Cheap Dinner Ideas???

Susan - posted on 09/30/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Looking for cheap dinner ideas that children will like..

Thank you

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Theresa - posted on 10/02/2009

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little ceasars! kids love pizza.. and at $5 for a large pepperoni.. i'm all for it..

Sara - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Tricia:

My mom gave me a subscription to Rachael Ray magazine last year for my birthday and there are tons of cheap meals in each issue. There's meals that take 30mins or less and also meals for $10 or less.

What we do in our house is we coordinate all our meals so if we have spaghetti one night, the next night we use the left over cooked pasta for a casserole. Breakfast for dinner is always a fast and cheap meal that kids love...scrambled eggs, pancakes and homemade apple sauce never fails. We also recently got a slowcooker and we have been making all kinds of soups now that fall is here and we've also made a few roasts (a 2-3lbs piece of chuck roast feeds our family of 3 for 2 days with veggies for about $5)...we just put the meat in the slow cooker with some chopped potatoes, carrots, celery and onion with some water and a packet of roast seasoning and cook it on low for 7-8hrs. We've also started freezing leftovers to pull out on a crazy night and just reheat, and have also switched to buying bone-in chicken, looking at what's on sale and planning our meals on that. We've also learned how to stretch out meals, like adding pasta to chili to make it more filling. I also make homemade bread which can be time consuming but it tastes a hundred times better and it is cheaper, a lot of recipes make 2 loaves and I freeze the extra one until we're ready for it.
This is our favorite cheap meal
Scalloped Potatoes w/ smoked sausage:
-thin sliced potatos, amount depends on size and how much you want to make (you can partially cook the potatoes to cut down on baking time, can microwave or boil them)
-1 thin sliced onion (can use less if not big onion fans)
-1 smoked sausage cut into small chunks
-grated cheese, we use cheddar, use what you like-about 1 cup, or more if you like
salt
pepper
2Tbs. flour
1 can evaporated milk (can use lowfat)
In a 9x13 baking dish put down a layer of the siced potatoes, sprinkle with a little flour, salf and pepper, next do a layer of onion, then smoked sausage, and cheese...repeat these layers until the pan if filled almost to the top. Top with left over cheese and pour the milk over the top. Cover with foil and bake 375 for about 45mins (give or take depending on the thickness of the potatoes) In the last 15 mins you can take off foil and let the cheese get a little crusty if you like. Serve with salad and rolls. Serves about 6-leftovers are delicious next day!



Tricia, have you ever put this all together a day or two before and baked it for dinner?  I was wondering if it gets weird if it sits for a day or two before it is baked.  Also, if you have prepared it before, how much longer does it need to be in the oven since it started out cold?



 



That recipie sounds yummy!

Sara - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Katerina:

Hi Susan,
I am of Greek heritage & my family lived in a small island village so I grew up on pretty cheap, good food & I find that my kids love eating the same way my family ate 3 generations ago. The main dish we have is stew, which is yum, cheap & easy- saute some onion in a pot, add meat (anything works, & even better are cuts with bones in them which are cheaper too), when meat is browned add salt. pepper, tomato paste, bay leaf, veges (potato, beans & carrot are fav's here) & cover with water, reduce heat to low & simmer for 30 mins. This freezes really well and is nice with rice or just some toasted or crusty bread to dip in the stew (which the kids think is SO much fun).
Another fav. which is really cheap is an old soup recipe from my granny's village days- boil meat in salted water until very tender (again, cuts with bones in it- eg neck chops are cheap & perfect) remove the meat from the stock, remove bones & cut into pieces, add some chopped carrot & peas & a whole tomato for subtle flavor, when they are cooked add pasta (I use ones that appeal to the kids like ABC's), when pasta is cooked add juice of half a lemon & serve. Sounds plain but they always have seconds with this one?!
Lastly our fav, cheap breakfast is zucchini omelette- for 4- whisk 4 eggs, add one large grated zucchini, 2tbsp cornflour or rice flour, dash of milk or soft white cheese, salt, pepper, parmesan & fresh herbs (I prefer chives), cook & serve with toast :)
Hope these help...



Wow!!!  All of these sound so great and easy!  I have some pork stew meat in my freezer and what a great way to mix veggies into a meal with the zucchini omlette!

Jessica - posted on 10/01/2009

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Spaghetti, quick and easy. Even with meat in the sauce it takes about 30 minutes max to make. My kid (2 yrs.) loves tacos, burritos, anything like that. Open a can of refried beans, slap some on a tortilla, add a little shredded cheese and maybe some lettuce, boom! There's dinner. For that matter, just about anything can be rolled into a tortilla. Try ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly (sounds weird but I promise it's good) or anything you'd make a sandwich out of. It's "different' than a sandwich but just as simple and fast. Baked potatoes are quick (about 6 or 7 minutes in the microwave) and can be topped with tons of stuff to make a pretty complete meal.

Nicole - posted on 10/01/2009

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Anything you can cook in the crockpot! It will transform cheap/tough cuts of meat in something more tender than filet mignon PLUS it's easy prep and cleanup - my kinda meal!

