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Cooking For Cheap


Nov 5, 2009 @ 6:38 PM Cooking For Cheap    
theSkwirl


Posts: 88
I was asked, via email, to post some more of my cooking for cheap ideas.

First step is to plan your menus for the month. Don't make it a set day but more of a .. here's what I'm gonna cook this month type thing.

Meats, shop the sales and get the less spendy cuts. If you cook it long and low it will tenderize. Adding acid of any type to the meats will help. Tomatoes or vinegar based marinades.

Instead of buying a whole shelf full of seasonings, purchase premixed packages such as Mrs. Dash.. I think there are ten different varieties out there.. I personally suggest the Garlic and Herb or the Caribbean citrus.. mmm very yum.

Fresh tomatoes are spendy.. rather than purchasing a lot of fresh if you are going to be making one pot dishes for one or two people, get the cans of diced tomatoes. You can get garlic and onion, chili and lime, plain, the ones with garlic and onion reduce the need to purchase either of those items.

Most of us don't have time to make fancy food. Time savers such as Bisquick are ideal. You can make biscuits, hotcakes, dumplings and pot pie shell out of it easily and quickly.. only mixing you do is add water.

Cream of anything soup is ideal for making slow cooker dishes. They are preseasoned and usually quite tasty on their own.. so all you do is add your meat and veggies and water. Try the store brands.. they are less expensive and after slow cooking? they taste every bit as good.

Ok I'll start recipes in the comment section of this thread.



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Nov 5, 2009 @ 6:48 PM Cooking For Cheap    
theSkwirl


Posts: 88
Slow cooker chili:

1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 large can of pinto or red beans (black.. whatever..your choice)
1 onion chopped
Mrs Dash to season
1 package of Carol Shelby's chili mixins.. that stuff is Gooooooood! You can make it mild or spicy to your taste with all the stuff that's in there.. including the salt!
If you want meat, add:
1 lb browned ground meat or leftover cut up meat. any kind is good in it. Chicken, pork, turkey, beef. Maybe not so much seafood.. haven't tried it.

Dump all that stuff in the crock pot along with a tomato sauce can of water... cook for 6 to 8 hours. It's good.. it's real good. Feeds 6

Chicken Sloppy Joes:

1 cut up fryer
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
buns

Put the chicken, veggies and sauce in the crock pot.. cook for 6 hours.
Pull the bones out of the chicken and use a fork to kinda shred it up.
Serve on buns. Feeds up to 8 people.

Aunt Sam's Dinner Nachos:

1 lb ground meat, browned
1 can refried beans
1/2 cut up onion
1/2 cup up bell pepper
A couple handsfull of tortilla chips
1 can of sliced olives

Press the tortilla chips into the bottom of a glass baking dish.
spread the beans over the chips
add the ground meat
add the cheese over the top,
top with veggies and olives

Nuke for 5 minutes or til completely heated thru.

Serve with a bit of salsa. mmmm my fave. serves 2 to 4




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Nov 5, 2009 @ 6:55 PM Cooking For Cheap    
theSkwirl


Posts: 88
Another cheap trick is to purchase a large portion of any meats or veggies that you use regularly.

Like, if you are feeding two, buy a whole chicken and roast it the first night and serve with mashed spuds and veggies.

Then, the next night chop up that cooked chicken and use it for quesadillas.. easy, cheap and fast!

1/2 cup chopped up chicken
1 cup Cheese grated
6 tortillas
dollop of sour cream if you want
salsa if you want

lay down one tortilla and cover with cheese and chicken, top with a second tortilla and nuke for 2 minutes. You can fix this meal right on the plate you will serve it on. serves 3 or 2 if extra hungry.

Beef and pork roasts are more inexpensive than smaller cuts. Purchase them and make them last. After eating roasted the first night, cut up the meat and put it in zip lock bags in the freezer. Put in 1/2 or 1 cup servings so that you can mix with anything.

I also like to buy 3 yellow onions, 3 bell peppers and a few stalks of celery out of the loose stuff. Dice them up when you get home, put half cups in zip locks and freeze them, then when you are ready to cook, you don't even have the hassle of chopping and it's all in there.

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Nov 5, 2009 @ 6:57 PM Cooking For Cheap    
theSkwirl


Posts: 88
Ok and one last.. on the cheap, recipe for tonight.

