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Cheap Dinner Ideas

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any Cheap dinner ideas I am over fixing the same ol stuff over and over again. I love using the crock pot (its my best friend )
post #2 of 15
Make some white rice, and then take a can of some nice, thick, hearty soup (with no pasta), heat it up, portion out the rice, and then pour the soup over it. We do it with success rice and Campbell's Hearty soups, the kind with sirloin burger & veggies... inexpensive, filling, and pretty good
post #3 of 15
My fav cheap crockpot meal:

Easy, Hearty Beef Soup:

Brown 1 pound lean ground beef with half a lrg yellow onion, and 3-4 cloves minced garlic.
Drain and dump in crockpot.
Add to that the other onion half, diced, 1 small package of mixed, frozen veggies of choice, 32 ounce bottle of V-8 juice (I use the spicey kind), and water to finish filling the crock.
About 20-30 minutes before serving, I add one small package of semolina stars (you can also substitute barley).
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
My fav cheap crockpot meal:

Easy, Hearty Beef Soup:

Brown 1 pound lean ground beef with half a lrg yellow onion, and 3-4 cloves minced garlic.
Drain and dump in crockpot.
Add to that the other onion half, diced, 1 small package of mixed, frozen veggies of choice, 32 ounce bottle of V-8 juice (I use the spicey kind), and water to finish filling the crock.
About 20-30 minutes before serving, I add one small package of semolina stars (you can also substitute barley).
Ooooh, that sounds good..and easy. I might try that.
post #5 of 15
I don't have any good recipes for the crock pot but one dish that I like a lot doesn't take too long and is pretty easy. Here's the recipe.
# 1 can (10 oz/284 mL) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Celery Soup or 50% Less Fat Cream of Celery Soup
# 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) boiling water
# 3/4 cup (175 mL) uncooked long grain white rice
# 2 cups (500 mL) fresh (cut-up, cooked) or frozen vegetable mixture, thawed
# 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil leaves
# 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground black pepper
# 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb/500 g)

Mix \t
\tsoup, boiling water, rice, vegetables, basil and pepper in large bowl. Pour into 13 x 9 x 2†(34 x 22 x 4 cm) baking pan.

Top \t
\twith chicken, pressing lightly into soup mixture.

Bake \t
\tcovered, in preheated 375°F (190°C) oven until rice and chicken are cooked through – about 45 minutes. To serve, sprinkle chicken with shredded cheese or paprika, if desired.
post #6 of 15
Get one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. You can eat on it for two or three days, then render down the bones for broth.
post #7 of 15
I live in an expensive city, and I've found the best way to cook cheaply is to buy on sale and/or in bulk, and buy only what you need. Not only is bulk cheaper, but you can get the two tablespoons of dried cranberries for your salad for a few cents, and not have to buy a big pricey bag of them.

Another way to keep spending and waste down is to plan your menus in advance and make your grocery list from that, and you won't impulse buy. Buy a couple of cookbooks that look doable and yummy and pick recipes for the season. A fruit salad that's a reasonable price to make in the summer is going to cost a small fortune with imported berries in the dead of winter.

Match up your favorite recipes with the sale flyer from the store(s) where you shop. If eggplant is a good price this week, find an eggplant recipe and try it out.

If your husband buys way too many green beans one day, incorporate green beans into a couple of menus and parboil and freeze the rest.

If something you always use is on sale, stock up. Hope this helps. Good luck!
post #8 of 15
One of my favorite quick easy recipes for nights when I just don't want to cook is
Sautee about 1lb of ground beef, or pork in a pan.
Add 1 can mushrooms
1 can of Cream Mushroom Soup
1/2 can water.
Prepare a couple of packs of instant noodles and pour the mixture over them.

It's

You can also substitute sliced chicken and Cream of Chicken Soup----The mushrooms are optional in this case but I use them anyway.
post #9 of 15
My favorite quick cheap dinner:

Slice a chicken breast into medallions for each person. You can stretch 2 breasts to 3 people if you add more veggies. Dredge the chicken in flour and brown lightly in olive oil. Set them aside. Add sliced onion and garlic (to taste) and brown. Place on top of the chicken. Add sliced veggies to the pan. Frozen veggies work just as well. Saute in the remaining oil till the veggies are softened but not fully cooked. Add the chicken and onion/garlic back to the pot. Pour in about a cup and half chicken or vegetable broth. Cover and simmer till the chicken is reheated and the vegetables are cooked. Mix 1 teaspoon water with 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture. The sauce will thicken. Increase the amount of cornstarch slurry if you want thicker gravy. Serve immediately over rice. The gravy will continue to thicken if you leave it over the heat or in the hot pan.
post #10 of 15
One of my favorites is Corn Bread and Beans.

