Other Main Dishes

Aunt Bev's BBQ
This recipe is really great. My family loves it. Especially in the summertime. I love it too cause it is so easy to just put on and let cook all day. Sometimes we let it cook all night and I finish it in the morning. After it's been in the fridge all day, the seasonings have set and it's even better. I don't know the real cost because the big expenses are the meat, BBQ sauce and buns. Other than that, we always have the seasonings on hand. The other great thing is if you've run out of something, you can just leave it out or if you don't have ground mustard use regular mustard. If you don't have onions, use onion powder. It's so versatile a recipe. My husband likes cole slaw on top of his sandwich so I make that and some baked beans for sides.

Sometimes I buy the bigger piece of meat at 7 or 8 lbs and just cut it in half when I get home.

3 lbs or more Boston Butt (Pork) ($.99/lb on sale $1.49 regular)
2 onions (pennies)
2 stalks celery (pennies) (i don't like chunks so I grind in the food processer with onions)

Spices (never exactly measured, just sprinkle in on top of the water)
garlic powder
ground mustard
ground red pepper
ground white pepper
ground black pepper

BBQ sauce (use your favorite; I use Bull's Eye Orig or KC Masterpiece Orig, whichever is on sale $1.50ish)
10 shakes Worcestshire Sauce (I use Lea & Perrins) (pennies)
10 shakes of Colgin's Liquid Smoke (pennies)
1/3 cup UNPACKED brown sugar

8 pack Hamburger Buns ($.70 at bread store)

Place roast in crock pot. Put celery and onions in crock pot. Cover roast with water. Sprinkle each spice into the water until they they have spread and lightly cover the top of the water. Turn crock pot on low for 9 - 12 hours. Meat will be done when you pick it up and it literally falls off the bone. Take meat out and let cool a little.

While meat is cooling, drain crock pot reserving the celery, onions, and spices. Take meat by chunks or pieces and pull apart by hand into shreds. (Really easy). Place meat back in crock pot with reserves. Add 9 -12 oz BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Taste. Add more spices to taste and/or more BBQ sauce. You can eat right away, but I let it cook a little while longer so the sauce and everything can get soaked in.

Makes about 8 sandwiches. About $.60 per serving.

For an easy side dish, you can use the same spices, BBQ sauce, Worcestshire, and Liquid Smoke to taste and add to the baked beans. (I use Campbell's pork & beans) and let them simmer for awhile to absorb the seasonings

Mystery Burgers
2 egg whites
1 cup low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
1 cup rolled oats
1 pkg. onion soup mix

Mix ingredients together and make into small "burgers" or "meatballs." Fry in a small amount of oil, about 3 minutes on each side. I think these taste even better a day after you first make them. Less than $1.00 per batch. (Try the house brand of dry onion soup mix, or there is a recipe in the Tightwad Gazette book.)

P.S. Save the egg yolks for custard (also good with this meal, especially chocolate.)

Submitted by: Renee Gorby

Salmon Cakes
1 can salmon ($2/can)
1/4 cup relish (about 10 cents)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (about 10 cents)
1 diced carrot or celery stick (about 10 cents)
One lemon (about 30 cents)
1/4 cup corn meal (about 10 cents)
vegetable oil spray (negligible, about 10 cents?)

This is quick and healthy. Combine salmon, relish, mayonnaise, carrot/celery. Zest the lemon and mix zest and juice of lemon with salmon mixture. Form into patties. I use this quick technique:

Sprinkle a little corn meal in the bottom of a quarter cup measuring cup. Add salmon mixture almost to top. Top with more corn meal. You end up with about 10-12 perfectly sized, corn meal coated salmon cakes. Pan "fry" on medium to medium high about 2-3 minutes per side. With a salad and a loaf of bread, a great meal.

P.S. You can take the bones out of the canned salmon but I keep them in; they taste fine and provide calcium. A yummy way to get those healthy omega oils (from the salmon) in your diet.

Total cost about $2.80 for entire recipe, 70 cents per person.

Submitted by: Catherine

Red Beans & Rice
1 lb. smoked sausage (about $2.00 or less if it's on sale)
1 can (10 ounces) tomatoes and green chilies (about $.60 store brand)
2 cans (16 ounces each) red beans or dark red kidney beans, undrained (about $.50 each store brand1 can (10 3/4 ounces)
cream of mushroom soup (about $.60 store brand)
3/4 tsp Creole seasoning (miniscule amount unless you have to buy a new container; we keep some on hand all the time)
4 -5 cups cooked white rice (about $.50)

Cut up sausage into 1 inch chunks. Brown sausage in 10 inch skillet.
Add tomatoes, beans, soup, and seasoning and heat through. Add cooked rice and heat through again, if necessary.

