help need cheap dinner ideas!

Jennifer - posted on 10/04/2009 ( 258 moms have responded )

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I am not much of a cook and really need some help...my husband and i both lost our jobs so i would like cheap dinner ideas also..kid friendly too we have a 6 year old! thanks for your help!

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BethAnn - posted on 10/04/2009

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I just found a great website for all kinds of baking...casseroles included!

www.verybestbaking.com

i have already bookmarked about 13 recipes for me to try...a lot of them are 5ingrediants or less and they rate them by difficulty....in fact i am making a hashbrown casserole as i type this!

Bethany - posted on 10/04/2009

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Spaghetti, which can be as simple as sauce and noodles, or you can add frozen veggies or meat in there.



Stuffed bell peppers are great. All you need are about 4 peppers, 2-3 cups of cooked white rice, 1 lb cooked ground beef, and a can of tomato or roasted red pepper soup. Mix the rice, soup, and browned meat together. Cut the peppers in half and clean out all the seeds. Then boil the 8 halves for a few minutes. Put the peppers in a pan and fill them with the mixture. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for about 20 minutes. If you want you can add garlic, a chopped red pepper, and onion to the stuffing. Also, a little grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese on top tastes really good. You can eat any leftover stuffing mix with tortilla chips as nachos.

Cyndi - posted on 10/06/2009

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So sorry - I can relate!!! Let's see - easy fix meals on a serious budget.



Well one thing I do to make meat stretch is to use 1 lb of meat to two boxes of hamburger helper - great way to bulk up a meal.



Of course, Spaghetti is a quick fix and inexpensive meal also.



I am not sure where you are located, but we have in Sacramento, CA a Grocery Outlet and right now they have Cornish Game Hens (little chickens) on sale for 99 cents each. Usually they are 3.00 each. They are easy to fix, sprinkle with some seasoning put a little butter in the cavity and on top and bake them for 1.5 hrs on 350 degrees. I sometimes will add a little onion and herbs inside (if i have it).



Get the Swansons Pot Pies (buy at Walmart) - like 69 cents each - plan 2 per adult and one per child, get a bag (or two pending family size) of wide egg noodles -- bake the pot pies as directed and boil and drain the noodles as directed - dump the pot pies in with the noodles and mix add a can of Cream of Chicken (or mushroom) with a 1/2 can of milk to bulk up the gravey so the noodles are not dry. You can heat and serve as is OR turn it into a cassarole by putting the mixture into a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with non-stick and sprinkle with crushed crackers and shredded cheese to change it up.



Tater Tot cassarole -- 1 lb hamburger, 1 bag cheap tator tots, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, shredded cheese and favorite seasoning. Brown hamburger meat, season and drain off fat, spray a 9 x 13 pan with non stick and place FROZEN tater tots in bottom of pan and sprinkle with Salt & Pepper, top with cooked ground meat, mix one can cream of mushroom soup with of can of milk (or water) and pour over the top, next cover with shredded cheese (you decide how much) - Bake in oven at 350 for 30 - 35 mins. Easy and fun!!! If your family likes onions and garlic - i do dice onions and mince some garlic and add it to the meat mixture while cooking - but NOT necessary.



Canned Food Outlets are really a great way to go when on a very tight budget and sometimes they have incredible deals!!! I hope this helps in some small way! Buy canned soups now that we are getting into winter time when they are on sale - and just have soup nights with some soda crackers.



Good Luck to you and your family!!!

Wanita (Wendy) - posted on 10/05/2009

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Paula Deen show a recipe that I couldn't believe, but tried it, and even my adult children couldn't tell the difference, neither could my hubby.



Can tuna (water not oil) mixed with bar-b-cue sauce, over toast or toasted buns. Grill some onions, and it tastes just like pulled pork, but so much healthier.

Wanita (Wendy) - posted on 10/05/2009

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My husband like what we call PaTuna's. You bake off 4 potatoes, scoop out the meat. Save the skins (like twice bake potatoes) Mix the potato meat with one can of (water) tuna, parsley flakes, garlic and onion powder, parmasean cheese and 1/2 stick of butter. Mix it together and restuff the potatoes, sprinkle with a little more cheese, put back into over (350*) for about 15 min. long enough to heat through and serve with a green salad. Easy meal. Left overs can be wrapped in foil and frozen to warm another day.

