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Old 01-10-2007, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default Getting Clever on a Tight Budget

I know everyone has their own recipe like these, so let's see them! Anything that is cheap, tasty, healthy (or not?)... whatever not-so-gourmet but darn good concoctions you've thrown together with not so many resources (say you're a college kiddo like me) or options. Here's two I happen to come up with for the last two dinners I've had:

So I wanted to make macaroni and cheese. It's my favorite food, and lucky for me it's cheap. However, it's not the best thing for you so I thought to myself... how could I make this somewhat (emphasis on the somewhat) nutritional? Ah. Veggies. I got out one of those "Steamfresh" bags of broccoli, and into the macaroni it went. Then I was like... some meat/protein would be nice but I don't have any chicken or anything around since it's not in the budget. So I went to the fridge... ah! I have some deli meat. I took four or so thin slices of turkey and put a LITTLE bit of vegetable oil in a pan and sort of... okay, I fried it. So much for health. But I put all of that in the macaroni and I had somewhat of a meal going on. You should try it.

The night before, I was really craving Chicken Parmigana. Okay, so I can't make that either... or can I! All I've got to say is THANK YOU TYSON CHICKEN COMPANY. I had some frozen chicken patties that I pulled out and baked (they're good and so cheap... you get 10 for like $2.50 or something unreal like that) them, put some store-brand slices of cheese on them, and poured some store-brand tomato sauce over top... all over a bed of pasta (not the best for you, but cheap). It worked. The macaroni was better, but this hit the spot too.

I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with! I'll have to try them this semester
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:15 PM   #2
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Okay- Here's my favorite.

I take chicken strips (unbreaded) from the butcher area, like for stirfry or something, (way cheaper than chicken breast, no bones, and bite sized!) I throw it in a glass pan, I kind of paint the chicken pieces with dijon mustard, then pour some teriyaki over it, and then some bacon bits, and I toss it in the oven. SUPER simple! I havn't made it for a while, but now that I've thought of it... I'll probably make it sometime this week. yum!
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:18 PM   #3
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Best cheap meal: Omelets. Easy and satisfying with a .99 cent carton of eggs, some cheese, and a tomato or some ketchup.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:22 PM   #4
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Best cheap meal: Omelets. Easy and satisfying with a .99 cent carton of eggs, some cheese, and a tomato or some ketchup.
I so second this. I like mine with potatos and onions, also hella cheap.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kerrypop View Post
Okay- Here's my favorite.

I take chicken strips (unbreaded) from the butcher area, like for stirfry or something, (way cheaper than chicken breast, no bones, and bite sized!) I throw it in a glass pan, I kind of paint the chicken pieces with dijon mustard, then pour some teriyaki over it, and then some bacon bits, and I toss it in the oven. SUPER simple! I havn't made it for a while, but now that I've thought of it... I'll probably make it sometime this week. yum!
I'll do that too, remember something I havent had forever and then I'll crave it until I have it. Anyways this dish sounds great I'll have to try it.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:59 PM   #6
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I make split pea soup in my crockpot. Take a 1 lb. of split peas, some smoked pork shoulder, carrots, onions, garlic, water and 2 tbsp of better than boullion. don't forget the spices too! The total cost is usually under 5 dollars for around 10 or more servings.

Luxion is another cheap meal, a comforting one at that. I grew up eating it. Cook egg noodles, drain, add cottage cheese until warmed through, add tons of black pepper and in my family ketchup on top! I swear it's good.

I realize the recipes aren't exactly the definition of clever, but they are hearty fare.
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:56 PM   #7
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I make split pea soup in my crockpot. Take a 1 lb. of split peas, some smoked pork shoulder, carrots, onions, garlic, water and 2 tbsp of better than boullion. don't forget the spices too! The total cost is usually under 5 dollars for around 10 or more servings.

Luxion is another cheap meal, a comforting one at that. I grew up eating it. Cook egg noodles, drain, add cottage cheese until warmed through, add tons of black pepper and in my family ketchup on top! I swear it's good.

I realize the recipes aren't exactly the definition of clever, but they are hearty fare.
Oh my gosh, MissToodles. Egg Noodles with cottage cheese is my absolute comfort food... passed on from my father. I thought we were the only ones who did that! He does his with sugar, but mine's with black pepper. What did you call it... Luxion? How did you give it that name? I just called it my comfort food. That's flipping amazing though.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:00 AM   #8
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Getting Clever on a Tight Budget

Yeah, like that will ever happen...
:-)
-Rusty

(ok, it's a weak joke and totally off-topic, but it's midnight and in my current sleep-deprived state I thought it was funny to misread it as a reproach)
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:49 AM   #9
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One of my (and hubby's ) all time favorites.. boil 8 oz or so of any type pasta (elbow mac works great) then brown some italian sausage, add a can of diced tomates ( any flavor juice and all), mix it up and throw in the oven for 30 minutes...mmmm comfort food to the max ( at least for us).
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:04 AM   #10
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One of my (and hubby's ) all time favorites.. boil 8 oz or so of any type pasta (elbow mac works great) then brown some italian sausage, add a can of diced tomates ( any flavor juice and all), mix it up and throw in the oven for 30 minutes...mmmm comfort food to the max ( at least for us).

