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AmandaRuth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 01:52 PM
Original message
Cheap meals! What to fix when you are broke....
I am more of a gardener than a cook, and the more money i save on groceries, the more i can spend at the nursery, so tell me your secrets for the cheapest most thrifty and delicious meals.

For my family, when we get really broke, I make split pea soup in a crock pot chop a carrot, celery and onion, put in the bottom of the pot, let cook down for an hour or so, add a bag of split peas, salt, pepper, add a ham bone or chopped ham slice, fill with either water, chicken broth or veg broth, or a combo, let cook for about 6 hours, and viola! This will last for 2 dinners for my family at just cents per serving.

What do you make when grocery funds run low?
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm a soup lover too
I usually make chicken stock once a week- It's easy in the pressure cooker and I just save all our chicken carcasses. I prefer to roast the bones, onion and celery to give it extra flavor and color.

Once you have a good stock you can do almost anything.

We like creamy veggie soups.

I just throw in broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus in the crock pot with a little sauteed onion. Top it with stock and let it cook all day. I then use the hand blender to make it smooth and creamy. If I have it around I sometimes add a little cream and or cheese.

This is also a great way to get rid of potatoes. I love potato soup-It's so warming. I always add cheese and a little cayenne pepper to this and I like to top it with bacon.
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AmandaRuth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. i am going to try your veggie soup
but with canned stock , like i said, i am not that much of a cook!. I do have a whole chicken in the freezer, so when i get to cooking it, maybe i will give making stock a try. Thanks for the idea.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Another trick for chicken broth,
save the carcasses in the freezer until you get three. Then make a big batch of chix stock. Then I freeze the stock in two cup containers so I have home made on hand when I need it.
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bearfan454 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. I have done that.
It's way better than canned broth. Less salt too.
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scarlet_owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. Vegetable beef soup or spaghetti.
And we eat both of those things a lot. I like to add broccoli to my vegetable beef soup. Does anyone else do this, or is it just me and my mom?
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I do that.
Sometimes I will just have soup with some good,crusty bread. But I will add any veggies I have on hand to make the soup heartier.

As far as saving money, eggs are good. They can be made in many different ways from scrambled to baked. Eggs are very versatile.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. Pasta dishes are great, too.
Many easy sauces to choose from. I like Pasta Fazool in the winter. Olive oil, garlic, green onions, chopped tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes, white beans and some oil cured olives if your budget will allow. Mmmmmm......

Also, something somewhat vile, but fast and cheap; skillet meals. Take leftover meat, mix it with condensed soup or salsa add some left over or frozen veggies and then pour it over pasta or rice. Campbell's is making some tex-mex soups now that are less disgusting than the old stand by, cream of mushroom.
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Tweed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. Yeah, pasta is great
Just throw some onions into a sauce pan with olive oil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, add whatever the hell you want. Add some diced tomatoes and you have a gourmet meal on a low price budget.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rice and beans
I used to subsist on refried beans on crisp-fried corn tortilla with rice on the side. Yummy, filling, and cheap.

Soak 1 lb pinto beans overnight. Drain. Put in a pot with ample water to cover. Add a chopped onion and salt. Add a ham hock if you can afford it or some skin from a ham. Cook until tender (hours).

Mash some beans in some saved bacon grease. (Yes, I saved bacon grease.) Serve on crispy corn tortillas (fried in some lard or salad oil) with hot sauce and grated cheese (if you can afford it).
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Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. I just read that it is best to add salt at the end
when cooking beans from scratch. When y ou add it at the start it turns the skins hard.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-04 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #32
56. Wow! Great tip!
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Nicole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
8. freezer stew
I keep a large plastic container in the freezer for leftovers that are too small to serve on their own like one spoon of corn or 1/4 cup of green beans. Or fresh veggies that are going old before I use them like an onion that is getting soft or a tomato that is turning mushy.
I keep adding to the container until it's full.

Add meat bone or meat & season it as you would if making a pot of stew from fresh ingredients.