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Nancy - posted on 03/17/2013

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Skinny Chicken Chow Mein. I'm so excited to share this new recipe! It might even taste better than the yummy chow mein at Panda Express. It has healthier ingredients so enjoy every bite guilt-free! Make it vegetarian by leaving out the chicken. Each serving, 327 calories, 5g fat and 8 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/ski...

Nancy - posted on 03/11/2013

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Decadently Delicious and Low Calorie, Beefy Mac and Cheese Casserole. My husband said it’s his very favorite recipe right now and he loves decadent tasting meals. Each serving has 277 calories, 8.7 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. Simply fabulous!
http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/dec...

Nancy - posted on 03/07/2013

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Dinner this week-Yummy, Skinny Fried Chicken! It’s juicy, tender, crunchy and fantastic. Each serving, 304 calories, 6 grams fat and 8 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. No need to pick up a fattening bucket of chicken...Make this simple recipe instead! http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/ski...

Diane - posted on 03/04/2013

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Baked Potatoes!!!

I do a batch of 8 (about $2.30), then save the extras for easy heat & eat leftovers. Sometimes I pop the extas into a big pot and make baked potato soup.

Scrub & wash, rub with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, then wrap them individually in foil. Pop them in the oven on 400 for about an hour. They get crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside.

We each top them with different things that suit our mood.

Pinterest is also loaded with great frugal recipe ideas.

Nancy - posted on 02/27/2013

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Sharing, Super Skinny Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup. This deli-style, main course soup is so low in calories, easy to make and really delicious!! If you’ve never tried this type of soup you’re in for a treat. A generous 2 cups serving, has only 157 calories, 2 grams of fat and 4 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/sup...

Nancy - posted on 01/23/2013

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Dinner tonight, Skinny Meatloaf! Simple to make and oh so good. If you haven't tried it yet, It’s low in calories, super moist and has a divinely rich sweet ketchup glaze. The skinny for 1 serving, 214 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/ski...

Nancy - posted on 01/20/2013

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Skinny Mexican Style Chicken and Cornbread Casserole...This recipe is a real keeper! It’s a cinch to make, freezes great and only needs a side salad to serve with it. The skinny for 1 serving, 323 calories, 8 grams of fat and 8 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. For the kids, you could not add the salsa on the casserole and serve it on the side for the grown-up, if you want. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/ski...

Liz - posted on 01/20/2013

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You can try looking on www.food.com, they are home cooks so most stuff you may have on hand anyway. I have found a lot of recipes on there that all 6 of our kids will eat which is a huge plus.

Julia - posted on 01/13/2013

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I usually buy our meat when it gets the "30% OFF" sticker attached to it. I got a bunch of ham right after Christmas for $1 per LB. I freeze it, so the BB date doesn't matter. I usually have a bag of frozen peas or Edamame (when it goes on sale) for back up. Frozen is better than canned because there are less preservatives and the food is fresher once its cooked (as opposed to soggy and soaked with salt). When fresh fruit and Veg go on sale, I buy them. The veggies often get cut up and frozen, with some staying out for the next few days. I avoid prepared salads, or salad in a bag or pre-cut anything (unless mushrooms go on sale). I get bread when it goes on sale and then freeze it. Bread out ofthe freezer thawed at room temperature tastes just like it never went in!

Buy the club packs of meat and separate. Any left overs, freeze if you aren't going to eat them another day (or if there is just a tiny portion). After a month or so, go through your freezer and make "Throw it in the pot". We do this meal a lot. We just add all the left overs and it ends up being a hodge podge of meat and veggies. Often we add some bean sprouts or cooks some noodles to serve it on. We haven't been dissappointed or disgusted yet!