Another variation on this I tried this week that was just as delicious was using cubed chicken (bought on sale for $1.69 lb in frozen bag) - I used three chicken breasts and browned them in about a tablespoon of oil and 1/4 tsp of the Creole seasoning.

I got this recipe from a friend who brought it to us when my son was born last December. We loved it so much, and since it was only about $.95 a serving (it'll serve 5 easy, and add more rice to have leftovers!) we have had it many times this year.

Submitted by: Heather M.

This is a quick, easy, and surprisingly tasty recipe for lunch or dinner. My Mom used to make this for us when we were kids, but it didn't get its name until my two boys came along, giving it the now obvious title!

2-3 packages store brand macaroni and cheese (3 - 4 packages for .99)
1/4 cup butter/margarine per package of macaroni used (?)
1/4 cup milk per package of macaroni used (?)
1 package hot dogs (on sale for 2 for $1.00 at Winn Dixie)

Boil Macaroni as suggested on package. About 2 minutes into the macaroni boiling, add cut up hot dogs* and allow to cook until both macaroni and hot dogs are done.

Drain macaroni and hot dogs in collander and return to pot.

Add butter, milk and the cheese packets from the boxes of macaroni and stir over very low heat until well blended.

That's all there is to it, all for $2.00 or less. Add a veggie or a salad and bread and you're done! I'm not a hot dog or even boxed macaroni fan, but I really like this -- maybe because it's so easy!

* Caution - If you have small children, cut hot dogs lengthwise before cutting into chunks - hot dog "circles" are easy for a small child to choke on.

Submitted by: Linda M

Potato/Salmon Au Gratin
7 potatoes peeled and sliced
1 onion
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
2 Tbs. flour
2 cups milk
1 can salmon
1/8 block of velveeta type cheese or 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter or margarine in skillet. Cook onion until tender. Add flour. Whisk in milk. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. While heat is low, add cheese and melt. Then add drained salmon to au gratin mixture. Arrange half of the sliced potates in casserole dish. Pour half of salmon mixture on top. Repeat. Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees or until bubbly. We love this with sliced tomatoes out of the garden. Will feed 3 people 2 meals or 6 people one meal. Cost is approximately $4.00.

Submitted by: Karen Edwards

Stuffed Bell Peppers
This is a cheap dish especially if you can grow your own peppers. If you do not have this luxury (as I do not) buy them at your local farmers market. I have found peppers as inexpensive as $.35 each! If you still can't find them cheap this recipe works well with tomatoes or onions as an alternative.

6 large bell peppers ($.35 each on sale or home grown)
1&1/2 cups uncooked rice (aprox $.50)
1 lb ground sausage ($.99 on sale)
1 pk dehydrated onion soup ($.79/box on sale)
1 jar your fave spagetti sauce ($.99 for store brand)

Cut the tops off of peppers (or onions or tomatoes) and scoop out the seeds. Set aside. Cook rice in water as package directs. Let rice cool completley before handling. This should take about an hour. In a large bowl combine cooked rice, sausage, onion soup & 1/2 jar spagetti sauce, mix well. Stuff each pepper until just over the top of opening. Place in a large glass baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over top of peppers. Bake at 350 for 1hour & 15 min so sausage can cook completely. Total cost per serving: $.85... Enjoy!

Submitted by: Brandy White

Quick Quiche
This can be made in 10 minutes, thrown in oven for 40 minutes and can be eaten hot or cold. Can be made as simple or elegant as required from your choice of fillings and toppings. Good for lunches or dinners. Can be a meal in itself.

Mix in bowl:
1/2 cup flour (20c)
2tsp baking powder (cost negligible)
salt and pepper to taste (cost negligible)
1 cup grated cheese (50c)
1 cup milk (20c)
4 eggs ($1.00)

Choose 2 or three items from list below for filling according to cupboard, purse and taste:
1/2 can creamed corn
4 leaves silverbeet (spread on bottom of bowl)
1/4 head brocolli chopped
1/2 cup mixed frozen vegetables
1/2 cup grated carrot,
4 rashers bacon, chopped
1 can of asparagus (or fresh)
1/2 finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 small tin of tuna
any leftovers in fridge
What do you like?

Put into base of greased oven-proof dish. Pour egg mixture over top. Top with rings of tomato for decoration. Sprinkle with chilli or cumin powder to taste. Bake at 180* Celcius for 40 minutes, or until golden. Leave for 5 minutes until it has shrunk slightly in dish. Can be served with a simple summer salad for dinner, a good lunchbox item, or quick lunch.

Hope people like this. I am not the best of cooks, and haven't been able to destroy this recipe yet.