No more wasting those small amounts of food. Or worse yet, ruining the diet because you ate that small amount to avoid throwing it away.
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KarenS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
35. ThankYou!!
I will certainly be 'doing' this one,,,,

Freezer Stew will be served at our house in about a month

:bounce:
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Nicole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. It's great
It's a little different every time.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Buttermilk Pancakes for Dinner
When I was a kid, my mom had to stretch the budget to feed six, on one salary. Seems like we had pancakes for dinner at least once a week, and no one ever complained :)
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
43. breakfast for dinner, like quiche!
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. Curried lentils
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 07:17 PM by XanaDUer
Boil a cup of dried lentils for about 45 minutes, or until tender.

In another pan, fry a little garlic and a medium chopped onion in oil, olive best. You can also add some chopped celery, which tastes good with this combo.

When the onion is tender, dump in lentils after draining and rinsing them.Saute until heated through, but don't burn them (med heat).

Add curry powder to taste, about a-1-2/3 tbsp. For hotter lentils add ground cayenne to taste (be careful!).

Serve with plain yogurt.
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mrbassman03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. That sounds great! Does anyone else have any good curry recipes?
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I have a curried chicken recipe, too
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 08:56 PM by XanaDUer
take about a pound of boneless white-meat chicken, cut up into bite-sized chunks. Lightly brown the chicken in some olive oil and set aside (med to med-high heat). Then add some chopped celery (about three large stalks) , and a medium chopped-up onion to the oil and saute.

The above takes about 5-10 minutes, or until the onion and celery are sauteed and sligtly translucent.

Once sauteed, re-add the chicken and about a cup of dry, regular rice. Add about 1.5-2 tbsp of curry powder and about 1/2 tsp of tumeric to the mix and mix around until the curry covers the chicken, rice, and vegetables. Then add two cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Plain water is okay, but won't be as flavorful (really try to use broth).

Bring to a slow boil, cover, lower the heat to low (slight boil) and cover tightly. Cook over low for about 30-40 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and add some white raisins (about 1/4 cup) and some almond slivers (optional). Stir and let sit another 5 minutes so the raisins can absorb the steam and plump up.

Then uncover, stir, and dish it up!

PS-serves four people. If not all eaten in one sitting-make sure it store it in something tight and reheat it over low heat in a pot on the stove. Tastes even better the next day.
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
30. curried lentils, different version
cook the dried lentils (2 parts water to 1 part lentils) with the following:
1 medium to large tomatoe cut up (or canned diced tomatoes)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp curry powder
chopped celery, zuchini squash if desired.
chopped cilantro

When everything is cooked nice and soft, melt 1/2 stick of butter and put about a tablespoon of chopped garlic in it. Bring the melted butter up to just the boiling point and turn off the heat.

Serve the lentils over cooked jasmine rice and top each serving with the garlic butter. YUM YUM YUM

Lentils are so cheap.

They make wonderful soup, with an old ham bone, or some slices of deli ham, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, beef broth, and Italian seasonings.
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chefgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. Gotta go with eggs
Omelettes, actually. Boy, I couldn't begin to tell you all the different things I've tried in omelettes over the years. Whatever I have in the fridge, I'll try it.
The best surprises, though, have been fruits. I keep a lot of fruit in the house for my son, so I've used apples, pears, pineapples(which are especially good with cheddar), strawberries, etc...

I never get tired of eggs, and theres always bread in the house for toast. Big cup of coffee, and I'm a happy camper.
Just doesn't get any better than that for me.

-chef-
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mrbassman03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Hell yeah! I have a big roll of herb goat cheese for this...
A tiny bit goes a very long way flavor-wise. Add some green onions and cilantro... both very cheap.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. I often cook egg burritos for a dinner meal or a fritata
cheap and yummy :)
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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
15. Black beans and rice
Red beans and rice
15 bean soup
split pea soup
lentil soup
Three bean chili

Serve any of the above with cornbread, no one will know you're eating on the cheap.

My family loves my three bean chili - here's the recipe

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans (or sometimes I use garbanzo beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
garlic
ground cumin
salt and pepper

Dump it all in a pot, add seasonings, cook on low heat for about an hour. Serve with corn bread.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
17. My husband's favorite (cheap meal)
lean ground beef well browned
thinly sliced onion also browned well
cooked angelhair pasta

toss together and serve..

