Money is tight for a lot of us. Thankfully there are plenty of quick and easy meals you can prepare at home that don’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can feed a family of four for under $5 per dinner with the ideas below.
One of our favorite frugal meals is just about any type of homemade soup. Get out a large pot. Add a little bit of oil to it. Chop up a small onion and sauté it in the oil until it’s tender and fragrant. Add any leftover meat that’s hanging out in the fridge or brown a little bit of ground beef or even sausage. If you like garlic, you can add a little of that too.
Fill the pot about 2/3 of the way with water and some bouillon cubes, or use some homemade stock. Pick your starch. You can dice a few potatoes and add them to your soup, pour in some rice, or add some pasta. For noodle soup I like to break thin spaghetti noodles in half twice.
Add your veggies. The sky is the limit here. You can use leftovers, canned or fresh vegetables. Precooked beans add a lot of bulk to your soup and make it more filling.
Chicken and Rice
Get a whole chicken at the grocery store. Put it in the crockpot and cook all day until the meat falls off the bone. Make a bag of rice and some chicken gravy. You can get the gravy premade in a jar, or use a small gravy packet. I prefer the packets because they are a lot cheaper. Serve with a side salad or a can of green beans.
You should have plenty of chicken leftover for another meal as well as some great chicken stock to make soup out of. I shred the leftover chicken and use it for chicken salad sandwiches, as a filling in enchiladas, burritos, lasagna or casseroles.
Turn your baked potatoes into a full meal. Bake them as usual, cut them in half. Then dig anything and everything out of the fridge that might make a good topping. This is great for using up leftover vegetables, spaghetti sauce etc. I like mine topped with some cottage cheese, my daughter prefers them with cheddar cheese. We’ve topped them with leftover taco beef, shredded chicken and finely diced ham.
Source by Susanne M.
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