »

Yummy! These recipes sound so good!

For me it's my homemade hamburger helper recipe.

A package of ground beef (adjust serving to accommodate whatever number of people you are serving), stalk of celery, one large onion, one package of your favourite pasta of choice, two large cans of whole tomatoes, one club fresh garlic.

Brown ground beef in a large stock pot and season to taste (pepper, salt). When done, add in finely chopped celery and onion, let simmer on low until mix is dry.

In a separate stock pot, add olive oil and finely chopped garlic. Sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes on low to medium heat, then add immersion-blended tomatoes to pot and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add to browned beef/veggie mix, and stir to blend.

Note: I like to start with whole tomatoes so I can nip-off the tomato ends before blending.

frugalmom
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

Post by frugalmom »

ownedbydogs wrote:Crockpot of pinto beans, a skillet of cornbread with cut up onions is about the easiest and cheapest we do. I seasoned with a pork chop.

OHHH that sounds good! How much water to pinto beans(and do you soak pinto beans overnight? OR for how many hours in the morning?)? Do you put any seasoning or spices? And how long do you cook for-on high? I don't really eat pork-what else can I substitute that with-beef?Cut-up onions-you eat that just plain or sprinkle over beans? For my onions(and I like red better) I squeeze a lemon from my tree and salt and black pepper sometimes cilantro diced up too.

frugalmom
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: What are your cheapest and fastest dinners?

Post by frugalmom »

Heloise wrote:Yummy! These recipes sound so good!

For me it's my homemade hamburger helper recipe.

A package of ground beef (adjust serving to accommodate whatever number of people you are serving), stalk of celery, one large onion, one package of your favourite pasta of choice, two large cans of whole tomatoes, one club fresh garlic.

Brown ground beef in a large stock pot and season to taste (pepper, salt). When done, add in finely chopped celery and onion, let simmer on low until mix is dry.

In a separate stock pot, add olive oil and finely chopped garlic. Sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes on low to medium heat, then add immersion-blended tomatoes to pot and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add to browned beef/veggie mix, and stir to blend.

Note: I like to start with whole tomatoes so I can nip-off the tomato ends before blending.
I love pasta-too much so! I make a similar recipe with medium shells and let it simmer on the top til a bit browned on the shells. So we eat one day the shells and the next day leftovers, I make that a soup base for pasta fajioli soup(add zucchini,cabbage,carrots,celery,onion,canellini beans,water,more tomato or tomato sauce if need be and sprinkle fresh grated parmesan at he very end). Bellisimo! I LOVE Italian food-I swear I must be Italian-but I am everything else it seems BUT that-but there must be some Italian food gene in there somewhere-lol-bc it is my favorite!

Oh this may not be the fastest in terms of cooking time(maybe about half an hour)-but sliced eggplant,sauce and cheese on top and bake(I line the pan a bit with olive oil before baking and putting the eggplant on top). Simple at least! I learned that from Great Depression Cooking by Claire(the 90 something yo Italian grandma) on youtube! You may like those videos-check them out!

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