I think it's bland as hell, but he really likes it and it's super cheap to make.. lots left over too :)

It really stretches a package of ground beef.
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
19. Since I am broke
and living on food stamps, I have to eat pretty cheap in order to survive.

I don't eat a lot of meat--in fact, I don't eat pork or beef, but I do eat chicken and turkey. I use ground turkey when I want to make something resembling a hamburger, meatloaf or pasta sauce.

For the most part, I stick to things like spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, homemade soups, really inexpensive pot pies, cereal, beans, tuna fish, and the aforementioned turkey hamburgers, meatballs, etc.

I make sure, if nothing else, that I have canned goods in the house, and pasta is cheap as well. I can always throw some pasta in a pot and make a quick sauce from different cans of tomatoes, puree, sauce and paste. I still buy Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, but try to get it in bulk at Costco's when I can get there.

The one thing I need to buy consistently is produce--my old refrigerator used to ruin the produce in a couple of days, so I had to keep getting fresh produce. Thankfully, the state of Massachusetts took pity on me, took away the old refrigerator for the Energy program, and got me a new one that works beautifully. So now the produce should last a little longer.
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
20. I make red beans & rice or black beans & rice in a big pot.
Use about half so I don't get sick of having too much at one time and put half in the freezer for later on.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. I use my freezer allot, too.
Anytime I make soup, stew or a complicated pasta sauce, I double it and freeze half. If I freeze it flat in a gallon freezer bag, it takes up little space and I can stack them. They always have buy on get one free on hamburger at my local grocery, so I make a double batch of meatballs and have a quick meal for later there, too. It saves money, but it is also lovely to have a home cooked meal on the days when I am too busy or lazy to bother really cooking.
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helnwhls Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. my poverty meals are usually cheesy
grilled cheese
mac and cheese
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mrbassman03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. cheese is a little pricey for my budget...
I'll stick with pasta...
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helnwhls Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I hear ya
I like the $1 a box mac and cheese. The cheese I buy is the processed slices that are on sale. Not real cheese, but it melts okay and i think it has protien.
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mrbassman03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Heck yeah! Nothin' wrong with that stuff!
I bought a 24 pack of ramen for $2.00. I just add some green onions and cilantro (both super cheap) to add to the flavor. Add a little real chicken every now and then. Turns out great!
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
22. Beans - infinite variations, whole grains or bread, and seasonal produce
Just made some senate bean soup (I shake in a tad of liquid smoke to replace the ham hock since I don't eat meat) Will serve with steamed brown bread or cornbread.

Black beans and rice, cuban, mexican or other variations.

Burritos, enchiladas, refrieds in tacos.

One of the many Indian dals.

Chole - a very spicy Indian chickpea dish.

good old baked beans

Lentil soups - greek with greens, garlic, olive oil, northern european with barley and mushrooms,

New orleans red beans and rice

tvp/black bean chile

lentil salads

3 bean salad

And if you smash them up theres lots of variations on burgers and patties and of course - falafel.

Even though canned beans are cheap, it is cheaper still to cook you own, and they have better texture. I either cook them on the weekend in mass, or set beans to soak in the am, and finish boiling up when I get home. Presoaked white bean, small red beans, seem to cook pretty quickly. Lentils, blackeyed peas and other southern peas don't need to be presoaked.

Even among beans some are cheaper - pintos in 5 pound bags are often the cheapest around.

------------------------
Eat the most nutritious seasonal produce. Somethings are consistently cheap and nutritious. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, canned tomatoes, local greens, potatoes, apples. Onions and garlic of course. Buy at a local farmers market if possible. Call your county extension office or state department of agriculture - they can point you to ones in your area. In some states, they are open year round with local produce, and generally they take food stamps.

I buy spices at Indian, Asian and Mexican groceries and pay about 10 to 25% of what they cost in the grocery stores. Even if you don't have space for a vegetable garden, growing some fresh herbs makes everything tastier. I find that using plenty of spices and herbs makes sticking to a economical diet much easier. And they are good for you.