If you shop smart (avoid those "convenience foods" that are not healty and end up costing more - (ie. granola bars, snack cakes, cookies, prepared dinners from the frozen food section, frozen pizza) when things go on sale, you can cook really nutritious and easy meals that are completely inexpensive. For supper one day, I made pork chops, rice and broccoli for $7.00 - for our family of 4!

Good luck. :)

Nancy - posted on 01/10/2013

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Skinny Meatloaf Muffins with Barbecue Sauce...These meatloaf muffins are yummy, yummy, yummy! The whole family will love them and so will you because they are super easy to make. The skinny for each muffin, 115 calories, 2 grams of fat and 4 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. So low in calories and fat you can easily enjoy 2 of them! http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/ski...

Nancy - posted on 01/09/2013

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Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza Melt, Low in Calories, Big on Taste! This super delicious melt uses low fat turkey pepperoni, reduced-fat cheese and a high fiber sandwich thin. The skinny for 1 melt, 215 calories, 8 grams of fat and 6 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. Here's to a recipe the whole family will enjoy! http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/stu...

Sawsan - posted on 01/01/2013

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Ingredients

1. Pasta
2. Fresh cream
3. Pesto sauce ready or homemade
4. mushrooms (optional)
5.salt
6. parmesan cheese or any other cheese you and your kids like

after cooking the pasta , and lightly cook the mushrooms in some olive oil in separated pan , add the cream fresh and the half of pesto sauce jar n or the amount that you like and some parmesan cheese (can be replaced in any cheese you like ) , that's it , you have a healthy meal in 15-30 min

you can serve with green salad and tomatoes with balsamic salad dressing

bon appetit ;)

Nancy - posted on 12/26/2012

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Absolutely Delicious, Skinny Beef and Bean Enchilada Casserole...Forget all the tortilla rolling, I’ve got a skinny twist that’s easy to assemble and really, really good. The skinny for 1 serving, 285 calories, 4 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/abs...

Jill - posted on 12/23/2012

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Use lots of beans. This recipe uses both meat and beans. If this makes too much for the two of you, freeze the meat. I would also highly recommend you check out a free newsletter called Shrinking On A Budget. And there is also a blog called Money Saving Mom that might be of help. Both will give you some great tips on slashing your food budget.

I'm sorry to hear about the job losses. I've been there and it stinks. No two ways about it.

Beef and Bean Burritos
From: Shrinking On A Budget

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded lettuce
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
10 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas

Directions:
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, cayenne and beef; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble beef. Stir in tomato sauce, cumin, onion powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.While meat is simmering, put drained beans and corn in a small microwave safe bowl; cover and heat on high 3-4 minutes or until warm. Serve alongside beef to build tacos.Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/4 cup beef and 1/4 cup corn/bean mixture into each tortilla. Top with shredded lettuce.

Barbara - posted on 12/20/2012

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Instead of buying pieces of chicken buy the whole chicken you can make leftovers later. Ground turkey is better than beef and you can make turkey hamburgers with it and another night make taco night. Rice and chicken noodle soup combined is good also any beef noodle soup with rice is good. Stick with noodles and frozen veggies. Pasta of any kind a lot of the supermarkets are giving you 10 boxes mix and match for $10.00 that could be up to 20 meals and just add frozen veggies to them. Stay away from lunch meats too expensive but buy tuna and you can make it with other things like a salad (tomato and lettuce or a casa role. Baked potatoes with frozen veggies are good also and sometimes the supermarket will have shrimp on sale for around 6.00 a pound and you can get quite a lot for a pound. Stay away from fast foods you can buy those things at the market for much cheaper and have left overs. Buy large amounts of meat cos you can make left overs. Left overs go a long way. Meat loaf is always good too.

Christine - posted on 12/19/2012

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do you have a trader joes around you? They have really inexpensive prepared frozen foods, also try making one pot meals, I like making my own Chinese rice, I'm Spanish so I make a big pot of white rice one day with chick or fish and then the next day get the wok out and fry an egg add rice and a mix bag of vegatables and soy sauce with some chicken done! I have tons if ideas I love to cook!

