Side Dish Recipes

Frugal Salsa
My husband loves salsa, and I got tired of paying grocery store prices. This homemade salsa is a snap to make, and by varying the amout of jalapenos can be as mild or fiery as you like. Total cost is about 65 cents per 16 ounce batch.

In food processor with metal blade, pulse the following:
1 16-oz. can stewed tomatoes, drained (.49 a can, Sav-a-lot)
3-10 jalapeno slices, depending on taste (.10--.15)
1t.-1T. juice from jalapenos, to taste (negligible cost)

Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Submitted by: Karen Worley

Cheap Corn Tortilla Chips
I have a recipe of sorts for cheap corn tortilla chips--take a package of 36 or so, cut them into quarters, and bake on an oil-sprayed pan for 10-15 mins. on both sides in a 400 degree oven. A 36-pkg. of corn tortillas in my area is .89, and when cut, makes 144 chips. Cut them into eighths and make 288 chips--all for the same .89! These keep for about 2 weeks in a zippie-type bag, and they're no-salt, no-fat, maximum crunch chips!

Submitted by: Heidi Mapp

Easy Southern Biscuits
4 cups Bisquick (or Aldi's store brand for $.99 a box) $.50
1 cup sour cream (about $.50)
6 oz. 7-up (about 15 cents, on sale)
3 Tbsp. melted butter (about 25 cents, on sale)

Place baking mix in a mixing bowl, and cut in sour cream to make a crumbly mixture. Add 7-up and blend by hand. Roll onto floured surface to about 1/2" thickness. Cut and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Brush with melted butter immediately. (I sometimes butter them twice.) Makes 15-20 biscuits.

Submitted by Becky Phillips

Pickled Eggs
These are great for snacks, salads, or whatever you need hardboiled eggs for and they keep for several days.

1 carton large eggs (try to buy about 7 days before and keep in
refrigerator until ready to cook)
white vinegar
fresh dill (if available)

Boil eggs in large pot. I pour a good amount of salt over eggs before
boiling, helps keep from cracking. Boil about 10 minutes, let sit for about 30 minutes. Drain, rinse eggs, peel and put in large jar or container. Pour white vinegar to top of eggs and add water to top of jar. If you have fresh dill, add this also. Let sit for a day or so and enjoy! The eggs get more pickled each day. We usually eat ours within 3 or 4 days. I wouldn't keep much longer than a week.

Hope this helps all the egglovers out there.

Submitted by: Nancy

Editor's Note: I LOVE pickled eggs. I use a similar recipe, but add 1/2-1 tsp. of sugar to the mix. It adds a smoother taste.

Another Reader's Comments: I read where someone is asking for a recipe for pickled eggs and I just learned of one that works extremely well. It is a far penny less than the store bought version and is not only safer without preservatives, healthier since it's natural ingredients, but is very easy to make and your family will love the snack value.

Pop-Pop's Purple Pickled Eggs

Boil 2 1/2 dozen small eggs until hard center (Small eggs are easier and much cheaper than med.)
Recycle that gallon pickle jar
Layer these ingredients with eggs in the jar stacking them tightly: Two cans of purple beets (doesn't matter if they're sliced, diced, or whole...get the cheapest)
One to two sliced onions (if you like pickled onions, use two!)
A teaspoon of salt
A teaspoon of pepper corns (Go to a discount store and buy these for next to nothing!)
Add 1-2 peppers
Pour in 1 cup of tap water. Then, pour in vinegar (doesn't matter if it's white or apple cider...get what's on sale)
Seal it really tight. Put in the refrigerator for at least three weeks.
Once or twice a week, flip the jar over (just to keep the ingredients from settling).
You'll know they're ready when they're dark purple (from the beet juice) and when the center is not yellow.
These are amazingly yummy and so easy! What I like is to do them around Easter when the children are finished with the colored eggs...what better
recycling is that than to pickle them? Try this and enjoy!
~Stephanie, Glencoe, AL

Another Reader's Recipe:
2 jars of Pickled Beets....less than $1.00 jar at grocery store.
Pour into a covered plastic container or larger jar with lid. Hard boil 6 or 8 eggs
and peel. Put these into the pickled beets. You may add about 1/4-1/2
cup more of your favorite vinegar (even balsamic) if you would like a more tart
taste...I always do this unless using home canned pickled beets. Let these sit for
about 3 days before ready to eat....Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.....if
they last that long.