Check what is the traditional regional diet in your area - that is usually a good clue to most economical food.
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mrbassman03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #22
39. Oh yeah! Buying a huge bag of lentils has been a great decision...
I saw a recipe for the curried lentils on here earlier so I got a huge bag of bulk lentils and have used them for tons of other stuff. I always cook up some garlic and onion, then toss in the lentils and stock and whatever spices I want... makes such a great meal.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
27. My best college student meal
was oodles of noodles with egg and frozen veggies. Cook noodles as directed. Toward the end, crack two eggs in to the pot and scramble them up real quick. Kind of an egg drop soup effect. Then add half a cup or a cup of frozen mixed veggies and some more water if the mix is getting dry.

It fulfilled all the basic nutrient categories, cheap, made from items on hand that don't go bad too fast and only took one pot. College student bliss.

I also ate allot of beans and rice, but so many good recipes already posted that I won't bother adding any.
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Mallifica Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #27
37. Chicken and dumplings
I buy a whole chicken, which is much cheaper than buying it already cut into parts. Biol for a couple of hours with a chopped onion, and celery if you like, and sometimes add a buillion cube for extra flavor. Then just take it out and off of the bone while you cook the dumplings (I just buy them out of the freezer section). Put it all back together with black pepper and garlic salt, and it's wonderful. I would suggest skinning the chicken, or it's really fatty. This makes a huge amount and it freezes well for $5-6.
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
29. Ramen Noodle soup...with xtras
OK pick your favorite Ramen flavor
add 1/2 pack of those frozen oriental vegetables
add some hot chili oil (or sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes)
simmer until the noodles and veg are done.

Instant meal, and when ramen are 10 for $1 you can stock up.


another good one: I always save any leftover pasta or rice in the freezer, just freeze it in a ziploc bag, then add it to things.

I dump the frozen rice in my veggie soup or my chicken soup, maybe about 15 minutes before serving, so it doesn't decompose in the broth

Use the leftover pasta to make those nice chicken and pasta things.
example: cut up a chicken breast, saute w/onion and garlic and whatever other seasonings you prefer, slice up some squash or zucchini or asparagus or broccoli over the chicken, add some mushrooms if you want and some water or broth, cover and simmer until done. While the chicken is cooking, drop the frozen pasta in boiling water and drain; add to the chicken stuff, and you are ready.

You can also saute leftover angel hair pasta in some olive or peanut oil, add the frozen oriental veg and hot peppers and sesame oil for a quick hot lunch.
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mrbassman03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #29
38. As a college student, I did that tonight!
Took a basic package of chicken ramen, cooked up the water with some sliced ginger, soy sauce, thai chilis, cilantro stems, and the chicken flavor. Let that boil for about 10 mins then took all the stuff out of the broth. Added the noodles, let them cook, then tossed in some green onions and the cilantro leaves. I paid $5 for 6 packages of ramen and enough vegetables for all of it. Now to get some real veggies to toss in, maybe some snow peas... mmmm.
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #29
58. An adaptation on noodles
There is a recipe where you add shredded cabbage, chopped onions, and any left over meat..Add a little chili oil....yum!
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
31. Vegan and cheap
-Lentil Loaf http://vegweb.com/food/subs/loaf3.shtml with mashed potatoes and gravy (for economy, I use a bulk wild rice mix and eliminate the walnuts)
-Mac and "cheese" (made with nut. yeast and soymilk, recipie also at vegweb)
-Chili (the trick to good vegan chili is soy sauce and some blackstrap molasses, otherwise there's no smoky flavor) and some starch (tortillas, rice, cornbread, whatever I have laying around)
-Spaghetti
-Potato Soup
-Curried Lentils and rice (cook the lentils with chopped onion, tamari, curry powder, a little lemon juice_
-French Bread Pizza- a loaf of french bread, half a can of pizza sauce (I freeze the rest) and some chopped onions, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms if I've got them and maybe some faux meat if it's in the freezer, topped with oregano and crushed red pepper
-Black bean soup (in the crockpot on low all day: black beans, big can of tomatoes, diced onion, bell pepper and garlic, water to cover)
-Whatever's in season at the farmer's market (stuffed zucchini, pasta salad with raw tomatoes, squash soup, etc.)
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Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
33. Grow things you can eat!
We did a huge garden this year, including tomatoes (we have about 20 lbs reduced and frozen), potatoes (they keep in a cool dark place), sweet and spicy peppers (roasted and frozen), herbs (dried), beans (frozen)... damn, I really need to learn how to can! The scraps go to the chickens which just started laying eggs about 3 weeks ago. Chickens are VERY easy to keep!! We are getting about 10 eggs a day. We also bake our own bread, brew beer, and roast coffee. It is so dern awesome to sit down to a meal that came from your own workings! We do the Framer's Markets in our area and trade bread/coffee for things we don't make- buffalo meat, goat cheese, etc.
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asthmaticeog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. Jambalaya
Rice, sausage, peppers, tomato; you can make a week's worth for a few bucks.
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giant_robot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
40. Pasta and cabbage!
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 11:43 AM by giant_robot
As a poor graduate student, I've done the rice and beans route an awful lot (and I'll be sure to try some of the variations in this thread).

