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Cheap Meals

July 15, 2010

If you haven’t already cut your grocery budget back, then you are one of the few and fortunate ones! So many people are faced with diminishing income and are trying to squeeze their pennies till they scream. Here’s a list of cheap meals that we rely on when I’m either feeling quite lazy or there’s no more money left in the grocery budget and I’m forced to scrounge about in the pantry.
Sometimes it’s all about how cheap can we get while still meeting our nutritional requirements/goals.  My requirements are high protein, healthy fat, and healthy starch.  A great trick for those of you who are unaware or uninitiated into the brown rice cult is the soaking of the brown rice, overnight or for a few hours.  It is then rinsed and cooked.  Many people cannot then tell the difference between conventional white and traditional brown rice after soaking in terms of texture; soaking does not change the color!

Cheap Eats:

Homemade cheese pizza with homemade pizza sauce

Red Beans and Rice

Sausage Bean Gravy

Black Beans – 3 cups soaked black beans, 1 jar salsa in the crock pot all day becomes tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, served on rice with a slice avocado, and the leftovers becomes soup when you add any veggies you have on hand sauteed with some stock.

Black bean and sweet potato enchiladas

Lentils – spices of your choice, broth, and serve on brown rice

Honey Lentils – (if you’re solely interested in crock pot recipes)

White bean soup

Chili (allows you to hide use of a smaller amount of meat, I usually only use 1 pound) and leftovers can go towards nachos another day, or to feed the freezer

BBQ Pork – if you find a super deal on a boston butt then you can make it in the crock pot and add the BBQ sauce of your choice with plenty of leftovers to freeze for later

Eggs – however you like them, but quiche is a pretty way to dress them up

Fried rice – with whatever veggies you can scrounge and if you’re really desperate, add chickpeas instead of meat

Potato soup – Don’t use cream, use broth and it greatly decreases the cost of the meal. Serve with a salad and top the soup with cheese or the salad with some hard boiled eggs and you’ve got a full meal.

Pasta with sauce

Roast a whole chicken – you can easily get 3 full meals out of one chicken, to include a very hearty soup that will clean out all your unloved veggies hanging out in the fridge.

Shepherd’s Pie – My trick for stretching the “beefiness” is to use 1 pound of ground beef plus small green lentils cooked with 1 beef broth cube.

Pork Tourtiere – pork pie made with white potatoes and 1 pound ground sausage, to cut the cost further make it in a quiche pan and fold the extra pie crust up and over the top rather than cutting it off and tossing it.


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