Meals on a Dime

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ButtonsMama's picture
Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 283
Meals on a Dime

Post your recipes here for inexpensive meals or meals you put in your freezer. If you happen to know the approximate cost per meal, feel free to add that too.

mnbarmy's picture
Joined: 06/13/07
Posts: 334

This is a really inexpensive meal that is easy to make and tastes really good! Things can also be interchanged for whatever you might have in your pantry. I also buy almost everything off brand so I'll add the price that I pay for the items.

Taco Soup
1 large can crushed tomatoes~.98
1 can "rotel"~.79
1 can black beans~.60
1 can pinto beans~.58
1 can corn~.58
1 can stewed or diced tomatoes~.60
1 pack taco seasoning~.33
1 pack ranch seasoning ( I buy the big jars in at Sam's so I'm guessing the price)~1.25
1 lb ground beef~2.00-4.00

Brown ground beef in pan. Drain if there is a lot of excess fat, if extra lean then no need. Open and pour in all cans without straining anything. Add the seasonings. Heat through. We usually serve with crushed tortilla chips and cheese or you could do sour cream.

This makes 5 big bowls of soup (one for DH and I for dinner, one for each for the next day for lunch and on to freeze when we don't have leftovers and DH needs a lunch at work). You can add more cans to make a bigger pot and freeze.

Approximate cost~$8.50

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I make and freeze these for the kids breakfast, they love them and are way cheaper than the already prepared version.

Breakfast Burritos

8 eggs - we use egglands 2.20 a dozen so 1.47
little milk to make scambled eggs
1 pound sausage, I use the kind the store makes, I think usually $2 a pound
4 oz cheese - usually buy on sale so maybe .75 worth of cheese
1 package of 12 tortilla shells - 1.50

Brown sausage in skillet, drain. Scramble eggs, add sausage. Take tortilla, put egg and meat in, top with a bit of cheese and roll up into burrito, I flash freeze and then wrap in paper towel and then microwave one at a time, 30 sec flip and 30 seconds.

Comes to around $.48 a burrito, much cheaper and tastier!!

Joined: 06/30/05
Posts: 3

Approx. 2 lbs of chicken (light or dark meat) (Depends on what you buy....)
1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce (Approx $1.00)
1 packet of french onion soup (Approx $.75)

Let simmer in crock pot for 3-4 hours. Done!
I usually serve with wild rice. It's a great fall dinner! AND, my husband can even do it! Who can believe he'll have dinner on the table when I get home from work?!?!?!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"lisetterenee" wrote:

Approx. 2 lbs of chicken (light or dark meat) (Depends on what you buy....)
1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce (Approx $1.00)
1 packet of french onion soup (Approx $.75)

Let simmer in crock pot for 3-4 hours. Done!
I usually serve with wild rice. It's a great fall dinner! AND, my husband can even do it! Who can believe he'll have dinner on the table when I get home from work?!?!?!

I do this same thing with Turkey breast in the crock pot!! Yummy!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

This isn't a recipe, but its something I have been doing to save both money and time. When Ground Chuck goes on sale I buy several family size packages, then over the weekend I brown it all and then season it several different ways, such as I make taco meat, chili meat, plain for things like pizza, put some in spagetti sauce. Then I package in quart size ziplock bags in the amount we would need for a meal, and freeze laying flat in the freezer. Then I just pull out what I need in the morning put in the fridge, sometimes I will throw it in the crock pot at lunch with a little water, esp the taco meat and then when we get home dinner is done!!

I also invested in a patty maker, and buy a couple packages and just make patties out of them, then freeze in meal size packagers to throw on the grill for an easy dinner. And my hamburgher doesn't get brown waiting for the meal to be made.

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

I do the cook it once and freeze it for the month. It is not nearly as hard one would think. We went shopping on the 1st and we were done yesterday, but only because I left the last two dishes in the fridge 24 hours because I was sick and tired. If I can do two months meals 38 weeks pregnant as sick as i was any one can do this!

Here is a start picture of dry goods, AKA $320 worth of food and I bought most everything as I wqas documenting for another board I belong to. I didn't look for any great sales and i didn't use any thing stock piled, except the sun dried tomatoes and I have no idea what they cost so they are not included in the price. The 5lbs mozz cheese was bought at sma's and not included in the $320 but in recipes it is counted in the cost of the dishes.

I was not trying to go very low because I was not catering to a budget group and I was more interested in varied food because we had been eating the same thing over and over again. Plus at the end of my pregnancy beginning of having a new baby. I wanted something exciting to make me want to eat. We usually make our Sat pizza but i was just lazy!


Sun: Pg 259 Rosemary Roasted Veggies Thaw in fridge roast on 400 degrees 20 min

Mon: Pg 174 Beef Bourguignon Thaw in fridge serve with potatoes, egg noodles, bread. Skim fat thicken

Tues: Pg 257 Black and pink beans and rice. Microwave Serve with rice and sour cream or cheese

Wed: Pg 83 Spanish Chicken Thaw in fridge heat 30 min at 350 degrees remove foil add cheese broil 3 minutes until cheese is golden

Thur: Pg 68 Manicotti Thaw in fridge bake 60 min at 350 degrees do not microwave.

