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Topic: BUDGET MEALS awesomeness!!!!!  (Read 7082 times)
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stargardener
« on: June 22, 2009 09:08:45 AM »

Donniesgirl and I did a "Dave Ramsey" swap and she sent me an AWESOME cook book!!!!

In case you don't know "DAVE" he is a financial planner that encourages living debt free!  In order to get there living has to be a little lean around here...But I like to feed my family good things so here are some budget friendly meals.  I spent $66 on all of my groceries for the week and here are the 4 highlighted meals I made!  I have a 2 year old, myself and hubby to cook for with lots of left overs!  But these meals can easily be stretched or stuck in the freezer...to fit your family size. Enjoy!!!

On Sunday I took a bag of frozen chicken breast and cooked them in the crock pot over night, yep the whole bag!  Did I mention this is busy family friendly!!!  When I got up I divided it into 3 portions for the 3 times we would eat chicken this week.


orange chicken
4 chicken breast (enough for your family)
1 cup oj
1 cup instant rice(I par cooked rice on sunday night too...instant rice is a bit pricey for my budget! LOL!)
1 can chicken and rice soup
Put juice in a casserole dish, stir in rice.  Add chicken.  Top with soup. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 
**next time I might use 1/2 to1 cup of oj concentrate to make it a little more tangy and a little water for moisture.
YUMMY!


Impossible Chicken Broccoli Pie
1 package (10 oz) frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cut up cooked chicken (more or less for you family)
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup Bisquick type mix
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
 Heat oven to 400. Grease 9 inch pie pan.  Sprinkle broccoli, 1/2 of the cheese, chicken, and onion in pan. 
Stir Bisquick, milk, salt, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour in pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake for another 1-2 mins to melt cheese.  cool and serve!
Man I LOVE CASSEROLES!  Fab for lunch the next day!!!



Easy Asian Beef and Noodles
8 oz Rib eye (if that is expensive, choose another lean cut that is thin and slice it against the grain thinly, you are going to cook it fast and use a lot of flavors so don't feel obligated to get a really good cut of meat)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
1 cup green onions sliced in 1 inch sections
2 cups shredded cabbage and carrots mix
2 (2.8oz) packages of beef flavored ramen noodle soup
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce

Trim fat from steak, cut diagonaly-against the grain- into thin slices.  Heat 1/2 tsp oil in non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add Steak and green onions; stir fry for 1 minute.  Remove and keep warm.  Heat remaining 1/2 tsp oil in skillet add slaw for 30 seconds.  Remove and keep warm.

Remove noodles from packages and reserve 1 seasoning pack for another use.  Add water and 1 seasoning pack to skillet, bring to a boil.  Break noodles in half and add to water.  cook nooddles 2 mins or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.  Add Steak and slaw back to pan add soy sauce and cook until heated thoroughly.

Cranberry Chicken
sorry no picture...it was GONE! before I could get one!!!
this is so good you'll never buy sweet and sour chicken from any chinese place again!

1 can cranberry sauce/jelly
1 bottle french dressing (I used 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottle)
1 package onion soup mix
chicken pieces (here is that chicken again!)

mix the cranberry sauce, dressing, and soup mix and add chicken!  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until warm.  Serve over rice and some Asian veggie mix(remember we par cooked rice...break that out again!). TADA!

Thanks donniesgirl for all these awesomely yummy and cheap dinners!!!!
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009 09:14:30 AM »

That looks awesome!

Dave Ramsey is on my local radio. I've heard him a few times, and while he comes off as a bit looney at times, I think he's got some good ideas. Have you looked into that grocery thing he advertises?
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donniesgirl
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009 09:43:20 AM »

Yay!  So glad the recipes are working out!  I haven't made the cranberry chicken yet, but everyone in my family who has made it loves it.  

The beef recipe, if I didn't give credit in the cookbook, is actually a Weight Watchers recipe from one of the old "cooking for two" cookbooks.  But it makes plenty of food & is very tasty.  I like lower cal recipes that DH can't tell are supposed to be good for you.  Wink  BC if he had his way, he'd be eating BBQ/mashed potatoes & chicken fried steak every night.

And the impossible pie, if you go to the Bisquick site, they have a ton - even dessert ones.  Just look for the recipe names that start with "impossibly easy."  I only put the few that were favorites of ours into the cookbook.  I did a ham one last week & it was super tasty.  And they're fast & easy.  Smiley  I use the lower cal Bisquick, or the grocery store low cal brand if they have it.