I know a similar recipe, but with lots more flavor/fat-full ingredients, lol

2 boxes mac and cheese (with the butter and milk it takes to make)
small can tomato sauce
reg can of diced tomatoes (do not drain out juice)
1 lb ground/minced beef
garlic salt
small bag frozen corn
cheese of your liking (I use colby jack)

Make mac and cheese as directed. Brown hamburger with garlic salt(this can be done with onions). Add cooked stuff together. Mix in corn. Mix in canned goods. Stir. (obviously, lol) Put in rectangle baking dish. Slice your brick of cheese so that ever visible part of the casserole is covered. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 min at 350* F. Then uncover dish and bake for another 15-25 min until cheese has golden brownish tint. Take out and eat your heart out...it is sooooooo good. And even better with salad and garlic bread. mmmmmmmmmmm.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:30 AM   #11
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These recipes sound good. My grandmother used to make something similar to that recipe you posted bigbellyssbbw :-) It is yummy.I am gonna try your recipe as soon as i can get out to the store to get the ingred. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:27 PM   #12
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okay, the mac and cheese w/groundbeef/tomatoes recipe sounds SO good. I think I might try that.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:53 AM   #13
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I tend to always keep tons of frozen veggies and different seasoning packets on hand.

One of my favs is my 'stir fry': chop up a boneless skinless chicken breast, or the beef strips and brown, toss in a bag of stir fry veggies and a stir fry packet, if i'm craving the carbs or want lo mein, i'll cook some bucatini rigati and toss that in too

Also, a simple yet delicious parmesan crusted chicken: thin boneless skinless chicken breast dipped and covered in a mixture of good seasons italian powder season, parmesan, and garlic powder mixed together and bake, and of course add your fav combo of frozen veggies
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:44 PM   #14
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Default Garlic mashed potaoes!

Actually any kind of mashed potatoes.

I also like to make a tamale pie.

Layer veggies and refried beans and a mix of cornmeal and grated cheese on top and pop into the oven for a while for the polenta thing to cook. We call it "tomorrow pie" sometimes because it is great the next day.

I make a ratatouille sometimes when I want something healthy, not fat and very filling.
Fry some onions, add chopped carrots, peppers, celery. Add sliced Zucchini and eggplant for them to sweat a bit. You could put a bit of cabbage in there if you like.
When they are cooked enough add a can of diced tomoatoes.
Add salt, cumin and Herbes de Provence and let it stew a while.

Serve on top of rice.

It is not usual, but I add chick peas to it too.

This is a great thing.


yummm
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cnk2cav View Post
I tend to always keep tons of frozen veggies and different seasoning packets on hand.

One of my favs is my 'stir fry': chop up a boneless skinless chicken breast, or the beef strips and brown, toss in a bag of stir fry veggies and a stir fry packet, if i'm craving the carbs or want lo mein, i'll cook some bucatini rigati and toss that in too

Also, a simple yet delicious parmesan crusted chicken: thin boneless skinless chicken breast dipped and covered in a mixture of good seasons italian powder season, parmesan, and garlic powder mixed together and bake, and of course add your fav combo of frozen veggies
Mmm... bucatini rigati
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BigBellySSBBW View Post
I know a similar recipe, but with lots more flavor/fat-full ingredients, lol

2 boxes mac and cheese (with the butter and milk it takes to make)
small can tomato sauce
reg can of diced tomatoes (do not drain out juice)
1 lb ground/minced beef
garlic salt
small bag frozen corn
cheese of your liking (I use colby jack)

Make mac and cheese as directed. Brown hamburger with garlic salt(this can be done with onions). Add cooked stuff together. Mix in corn. Mix in canned goods. Stir. (obviously, lol) Put in rectangle baking dish. Slice your brick of cheese so that ever visible part of the casserole is covered. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 min at 350* F. Then uncover dish and bake for another 15-25 min until cheese has golden brownish tint. Take out and eat your heart out...it is sooooooo good. And even better with salad and garlic bread. mmmmmmmmmmm.