Submitted by: Anita Hudson

Barbecued Ham Sandwiches
This is by far the best barbecued ham recipe I have ever tasted. It's tangy, not spicy, and even kids love it. I have served it at birthday parties and picnics and even taken it to funeral gatherings. It is also very inexpensive to make even for a crowd (I usually double the recipe) and keeps well all day in a crockpot. Leftovers are great and it can be frozen.

2 pounds chipped ham ($1.98 - on sale for .99 pound)
1 can condensed tomato soup (.50)
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce (.50)
1/2 cup brown sugar (don't pack) (.20)
1/2 cup vinegar (.10)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (too small to calculate)
1/2 cup ketchup (.25)

Slice chipped ham into strips. Set aside. Combine sauce ingredients in large saucepan and cook for 20 minutes until hot, stirring to keep from sticking. Then add ham and cook for 20 minutes more or until heated through. Serve with tongs onto hamburger buns (.80 for a dozen). Makes at least 12 sandwiches for total cost of around .36 per sandwich.

Submitted by: Melanie Ditzel

Frugal Turkey Leftovers
Here is a recipe for using up left over Thanksgiving turkey. I just developed it today and it is good. To 4 cups of chicken stock add 3 whole cloves, l/4 cup of red wine. l teaspoon of garlic and l l/2
cup of pearl barley. Cook until barley is only slightly tender, but not mushy. This takes about l/2 hour. You might have to add water as this cooks. When barley is almost tender, add 4 chopped carrots, 2 stalks of celery, chopped, and chunks of left over turkey. (The breast seems to taste the best in this soup). Cook until veggies and barley are tender. Sprinke with a dash of dill weed and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust water if necessary.

Good and not too turkey tasting for people who are growing tired of turkey.

Submitted by: Joan Heller

Salisbury Patties
2 lbs. TVP Crumbles
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
1/3 c. water
1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
ground black pepper a bit

Mix all ingredients well. (I use my stand mixer for this, so my hands don't get as messy.) Then shape into 10 oval shaped, slightly flattened patties. Brown well, cool and freeze in 2- 1 qt. freezer bags. Makes two meals of 5 patties each. Adjust your portion sizes to your family. Serve with mashed potatoes, a green veggie, and mushroom gravy.

The TVP crumbles were 1.19 each (You need 2 bags) at Canned Foods, onion soup mix (maybe 1.00 pretty cheap; I made my own). Worcestershire sauce was $.99. The bread crumbs I made from a loaf of bread that I bought for $.49. So, I would say the whole recipe costs $4.86; which would be about $0.49 per serving. This makes 10 servings.

Submitted by: Joanne Sabio

Pancake Pasta
I found this tasty recipe a few years ago and it is a dish that my daughter always asks for. The spices give it a wonderful middle eastern flavor. It's very inexpensive to make, about $1.60 when the pasta is purchased at sale prices, and it serves about 4. You can serve it with plain yogurt.

4 cups cooked spaghetti (one 16 oz. box)
4 large eggs
1 t. ground cardamon
1/2 t. anise or carraway seeds
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. sugar
salt & pepper
3 T. butter or vegetable oil

1. In a mixing bowl whisk together eggs, spices, and sugar. Add pasta, salt, pepper.
2. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta mixture and reduce heat.
3. Cover skillet and cook until bottom is crisp; about 15 minutes.
4. To serve, invert skillet over a platter. Cut into wedges and serve with yogurt if desired.

Submitted by: Diane McHugh

Tortellini and Vegetables
This is a family favorite and is quite inexpensive if you can use some garden produce. It makes a generous amount that can easily be increased by adding an extra vegetable or two.

1 16 oz. pkg. frozen cheese tortellini (1.64 on sale)
1-2 tomatoes, cut into medium size chunks (free from garden)
1 onion, cut into wedges (.26)
1-2 medium zucchini, sliced thickly then cut in half to make half-circles (.35 ea.)
approx. 1/3 cup olive oil
parmesan cheese (approx. .50 for oil and cheese)

Cook and drain tortellini according to package directions. Heat olive oil in a large skillet then sautee onion and zucchini until onion begins to become transparent and zucchini becomes tender. Add tomatoe (s) and heat through for approx. 2 minutes. In large serving dish combine tortellini with vegetables and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Submitted by: Diane

Vegetarian Burritos
Here is one of our family's favorite recipes. Not only is it pretty cheap, but its *fast*... it only takes me about 10-15 min. to make from start to finish.