If you cook a whole chicken or turkey, I use the carcass to make chicken stock with leftover veggies I've pre-frozen in a ziplock bag & clipped herbs from the garden.  Homemade & efficient use of everything on the chicken.  Wink 

Ramsey is intense and DH & I do not necessarily agree with every single thing he says (although we do with most of what he says), but he has helped us get on the same financial "page."  In a few months, we'll have one car paid off in full, and another car & student loan in less than two years.  And then, we plan on paying the mortgage off early - like in 8 years total instead of 15.  Smiley  Ah the peace that comes with eliminating payments!  We can't wait to be debt free!

I saw the grocery thing he advertises & went to the site.  You can even get a Weight Watchers friendly menu.  I think if you're super busy & have no food allergies/concerns, it's a great idea.  DH is allergic to tomatoes, and I'm allergic to citrus, and you would be surprised at how many recipes that eliminates.  Plus he's just a really picky eater.  But I like the concept!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009 09:47:42 AM by donniesgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009 10:10:45 AM »

Those look awesome! That's about how much I spend on groceries (only we do our shopping every two weeks) and I have the same number of people to feed...although right now I'm pregnant and I swear I'm eating like a horse!

I've heard of Dave Ramsey, but haven't actually heard anything he's said. DH and I are nearly debt free...just a $100/month student loan payment...but we don't have a house yet.  We're planning to save though for the next several years so we have a sizeable down payment when the time comes.

That cranberry chicken sounds GREAT! I'll definitely have to give that one a try!
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stargardener
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009 10:27:31 AM »

Dave is a little intense.  I love his ideas about budget and being debt free and mostly block out the things that I don't agree with.  He is a bit preachy.  But he makes sense with the financial stuff...so here we are...only Sally Mae left to kick out of the house!!! 

Meals like these make me not miss going out to eat as much...which is something I really miss!  One day...***big sigh***
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Imdee
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2009 02:31:41 PM »

I'm looking forward to trying the cranberry chicken.  I've made basically the same recipe using apricot preserves instead of the cranberry sauce, and it's yummy.  I don't precook the chicken though, just cook until its done. 
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donniesgirl
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009 08:05:34 AM »

Here is another budget friendly add for the cookbook.  Smiley  Tourtiere was suggested to me as a means of using a bunch of ground meat we have (we used wild game, which is less fatty than store bought although the recipe calls for draining the extra fat anyway).  It is kind of the same concept as a chicken pot pie or shephard’s pie.  It’s a French Canadian meat pie.  I made it last night & it was sooooo good!  And DH loved it too.  And despite the long ingredients list (mostly spices) & fancy name, it was actually very easy.  I’m sure you could use frozen veggies to make it easier – they sell a chopped onion & celery mix at my grocery store.  It makes it even easier if you make the filling & mashed potatoes ahead of time.  This is kind of my combination of a couple different recipes I found online.  Next time I might add a few frozen peas, too, because DH loves them.

Tourtiere

Ingredients:
•   Single pie crust (frozen works fine)
•   Leftover/seasoned mashed potatoes made from approximately 2 russet potatoes
•   1 tablespoon light olive or canola oil
•   3/4 pound ground pork
•   3/4 pound ground beef
•   3/4 cup chopped onion
•   1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
•   1/3 cup shredded carrots
•   1/3 cup finely chopped celery
•   Small can sliced mushrooms
•   14 ounce can low sodium chicken stock
•   1 teaspoon dried parsley
•   Scant 3/4 teaspoon salt
•   1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
•   1/4 teaspoon dried sage
•   1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•   1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
•   1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•   1/16 teaspoon grated nutmeg
•   1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
•   1 tablespoon flour

Preparation:
Preheat an oven to 350F. Roll the pie dough into a circle to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Line the bottom of the pie pan.
Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sautι the pork, beef, onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add the chicken stock, mushrooms, herbs, and spices to the meat and vegetables; simmer the mixture over low-medium heat, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the dry breadcrumbs and flour into the mixture. Allow the meat filling to sit for 3 minutes.  If the mixture has too much liquid, simmer it a little longer to thicken it up.  Spoon the filling into the prepared pie pan and carefully top with the mashed potatoes by spreading a thin layer over all of the filling. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are just starting to turn golden.
This tourtiere recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2009 03:33:59 PM »

Easy Asian Beef and Noodles

I made this last night and WOW! I don't think anything could be easier! And it was a big hit with hubby. He's a HUGE fan of rice, so when he saw the meat and green onions in the pan he asked if we were having it over rice. I said no and he was extremely disappointed, but that changed with his first bite of the finished product.

The only thing I did differently was use leftover arm roast for the meat. It was very tender and went perfectly with everything else.  I'll definitely be making this on a regular basis!
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christina_209
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009 06:15:50 PM »

Thanks for the post and ideas cant wait to try them!!!!!
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009 02:36:22 PM »

Print, print, print! Thanks for sharing =) These all sound really tasty and as my fiance and I are trying to save for the wedding, budget dinners are a VERY good thing!
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guacaMolly
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009 08:58:13 PM »

This is a great idea for a thread, these recipes look amazing!