Brittany - posted on 10/01/2009

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My kids love mac and chees with tuna and peas, I usually melt some chedder on top also. Another that they like are those super easy banquet meal in a box things....the creamy chicken and biscuts is a pretty well rounded meal. Not extreemly cheep, but to get my son to eat salad we have taco salad or BLTs either are quick and easy, and encourage veggies...Good luck!

Erica - posted on 10/01/2009

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Hot dogs and mac and cheese tend to be our saturday afternoon favorite! Easy to make and you can hide veggies in the mac and cheese for added nutrition!

Tricia - posted on 10/01/2009

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My mom gave me a subscription to Rachael Ray magazine last year for my birthday and there are tons of cheap meals in each issue. There's meals that take 30mins or less and also meals for $10 or less.

What we do in our house is we coordinate all our meals so if we have spaghetti one night, the next night we use the left over cooked pasta for a casserole. Breakfast for dinner is always a fast and cheap meal that kids love...scrambled eggs, pancakes and homemade apple sauce never fails. We also recently got a slowcooker and we have been making all kinds of soups now that fall is here and we've also made a few roasts (a 2-3lbs piece of chuck roast feeds our family of 3 for 2 days with veggies for about $5)...we just put the meat in the slow cooker with some chopped potatoes, carrots, celery and onion with some water and a packet of roast seasoning and cook it on low for 7-8hrs. We've also started freezing leftovers to pull out on a crazy night and just reheat, and have also switched to buying bone-in chicken, looking at what's on sale and planning our meals on that. We've also learned how to stretch out meals, like adding pasta to chili to make it more filling. I also make homemade bread which can be time consuming but it tastes a hundred times better and it is cheaper, a lot of recipes make 2 loaves and I freeze the extra one until we're ready for it.
This is our favorite cheap meal
Scalloped Potatoes w/ smoked sausage:
-thin sliced potatos, amount depends on size and how much you want to make (you can partially cook the potatoes to cut down on baking time, can microwave or boil them)
-1 thin sliced onion (can use less if not big onion fans)
-1 smoked sausage cut into small chunks
-grated cheese, we use cheddar, use what you like-about 1 cup, or more if you like
salt
pepper
2Tbs. flour
1 can evaporated milk (can use lowfat)
In a 9x13 baking dish put down a layer of the siced potatoes, sprinkle with a little flour, salf and pepper, next do a layer of onion, then smoked sausage, and cheese...repeat these layers until the pan if filled almost to the top. Top with left over cheese and pour the milk over the top. Cover with foil and bake 375 for about 45mins (give or take depending on the thickness of the potatoes) In the last 15 mins you can take off foil and let the cheese get a little crusty if you like. Serve with salad and rolls. Serves about 6-leftovers are delicious next day!

Katerina - posted on 10/01/2009

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Hi Susan,
I am of Greek heritage & my family lived in a small island village so I grew up on pretty cheap, good food & I find that my kids love eating the same way my family ate 3 generations ago. The main dish we have is stew, which is yum, cheap & easy- saute some onion in a pot, add meat (anything works, & even better are cuts with bones in them which are cheaper too), when meat is browned add salt. pepper, tomato paste, bay leaf, veges (potato, beans & carrot are fav's here) & cover with water, reduce heat to low & simmer for 30 mins. This freezes really well and is nice with rice or just some toasted or crusty bread to dip in the stew (which the kids think is SO much fun).
Another fav. which is really cheap is an old soup recipe from my granny's village days- boil meat in salted water until very tender (again, cuts with bones in it- eg neck chops are cheap & perfect) remove the meat from the stock, remove bones & cut into pieces, add some chopped carrot & peas & a whole tomato for subtle flavor, when they are cooked add pasta (I use ones that appeal to the kids like ABC's), when pasta is cooked add juice of half a lemon & serve. Sounds plain but they always have seconds with this one?!
Lastly our fav, cheap breakfast is zucchini omelette- for 4- whisk 4 eggs, add one large grated zucchini, 2tbsp cornflour or rice flour, dash of milk or soft white cheese, salt, pepper, parmesan & fresh herbs (I prefer chives), cook & serve with toast :)
Hope these help...

Sara - posted on 10/01/2009

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Cheap and quick! Ramen noodles with an egg cooked in it. You can add some peas and have a more balanced meal.

Also, mac-n-cheese with chopped broccoli, my kids love it!

Those frozen edamane (soy beans) with a little salt on them and chicken nuggets. My kids love to eat the soy beans!

monkey bread: refrigerated biscuits, roll them in balls and dip in butter to make the grated parmesean cheese and italian spices stick and bake at 350 for 35 mins in one of those bunt cake pans. Add a piece of chicken and a frozen veggi and you got it made.

home made fried rice. Left over chicken cut up in cubes, two or three cups left over rice, a package of stir fry veggies, two eggs and some soy sauce. heat the oil scramble the eggs, add the stir fry veggies until cooked through, add the rice and chicken to warm, throw in the soy sauce and fry at high heat for a few minutes stirring and you are all done.

Those are some of the good ones I use a lot.

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