Nancy - posted on 12/19/2012

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Chicken Pot Pie, Skinny-fied! This time of year is all about comfort foods and this recipe is fantastic. It has only 266 calories, 6 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS per serving! It doesn’t need the top and bottom crust either. It’s served spooned onto a plate or bowl and garnished with a flaky biscuit. Enjoy completely guilt-free!
http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/chi...

Crystal - posted on 12/12/2012

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Ground beef Vegetable Soup.



2 lbs of ground beef

(1) small onion (cut up)

(2) 14 ounce cans of sliced or cubed new potatoes

(1) 14 ounce can of green beans

(1) 14 ounce can beef broth

(1) 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes

(1) 14 ounce can of tomatoe sauce

(1) 14 ounce can of carrots

(1) small 7 ounce can of peas

(1) small 7 ounce can of corn

(or any combination of canned vegies your family likes, its a versitile recipe)

(3) beef boulion cubes.

Salt and Pepper to Taste



In large pot, cook ground beef and onion, till cooked through, add all the canned goods and the (3) beef bouillion cubes, bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes, and serve.



Super Easy and cheap meal and makes a big pot of ground beef vegie soup for the whole family. We have 4 kids, two of whom are not vegetable eaters and they love this soup, and this feeds all 6 of us with leftovers for hubby to take to work the next day, so this will more than likely make for two meals for your family.

Kris - posted on 12/08/2012

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One of the cheapest meals you can make.....I call it "easy bake pasta". Boil a box of noodles like shells or elbow. Drain and rinse, then add the sketti(sorry, idk how to spell the actual word lol) sauce into the pan and mix it. You shouldn't have to save any sauce to pour into the pan, there should be enough sauce with the noodles. You can use a little cooking spray if food gets stuck to your pan, but you don't have to. Then top it with shredded cheese. I use mozzerella, cause it's my favorite, but you can experiment and see which you like best. Then add a little parmesean, and pop it in the oven at 425, for about 15 minutes. Just long enough to melt the cheese and tan some of it. You can brown it if you like, but I wouldn't go very brown. Over cooked cheese can taste icky.



Pull it out of the oven and slap some into a bowl. It's easier to use a fork then a spoon, cause the cheese is melted and you'll end up pulling out that strand of cheese that seems to never end, and I find it easier to twist it up with a fork then a spoon lol. My kids love it, and they get excited when I tell them I'm making it.



Potato soup-I can't really make this, cause I normally end up with mashed potatoes, not boiled, but my mom made it and it was soooo good!

Boil potatoes, then peel. cut into whatever size you want. Add some chicken broth, milk and butter, and whatever veggies you want; corn green beans, celery, you can even add beans if you want, but IMO beans don't go well with it :p.



This meal isn't CHEAP cheap, but it can last you for about 3 meals. Well, for you maybe 5. I have 4 people to feed, 1 uses a large bowl, and the other goes back for 3rds lol. Goulash-cook then drain hamburger. I usually use 1 1/2-2 lbs. You can either use potatoes, or a box of noodles, shells, elbows; etc. My mom made it with potatoes, and I tried to once, but we didn't have any, so I used noodles instead, and have been making it that way ever since. 2 regular sized cans of tomato sauce, or how many you like, depending on how saucey you like your food. Corn, canned or frozen, either is fine, it tastes the same anyway lol. This is the tricky part.....you need to find some canned beans called "Ranch Style Beans". They can be very hard to find, or you can find them in every store, depends on where you live. They are fantastic tasting by themselves, and adding them to the goulash makes it that much better. Then you mix it all together in a large bowl, or 2 large bowls lol, depends on how much you make, and you're done. I put a little salt on mine, to give it a little something extra.



Tuna casserole-very simple, very quick, and fairly cheap. (BTW- about half of my dishes are made with pasta's. I married into an italian family lol. What'r ya gonna do, right? :p)Box of noodles, 1-2 large cans of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, corn, and 2 regular size cans of tuna. All together, takes about 15 minutes or less to make.