I have something to add, Tuna Patties with a creamy dill sauce that are sooo yummy. Adapted from the recipe from Carbquik and a recipe on allrecipes.com

1 6oz. can of tuna
1 egg
2tbs carbquik/bisquick
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dill weed

Creamy Dill Sauce:
1/4 c. mayo
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dill weed

Pretty easy, mix up the first 5 ingredients, separate into 4 patties and fry in 2 tbs olive/coconut oil. Cook until nice and brown on both sides. Mix up the creamy dill sauce, it gets better the longer it sits, so I like to do that first. Modifications: To suit my own preferences, I use half mayo and half plain Greek yogurt to lower the fat and give it less of a tangy mayo flavor. I also use more like 1 tsp of dill weed.

So easy, yummy, potentially low carb and budget friendly!  Smiley
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melonhead-7
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2009 01:05:44 PM »

These recipes look yummy and may even fill up my son-in-law, the bottomless pit.

Stargardener, I LOVE your Fiestaware.
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dellamae
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009 08:15:15 PM »

Here's a family favorite that is easy on money

Chicken Spaghetti (makes enough for an army)

1 whole chicken
1 pkg of thin spaghetti
2 cans of rotel tomatos as hot or mild as you like
1 normal sized block of velveeta (cubed)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
milk
salt and pepper
and any other of your favorite seasonings that go good with cheesy chicken

boil and debone the whole chicken add whatever seasonings you like to the water. (when done save some of the broth to cook the spaghetti in). set to the side.

boil and drain the spaghetti

(a little before deboning the chicken) in a large microwaveable bowl add rotel (you should drain one of the cans and keep the juice of the other.  It helps thin the cheese), the velveeta, both cans of soup, any seasonings you like and a splash or two of milk.  Microwave for 2 min then stir and repeat until the cheese is melted and a good saucey consistancy.  You may have to add more milk but be careful not to go overboard and make it too runny.  Its very much like cheese dip but with soup added and a little thinner.

once the chicken is done along with the spaghetti mix the three together and serve.
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2009 03:20:15 AM »

We've been doing the Dave plan for just about 2 yrs and it has made a difference for us! Yeah, he is intense but his points are honest and straight to the point. I was skeptical at first, but I became a firm believer within a couple of months.

I have some budget friendly recipes as well that I'll share. I'll dig around for them and post some. Smiley
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stargardener
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2009 06:37:24 PM »

thanks for the fiestaware Lovin'!!!  It sure is fun to eat off of! 
I love that this turning into a budget meal thread!  I can't wait to try all of these!  The tuna patties sound really good!
 

Who has MORE!!  I should post more of the ones that I have...hummm
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celticchrys
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009 09:52:55 AM »

Have any of you seen this series of videos on Youtube? "Depression Era Cooking"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuMkW35BwK8

A guy filmed his grandmother talking about and cooking meals from the Depression.  These are things her family ate while she was growing up, and are quite budget friendly, and some look awfully yummy.  Definitely watch these if you're looking for ideas.
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stargardener
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2009 07:01:02 PM »

Does she crack you up or what!!!  I love those videos!  Worth a view if only for REAL history and not even cooking!  They made me wish I could have talked to my Grandparents like that. 

Thanks for putting up the link!
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Applemint
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2009 05:31:31 AM »

For saving money, buying pre-shredded,diced,chopped ext. items are a no no. They do charge more for that.

Also box mixes such as biscuit mix or cake mix are a poor idea. They are charging you a ton for just for simple ingredients. It might feel like you're spending more in the first place, but a bag of flour is going to last you a lot longer than that box mix, and be a lot more versatile.
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donniesgirl
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2009 07:57:18 AM »

Yes & no. 

Frozen pre-chopped fruits & veggies are actually often cheaper here than whole fresh veggies, but the fresh pre-chopped are more expensive.  I bought a one pound bag of frozen chopped mango last weekend for $1.25 (sale), and my grocery stores usually have fresh mangos for $1.99 each...and they aren't one pound mangos.  Celery I find is cheaper to buy & chop myself.

They sell generic "Bisquick" that is actually very cheap & I generally buy mine on sale anyway.  But there are recipes out there for how to "make your own" Bisquick.  I like to do that since I prefer food from scratch anyway. 


For saving money, buying pre-shredded,diced,chopped ext. items are a no no. They do charge more for that.