1 lb of ground beef browned and drained
1 bag of mini carrots (small bag will do)
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut up.
(here is where my previous thing with the veggies comes in handy)
1 bag of your veggie medley
a bag of frozen mixed veggies
1 can of diced tomatoes with onions and garlic
Salt, Pepper and Mrs Dash to taste.

Put all of this in a large pot or crock pot, add water to cover and let simmer for 4 to 6 hours. This is one hearty stew!
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Nov 5, 2009 @ 8:19 PM Cooking For Cheap    
lunanegra


Posts: 1,478
Don't mind me *sits with paper and pencil*
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Nov 5, 2009 @ 10:01 PM Cooking For Cheap    
zaralyon


Posts: 337
When I do a pot roast, instead of water I use tomatoe juice, it makes a great gravy and the acid in it makes the meat very tender. Just use your usual potatoes and veggies, not to mention what you like for seasoning. I tend to throw a few boullion cubes in it too.
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Nov 5, 2009 @ 10:50 PM Cooking For Cheap    
lunanegra


Posts: 1,478
Oooh, great idea..or even apple cider vinegar, right?
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Nov 6, 2009 @ 11:24 PM Cooking For Cheap    
sawduster


Posts: 24
in pot roasts, i've used beer, wine and whiskey. the acid in them tenderizes quite well, and the crock pot lets me get a full nights sleep. the next day i put the spuds, carrots, onions and celery in and let them cook slow until they are done.

thanks for the ideas Skwirl .
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Jan 14, 2010 @ 4:35 PM Cooking For Cheap    
aspiringwriter


Posts: 456
bump
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Jan 18, 2010 @ 12:12 PM Cooking For Cheap    
lunanegra


Posts: 1,478
One guy gave me a tip

Using the same beef roast, just throw it in the slow cooker with some vegs and some of that onion soup mix. I was told it could be served on French bread as a sandwich with some melted provolone cheese.
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Mar 3, 2010 @ 9:57 PM Cooking For Cheap    
B9CC1D


Posts: 356
The biggest expense is the pot. A really big pot.

2 packs of Dried Beans (@ $1.50 each)
2 lbs family pack Ground Meat (Whatever you like. If on sale no more than $2 a pound)
4 large cans of diced or crushed tomatoes (@ $.50 a can)
2 quarts of water (free)
4 Boulion cubes ($.50)
2-3 pounds of onions (@ $.50 a pound)
One or two apples, diced (@ $.50)

Optionals:
Replace some or all water with beer. If you have some spare lying around or you can pinch some from a pal, it's free.
If you have some whiskey or bourbon, throw in a shot or three.
Use some of the garlic powder, chili powder, pepper and salt you got from the dollar store. Cost negligible.
A quarter cup flour. Cost negligible.

Brown and drain the meat. Put it and everything else in the pot EXCEPT spices and flour. and let it cook for at least 6 hours. A huge slow cooker here is a godsend. Toward the end take some of the juice and mix it with the flour in a mug until it's the consistency of pancake batter, then add it to the mix. Add spices to taste.

Whatchagot afterwards is a few gallons of chili that cost you about 72 cents for a big-ol-man size serving. Serve it over rice or corn bread for a few pennies more. Invite a friend over and tell him to bring beer. Make sure to put some aside for the next time you make this.
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Mar 12, 2010 @ 4:14 PM Cooking For Cheap    
carlos2342


Posts: 90
canned and frozen food take forever to go bad too so there is an area you can stay. Limit your purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables along with breads to what you can eat. Some breads can be frozen and thawed too. Store frozen meats vegies etc in dividends so you do not have to thaw whole thing repetively. Seal all items properly to prevent mold spores from spreading to other items. Use coupons when you have them and check your sunday paper or the manufacturers site or just the internet and print coupons. Figure out average proportions you eat so you do not have too many leftovers if you do not like leftovers.
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Mar 20, 2010 @ 2:29 PM Cooking For Cheap    
lunanegra


Posts: 1,478
Or if you're looking to cut corners, shop in the ethnic foods aisle or shop at your Asian or Latin foods store. Their stuff is much cheaper and what you would probably want to use anyway. Example: Goya olive oil is probably $2 cheaper than wally-world olive oil and maybe $4 cheaper than name-brand olive oil. The spices are cheaper as well. Ooh and Mexican sodas are made from real sugar and are cheaper than coke.

I doubt they have these in your area, but Chunks o Frutti fruit bars are off-the-chain good, and a steal at a $1.98. Very healthy because its real fruit puree, chunks of fruit and no fillers. I recommend mango and strawberry if you ever see them.
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