This is a nice, rustic, and inexpensive italian peasant dish that's one of my favorites when I'm low on funds:

1 tbs olive oil
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 lb Italian sausage (removed from casing)
about half a medium head of Savoy cabbage, shredded
about 8 oz of marinara sauce
any type of pasta (1/2 lb uncooked, or 1 lb cooked)
Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta (preferably just a tad undercooked) and set aside. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large skillet under medium-low heat. Saute garlic for about a minute, so it's fragrant but not brown. Add sausage, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until brown, breaking up the sausage as you cook. Add shredded cabbage, cover and reduce heat, cook until wilted and tender (15-20 min). Add marinara sauce and pasta, cook until pasta is heated through and al dente. Serve with grated cheese.

Hint: If you can, buy sausage patties, so you don't have to remove casings.
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
41. Potatoes, The Miracle Dollar-Stretching Food!
Baked, with cottage cheese and salsa if I'm in a healthy mood. Or if you have a can of chili you can stretch it four ways by using it to top four baked potatoes.

My family really likes Latkes too. The trick is to grate the potatoes and then squeeze the excess water out in a strainer lined with muslin towels or paper towels. If you don't do this, they get soggy instead of crunch-oniony-delish!

Then basically you just mix the drained, grated potatoes with finely minced onion & garlic and eggs, and drop them in big spoonfuls into very hot oil. Size of smallish pancakes.

Cook on both sides until golden brown, they should look like hash browns when done. These are great with broiled apples or applesauce, sour cream and a pot of black tea. So good you'll forget you're broke! For an hour anyhow...
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. Potatoes have so many possibilities
Edited on Thu Nov-18-04 08:31 AM by kayell
Colcannon is one of my favs. Smashed up leftover boiled or baked potatoes kind of fried/stirfried with shredded or chopped cabbage or kale, and onion. Amazing that something so simple can taste SO GOOD.

Serve with pickles, a bit of sharp cheddar and some ale if you're feeling flush.
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Baja Margie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-19-04 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
44. Tuna over rice
In skillet, melt 4TBSP. butter
Add 1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
Saute for 5 minutes
Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
Bring to boil, reduce heat
Drain tuna, and add to skillet
Sprinkle with paprika
Serve over rice.

It's easy and cheap !
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Groggy Donating Member (317 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-04 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
45. Noodles with Ketchup
If you have any, you can put parmesan cheese on it! I've eaten it many times in my day!
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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
46. Here is a thread on buying food from local sources that may also
help save a lot of money on food purchases.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

It in the Economic Activism and Progressive Living Group at http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-22-04 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
47. Summer: Egg Salad on home made bread with garden stuff; winters:
slumgullion soup and bread. Grad school was hell for me, living on less than minimum wage for take home pay. (My housing was paid for, but not utilities, and I didn't qualify for either extra financial aid because my parents made too much, but not enough to help me and we can't live together, or public assistance because I was in college, but I was too young and inexperienced to get a real job.) Seriously, working at McDonald's for minimum would have been better... but then I would have lost what little financial aid I had... I got real creative about food because that was one of the more flexible parts of the budget.