My Mom's Pizza Sauce
1 large can tomato puree (29 oz.) .69
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz.) .25
1/2 cup salad oil .10
2 tablespoons grated parmesan .10
1 tablespoon sugar (cost negligible)
2 teaspoons salt (negligible)
1 teaspoon garlic salt .05
1/2 teaspoon pepper (negligible)
1 tablespoon oregano .05
1 tablespoon parsley flakes .05

Total Cost: Around $1.25; makes enough for about 4 pizzas! Tastes better than store-bought.

Mix all ingredients together. Do not cook. Stores well. Freezes well.

Submitted by: Melanie

Pinto Beans
These taste just like the ones at Chevy's -

1 lb. pinto beans
1 large can of tomato sauce
ham pieces (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
One clove garlic, chopped

Soak beans in water overnight. Drain and Rinse beans. Put all ingredients in crock pot, add black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder or whatever spices you like, and cook for 12 hours on low. Salt as needed after beans are cooked. Delicious.

Cost: beans $1.47, ham .25 (I buy on sale for .79 lb and freeze in small portions), tomato sauce .70, spices .35, garlic (free from garden).

Total Cost - under $3.00. Makes several meals, you can serve beans and cornbread for first meal, and use the left overs for burritos to freeze, or in other dishes.

Submitted by: Katherine

Taco/Burrito Filling
This is a great, cheap recipe that is a good taco/burrito filling.

2 cans black beans (dried is better) 1.98
1 can corn (.33)
1 TB taco seasoning (use homemade--many recipes)
1 sm. onion, diced (.20; and that is high)
1 TB diced green chiles (.59 for the whole can)
1 TB oil
a little bit of lemon juice

Sauté onion in oil until soft. Add chiles and corn. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add taco seasoning and black beans. Add lemon juice. Heat through. Serve with taco shells, taco chips; burrito wraps; over rice; etc.

Submitted by: Stephanie

Vegetable Barbecue Couscous
1 package frozen corn, black beans, broccoli, and red peppers
1/2 container Barbecue sauce

Make couscous according to package. Put frozen vegetables in saucepan, add water to cover. Cook until tender, probably 7 minutes. Drain vegetables. Put vegetables pack in pan, and cover with barbecue sauce. Heat sauce. Serve vegetable mixture on top of couscous. Serves 4-6. This was pretty good, even my non-veg husband liked it.

Submitted by: Stephanie

Cheesy Pull Apart Biscuits
2 cans of can biscuits (about 60 cents)
handful of shredded cheddar (about 50 cents)
half cup melted butter (75 cents)
desired amount of garlic powder or garlic salt

Cut each biscuit into four pieces, in half and half again. mix butter and garlic. put quartered biscuits into baggie. Pour in garlic butter mixture. shake well try to coat all. pour half into loaf pan cover with cheese. pour in other half and add more cheese. bake at 350 till done in the middle. slice like homemade bread really tasty with spaghetti

Garlic Bread
Slices of any kind of bread (loaf of bread, baguette, any)
1 Tbls. butter
garlic powder

I put 1 Tbls butter on a saucer and put in microwave for about 30 seconds to 45 seconds to soften it. I spread the butter on the slices of bread with a basting brush. (This prevents the big globs of pats of butter that you usually put on each slice, and thus cuts down on fat and high cholesterol, etc.) Then sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast in oven until brown (or broil).

