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Old 05-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #101
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

My favorite (and cheapest) dinner tends to be loaded potatoes. A lot of people may think it's strange to eat a 'side dish' as the main or only part of a meal, but these are good, filling, and have a lot more in them than your average 'loaded' potatoe that's just cheese and bacon bits.

As many baked potatoes as people, or 2 per person, depending, roughly chopped into the bottom of individual bowls (So about $1?)

Topped with any or all of the following

Chopped ham (I just use the $3/lb lunch meat from WalMart and cut it into strips, maybe $0.75)
1-2 hard boiled eggs per person, smushed ($0.25-.50)
Butter (No clue, in the few cents department if you use margarine)
Bacon bits (bout $0.50 worth)
Pepperjack cheese (again, maybe $0.50-$1.00)
Sweet corn ($0.33)
Salsa (varies to much by brand/homemade, so we'll say $0.50)

Sauce with BBQ or french/catalina dressing (negligible)

Heat in micro for 2 mins, or in oven for 5-10

Or about anything. Total cost on this is a bit over $4, IF everyone in my family has EVERYTHING on it, which never happens. I just make sure there's some kind of meat on it since my kiddo refuses almost all forms of protein unless it's 'hidden' from him. Serve with a salad and you have one happy mommy and kiddo.

PS- Really, try it with the hardboiled egg. Sounds semi gross, but really good.

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:27 AM   #102
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

And another one, that I'm not going to price out but is cheap

Kind of a chili type thing, I guess? I just call it what's left in the cabinet.

Into a big skillet
1 chicken breast, cubed
Seasoned with cayenne, chili powder, salt, garlic, onion, and pepper
Cook about halfway then add in:
Chopped onion
1 can of cubed tomatoes with peppers (sold as 'chili ready' tomatoes, I think)
1 can yellow corn
Little bit of brown sugar
Chili beans, canned chili, or whatever sounds like it should work (Normally veg chili here)
And about a Tbsp of brown mustard

Allow to sit and simmer down to thicken out while you make fry bread

Fry bread:

Heat a half inch to inch minimum of oil in a skillet/pot/whatever

Flour
Pinch of cornmeal
Some sugar if you want (like a couple Tbsp's, max)

Add warm water to make a dough about the same consistency as you would for pizza dough. Allow to sit for a minute, then pull a handful and stretch as much as you can into a round that will fit into whatever container is heating the oil and place in oil, flipping after about a minute and cooking until both sides are gold to mid brown.

Serve with the conglomeration of things that sounded good and were left in the cabinet, adding some cheese, sour cream, and additional onion if desired.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:01 PM   #103
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

I have a great cheap meal that my kiddos love.

Easy Crab Cakes
1 can of Chicken of the Sea crab ($3.19--I live in a small town so this seems a bit higher then when I lived in the city)
1 small packet of generic chicken flavored stuffing mix ($.89 at most discount grocers)
1 bunch of green onions ($.59)

Chop your green onions. Mix the green onions and crab and then mix with the stuffing mix. Put a small amount of butter or oil in a frying pan and fry up the crab cakes until they are crispy and golden on both sides.

I find that sometimes it is a bit dry as I personally drain my crab meat...so I actually add some water every once in a while...it just depends on the consistency.

I serve this with some type of rice pilaf/flavored rice that I get on sale usually at $.59 per box so this meal is just at the $5 mark and my family loves it. I don't eat meat any longer so I do not eat these but the kids devour them!!
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:44 AM   #104
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonSqueezy View Post
Not sure if this has been posted, but it's super easy. 2 chicken breasts, can of salsa, can of black beans. Combine those in crock pot and cook until chicken is done. Serve over rice with sour cream and whatever other toppings, like cheese, cilantro, etc. So easy and yummy!
we do this too, but add some frozen/canned corn as well...and then cube and stir in cream cheese before serving! it's a great tortilla filling too!

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Old 06-20-2010, 05:30 PM   #105
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Sorry if I missed this in one of the replies. The recipies here are AWESOME I am going to try one tonight for sure.
When money is tight there is a chicken rice meal I make for my family that is awesome.