I got a bread maker for my 19th Xmas from my father when I was in grad school (I got an early start...). I also had access to the family Costco account, so I bought my bread flour and whole wheat flour there in the 25 pound bags, as well as the yeast, margarine, etc. I bought that stuff with my christmas gift money from my grannies. (Who, when they found out that I'd done that, were horrified and sent more... which bought books. I lied and told them I bought a new dress to make sure they didn't send more money for a "real" gift.)

I costed out the bread - per loaf, including the electricity, the bread cost $0.29/ loaf. (Currently, it costs $0.34/ Loaf, using same ingredients and similar machine.) Eggs ran about $0.65 a doz for mediums at the time (currently $.89 a dozen, or $1.49 if I get them delivered with the milk order and thus don't have to go to the store and risk the impulse purchase), mayo was $1 a jar at the scratch and dent place, and I made my own pickles in the refrigerator with cucumbers I dumpster dived and others I grew in the community garden. A dozen eggs as egg salad would last 4 days, being eaten for lunch and dinner by two people. (Breakfast was fruit and veggies I raised and toast and milk.) Since a jar of mayo lasted about a month, we could eat for those lean months when I wasn't t.a. ing (which brought me to minimum wage) for about $20, including the fruit and vinegar and such. We drank a lot of tea, bought loose and made into tea bags with muslin from my mom's craft box. We bought the tea at an Indian grocer for $13 for a 2.25 Kilo box.

Slumgullion is a rather random soup. At base, it is lentils, barley, tomatoes, bay leaves and carrots and a lot of water and bouillon cubes. From there, you add whatever leftover vegetables, leftover meats, cheap cuts from the sell it today section at the butcher, leftover grains, etc and hope for the best. The only time it came out foul was when we added chorizo to the mix. The spice was fine and dandy, but even after frying and draining, that chorizo still left a lot of fat to float to the top. Again, with good crusty bread, you'd never know you're poor.

Breadmakers for the poor. I give one to my community food bank every year as a christmas present and buy them used to give away, too.

Pcat
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
48. We eat like this all the time,
and we're not broke. I could spend a lot more on groceries, but because I am frugal by nature, I twist & turn every penny to serve delicious meals to my hungry family, that they will enjoy.

Our monthly grocery bill comes to about $250.00 for a family of 4. That includes 2 hungry teenagers who seemingly eat non-stop. Now keep in mind we are vegetarians, so a huge expense in our monthly bill is gone.

Instead, we focus on soups, meals & casseroles made from scratch. Most of our bread is home-made. We eat seasonally; meaning we do not buy strawberries in January. We don't buy anything from the deli.

Instead, the focus is on fresh potatoes and produce. Rice, beans and legumes are the base of our diet. We also eat plenty of cheese.

The nice thing is that because we spend so little on groceries, we can afford to get the little luxuries every now and then, like an expensive chunk of Parmesan cheese to grate over the spaghetti. Nice little snacks from Trader's that prevent the teenagers from feeling cheated.

I try to stay away from all pre-made stuff like Kraft Mac&Cheese. But the topic was what to fix when you are broke. You can eat Top Ramen for a while, but I think in the long run it's bad for you because of the salt + no nutrition. But the homemade good stuff will sustain you much longer.

I work for a very nice company, and we get treated to catered lunches all the time. We pay a lot of money for these lunches. I swear the stuff does not taste as good as our home-cooked meals. Heavenly. We are truly the well-fed gourmets.
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. I'm REALLY Impressed!!
Wow -- my grocery & restaurant budget is $650 a month!!! And I serve several meatless meals a week (my 14 year old is a vegetarian)

My husband loves to go out to lunch. He hates taking his lunch because he likes to get out and socialize at noon; although not at fancy places or anything. Still with the tip and all he goes through about $50 a week.

I'll bet you don't buy any wine, beer or soda, and good for you. We buy all of them although I recently cut out the wine in an effort to be more frugal. My girls love Diet Coke, Jamba Juice and the oldest likes to stop for cappucino on the way to school, I am all too easily persuaded if we leave early enough.

