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Old 05-11-2008, 01:04 PM   #16
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i made chicken with sweet potato dumplings last night. took a long time, but not expensive at all, all the ingredients added together are probably less than $15.

and sooooo delicious.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:19 PM   #17
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When we have way too much people in the house for lunch we use to make pasta

Pasta 2 Bs

Meet: 10 Bs

Tomatoes: 6 Bs

Onions: 3 Bs

21 Bs = 9,76 $


Feed 5 persons and not be broke after ... No tiene precio



why is this on free your mind
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:53 PM   #18
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^ It is more of a Lemonade Stand topic, but I'm guessing it might be inspired by the thread about rising food prices we had here recently; plus iron horse seldom posts in other forums.



I've cooked for multiple people on a tight food budget for most of my life...I don't really think in terms of individual cheap meals though; more in terms of a range of ingredients that are cheap, versatile and nutritious, then you loosely plan a week or so of meals at a time using those ingredients in multiple ways. At least here in the US, beans, eggs, and chicken are usually the cheapest protein staples; rice, pasta, potatoes and (if you bake) flour are usually the most economical starches. Then you round those out with cheap vegetables that keep well: onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage, celery, fresh or frozen broccoli and dark greens depending on season, frozen corn and peas, canned tomatoes and tomato products (save and freeze your cutting-board vegetable scraps for making stock). Then if you have a few dollars from your weekly food budget left over, spend it on slightly more expensive foods with flavors that go a long way: cheese, or canned fish, or cured meats, fresh herbs, etc. Spices and dried herbs are invaluable for staving off boredom, but if you get them at a supermarket, you'll mostly be paying for the jar or tin--make a trip a few times a year to an 'ethnic' market and buy them in plastic bags instead; that's usually also the place to find the cheapest prepared chile sauces, curry pastes, etc. From late spring to early fall, if you've got a local farmer's market, you'll probably be able to afford a wider variety of produce there; I like to oven-dry some tomatoes and make some roasted red bell pepper paste at that time, since those ingredients go a long way in flavoring things later, keep well, and are difficult to find affordably otherwise.

Dried beans are hands-down the cheapest base for multiple nutritious meals (stews, soups, pilafs, casseroles, burritos and enchiladas, etc.) and take well to all kinds of flavorings--lentils and split peas/dals are good curried, or cooked with tomato paste or red bell pepper paste; chickpeas are good curried, or cooked with garlic and herbs; black beans are good with Latin flavorings; blackeyed peas are good with chile pastes or Caribbean spices; kidney beans are good curried as well as in Tex-Mex chili; white beans are good with tomato sauce, garlic and herbs. Almost all beans combine well with vegetables, especially dark greens. Some of our favorites are: lentil minestrone with red bell pepper paste, olive oil and mint; cooked lentils and rice (or macaroni) lightly crisped with tomato paste and cumin, then topped with either browned onions and garlic, or with pickled onions; blackeyed peas sauteed with Caribbean seasonings (thyme, paprika, allspice, mustard) over rice; curried chickpea-vegetable stew with flatbread; black bean enchiladas; and various dal-vegetable curries over rice. Bean soups and stews are usually more flavorful if you saute the spices/herbs/garlic and onions separately then pour them in.

Eggs in spicy sauces are good over rice or breads (huevos rancheros or egg curry, for example). Italian/Spanish/Persian-style 'omelets,' which are dense and firm and use eggs more like a binder for potatoes, veggies or other ingredients, are filling and tasty. Pouring in a few whipped eggs near the end of cooking is a classic way to add protein and a more substantial feel to a dish that might otherwise seem painfully spartan--adding eggs, scallions, and a little ginger and soy sauce to humble chicken broth with rice gives you egg drop soup, or its Greek equivalent, avgolemono soup (whip the eggs with a little lemon juice, and toss in some dark greens too). Or pour the eggs over a simple vegetable dish such as sliced potatoes and greens baked with garlic and paprika for a nice basic casserole.