1 can corn
1 can tomatos
1 can black beans
a dash of red pepper (if you like things spicy)
grated cheddar or jack cheese
Flour tortillas

Pour the corn, tomatos and beans into a pan (if the tomatos are whole, use a spatula to chop them into chunks). Heat the mixture to boiling and then let simmer until heated through (5 - 10 mins). When you add the beans, corn, etc. into the pan, add about 1 tbsp of cumin and 1 tbsp of chili powder (or thereabouts... I've never actually measured it). Basically, the spices are "to taste." Meanwhile, warm up the tortillas in the microwave or on a burner. When the filling is ready, use a slotted spoon to put a spoonful (or so) on each tortilla. Sprinkle a little grated cheese on top of the filling, if desired. Wrap the tortilla around the filling "burrito-style." These are a little messy to eat, but very tasty.

Makes about 6 burritos (depending on how much filling you use for each one).

Just imagine how cheap it would be if you started with dried beans,
homemade tortillas, and tomatos and corn from your garden.

Submitted by: Shari

Macaroni, Peas And Cheese Salad
Take the macaroni from a box of macaroni and cheese dinner
Take 1/4 package of frozen peas
Take 3 Tbsp. of mayonnaise from a jar
Take 1/4 lb. of cheese from a 2 lb loaf

Cook the macaroni and peas in boiling water for the length of time recommended for the macaroni to cook. Drain. Cool. Chop the cheese into little cubes. Add the mayonnaise and mix. You can add a little dash of garlic salt or herb salt to jazz it up a bit. This recipe is going to cost you about 80 cents to make and you could have servings for 3 to 4 people so that is 20 to 27 cents per serving. It is a good summertime recipe especially.

Submitted by: Julie

Tortilla Pizza
1 package of flour tortilla any size you want
1 can pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce (will only use about 1/2 of pizza or 1/3 of spaghetti)
1 8oz pkg mozzarella cheese
whatever toppings you would like we use mushrooms and pepperoni

Top flour tortilla with sauce, cheese and toppings and bake at 450 for about 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Very cheap and kid friendly. Both my sons (ages 2 and 6) love to help make and eat these pizzas. And the best thing is that everyone can have the toppings they want because they are just right for individual servings.

Submitted by: Suzanne

Sausage in a Crock Pot
1 turkey smoked sausage(1.99)
2 cans French-style green beans(.39)
8 medium potatoes
1 large onion

In a crock pot, layer 1can of green beans (drained),1/2 onion sliced, 1/2 of potatoes thinly sliced. Repeat layers. Cut smoked sausage into about 10 pieces and put on top of layers. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 5 hours. Very easy and delicious. My family asks for it over and over.

Submitted by: Tracy

Tuna Barbeque
A friend of mine gave me this recipe and I was skeptical at first. But I did try it and you will not believe how wonderful it tastes. Everyone always asks me the same question. "How do you get your roast so tender"? You can't taste the tuna. You have to try this. It's cheaper and takes no time at all. This recipe feeds a family of four.

3 Cans of drained Tuna in water (completely drained)
1/4 C. of onion (or what your choose)
1/4 C. of green pepper (if desired)
1 1/2 Cups of barbecue sauce (homemade works great)

Combine all ingredients in a nonstick skillet. Heat thoroughly for about 10-15 minutes. Serve on bread of your choice.

Submitted by: Karen, Louisville

BBQ Pork
1 T. vegetable oil (negligible)
3 lbs boneless pork (I found boneless Hollywood ribs on sale for about.99/lb., but I imagine a pork butt cut into large chunks would work just fine)
1 bottle spicy BBQ sauce (store brand 0.79)
1 12 oz. can beer (.50)
1 med onion, sliced (.50)
2 t. dried thyme (.20)
salt and pepper to taste
a few dashes of hot sauce if desired
Brown pork in oil on all sides, set aside on plate. In crockpot, mix together BBQ sauce, beer, onion, thyme and salt and pepper. Add pork to sauce mix and turn to coat all pieces. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. When done, pork is wonderfully tender and flavorful!! I served with rice and the shredded the leftovers for BBQ pork sandwiches the next day. Enjoy!!!

Submitted by: Angie

Creamy Chicken Noodles and Vegetables

3 packages creamy chicken ramon noodles (usually around 30 cents a package)
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, I use broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. (less than a dollar for the bag)

*Cook the vegetables according to the directions on the package in a pot big enough for the vegetables and noodles. Drain vegetables or use the water for the noodles. (you want 3 cups of water all together.) bring water to boil with vegetables then add broken noodles and seasoning packet from ramon noodles. Stir and cover. let cook about 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that all of the noodles get soft. it is done when the noodles are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Sometimes I add cubed or shredded chicken to this, which would make it cost about 2 dollars more. (I buy a rotisseri chicken for 4 dollars and strip the meat to make 2 or 3 meals.) The whole meal costs around 4 dollars (with the chicken) and feeds my family of 6. If you need more noodles add more and 1 cup of water for every package of noodles.