You're an inspiration for me to continue to cut back.
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. Spanish Tortilla Anyone?
One thing that doesn't TASTE like you're broke but is cheap as dirt, is tortilla espanola.

This is not like the Mexican tortilla but a dish from spain that is like a potato omlette or fritata. You fry up onions in really hot olive oil, then take them out & fry very thinly sliced potatoes one layer at a time until they're golden brown; then throw everything back in the skillet with 6 beaten eggs. You need a big plate because, you don't fold it you flip it upside down on a plate, then slide it back on the uncooked side until the whole thing is puffy. Then slide it back onto a plate and cut it like a pie, in wedges.

Filling by itself, we always had it with tomato salad, wine, and olives, and sliced cheese and ham on the side if you're really feasting!
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BamaGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. We do too! Glad to see I'm not the only one lol.
At this point it is pretty much a necessity because of a pay cut, so I'm glad I was already in the habit! I spend about $320/mo for 5 right now. It was closer to $400, but I've had to mostly cut out the wine/beer budget, which I hate. We're thinking about making our own lol. The local vineyard will have a "pick your own grapes" week or so in the spring, and it will be the perfect opportunity to experiment.

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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
51. Cabbage, squash and rutabaga are usually cheap in Wisconsin
and might provide some relief from all the potatoes and rice

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giant_robot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. A suggestion for rutabaga
Edited on Sun Nov-28-04 06:24 PM by giant_robot
cut a rutabaga into 1/2 inch-thick french fries. Toss in lightly in oil, salt and pepper generously. Bake in a 400 degree oven until just tender (usually about 15-20 minutes, but it depends on the moisture content of the rutabaga). Some of the best french fries you'll ever eat, and healthy, too!
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
54. boil penne pasta, mix in cheap hamburger that you fried and
drained. Then squirt cheese whiz from plastic bottle to taste. Excellent meal. SIGH!
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
55. I have a really, really, really good rice cooker which safely keeps
it warm for 3 or 4 days (and sometimes more). I buy really good brown basmati rice, but I buy it by the case and get a case discount from whole foods grocery. So, I tend to have brown rice with everything, which is not only healthy, but stretches everything.

I like to steam a bit of frozen broccoli, add some adjuki beans (Japanese high protein, high fiber and very tasty small beans) with a miso dressing I make myself or Goddess Dressing, that you've lkely seen.

I'll make a big pot of chili with a bit of ground bison and stew beef chunks, kidney and black beans, peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc.--freeze in individual containers and often have it over rice to stretch it a bit.

i also will buy a whole cooked spiral ham from Safeways on off periods, when they aren't selling and can often get one for 79cents a pound. I freeze much of it in airtight bags, make bean soup with some, cut up some to add to rice with broccoli or other veggies and a bit of velveeta or other cheese--nuke it.

Very easy meals which can be put together in minutes.

Breakfast is almost always a fruit smoothy with soy powder, some milk, water, ice, and a mineral/vitamin smoothie powder, blueberries, strawberries, or sometimes with peanutbutter (I buy the natural by the case and also get a good price).

I don't like to cook and try to keep my carbs lower but very high quality while still not spending much on food. This works for me.
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-04-04 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
57. Rice and Miso soup
Cooked rice - leftovers are fine, even wonderful - to taste
1 tsp of dashi no moto (instant dashi available at oriental markets for $1.35 a box, which makes about 50 tea spoons. You can also make dashi, it's not hard.)
2 tablespoons miso - a packet of miso runs about 4.00 here, and lasts forever. I use red miso, and black miso when I can get it.
1.66 c. water
1 serving fresh/frozen vegetables of your choice.

Mix dashi and water, set to warm. Mix miso with a small amount of the dashi and then mix into pan. Heat and stir well; bring almost to a boil. Add vegetables and rice. Cook until veggies are cooked.

Makes two small servings or one big one.

It also makes me feel rich to have Miso soup when I know that if I went to a restaurant, they'd ask for my firstborn for a cup of decent miso.

Pcat
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