The cheapest and unhealthiest meal I've ever heard of - Ramen noodles and more-this is more of an individually made meal, cause not everyone would want the same thing. Make a pack of noodles, some veggies, and whatever meat you want, mix it together and add the seasoning. The meat and veggies make it a little more nutritious, but ramen noodles, or something in the ramen can sit in your stomach for up to 3 weeks, that's how long it takes for your stomach to digest whatever it is. So I would only make this for lunch, or if you're desperately pressed for time.



Now this might make me sound a little out there, and you might think it would be nasty, but I promise, it's REALLY GOOD! Tortilla pizza(don't laugh lol)-put a tortilla on a plate, tomato sauce, cheese, and your pizza toppings. Pop in the mic for about a minute, or til the cheese is melted. and voila - a cheap pizza that can be catered for each person, and doesn't take but just a few minutes per pizza. *DISCLAIMER* It's not exactly going to get an award for healthiest food of te year, but it fills you up, quick to make, and it tastes great!

Liz - posted on 12/08/2012

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We make what we call stuffed hot dogs.



Hot dogs, instant mashed potatoes, cheese.



Just cut the hot dogs in half, length wise. Lay them on a cookie sheet. Top with mashed potatoes. Put them in the oven, 325 for only a little bit, to warm them up, maybe 15 min, and top with shredded cheese. Good luck!

Nancy - posted on 11/26/2012

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How about, Low Fat, Three Cheese Mac and Cheese, Made From a Box But Healthier...I'm using one of the newer whole grain boxes but adding all healthy ingredients. The results are a dreamy, cheesy, rich tasting mac and cheese. The skinny for 1 serving, 283 calories, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. My entire family loves this recipe and I hope yours does too! http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/low...

Donna - posted on 11/20/2012

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I can’t believe how many people have posted recipes that involve canned foods... This is nonsense, rubbish and just a sad/bad way to cook especially for your child. Cans are full of preservatives and additives usually made from the leftover ingredients that the manufactures can’t sell. Look there is always something on sale like mince.. Why not make a shepherd’s pie or spaghetti bolognaise - leftovers can go in some pastry to make pasties/pies/ sausage rolls.. Freeze leftovers. Buy things on sale like the bananas that are going black.. Unzip them chop them up and put in freezer bags in the freezer till you fancy ice-cream.. Then pop a few in the blender and wiz them up hey presto banana ice cream (naturally). Buy whatever’s on special and Google a recipe for it.. But learn some basics like how to make pancakes etc. (pancakes is 1 cup self raising flour 1 cup milk 1 egg mix up and fry in melted butter). It’s real easy and you'll get better with practice. Soup is simple.. Boil some Broccoli in a pan use stock instead of water.. pop in some onion & garlic that have been slightly fried in butter till soft and wiz it all up with a stick blender (or normal blender if cooled down) wiz in just a splash of milk easy and sooo tasty especially for the people who hate broccoli serve with crusty bread yummy promise can be frozen before the milk is added. Same process with pumpkin & carrots, onion & garlic roast the lot and wiz with veg stock splash of milk. Leftover veg makes great soup.. Not from a can..Ugh please. If you plan your meals you can make simple dishes cheaply and without cans (except canned tuna I do use that in a veg pasta bake with cheese hey no-one's perfect). Happy cooking darling.. Enjoy what you create.

Kerry - posted on 11/12/2012

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We all cook and we all enjoy making amazing meals. This new group allows you to share pictures and recipes with fellow members. It's free and I hope you help me grow our ever expanding community. We have a few contestants from both the US Masterchef (I won't name drop) as well as the 2012 Winner of the UK Masterchef onboard giving tips to people. We have recently aided a MS sufferer who needed tips on easy meals to cook due to her illness. :) We would also be honoured to have you onboard this exciting new project. The world divide's us but food unites us.



https://www.facebook.com/groups/icookedthis/



There is a great recipe for pasta and hotdogs :)

Amanda - posted on 10/17/2012

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buy in bulk. like family packs of 8 pork chops .. separate them at home put in freezer. you save money in the long run. 6 year old will only eat half of one so it will be two meals for him (unless he has a fast metabolism in which case he will probably eat the whole thing. .. cook up some veggies (just boil) add some butter on them and just remember 2 veggies one meat. and if you are usually hungry after make a salad with it. get your veggies on sale. or grow your own.. can food is cheap but not good for you.but if your not really worried about what good for you .. mr noodles are usually 25 or 35 cents each (canada.)