Submitted by: Sandra

One Pan Potato Dinner
I make this dinner when I need to use up those 10lbs/$1 potatoes in my pantry.

8 large potatoes (33 cents)
1/2 c. margarine (12 cents - Aldi)
lg. green pepper (25 cents or less)
lg. onion (10 cents)
lb. ground turkey (49 cents - Aldi) or lb. smoked sausage (99 cents)
1/2 c. frozen peas (10 cents)

Quarter potatoes ealry in the day (or night before) and boil in salted water until cooked but firm. Allow to cool enough to handle and peel; dice in large dices and refrigerate.

At dinner time, brown turkey or sausage cubes in Dutch oven. Melt margarine and saute onion and green pepper. Add cold potatoes, mix well. Lower heat to medium and cover; allow potatoes to "brown". Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Season with salt and pepper.

Sometimes I need to add more margarine (a margarine/oil combo tastes great, too). Depending on the number of potatoes you need to use up, this recipe can feed quite a crowd! I make this to serve 5, and add a salad or another cooked green vegetable. I often serve sale applesauce for contrast. Total cost: $1.39 (ground turkey), $1.88 (smoked sausage).

Submitted by: Jennifer

Tuna Patties
My mom used to fix these for my sister and I alot. We liked them so much and that was great for my single mom raising us on a budget. I would say they cost about $1.25 to make the whole batch. I usually whip them up when I've forgotten to set something out to thaw or am in a hurry. I also find tuna a great alternative to other fish and meats when money is low. It's healthy and cheap!

2 cans tuna, drained
1 egg
8 crackers, crushed
1 tsp Worcestershire or soy sauce
dash garlic powder, salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients until combined. This should be just sturdy enough to make a patty-they will be a bit moist, but not falling apart. If too wet to hold a patty, add a couple more crackers. If too dry, add a dash of soy or w. sauce. This should make 4-6 patties. In a large skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of pan. (I don't substitute the oil with cooking spray because it takes the outer crunch away) When oil is hot, place patties in skillet and cook on each side until golden. Just a couple of minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. You can eat this on a bun like a burger, or just as you would a meat entre'. I like mine best without the bun with a little ketchup on the side for dipping. YUMMY!

Submitted by: Vickie

Another BBQ Pork
This quick and tasty meal takes more forethought than talent . . . when buying roasts I always buy a few pounds more than my family of 5 will eat in one meal. The remaining can be frozen or stored for a couple of days. Now the fun begins with the left over meat and most of these ingredients we all have in our kitchen every day!

1-2 cups of pulled cooked roast (beef or pork), ~ $1.32 per lb reg price for pork
1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce, .39 cents for store brand
1/2 onion
2 T. mustard (spicy is you have it)
1/4 C brown sugar (alternative: syrup)
1-2 T. cooking oil
Worstechire sauce to taste
Hot Sauce to taste
Garlic powder or fresh garlic (use 5-6 cloves, sliced thin but big enough for the little ones to pick out :o)
Salt and pepper to taste
Any sort of bread (buns, left over garlic/French bread, day-old bakery loaves, it's endless and cheap). We toast ours in the oven.

Heat fry pan with oil, brown onion (and garlic if using fresh), add meat and heat through for about 6-7 minutes. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour into pan. Bring to a simmer then lower heat and let sit for about 5 minutes. Toast bread and spread a spoonful of mixture onto each piece. Eat as a sandwich or open-faced. Condiments: onion, cheese, or jalapeno.

Another method is to mix all ingredients into a baking dish and top with a box (or 2) of cornbread mix to create a cornbread bake. Just bake according to package directions and the meat mixture will cook and blend - too good!

A great tip I have learned is to purchase a large beef rump roast (no bone or marbling). Ask the butcher to shave the whole roast and separate every 1.5 or 2 lbs with butcher paper so it can be easily frozen into meal portions. This is great for stir fry, steak sandwiches or slice in strips for casseroles. I have yielded 3 meals from a $.6.50 roast - that is 15 portions @ .43 cents each for the main ingredient!!! Thanks for your website - it has saved my dinner dramas many times!

Submitted by: Kelly, Mom of 3

Fast and Easy Pollack
6-8 Pollack fillets ( Under $2.00)
2 Tbls olive oil (.20 cents)
2 Tablespoons of yellow mustard (.10 cents)
1 cup of bread crumbs (can be any left over bread or can use cornflakes, .20 cents)

Place Pollack fillets in the bottom of a baking dish. In a bowl , mix the mustard and olive oil, brush onto the tops of the fillets. Pour the bread crumbs over and press lightly onto the fillets, bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Fish will flake apart when it is done, just lift one end of a fillet and check every 5 minutes after a first check at 25 minutes.