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
1can cranberry sauce
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
1 lb. ground meat

Mix cranberry sauce and chili sauce in a pot and start to heat. Roll ground meat into balls and add to mixture. Cook until meat is done. People won't believe that you didn't buy this from a caterer. My gramom used to make it all the time

Scalloped Corn
1 small pkg frozen corn (.89)
1 pkg saltine crackers (.99) a box
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese (1.89) a block 1 cup of milk

Place crumbled crackers in bottom of small casserole dish, top with corn, then with sliced cheese, repeat layers until you get about an inch to top of bowl, then stop. Add milk @ half way up in dish. Bake at 350 for @25-30 minutes or until brown and bubbly. When my fiancé told me about this recipe I didn't like the sound of it, but it is really good, and cheap and easy to make.My whole family loves this recipe even my picky step-dad.

Submitted by: Shelly, Bennington,Vermont

Tomato Cakes
This recipe is of the type my mother used to call "Depression Cooking". They're yummy and great as a side dish to macaroni and cheese for supper, or as a light meal all by themselves.

1 large can peeled tomatoes (appx. $1.50)
About 2 sleeves saltine-type crackers (.50 for store brand)
1/2 medium onion, chopped (approx .25)
About 2 tablespoons shortening (Crisco or lard) for frying [ Do *not* use vegetable oil or cooking spray, as the cakes will fall apart while frying!]

Drain most, but not all, of the juice off the tomatoes, then dice them in a bowl. Add chopped onion. Crumble crackers in until you have a stiff texture. Set in refrigerator approximately 30 minutes for the crackers to soften and soak up the liquid. Form into hamburger-like patties and fry in hot lard. Makes about 6-8 cakes, serves 2 adults and 2 children, or 2-3 adults. Approximately .50-.60 per serving.

Submitted by: Molly

The Frugal Fathers Chili Muffins
1 can of chili (any brand on sale)
1 can of 8-10 biscuits (storebrand if you can)

Place biscuits into a muffin tin and pinch around until the dough is flat to the sides of the muffin tin. Place a tablespoon of chili into the pinched dough. Bake according to the directions on the biscuit can.

Serve with a salad or soup for a complete supper or lunch. Makes 8-10 muffins depending on the size of the biscuits purchased.

Submitted by: Stephen Chaleff, The Frugal Father (tm)

Tater Tot Vegetable Side Dish
4 generous servings (frugal yes)

1 can condensed mushroom soup 39 cents (celery soup works too)
1 can cut green beans 25 cents
3 Tbsp. milk 4 cents
1 tsp soy sauce approximately 2 cents
1/3 bag of frozen tater tots 33 cents

Oil a casserole dish to prevent sticking. In a mixing bowl empty the can of mushroom soup. Add 3 Tbsp. milk and 1 tsp of soy sauce and mix well. Drain the can of beans. Add the beans and mix into the mushroom soup. Put the green bean and mushroom soup mixture into your casserole dish. Top with the tater tots. Bake at 360 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. About 25 cents per serving. My husband likes this a lot. Its warm and hearty on a cold night.

Submitted by: Julie, Oregon City, OR

Cowboy Beans
We call this cowboy beans to get the kids to think it's more fun!

1 lb. hamburger (1.00)
2 cans of diced green chilies (1.00)
1 large can of Bush's Baked Beans or whatever is on sale (2.00)

Brown hamburger, drain. Add green chilies and beans all with their canned juices. Heat through. Serve with tortillas, or our favorite Jiffy's Cornbread Mix (0.33). If you like spice, throw on some Red Hot hot sauce or whatever you like. Lots of protein, and sweet enough for the kids to enjoy!

Pickled Eggs

2 cups cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Fill a jar with peeled hard-boiled eggs. Pour the mixture over the eggs. Seal and chill 2-3 days (longer for more flavor).

Homemade Rice-o-Roni
This is even tastier than the store bought stuff and very cheap to make a huge batch. With the leftover rice you can add leftover hamburger or chicken plus plenty of broth and you have a great soup for lunches or another supper.