Nancy - posted on 10/16/2012

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Skinny Margherita Stuffed Pizza Melt...This vegetarian delight is ridiculously easy to make and equally delicious! The skinny for 1 pizza melt, 186 calories, 6 grams of fat and 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus. This makes a yummy, quick lunch or dinner the whole family will enjoy!

http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/ski...

Nancy - posted on 10/13/2012

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Yummy Turkey or Chicken Barley Soup...This is one of my family’s favorite soups!!! The barley adds an amazing amount of fiber and the squash, carrots, celery and onions are loaded with vitamins. The skinny for 1 cup, 142 calories, 1 gram of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 3 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.

http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/tyu...

Nancy - posted on 09/24/2012

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Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza Melt, Low in Calories, Big on Taste! Here's an easy melt the whole family will enjoy! So satisfying and not fattening like regular pepperoni pizza...The skinny for this melt, 215 calories, 8 grams of fat and 6 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.

http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/stu...

Nancy - posted on 09/22/2012

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Chicken Pot Pie, Skinny-fied! It’s officially fall and it’s all about comfort foods. Chicken pot pie is considered the ultimate comfort food! Normally soooo fattening, my skinny recipe has only 266 calories, 6 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS per serving! You can enjoy every bite, guilt-free! Your whole family will love, love this recipe!!!

http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/chi...

Nancy - posted on 09/17/2012

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Chicken Cacciatore Made Light...Here’s a wonderful recipe you can enjoy guilt-free! I’m simmering chicken thighs in a rich tomatoey sauce loaded with mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers. This delish dish now has 270 calories, 10 grams of fat and 6 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/chi...

Veronica - posted on 09/14/2012

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Chicken pot pie cupcakes!

My husband and kids love these. They're cheap and quick to make.



Gather your goods. Two cans of Pillsbury biscuits, a cup of cooked and diced chicken breast, one can of cream of chicken soup, some shredded cheddar, frozen mixed veggies (your choice!), some Herbs De Provence, onion powder and garlic salt.



Dump everything in the bowl minus the biscuits. Don't worry if your veggies aren't thawed out theyll cook in the oven. Then mix it all up. Press your biscuits into a muffin tin, like so. I had 10 biscuits total, and a little filling left over, so if you have 12 biscuits, even better!



Spoon the filling in and pack it in. Set the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 mins.

Enjoy!

Ail - posted on 09/10/2012

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quiche! cheap, 45 minutes to bake, great re-heated 1 pie crust (i use the rolled up ones in the cold section), 5 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1-2 c shredded cheese and whatever else you want:

any kind of chopped fresh or frozen veggies, chopped lunch meats, leftover veggies or meats from last night... season with salt and pepper, to taste.



I pile the veggies into the crust, top with cheese, scrambled egg/milk mixture and put in preheated oven at 400 for 35 minutes. Done.

Sarah - posted on 09/05/2012

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Autumn Pierogies and Apples

1 package (16-ounces) frozen MRS. T'S Potato & Cheddar Pierogies

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced

1 tablespoon butter

2 red apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 cup sour cream

Sauté pierogies as package directs.

Cook onion slices in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, in hot oil, until lightly browned and just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove to bowl.

Melt butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and teaspoon cinnamon; cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Combine sour cream with remaining teaspoon ground cinnamon in small bowl.

Combine pierogies with onions and apple mixture; toss to mix well. Serve with sour cream.

Madeline - posted on 09/05/2012

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Hey this site really came in handy for me especially the fact that, you think you have nothing in you cupboards and it comes up with a bunch of recipes... http://www.myfridgefood.com/index.php

It comes in handy in days like these.

I guess you only have to try it out and figure out for yourself...



In being a single mother, on a wage that seems to be only paying the bills, I understand what it's like stressing over what we are all going to eat tonight.