Also box mixes such as biscuit mix or cake mix are a poor idea. They are charging you a ton for just for simple ingredients. It might feel like you're spending more in the first place, but a bag of flour is going to last you a lot longer than that box mix, and be a lot more versatile.
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stargardener
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2009 10:26:49 AM »

frozen fruit and veggies are often cheaper and more healthy because its frozen right away and then shipped...I have heard if you pick up a bag of frozen fruit or veggies make sure the item has a loose feel, if its like a brick it probably has thawed and refrozen. 

But when you are looking for a healthy alternative to fresh nothing wrong with these options.

For me, a full time work outside the house mom, I have to weigh convenience with what is healthy.  Sometimes it just works out better to pay a few extra cents per serving and get to spend that time with my family.  Its a balance.
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Applemint
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2009 08:49:30 PM »

Yes & no. 

Frozen pre-chopped fruits & veggies are actually often cheaper here than whole fresh veggies, but the fresh pre-chopped are more expensive.  I bought a one pound bag of frozen chopped mango last weekend for $1.25 (sale), and my grocery stores usually have fresh mangos for $1.99 each...and they aren't one pound mangos.  Celery I find is cheaper to buy & chop myself.

They sell generic "Bisquick" that is actually very cheap & I generally buy mine on sale anyway.  But there are recipes out there for how to "make your own" Bisquick.  I like to do that since I prefer food from scratch anyway. 


For saving money, buying pre-shredded,diced,chopped ext. items are a no no. They do charge more for that.

Also box mixes such as biscuit mix or cake mix are a poor idea. They are charging you a ton for just for simple ingredients. It might feel like you're spending more in the first place, but a bag of flour is going to last you a lot longer than that box mix, and be a lot more versatile.

I didn't say frozen vs. fresh, I said pre-shredded. Buying a bag of pre-shredded carrot is more than just buying a carrot.
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2009 05:40:01 AM »

Yes & no. 

Frozen pre-chopped fruits & veggies are actually often cheaper here than whole fresh veggies, but the fresh pre-chopped are more expensive.  I bought a one pound bag of frozen chopped mango last weekend for $1.25 (sale), and my grocery stores usually have fresh mangos for $1.99 each...and they aren't one pound mangos.  Celery I find is cheaper to buy & chop myself.

They sell generic "Bisquick" that is actually very cheap & I generally buy mine on sale anyway.  But there are recipes out there for how to "make your own" Bisquick.  I like to do that since I prefer food from scratch anyway. 


For saving money, buying pre-shredded,diced,chopped ext. items are a no no. They do charge more for that.

Also box mixes such as biscuit mix or cake mix are a poor idea. They are charging you a ton for just for simple ingredients. It might feel like you're spending more in the first place, but a bag of flour is going to last you a lot longer than that box mix, and be a lot more versatile.

I didn't say frozen vs. fresh, I said pre-shredded. Buying a bag of pre-shredded carrot is more than just buying a carrot.

A head of cabbage is pretty heavy, so I end up spending more to buy a head of cabbage priced by the pound than I do for a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots.  Yes, I get more cabbage for my money to buy it by the head, but more often than not it doesn't get used up and I end up throwing 1/4 to 1/2 of the head away. Which is actually more economical? I'd rather spend a little more per quantity to get what I'll actually use, that costs me less bottom dollar than to spend a little more, get a lot more, and let it go to waste.

That's just one example...  On the other hand, I *never* buy bisquick or other pre-made mixes since I prefer to make my own, but I'm a stay-at-home-mom, so I have the extra time to do things from scratch.  And it really does take a little more time to measure out 4 or 5 ingredients instead of just 1.

I'm guessing that for most people, bottom dollar isn't the only factor...time and convenience factor in too even when planning budget meals -- hey, it's still cheaper (and healthier!) than buying fast food!
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donniesgirl
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2009 11:27:28 AM »

Time & convenience are a factor for me as well - I work.  I weigh that with my decisions about how much I'm willing to pay for convenience.  But since this is a thread about budget meals, I figure people can make their own decisions about that.  For time saving prep, I will pre-measure things like dry ingredients the night before.

I often save extra veggies I don't use in freezer bags to make stock every so often, so that I don't have to buy veggies separate for that.  We don't eat a lot of cabbage, but since it is just DH & I, we don't finish a bag or a whole head.  A bag of cabbage slaw costs more than a head where I shop, so I would still buy the head.  It is quite easy to stick chunks of cabbage & carrots in the food processor, though, to get what you want.
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cowgirlz101
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2009 03:06:13 PM »

thought all the recipes rocked so that's what i did...."this rocks!"
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One moment can change everything!

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Let your past remain behind you as you look forward to the future!
stargardener
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2009 06:35:38 AM »

try the sweet & sour chicken!!!!  totally worth it!!!!  my kiddo loved it!
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