Chicken is usually the cheapest meat; buy it whole or bone-in and break it down yourself (save the bones and carcass for stock, which provides a flavor backbone for all kinds of dishes; save leftover scraps of the meat for enchiladas or fried rice). You can 'splurge' and serve it baked or fried as a main course in itself, or stretch it out by using smaller pieces to fill out stir-fries, pasta sauces, vegetable stews etc.

If you do your own baking, then you can have your own breads, flatbreads, cornbread and savory pancakes (not to mention baked breakfast and dessert treats) for super-cheap too, which makes for a nice alternative to rice, pasta and baked or sauteed potatoes. When I was in grad school, I used to love making dinner out of reheated flatbreads topped with whatever I had on hand--sliced hardboiled eggs, grated fresh tomatoes, and a 'salsa' of cilantro, garlic, chiles, cumin and cardamom was one of my favorites. There are numerous ways to put bread that's starting to go stale to good use in cooking, so you don't have to be cooking for a whole family to make it worth your while to bake bread.

This is really making me nostalgic for the weird mix of Southern country and Greek peasant cooking I grew up on.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:56 PM   #19
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:51 PM   #20
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Spaghetti salad - cook some spaghetti, let it cool, throw in chopped tomatoes, green onions, black olives, and green peppers, add some italian dressing and shredded mozzerella, serve with crusty Italian bread.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
find someone eating a steak, punch them in the face, steal it.


To answer the question:

Scrambled eggs with grated cheese is one of my favorite things to eat.

Also, chicken quarters with instant mashed potato mix is one of my favorite meals too.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i made chicken with sweet potato dumplings last night. took a long time, but not expensive at all, all the ingredients added together are probably less than $15.

and sooooo delicious.
By the thresholds of this thread people could eat for a week for $15 and your using it in one night, while normal that is relatively expensive.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
This is really making me nostalgic for the weird mix of Southern country and Greek peasant cooking I grew up on.




sounds like an only-in-America cuisine -- agri-southern peasant greek jewish diaspora.

i smell a cookbook, or maybe even a Food Network show -- sounds like you could teach even my beloved Paula a thing or two.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:21 PM   #24
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I got a whole chicken for $1.50 today at the store. I'm going to make green chili stew with it, so that will be a couple of meals. i grow my own herbs so that saves money. Everything that I got a store today is cheap but will make a couple of good home made meals. Plus I'm growing my own veggies and the neighbor next door has a fruit tree that I can take some fruit from.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:03 PM   #25
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This is the right answer. $0.16 a bag - just add bowl! Of course, beef flavor is ten times better.

Gosh, I feel stupid having this as my first post!
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:02 PM   #26
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Cup of milk, cup of cereal, one whole banana - yum
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
By the thresholds of this thread people could eat for a week for $15 and your using it in one night, while normal that is relatively expensive.




it was enough for 4 people.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:37 PM   #28
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Pasta seems pretty inexpensive lately. We bought some Dreamfields Linguine and Spaghetti last week on sale for around $1.35 a pack. A person with a $15 budget could probably stretch that to make 10 pasta dinners or so.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:21 PM   #29
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I can make many meals from tortillas, refried beans & various cheeses, veggies etc. I heat the beans and the tortillas, fill the tortilla with whatever I have on hand, add some salsa and they're pretty filling and good.

Our local markets often have a roasted chicken meal for $5.99 where you get a cwhole roasted chicken, loaf of french bread, 2 liter of soda and 1-2 deli salads. I can stretch this into a number of meals as well, using the bread for french toast (breakfast for dinner is relatively cheap) and the chicken carcass ends up making chicken stock/soup. Not a bad deal at all for $5.99 PLUS you get a wishbone!
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:45 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511






it was enough for 4 people.
But, only one night. Do they starve the rest of the week?
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