3 cups water (free)
1 1/4 cups rice (about .20 if bought in bulk)
1/2 cup spaghetti broken in small pieces (pennies)
3 tbsp. powdered beef or chicken bouillon (about .20)
1/4 cup EACH chopped carrot, celery and onion (total cost about .25)
2 tbsp. margarine (about .10)

Melt margarine in skillet. Add rice and spaghetti and cook until lightly browned. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until water is liquid is absorbed and rice and spaghetti are tender.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish, or 4 with enough leftover for soup the next day for 4.

Submitted by: Audrey

Barbeque Beans
We usually have this very inexpensive dish as a main course with rolls, corn on the cobb and salad. However, it's perfect as a side dish, too (great with barbeque!). The amounts can easily be adjusted according to the number of people being served and their appetites.

1-2 cans Pork-n-Beans (3 for $1.00 on sale at Wal-Mart)
1 lb. Pork or Turkey Sausage crumbled (.88 per one lb. roll at Wal-Mart)
1-2 Tbs. Worchestershire Sauce (pennies)
1 med. Onion (pennies - I usually get a 5# bag on sale for $1.50.)
1 Clove Garlic (optional)
Barbeque Sauce (.75 on sale - We like the honey bbq flavor. I use anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottle and put the rest on the table for folks to add more if they want.)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown the sausage in a heavy skillet. Chop the onion and garlic into the skillet while the sausage is cooking. Drain off the fat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for ten minutes of so to let the flavors blend.

Add home baked bread, a green salad or some corn and you have a very satisfying meal for an extremely low price!

Submitted by: Cheryl Goodwin

5 lbs Tomatoes
2 lbs of onion
2 lbs of peppers- This can be a mixture of chili peppers, green, yellow, orange, red peppers, etc. depending on how hot or mild you want it or what's in your garden
1 T. salt
1 cup white vinegar 5%
1/2 tsp. pepper

Skin tomatoes. Coarsley chop tomatoes, onion and pepper. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Pack in hot jars and water bath for 10 minutes or put in containers and freeze. Makes 3 quarts.

Fried Pickles
Dill pickle slices
Salt and Pepper

Season flour with salt and pepper, coat pickles in flour mixture and add to hot oil. Cook until slightly brown. Dip in Ranch dressing.

This has got to be the simplest, most delicious snack food or appetizer. Kids love it!

California Salsa
We make this at home often. As we all know, California is one of THE most expensive states to live in, and if we bought ready made salsa in the jar, we would pay over $3.00 for half the amount this recipe makes! It's also great on leftover barbequed meats, burritos, and great with homemade tacos. We always bring this to backyard get togethers, and it's the first thing to go!

2 cans diced peeled tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid) (on sale at .49 cents each)
1/4 of 1 red onion, minced finely (.20 cents)
1 large clove garlic, minced finely (10 cents)
2 fresh yellow banana peppers, seeded and minced (.30cents)
6 green onions, chopped, green part included (.33 cents)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, washed and finely chopped (.33 cents)
1/8 tsp. ground coriander (.05 cents)
1/8 tsp. ground cumin (.05 cents)
1 tsp salt (.001.cents)
1/4 tsp. black pepper (.005 cents)
1 to 2 tbsp. white sugar, to taste (.05 to .10 cents)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (.25 cents)

Place all ingredients except for green onions and reserved liquid (I put the reserved liquid in a freezer bag and pop the liquid in my next pot of soup, so nothing is wasted.) in the bowl of a food processor or in a large bowl, if you have a hand blender, pulse till you have the desired chunkiness you want. Pulse only 2 to 3 times for food processor, and then stir in green onions. Refrigerate, and serve any way you want. Makes about 8 servings (party size) at a cost of about $2.54 total, depending on what's on sale.

Submitted by: Vicky

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