1 can of precooked chopped chicken or handfull of frozen precut chicken strips - about $1.70
2 packages of generic chicken rice mix- about $.80 each

Make the chicken rice according to the instructions (you may need a cup of milk and a couple pats of butter) when you get to the part where it is covered to simmer just add the chicken.

If you add some frozen yeast rolls and a can of (or fresh veggies) then you have a complete meal for about $5 depending on how much your family eats you will probably have leftovers too.

The precut chicken also works well with the fettucine alfredo- you can also get generic packs of this for about $.80 each.
I honestly love the precut chicken strips. You can get a huge bag of frozen strips for maybe $10 and it will last for many many meals. You can do chicken salads, chicken and rice, chicken and pasta and of course chicken quesedillias and fajitas. Lots of options for a few spices and packets/cans of stuff. Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:34 PM   #106
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Oh I forgot about a really fun recipe my mom used to do with me when I was little. You need english muffins, spaghetti/pizza/marinara sauce, cheese (mozzerella or cheddar work best) and toppings of choice.

You half the muffins spread a bit of sauce and sprinkle cheese and/or topping-
kids can help with this its fun for them to make their own
you can throw these in the toaster oven until the edges brown and the cheese melts. Easy and fun and definitely cheap
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:22 PM   #107
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Not sure if this has been posted, but I wanted to share here. It's a 7-minute start to finish dinner:

1 lb ground beef
1 can corn
1 can ranch style beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing seasoning

Brown beef in a pot, add the remaining ingredients. Drain the corn, but do not drain the beans.

Heat thoroughly, then serve over frito chips. Top with a tiny bit of cheese or sour cream or whatever is in your fridge that sounds good.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:23 PM   #108
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Another main course that is dirt cheap:

1 can salmon
1 package yellow cornbread mix
1 egg

Debone the salmon and mix with the other ingredients. Form small "cakes", and cook in veggie oil over high heat about 3 minutes on each side. These are delicious!

I usually just serve them with some corn on the cob and green beans. The DH eats them up!
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:09 PM   #109
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Sorry if this is a repost, I didn't see it anywhere though.

Tuna Mac
-----------
INGREDIENTS
1 can tuna
1 box mac & cheese
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of vegetable (I used corn)
*I used all off brand items in this to save $$, but if I was to do it over I think brand name mac & cheese would have made it better, or maybe adding just some shredded*
INSTRUCTIONS:
Make mac according to box instructions, add other ingredients and heat through.

*To make this dish more filling I can see putting some bread crumbs or crackers on top and maybe baking it*

That's the dish, my 3 year old loved it! I was actually shocked she ate it all because she usually doesn't do very well with any fish including tuna. I guess she loved it for the cheese.
Also, this recipe made enough to feed my preggo self, my DD, and my hubby with a bit leftover.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:43 PM   #110
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Re: The "~$5 Meal Ideas~" thread...

Someone posted this "recipe" but it was just the ingredient list...It sounded so good so I braved it without the actual instructions...IT WAS DELICIOUS.

Anyway..I wrote down how I did it in case someone wants to try. It was for a crock pot but I made it in the oven. Cost will vary IMO.

I think it should really be called Southwest Chicken.

-Chicken breasts 3 or 4 (salt and pepper if you want)
-1 jar salsa
-1 can corn
-1 can black beans
-4 oz cream cheese
-1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded mexican style or cheddar cheese (more or less if you like cheese [CHEESE IS OPTIONAL IMO]

preheat oven to 375 (give or take )

Mix salsa, corn, black beans ONLY. Layer bottom of dish (I sprayed with Pam) with HALF of the mixture. Top with chicken. Top chicken with rest of mixture.

Put in oven for 25-30 mins. Take out. Check chicken.

Once chicken is 5-10 mins from being done add cream cheese, stir everything around so it's mixed together (cream cheese should melt quickly)

Top with shredded cheese. Put back in oven till cheese is melted and chicken is done.

You can make mexican rice with it but it's not totally necessary.

You can also save the mixture that goes over the chicken and use as a really really GOOD chip dip.
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