Fri: pg 97 Chicken chili con Queso Thaw in microwave. Serve over rice or with tortillas

Sat: PIZZA Tostinos


Sun: Pork loin Pg 133 lemon rosemary pork loin Thaw in fridge rotisserie for 50 min Serve with starch and veggies
Pg 134 Parmesan-sage pork loin Thaw in fridge transfer to roasting pan, Meat on top of veggies roast 50 min rest 10 min

Mon: Pg 164 Meat balls in Root Beer sauce. Thaw/cook in microwave serve over mashed potatoes/noodle/rice with veggies

Tues: Pg 26 Southwestern Pork soup Add box of chicken broth heat with frozen package in Microwave or stove top.

Wed: Pg 118 seared chicken with sun dried tomato sauce thaw/heat in microwave serve with rice/noodles and veggies

Thurs: pg 52 Rotelle zucchini reheat in microwave add ½ brick feta ½ container olives

Fri: Pg 144 Chipolte pork soft taco serve with tortillas sour cream and cheese side of pink and black beans

Sat: PIZZA Tostinos

My freezer~

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Robin to the Rescue Rosemary-Roasted Vegetable Medley. (my price 5.47 per meal for four)

This was supposed to be a side dish but i added italian sausage and made it a meal. i can serve over Rice or noodles. Even in a tortilla if I am LAZY.

Recipes is as in the book my adjustments are at the end.

Prep time: 10 min
walk away time: 20 min. Preheat over to 400

2 medium tomatoes cut into 8 wedges
1 medium Zucchini cut 1/4 thick
1 mediume yellow Squash cut 1/4 thick
1 cup Mushrooms
1 medium red onion cut hald moon
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoonds fresh Rosemary

1 preheat oven to 400 coat baking sheet with cooking spray

2 arrainge veggies on sheet and spray with cooking spray. Roast until squash are tender 20 min.

I cooked up 3lbs italian sausage in the box from Walmart and put 3 sausages diced in each bag. I put a tablespoon olive oil in each bag and shook.

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Robin to the Rescue Pg 174 Quick Fix Beef Bourguignon (my cost 4 servings$8.95)

Prep time 15 min
Active cooking time
Walk away 20 min

4 slices bacon
1 1/4 lbs beef tenderloin, sorloin, ribeye, or round cut 1 inch cube
salt pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 cloves garlic
1 tea dried thyme
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 tbl tomato paste
3 med carrots chopped
2 cups pearl onions
1 cup frozen peas

1 cook bacon until crisp drain on paper towle

2. season beef with salt and pepper dredge and brown on all sides about 5 min add garlic and cook 1 min add thyme cook 1 minadd wine and simmer add broth adn tomato paste carrots onuions and bacon simmer 20 min until brotehr thickens add peas serve when peas are warm

So my first big change was the meat OMG I cannot afford to make stew out of rib eye! So i used stew meat and a crock pot. I also used regular onions.

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Robin to the Rescue Pink and black beans with rice Pg 257 my cost see below

Total time 20-25 min
Prep 10-15 min
walk away 10 min

2 cup instant brown rice
1 8ov can tomato
1 cup salsa
1 tbs onion flakes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 11 ox can black beans
1 11 oz can pink beans
1 11 oz can corn
salr pepper

1 Combine all ingredients in sauce pan simmer reduce heat warm fluff add salt and pepper.

This recipe I took a lot of liberties with first of all I skipped the rice enrirely. Next I redid the recipe for the crock pot. Since dried beans are a lot cheaper than canned and I am making ahead for the month I opted for dried beans and the crock pot. However my translations didn't go so well!

First of all my crock pot runith over. So I had two crock pots simmering this stuff. It tastes great, the black beans stained the corn and the pink beans and I think this would probably be an issue even with the canned beans. However the colors and look is perfect for halloween. So with my adjustments I ended up with four 4 cup meals and 6 two cups meals, either bean and cheese burritos or side dishes. So this one is very very cheap like this, $.39 a cup big packs $1.56, small packs $.78

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Robin to the Rescue Pg 83 Spanish Chicken (My cosy $5.83 serves 4)

1 tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast inch cubes
2 cups fresh or thawed broccoli florets
1 cup drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1 cup Roma Tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella Cheese
2 tbs Parmesan cheese

1 heat oil and add garlic cook 1 min add cheicken cook until golden 5 min add Broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes simmer until fresah tomatoes break down and chicken is cooked through

2. Preheat broiler sprink chicken with cheeses broil until golden 2-3 min.

My sun dried tomatoes are from my stock pile and I have no idea how much they cost. I used 2 cups of sun dried tomatoes for a quad recipe. We haven't eaten this one as well they are frozen into the freezer. WHOOPS.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Robin to the Rescue Pg 257

This looks yummy, what is it called?