Rice & Beans
Soak 1lb beans overnight, put into crock pot
Smoked turkey neck or ham hocks (really cheap, a little goes a long way)
large onion chopped
pepper, salt, garlic, whatever else you like

You can leave in crock pot all day. It will not burn. When you get home start rice. Bake corn bread, you can get Jiffy mix 4 for a dollar. Put rice on plate or bowl add beans. This may not sound like a traditional meal, but it
tastes really good. It also goes a long way.

Homemade Egg Noodles/Dumplings
All you do is take 1 cup of flour (pennies), 1 egg (0.05 cents) and approximately 1/2-3/4 cup of water/chicken broth from boiled chicken( no cost) and salt and pepper to taste. Just mix this all together and roll out on a floured surface and I take a pizza cutter to cut in to noodles. drop them in boiling water with chicken and let simmer about 45 minutes and you have great homemade chicken and noodles, these taste better than the Ream's frozen ones. I have a family of four and I usually double this recipe. One of my family favorites. there is hardly any mess and no need to dry the noodles, just drop them in as soon as they are cut.

Scrambled Noodles
3 pkg Ramen Noodles ($.60)
4-6 eggs ($.25-$.50)
1 c cooked peas, broccoli, or other leftover veggies ($.50 maximum)(can also use uncooked summer squash)
1 c cooked chicken or other meat (I use one chicken breast from a package of IQF breast from Aldi's,
could cost as much as $1.25)

Break up and cook Ramen noodles according to package directions, but do not add seasoning. When noodles
are done, drain and put into large nonstick skillet. Scramble eggs and add to skillet with seasoning packet (one is
enough for my family, less salt that way), veggies and meat. Cook, stirring, until eggs are done. This recipe feeds
my family of 5, including a hungry 15-year-old for about $3.00. Add a fruit or vegetable salad.

Submitted by: Donna Evans

Homeade Shake-N-Bake
Here's one that happened by accident one evening. I was planning a meal of shake-n-bake pork when I realized I didn't have the mix. As a SAHM of four (two of which were napping at the time), I needed to improvise.

Dozen or so Club Crackers (crushed finely) - about $0.30
2 tsp. paprika - $0.05 maybe
3 Tbsp. Season Salt - $0.20
2 Tbsp. flour
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large plastic bag. Add your rinsed pieces of pork or chicken - shake to coat. This amount will easily coat about 4-5 medium pork chops or chicken pieces. Bake in the oven. Enjoy!

Submitted by: Ali

Tuna Chili Surprise
My family love this meal even though they dislike tuna. It feeds up to 10 people or leftovers can be reheated. It is easy and quick to prepare. The cost is less than $5 here in Australia.

1 500g pkt pasta spirals
1 tbs butter or margarine
1 tbs plain flour
1/2 cup milk
2 oxo chicken stock cubes
1/2 kg frozen mixed veggies or equivalent fresh diced veggies
1 400g tin tuna in brine, undrained
1 tbs sweet chili sauce
1 cup grated cheese (optional)

Cook pasta and drain.
In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour for one minute over medium heat.
Add milk and chicken stock cubes. Stir well.
Add veggies and heat through.
Add tuna and pasta. Stir well.
Add chili sauce.

Place in oven proof dish. Sprinkle with cheese and heat in a moderate oven until gold on top.

Submitted by: Melissa Klimo

Bell Peppers and Potatoes
This is a recipe I use quite often that is cheap, easy, and tasty.
1 pound smoked polish hot dogs. About 1.15 a pound when you buy the 3 pound package. (I freeze the rest for another day)
1 large green bell pepper .50 (when not out of my garden)
1 large onion or 2 med size ones .50
5 potatoes .50
1/2 cup Italian dressing .25 when bought on sale

Wash potatoes well (do not peel), take the outer skin off the onion and discard. then cube the pepper, onion, potato, and polish sausage into large chunks. Throw it all in a large plastic bag, add the Italian dressing and shake well. Empty contents of the bag into a large baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. This cost about .75-.80 a serving and that is "big portions".

Submited by: Mary Cameron

Cheap and Easy Spanish Rice
This quick and easy recipe can be made for under $3.00 ( .50 per person) and serves our family of 6 with hearty portions.

1 pd. pork sausage - mild or hot (.99)
1 small onion - chopped (.25)
1 green pepper - chopped (.25)
1 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes (.33)
1 C of water (free)
3/4 c. of rice (.30)

Brown sausage, onion, and green pepper in skillet over medium heat. When sausage is browned and vegetables are tender add tomatoes, rice, and water. Simmer covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook about 20 minutes or until rice is done. Serve with bread.

