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Old 09-18-2014, 09:44 AM   #621
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

I am sure there is a stir fry on here at least once but I just made this last night...

1/3 of a roasted chicken shredded ($2)
4 servings of rice, cooked and chilled (.25 dry long cook whole grain rice)
1 lb frozen mixed veggies (1.00)
1/2 onion (.25)
couple cloves garlic (.05)
soy sauce and honey to taste (???)
eggs (free- we have chickens ??? .20 for store bought)

Just under $4. Dinner for 4 and leftover lunch for 2

this one is more like $6.50 but its tonight's dinner

the last 1/3 of my roasted chicken ($2)
1/2 pack of cream cheese (.70 bought on sale)
1 can green chile enchilada sauce ($1)
5 wheat tortilla (.50- I buy several months of tortillas when they go on sale for .90 a pack)
Used the recipe (halved) on the sauce can minus green chiles since I don't have any on hand. This is one enchilada for me and 2 kids and 2 for dh served with the side of this salad which is what brings us up in money. I add a couple of ingredients to this recipe. . It can be made cheaper by cutting the cucumber or the avocado but not both. cutting the avocado puts it at around $5.50 but we love avocado so not going to cut it.

1 can worth of pinto beans (.25 dry beans precooked and frozen)
1 avocado ($1)
1 cucumber (.50 if purchased, we grow)
1 or 2 tomatoes (.25/.50 we also grow)
1/4 purple onion (.25)
cilantro (??? .25, bundle costs $1 and this uses less than a quarter)
vinegar, oil and refrigerated lime juice (???? all stuff we have on hand maybe .50)

And for kicks- the first 1/3 of out crock pot roasted chicken

roasted chicken ($2)- cooked on a tinfoil hammock in the crockpot until done then put under the broiler to crisp the skin
roasted veggies ($3)- frozen bag of whole green beans, yellow beans and baby carrots ($2) plus a couple of red skinned potatoes. Olive oil, salt, pepper, dried parsley flakes, little dried oregano ($3). for a total of $5


SAHM to LR 7/26/07 and IHM 10/6/10, wife to a self proclaimed genius, ex-navy guy. Going places and doing things that I always dreamed of, but never imagined I would.

Last edited by jbug_4; 09-18-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:30 PM   #622
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

Budget bites Italian wonder pot! Add some chicken leg quarters or sausage and you have a very frugal healthy delicious meal!
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:19 AM   #623
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

This is an open top sandwich or crostada type of meal. It is quick and cheap and you can substitute any of these ingredients to use what you normally use. You can use readily available ingredients like either leftover chicken or canned chicken. I do not skimp on the 2 large onions. But if you prefer, you can go half or use thin sliced eggplant or other favorite to add just as much flavor. The eggplant will add to the cost, unless you grow it yourself.
Chicken, cubed or shredded (1lb) sauteed with regular 2 large diced or if you prefer sliced onions,
Spoonful of minced garlic,
half cup of gn. peppers,
add sprinkle of your favorite spices (black pepper/salt, etc.)
add 1 heaping tablespoon flour and half teaspoon cornstarch.
Whisk/mix well with a a dash of cold water (hot water tends to clump up). Add more water as necessary until you are ready to incorporate into the other veggies, low heat, simmer, reduce to brown gravy like sauce.
Slice tomatoes and sprinkle top with parmesan. Used to top favorite rolls in layers, ie. roll, tomato slice topped with chicken in sauce, then add parmesan cheese for the sprinkled top. Cooking veggies takes less than 10 minutes
To put all together on serve platter, less than 20 minutes.

Last edited by SharedTheJourney; 01-16-2016 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:33 AM   #624
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

Not sure that's the healthiest route, but in addition to meals being cheap, they have to satisfy picky eaters and have to be quick to prep - so we do a lot of pasta in various forms.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:56 AM   #625
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

No way! PB&J and ceareal are totally legit dinners!
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:26 PM   #626
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

One way to ensure cheap meals is to make sure you never throw anything out and use up what you have. I've not always been great at this but I've learned a few things to keep in my back pocket.

Waffles: uses up sour milk, puree veggies or squash or sweet potatoes that didn't get eaten or the kids hated and replace half the oil in the recipe.

Harvest soup recipe from Passionate Homemaking blog - sooooo delicious. Any veggie soup recipe could work though - minestrone, would be good. Any time veggies don't get finished, put them in a quart size container in freezer. When the container is full, make soup. This is an idea from Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening.

Scones: these are a great after school snack or for breakfast. I use milk, cream or half and half that is past tasting sweet. There's a good recipe I use on Money Saving Mom blog.

Applesauce: don't throw out appples that have lost their crunch or just never were awesome to begin with. Chop them up and simmer with an inch of water until soft, mash and serve wiht dinner. If they aren't sweet enough apples, add a tablespoon brown sugar, dash of cinnamon and pinch of cloves.

Smudgies: Old bananas can obviously be used for banana bread (cut and freeze after baking so you can take out pieces for snacks and school lunches without having temptation all around you). But we make homeade ice cream sandwiches by smashing brown bananas with equal amount of peanut butter and spreading between two graham crackers. Flash freeze on a sheet pan and then put them in a ziploc bag in freezer for EASY after school snacks.

Oatmeal - dumping ground for the last bits of things. If your kid ate half an apple and the other half is brown in the fridge 2 days later, cut off the oxidized part and chop up on top of oatmeal, same for half a banana, the very bottom of the bag of coconut, or walnuts etc.

Custard - We used to have chickens and even now, sometimes, we'll find eggs super cheap and buy 15-20 dozen, but then we need to be creative in how to use them up. Find a simple good custard recipe (usually just sugar or honey, eggs, milk and vanilla cooked in a waterbath). It's a delicious desert or breakfast.

Lemon curd - uses up egg yolks and lemons if you have a bunch getting older.

lime soy marinade for meats - there's so many on the interwebs. USes up limes and i store in freezer and then I just dump in a baking dish with meat when I'm ready to make it and can't think about how to prepare meat at 4pm.

Pavlova - delicious Australian desert - essentially a meringue crust topped with whipped cream and fruit. It's not cheap but sometimes I have a bit of cream and several egg whites left over in fridge and it's a great way to use that up and treat your family.

Sooooooo.....All this sounds like I'm simply irresponsible and terrible at planning meals. I guess there are times when that's absolutely true! I hope, though, that someone else in the same boat can be encouraged to try some of these tricks. Also, using every last bit allows more freedom in the budget for quality food.

Last edited by Kitler; 01-07-2017 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:39 PM   #627
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

Made this last night and DH and kiddos really loved it!

1 lb Ground Hamburger, browned
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
1 can tomato sauce
1 c. water
1 chili seasoning packet
1 1/2 c. instant rice

Brown Hamburger and drain. Add all ingredients, except for rice. Bring to a boil and add rice. Cover and bring down to simmer, stirring occasionally as it begins to stick.

We served this with grated cheddar cheese on top.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:16 PM   #628
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Re: ~$5 Meal Ideas~

Not sure if this has been mentioned or if you're just doing personal recipes, but has some good options. We like some of what she has -- still have to pick and choose!
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