budget friendly dinners?

I have been over food budget for the last 3 weeks (maybe more, ugh). There seems to be something "special" each week, camping this week, dhs bday, friends over etc. So, for the next few weeks I want to try to incorporate low cost meals. We already do a salad night, once a week. And I send dh to work with all of our leftovers cuz I hate them. So I'd appreciate any suggestions you have =)

Posted on July 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm
jess143
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09/19/2009
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(10) Comments

rach29
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11/22/2008
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Jess! I was just told about this amazing seasoning http://www.greekseasoning.com/ and it really is so good! I put it on chicken the other night and DH has asked for it again this week. I chopped it up and put it in salad the next day too. Try it!! I found it at the regular market.


Tonight we are doing chicken asado from TJs. I think you said you had one close to you. Makin a little mexi fiesta! Super budget friendly! They have a bunch of great marinaded fish, chicken, and meats there. I buy a bunch and just freeze them. We also make pizzas from their dough!


Hope this helps a little!

Posted on July 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm
ajfisher
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09/10/2011
ajfisher

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Minestrone with chicken! It's so cheap and easy and DELISH! You need a BIG pot/pan.


 



  1. Finely chop an onion and sautee in olive oil for a few minutes.

  2. Chop some garlic to taste and add in. I usually add in about 1 tbsp of minced garlic. 

  3. Add in salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme to taste.

  4. Chop up in about half inch squares: 1-2 yellow squash, 1-2 zucchini, 1-2 potatoes and add to the pan.

  5. Chop up and add in 2-3 sun dried tomatoes.

  6. Chop up and add in 2-3 tomatoes or add in a can of diced tomatoes. 

  7. Add in 2 tbsp tomato paste.

  8. Add in 5 cups of water, chicken broth, chicken stock, or water + 5 chicken bouillon cubes. 

  9. Add in 2 bay leaves. 

  10. Bring to boil, and then turn down to simmer for 45min-1hr.


Meanwhile, chop up chicken into bite size pieces, and bake. After it's done, put it in the pan. Top with fresh parmesean (shredded...not the powder kind!)



EDIT: I got this from a budget friendly cookbook and modified it. I can't remember the name of it, but I got it from TJMaxx for like 3 bucks. It has some phenomenal recipes in it!



It's SO good. I'm going to make it tonight! I make it at least once a week and it lasts for 2-3 days. 

 


 

Posted on July 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm
meanyprice
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08/25/2009
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We make a few meals that can do more than one night of different meals.  Chili is a good example.  One night we have chili and with the leftovers we have chili-mac, chili pies or chili dogs.  Another good one is I make a dish that you cut up potatoes and put bone-in chicken on top, then add some italian dressing and bake.  You can make chicken salad with the left over chicken.  Also, roast is good.  You can use it in stew or soup later in the week.  You can make ribs and have bbq sandwiches later too.  Using the main dish over again in something else makes it feel less like leftovers and saves money too.  We cook are red beans and rice (we add sausage), which is pretty low cost too.  You can also buy family packs of meat and split it into smaller portions before you freeze.  It costs a little more up front, but saves over time when you cook it.  Spaghetti is pretty low cost.  I have added chicken to broccoli/cheese/rice casserole too, and it makes it a meal instead of just a side for just the cost of the chicken.

Posted on July 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm
jess143
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09/19/2009
jess143

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Rach- I really love trader joes. I'm going to have to learn to rely on them and use semi-pre made stuff a little more. I don't know why I feel I have to make a gourmet meal every night.


a-thanks for the recipe, I'll try it!!


meany-I love making chicken salads iwth leftover chicken, its like my fav thing ever lol. I try to go with my friend to costco whenever I can for our meat, I really wish I had a card and could do it more =(

Posted on July 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm
WMforever
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06/14/2009
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ground turkey tacos are super cheap! i get corn shells for like $4. Plus ground lean turkey for like $3. Plus rice and beans voila. I do this so often you'd think i'm mexican! lol.


chili is also a low cost meal. or chicken thighs cooked in crock pot with bbq sauce. or bbq baked chicken. depending if you guys are dark meat eaters, the chicken leg quarters are always on sale at my grocery (and coincidentally my fave chicken piece shh!). so i buy a pack of four and bake them covered in the oven for about an hour or so. then take them out peel off the fat and drench them in sweet baby rays and heat for like 15 mins. served with baked potatoes and a nice green salad. its one tasty meal!

Posted on July 12, 2010 at 10:15 am
jackieg
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04/17/2009
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COSTCO!  buy in bulk and freeze....we buy chicken this way, and even fish...it comes in a big pack, and we put 2 in each baggie and freeze....

Posted on July 12, 2010 at 11:22 am
Kaytana17
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07/17/2010
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Ditto jackieg - we buy all our meat in bulk and portion and freeze. Each meal we cook costs around $10-$15 and lasts us for 4 meals (2 dinners and 2 lunches).

Posted on July 12, 2010 at 11:29 am
Rae32
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05/22/2010
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Filipino-style chicken adobo. I make this whenever I'm running lean on groceries because it's all stuff already in the pantry - chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic.


I'm with Meany, I'm a big fan of re-styled leftovers - a big flank steak with mashed potatoes and asparagus one night, then leftover mashed potato pancakes for weekend brunch, and for dinner, leftover flank steak stir-fried with veggies and served it over rice.


 






 

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 6:55 am
jess143
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09/19/2009
jess143

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I try to buy all of our meats at costco, but I dont have a card so I have to tage along with the bff. Our freezer is also tiny!! our fride is an apartment size =(


I'm making pasta e fagoli next week, since I have tons of pancetta in the freezer, that should save some $$

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm
jackieg
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jackieg

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we're struggling with that now too jess...in TX, we had our [regular sized] fridge inside, and we also had a fridge and freezer in the garage....it's hard to squeeze everything in!

Posted on July 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm

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