Submitted by: Jennifer Urbino

Salmon Burgers
These are a favorite in our house!

1 14.5 can salmon –bones and skin removed (1.00 on sale)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed (2 cents)
1/2 -3/4 cup bread, cracker or cornflake crumbs (free?)
chopped onion to taste (5 cents)
1/4 c mayonnaise with optional horseradish or Tabasco mixed in (10cents)
1 egg (7cents)
Dash of Old Bay seasoning or lemon pepper or oregano, thyme, and basil
4 toasted hamburger buns (40cents)
lettuce and tomato (20cents)

Mix everything except buns, lettuce and tomato together. Shape into burgers – cook in nonstick frying pan and a little oil on medium high until brown and crisp on the bottom, flip over and brown other side. Serve on buns with lettuce tomato, and other burger fixings (also good as salmon cheeseburgers with American cheese and the old bay seasoning, or salmon Parmesan burgers with mozzarella and a dab of tomato sauce – in which case use the oregano, thyme and basil combo of spices and add extra garlic if desired). Cheap, nutritious, can be customized lots of ways with spices -- and kids like ‘em.

Submitted by: Wendi

Salmon Quesadillas
2 garlic cloves, minced [or a couple of scoops out of a jar of pre-minced] (cents)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (cents)
1 can (14.75 oz) salmon, drained, bones and skin removed (.99)
1 to 2 teaspoons of dried basil (cents)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (cents)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened (cents)
4 flour tortillas (pkg of 10 for 1.39)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheese [mozzarella, jack, cheddar, etc.] (1.99 mixed pizza cheese, pre-shredded)

Salsa [I use a can of RoTel tomatoes w/green chiles...cheaper and no one can tell the difference] (.59)

In a skillet, saute garlic in oil, stir in salmon, basil and pepper. Cook over medium heat until heated through. Meanwhile, spread butter over one side of each tortilla. Place tortillas, buttered side down, on a griddle. Sprinkle each with 1/2 cup cheese. Spread 1/2 cup of salmon mixture over half of each tortilla. Fold over and cook on low for 1-2 minutes on each side. Cut into wedges, serve with salsa. (four servings, at a cost of about $1.00 each).

This is also super quick (I found it on a list of "10 minutes to the table" recipes) and my family loves it - even my picky two year old.

Submitted by: Angi C. Harben

Stuffed Peppers
4 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or green) (4 or 5 for 1.00)
1 medium onion (.25)
3 cups cooked rice (pennies)
1 large can of tomatoes (.49)
1 can of black beans (.25)
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese (.25--.99 for 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In large bowl mix cooked rice, diced onion, beans, and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut off tops of peppers and clean out the insides. Stuff with mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Pour 1/2 cup of water in a shallow casserole dish and place stuffed peppers in this. Cook for 30 minutes or until peppers are tender. This is a great main dish. Serves: 4

Submitted by: Stephanie

Cheap Hot Pockets
My boys are always asking me to make these. It's very cheap,easy and a great way to use leftovers.

refrigerator biscuits..(1.00 for 4)
meat leftovers..(turkey, ham, beef)
leftover spaghetti sauce
some veggies or cheese
Seperate the biscuits and let them sit for 10 minutes so you can roll them out using a little flour. Add desired filling, fold over and pinch sides.You can fry these or bake them until golden brown.
These are very cheap....(about 25 cents a person if you use leftovers.)

Submitted by: Rhonda

Ramen Idea
This recipe can be made in small or large quantities. The following is the ratio.

1 pkg Ramen (any flavor)
2 hot dogs
1 egg, beaten

Very thinly slice hotdogs and put in pan on medium heat to start cooking. Boil noodles, add to hot dogs, add season packet from ramen and mix together. Next add egg and cook, stirring occasionally, until egg is
finished. Top with a dollop of sour cream if desired. My family loves it!!!

Submitted by: Andrea

Poor Filipinos’ Fried Rice
8 cups day old, cooked long grain rice
3 eggs
1 diced leftover sausage
4 tbsps Peanut oil
3 tbsps Minced garlic
2 tbsps Minced ginger
1 Bunch Chopped white scallions
3 tbsps Soy sauce
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp White pepper

Using a wok, soft scramble the eggs in 2 tbsps of oil, then remove them and place
them in a separate dish. Add 2 more tbsps of oil, and then stir fry the garlic
and ginger. Drop in your sausages and white scallions, add the rice, and mix
thoroughly, then add the eggs, soy sauce, salt, and white pepper. You may replace
the eggs and sausages with tofu and add hot peppers if you are a vegetarian.