Mmmmm. Sounds like what my mom alway's called Goulash. Now I'm hungry. LOL!!!
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:49 PM   #17
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Well, most stores around here carry miso soup mix, and while I'm sure it's not as awesome as you could get in Japan or where ever, it's cheap. Wegmans (a WNY originating chain) has cheap chicken cutlets you can do up tempura-style and stick in your miso broth. It's a pretty simple, cheap meal.
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:00 AM   #18
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Al dente Ramen noodles with stir fry frozen veggies

1 c. rice 2 c. water -- 20 minutes on medium low heat. Mix with canned or frozen green beans, salt, pepper and butter -- sometimes I add canned chicken or beef that's been browned with onions.

Rice cereal, with real rice and sugar- add milk

That's all I can think of at the moment! I'll post more when I am not falling asleep
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:43 AM   #19
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Well, most stores around here carry miso soup mix, and while I'm sure it's not as awesome as you could get in Japan or where ever, it's cheap. Wegmans (a WNY originating chain) has cheap chicken cutlets you can do up tempura-style and stick in your miso broth. It's a pretty simple, cheap meal.
My group of zaftig friends and I always call Wegmans a "Fat Kid Paradise." Hehe
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:48 AM   #20
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Aha, so you know of Weggies. I wouldn't say I like it because I'm fat...it's just a nice store.
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:53 AM   #21
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And I call Wegmans "Disneyland for Foodies". I'm going tomorrow, actually.

Great store!
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:20 AM   #22
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Pasta with clam sauce is very cheap and can feed you for a few days. Pasta is only $1 a box and the clam sauce is $1.50 a can. There are many ways to spruce it up a bit, but I like it just fine the way it is (it's also very quick!)

Also, when I was in college, I used to make this meal where I would brown up 1 lb of ground beef w/ garlic, place it on the bottom of a casserole dish, dump a can of green beans on top, then whip up one of those bags of instant potatoes and spread that on top w/ some paprika and parsley flakes. I would bake it together in the oven for about 30 minutes @ 350. That was my little poor man's meal that costs about $5, and that would also feed me for a couple days, plus give me some sort of health value. BTW, I usually couldn't afford milk, so I would use an extra tbsp of butter, which gave it a nice creaminess.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:52 AM   #23
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Waffles! Simple and cheap. One batch of this feeds me for several days:

Basic Waffle Recipe
from Home Cooking May 1991 issue.

2 Cups flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/8 Teaspoon salt
3 Eggs, separated
1 Tablespoon melted margarine
2 Cups cold milk
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Separate eggs and beat yolks. Gradually add milk and melted margarine, stirring well. Stir in flour mixture

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture.

Additions to the Basic Waffle Recipes if wanted:

Blueberry Waffles:


1 Cup blueberries, washed and dried, then Basic Waffle recipe. Fold blueberries into Basic Waffle Recipe and cook in waffle iron.

Strawberry Waffles:


1 Cup strawberries, washed and uniformly sliced, then Basic Waffle Recipe. Fold sliced strawberries into Basic Waffle Recipe. Cook.

Hint: Both of these recipes taste extra-special when served with a small amount of whipped cream topping!

Cheese Waffles:


1 Cup grated cheddar cheese, then Basic Waffle Recipe. Fold the grated cheddar cheese into the Basic Waffle Recipe and cook.

Hint: These enticing waffles can be served with creamed tuna fish, ham, chicken or vegetables!

Corn Waffles:


2 Cups canned corn, drained, then the Basic Waffle Recipe. After preparing the Basic Waffle Recipe, mix in the corn and cook in waffle iron.

Hint: These waffles taste great at a barbecue with butter served beside fried chicken or barbecued beef.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:02 PM   #24
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being a college sudent myself, i've got a few good tips i've picked up over the past few years...

flour tortillas ( they last forever ) when you don't want to spend $$ on a pizza, a tortilla with a little sauce and cheese in the over at 450 for 10 minutes crisps up really nicely.
another good meal is beef stew, all you need for a full crock pot of beef stew is a medium steak, a bottle of guiness, 2 boiled potatoes, some onion, and a bag of frozen peas and carrots..oh and garlic.
cube up the steak, and brown it and the onion with the garlic toss in crock pot
cube up potatoes (you can peel them if you don't like skins) toss in crock pot
pour in guiness and add extra garlic
leave on low while you're gone to class
10 minutes before eating, add in the frozen peas and carrots

eat with some yummy whole grain bread, and enjoy!
(this freezes well too)
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:50 PM   #25
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flour tortillas ( they last forever ) when you don't want to spend $$ on a pizza, a tortilla with a little sauce and cheese in the over at 450 for 10 minutes crisps up really nicely.\

YUM... i will make that immediately. Also- flour tortillas DO last forever... like, sometimes over a month... weird.
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Stan: tell me this, if ewan mcgregor came over to our apartment right now and said "free kiss then I'm gone!", would you do it?
Kerry: naww, i'd be a little freaked out...
Stan: I might.
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