I would suggest to invest in a slow cooker if you haven't already got one. I must say thank god they have invented these things as they are super amazing cookers, and awesome as they basically do all the boring work for you.



Might I add also, when buying Poultry, mince, fish, steak and so on - make your meat stretch. Don't be scungy, but be fair on all of use. Say for instance you have 2kg of bulk mince, instead of only dividing it so it only gives you four meals, why not divide it into 400g each x 5 = 2kg and put it in little baggies and place in the freezer.



But here are what I call cheap meals, that do tend to stretch to the next night, or your able to put in the freezer for another night.



1. Home made soups (with or without meat) - You can easily cook in the slow cooker

2. Curries - with or without mean, or with tofu (tofu which u can make yourself) - Serve with rice if you need to stretch it further, add veggies if desired to stretch it out or add in veggies instead of meat.

- Chilli Con Carne, chicken curry, red curry, green curry, curry sausages,



Cheap Beef dinners:

1. Spaghetti Bolognese

2. Tasty beef stew - another beef stew

3. slow cooker beef and potatoes

4. hearty beef noodle casserole

5. beef risotto

6. Crock Pot meatloaf

7. Beef Stew - would be nice with mashed potato

8. meat balls - great with mashed potato and veggies

9. Rissoles - eat in buns with salad or with mashed potato and veggies.

10. Shepherds pie - great served with some veggies like peas and maybe broccoli or what-have-you-got.



Cheap chicken recipes:

1. Apricot chicken - sweet potato, can of apricot halves. But packet recipe can work out cheaper.

2. oven fried crispy chicken

3. chicken casserole - i used a whole chicken boiled which can be cheaper depending on where you get it . older chickens are good for boiling.

3. chicken risotto

4. Chicken pot roast - again a whole chicken is cheaper than breast.



budget lamp recipes:

Unfortunately with my budgeting I cant afford to eat lamb atm, but if use are here are some delicious and budget lamb recipes.



Budget lamb recipes

1. Lamb and bacon casserole - bacon pieces are usual cheap but fatty. You could also buy a small amount of better bacon and chop it up.

2. Lamb shanks - Lamb shanks are one of my favourite meats to cook. I usually do them in the slow cooker with red wine.



Low cost tuna recipes:

1. Lunchtime Kedgeree - a quick and tasty fish dish from india

2. tuna and rice slice - this is nice hot as a dinner

3. tuna mornay - one of my favourite cheap and easy meals

tunia noodle casserole - great hot or cold as leftovers.



Cheap Dessert Recipes:

1. Apple crumble - Yummy! Sometimes tinned apples will be cheaper and of course easier

2. Bread and Butter custard

3. Coconut rice

4. Golden syrup dumplings - cheap easy, filling and naughty (just as deserts should be!)

4. Self saucing chocolate puddings - this is quite easy and yummier than the packet ones.



Cheap convenience food substitutes:

Some convenience foods people buy that are easy and cheap to make yourself:

- Pancakes mixture - make it yourself: 1 cup SR flour, 1 cup milk, 1 egg and a drop of vanilla essence serves 2 people double the recipe for more.

- Pikelets - which is the above ingredients but make smaller ones, taste excellent with butter, jam, ice cream or anything you desire.

- Pizza Bases: Yes it does tend to take a bit of time, but its super easy

- Soups - many soups are easy to make and take little time. they can usually be frozen too.



Good luck x



BTW I'm no fan of cooking either, but most of these recipes are easy to make, take little ingredients and most of the ingredients are what you already have at home.

Sally - posted on 09/04/2012

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The cheapest way to make all meals (especially if you want to eat healthy) is to plan. Ramen noodles and generic mac n cheese are cheap, but they also have little to no nutritional value.

Get the sale flyer from your local grocery store every week. Plan your meals around what is on sale. If possible stock up things you use often when they are on sale. Get a good cookbook (or 2 or 3) from your local library. Make a menu every week and stick to it.