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Robin to the Rescue Artichoke Manicotti Pg 68 (My cost $7.58)

total time 48-53 min
prep 20-25 min
active cook 3 min
walk away 25 min

cooking spray
1 pound Manicotti
1 14 oz can Artichoke hearts (not marinated)
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 mozzarella
1 tsp dried oregano

Pesto Cream
2 tbl pine nuts
2 cup basil leaves
1 cup cream
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl Parmesean
2 cloves garlic

1 Preheat over 375 coat 9x13 dish with cooking spray

2 cook manicotti shells according to package

3. In food precessor (blender) combine artichoke hearts, ricotta, mozzarilla,and oregano and preocess until smooth. Spoon mixture into Manicotti noodles place in pa.

4. Place pine nuts in dry skilled toast med heat until golden brown, transer to food precessor add basil, cream pil, parmesean and garlic. Process until smooth pour over manicotti. Bake 25 min.

I was having heart failure buying the stuff for this one the artichole was $3 a jar and I bought prepared pesto sauce and it was $2.50 a jar at Walmart. YIKES. But there was no meat and i subbed out the ricotta for cottage cheese. The kids loved this one. The stuffing only fills 1/2 the noodles (me and other people observations) However I bought 4 lbs of pasta and only used 2 lbs. I don't think Robin knows what a preoper Weight Watcher pasta serving is!

My kids really liked this. We had left over pesto so we made a 5th meal out of this and dropped our cost more. We bought 3 differnt shapes for variety. We used sandwich bags and cut the corner to filled the 3 differnt shapes (manicotti, shells, ziti) I also have full box of manicottie and 1/2 of shells left over.

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

"oneprinceoneprincess" wrote:

Robin to the Rescue Pg 257

This looks yummy, what is it called?

Black and pink beans with Rice (real creative with ehr recipe names)

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Robin to the Rescue Chicken with chiki con queso cream sauce pg 97 (my cost $6.26 serves 4)

1 tbs Olive oil
4 bonesless checken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin

con Queso cream sauce

1 1/4 cup milk (2% or higher)
1 cup shredded jack cheese
10 oz frozen spinach
1 6oz jar pimentos
1 4 oz can diced green chiles drained.

1 season cheicken brown of each side remove nad set aside.

2 over medium hear combine sauce ingredients stiring requently simmer until cheese melts add checken and cook through 3-5 min

My adjustments, I cut the chicken in to dices. I never ate Pimentos so I left them out. i don't prefer chili and cumen so I went with garlic and ceyenne. My sauce broke but i figured after I froze it it won't matter. it is supposed to be great as a tortilla cghip dip but i ma not seeing it. I'll serve over rice or with Tortillas.

lol another bad picture!

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

I'll do the otehr half tomorrow

Joined: 06/25/08
Posts: 36

Lemon-Rosemary Pork Loin Pg 133 (my cost $8.05 serves 4 Smile

Total time 55-60 min
prep 10 min
Walk away 35-40 min
Resting time 10 min

cooking spray
one 1 ¼ pound pork loin
salr and pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs chopped rosemary
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon peel zest

1.Preheat over to 400 spray pan with cooking spray season pork with salt and pepper a small bowl wisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, rosemary,mustard and lemon zest pour over meat. Place in oven and roast to 166 degrees. Remove let rest 10 min

So this one I just dumped the ingredients in the bag. Mixed it up and added the roast and tossed in the freezer.

mom2tyrus&nathan's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 18

This is a super easy meal that can be made as much as you like to eat and it freezes well. Here is serves 4 with leftovers.

$4.00 cut of lean beef (not ground)
$0.50 1/4 bag of frozen mixed veggies ~peas/carrots,green beans, corn (can go fresh)
$0.50 2 eggs
$0.25 2 cups cooked rice (I do mine in microwave)
0.25 1/4 cup soya sauce

Sear the ground beef and then cut into quarters and return to frying pan, add frozen vegetables and when soft, break in eggs and fry until egg is cooked. Add rice and as much soya sauce that you prefer. I like mine coated. Also great with chicken.

Breen31806's picture
Joined: 09/05/06
Posts: 1172

That sounds yummy Christa.

I have a 4 ingredient cook book and we make Onion-Baked Pork Chops

1 Pkg boneless skinless Pork chops bone out 4-6 pieces
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 Envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Golden Onion Soup Mix...(very important to use Golden Onion..French Onion tastes funny)
1 egg Well Beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine soup mix and bread crumbs. Dip chops in egg, then bread crumb mixture until evenly coated.

2. In lightly greased 13x9 inch baking or roasting pan, arrange chops

3. bake uncovered 20 minutes or until barely pink in center, turning once.

I serve with potatoes and frozen Birds Eye Veggies.

Cost for total meal is about $10 so about $2.50 per person to serve 4 people.