Servings: 4

Submitted by: Susan

Pork Chili Verde
This is a tasty, inexpensive meal that you can make in the crockpot. This recipe also works well with left-over pork roast that has been shredded or cubed. Here is a shopping tip: buy spices at your local "dent store" or in your Latin Foods section in your grocery store. I always buy my boullion cubes in the Latin Foods section it is much

1 lb package of pork stew meat - $1.64
2 - 3 T. cooking oil - $.05
salt/pepper to taste - negligible
1/2 white or yellow onion diced - $.20
1-2 cloves of garlic - chopped - $.10
1 can salsa verde - try the Latin Foods section in your grocery store - $1.58
1 cup chicken broth - use chicken boullion and water - $.10
2-3 cups cooked rice - $.50
corn or flour tortillas - $1.50/ 12 pack

In a skillet, brown uncooked pork in cooking oil with garlic and 1/2 of the diced onion - season with salt and pepper. Remove all ingredients and place in crockpot. Pour salsa verde and chicken broth and remaining onion into crockpot. Stir. Cook on low setting 8 hours.

Serve over rice with tortillas and your favorite toppings such as cheese, sour cream, cilantro. My family likes to mix the rice and sauce together and spoon into warm corn or flour tortillas and add toppings. It is just as good without the toppings though.

Submitted by TLF, Washington State

Fried Rice
This is one of my favorites, my picky kids always have seconds with this one!

2-3 cups of cooked rice (25 cents)
1/2 cup frozen peas (20 cents)
3 eggs (30 cents)
1-3 tsp. soy sauce (neligible)
1/4 cup chopped onion (neligible)
Cooking spray,or 1 tsp of fat (marg, oil, butter, bacon grease) (neligible)

Optional: add any on hand leftover meat such as chicken,bacon, ham, beef ect.) (nothing)
you can also add any veges that you may have that are in refrigerator (neligible since the amounts are so small)

Heat your choice of fat (I use generic cooking spray that I buy at WallMart) in skillet. Add cooked rice , peas and veges and soy sauce. for 3-5 minutes to heat up , stir occasionally and keep an eye on it so you don't burn rice. If you would like you can add extra veges or protein at this time. ( I have made it both ways , it taste great without anything extra)

Beat eggs with a fork and pour over rice mixture once it is nice and hot. Turn rice over with spatula and mix eggs into rice evenly. Once eggs are done it is completed!

This is so yummy and cheap! I buy everything on sale and or bulk so I based prices on a 5lb bag of rice (WallMart) for 3.00, I based the peas on a $1 16oz bag but usually buy them for 69 cents a bag on sale. Eggs I buy for average of $1 per dozen but watch the ads. Last week I bought 3 dozen eggs for $1 ! So you could easily make this recipe for 50 - 75 cents for the whole meal! To round it out you can serve it with salad and sliced apples. I often serve it by itself especially if I add meat and other veges.

Submitted by: Angela

Egg Yu Yong
9 eggs, beaten (69 cents from 1 dozen at 98 cents)
1 cup chopped bean sprouts (20 cents)
6 chopped green onions (33 cents a bunch)
1 packace Rice a Roni Beef, or chicken flavor,
cooked according to package directions and cooled (69 cents a box)
1 tblsp. soy sauce (pennies)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Drop by 1/4 cupfulls onto a greased griddle. Brown on both sides. Makes 12 delicious snacks!

Submitted by: Vicky

Leftover Taco Fixins
What can you do with leftover taco fixins. Ground turkey, by the way, is way cheaper than ground beef (on sale 99 cents). Make easy and fast spanish rice get a large pan with a good lid.

1 cup rice
leftover meat
8oz can tomato sauce
leftover chopped tomato about 1/3 or 1/4 of a cup
a little chopped onion
2 cups waters
1TB oil
leftover cheese

In your pan brown your rice with the oil, after rice is browned pour in your water, onion, tomato, meat, and about half of the tomato sauce, season with garlic powder,salt,season salt, 1 boulion cube, and cumin (play with this because, this is a season to taste), bring to boil reduce heat, cover. Cook for 15 min or until water is absorbed. top with leftover chesse. easy add in corn, or you can save the tomato instead of cooking it in and top with that also. You can use any leftover meat also. Play it up! Add side salad, left over beans, and some corn muffins (walmart .33 cents a box), and there you go!

Submitted by: betharoo

Easy Tortilla Pizza
1 package tortillas (10) $1.50
1 jar pizza sauce .89
1 package mozarella 1.75

Heat tortillas on both sides under broiler until "stiff". Add pizza sauce and mozarella cheese and put under broiler until cheese is bubbly. My daughter would eat these every day if I would let her!!

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