For example, if hamburger is on sale you can eat beef stew, tacos, put meatballs in your spaghetti, etc. Make extra and save or use your leftovers. When I worked in the kitchen at college they were masters at that. Monday's hamburgers became Tuesday's taco meat which became Wednesday's enchiladas then Thursday's enchilada casserole and finally Friday's leftover enchilada casserole.

Also, meats (often the most expensive part of the meal) will go a lot farther if you mix them into other things. A cottage pie takes a lot less beef than eating it as steak, browned hamburger in your spaghetti sauce goes a lot farther than meatballs, pulled pork sandwiches is a lot more bang for your buck than roast or chops, etc.

Good luck

Anita - posted on 09/03/2012

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Fried macaroni with eggs...Cheap, not too hard to make, but probably not too healthy for you. But, You boil a package of elbow noodles, drain them when they are done cooking, add them to a large frying pan with some butter and/or buttered flavored Crisco (vegetable shortening,not oil)...Be careful not to use too much or the mixture will be too greasy. About a large mixing spoon full , give or take...start out with less, then you can add to it a little at a time if need be...Fry for a few minutes, stirring infrequently. Then, add about 3 - 4 eggs and mix them so they are scrambled about the noodles. Continue frying for several more minutes until the mixture is hot. Add lots of salt and pepper to taste. This is the kind of meal that must be served while hot or it will not taste good as the grease cools. It should not have runny grease when done. If you think you have added too much while frying, drain off some. You sort of have to play around experimenting with this meal. I have a big family so sometimes I even use two separate pans to make it. Oh and one more thing, you can even cut up SPAM and add it if you want to.

*Stir infrequently, just enough to keep from burning and sticking but, too much stirring may make the noodles mushy.

Nikki - posted on 03/02/2012

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Scottish Stovies - Fry one lb of potatoes and one onion in oil. Add water to cover and boil unitl soft. Mash with one tin of corned beef (not sure what you call it over there). Add salt and pepper. Serve with bannocks (oatcakes). Really cheap to make.

Jenny_D - posted on 02/29/2012

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Tator-tot Casserole! Brown a pound of ground beef/turkey. Mix it in a casserole dish with a can of crm. of mushroom soup and a can of drained green beans. Mix and then top with an even layer of frozen tator tots and bake @ 325 for 40-45 minutes. If you want, put shredded cheese on top and then back in the oven for an additional 4 or 5 min :o)

Cassey - posted on 02/29/2012

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Replace regular pasta with veggie pasta. They are usually multi colored! I use that a lot with my toddler (he loves pasta)! I don't believe it costs much more than regular! And Kraft now sells veggie pasta mac and cheese which tastes really great!

SHARON - posted on 02/25/2012

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I have a few that I've used in the past. They are not fancy recipes by any means, but cheap & tasty. Baked beans on toast with eggs on the side. Nachos with tortilla chips, can of chili beans, can of cheddar cheese soup, 1 chopped tomato, and 1 small container of sour cream. Chicken Enchilada Casserole with 2 large can's chunk chicken, 1 can mild green chilis, 1 package corn tortillas, 2 cups shredded colby/cheddar, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can enchilada sauce. Preheat oven at 350. Mix the chicken and green chilis in a bowl. Mix the sauce & soup in another bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Spray or grease a 9x13 baking dish. Layer in this order...using sparingly...Sauce, tortillas, chicken, cheese x 2, then end with tortillas, then sauce, then cheese. Bake covered for 35 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve. Pork Chops & Apples...6 boneless pork chops, family pack

2 granny apples, butter, nutmeg, brown sugar. Crockpot. Peel, core and slice apples and toss with brown sugar. Quickly sear the chops on both sides. Add a small amount of water to the bottom. Layer chops, butter, nutmeg, then apple slices. Repeat until you use all chops and apple. Put on high. Cook for 6 hours. Serve with instant mashed potatoes or rice.

Sanelle - posted on 02/22/2012

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Both my kids LOVE spag-bol. It's easy, cheap and healthy - specially if you mix some veggies in it. They will both have 2nd and 3rd helpings! And do not mind having the left overs - if there are any - the following night!

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