I buy one box of corn bread mix (makes an 8x8 pan) bake it up.
One can of baked beans (I like Bush's Vegetarian style) heat it up.
Serve how you want (I like mine seperate)

A favorite of mine from when I was a kid:

1/2- 1lb of ground beef browned.
Mix in a can of baked beans.

Mom also used to make ground beef in gravy served over mashed potatoes.

My husband doesn't like the last 2, but will eat the baked beans and corn bread. I usually buy Krusteaz or Betty Crocker for the mix.

And Vegetarian Spaghetti:
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (your choice)
1 packet of Boca Ground
Put the sauce and boca ground in a pan, heat until good and warm.
Make as much spaghetti noodles as you want.
Serve.

For this one I sometimes add extra mushrooms. Meat eating husbands probably won't notice the difference, my DH really likes Boca Ground.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you all for so many great ideas!
post #12 of 15
Don't know how cheap this is, but it's very easy, and, you can keep the ingredients on hand for a quick meal:

The Red-Head's Pasta (serves 4)

1 package of FRESH fettucine noodles (it serves 4)
1 can of whole, pitted black olives, pref. large or jumbo (larger can, not the tiny, sliced olives can)
4 cloves of garlic (rul eof thumb--1 large clove per serving)
Bacon bits (you can use cooked and crumbled real bacon, too)
Parmesan cheese (fresh if better, but the shaker type is very good, too)
Olive oil

Slice the olives; chop the garlic finely. Meanwhile, cook the pasta (takes about 2-4 minutes). Drain pasta, place in large bowl; toss with a bit of olive oil. Add the olives, bacon bits, and garnish with lots of the Parmesan. Serves warm. Great with garlic bread (I use the frozen, pre-sliced bread).

I just finished this for dinner! Tonight, I was low on pasta, so I added some diced and sauteed red peppers (I had diced peppers in the freezer). I sort of char them a bit, to make them sweeter. I usually use jarred sweet (Bell) red peppers: I don't sautee those. I often cook and add:

1. Green peas

2. Mixed sauteed red and green Bell peppers

3. Green beans

4. You can also use spinach fettucine, but I think the plain is better.

5. Diced fresh tomatoes

6. Or any combination of the above.

If I'm out of the fresh fettucine, I use dry angel hair pasta. Almost as good!

This is my favorite dish.

Another dish:

Sumptuous Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
about 1 c. mayonaise
2 tablespoons brown, spicy mustard
1 tsp. Montreal Chicken Seasoning (McCormack)
Parsley
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
Dash of salt
1/2 c. grated Parmesan (fresh is best, but shaker type is very good)

Pound the chicken to flatten; not too thin. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl; slather the chicken breasts with the mixture; place in a lightly-greased baking dish. Bake at 375F, about 40-45 minutes. (Keep an eye on it--mine usually gets done a bit faster.)

This is so simple, but, boy, the chicken is sooo tender, and delicious!
post #13 of 15
Crock-Pot Beef Stew

3 lbs stewing beef, cubed
2 cans tomato soup
1 onion, chopped
2 cans carrots, drained
2 cans string beans, drained
flour
olive oil
Couple squirts of ketchup

Brown the beef by first dredging each cube in the flour, then brown in a bit of the olive oil.

In the Crock-Pot:

All of the above ingredients, PLUS 2 of the soup cans of water. Mix; replace lid; cook on HIGH at least 3 hours; more is better (you can reduce to LOW after 3-4 hours). Great over mashed potatoes; if you don't care to mash; boil some diced potaoes, and add to the stew at the beginning.

I made this last week; DH raved over it!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bush7105 View Post
Anyone have any Cheap dinner ideas I am over fixing the same ol stuff over and over again. I love using the crock pot (its my best friend )
As long as it's not pancakes , Adrianne can cook it!


Seriously though, she's an awesome cook!
post #15 of 15
Turkey Spinach Alfredo -

1 jar of Classico Sun Dried tomato alfredo sauce
1 lb of ground turkey
1 box of fettucini noodles
1 package of frozen spinach

Works like spaghetti, really quick and easy, the hard part is finding the sauce, seems to be a seasonal (fall) thing.

=======

Black Beans, Rice and Smoked Sausage

One box of Zatiran's (sp?) Black Beans and Rice
One Smoked sausage

Cut smoked sausage into one inch long segments and add to black beans and rice (which is cooked according to directions on box)
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