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Feb 9, 2008 01:52 PM

Don't have much- what can I make? [Moved from Pacific Northwest board]

Boneless, Skinless Chkn Breast
1 lb ground beef
garlic powder
veggie oil
cream of mushroom soup
chkn noodle soup
green beans
chili with beans
chili powder
tater tots
grated cheese
parmesean cheese
mayo/mustard/ketchup/ranch dressing/bleu cheese dressing

important to note: No butter!! aaaaa! I can't afford to go out, and I have about $10 to buy other groceries. Can you help me find a meal that doesn't require spending more then $10 on extra needs? I think butter may be part of my purchase...

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  1. By my count you have the makings now of four dinners, more if you make a few purchases. 1) 1/2 of the hamburger, saute it, mix with the Rice-a-roni to make a casserole, serve with the Parmesan cheese. 2) Other half of the hamburger, saute, mix with the chili and beans, spice up with more chili powder. If you can buy a box of macaroni to have with this you can eat for a week. 3) 1/2 of your chicken, flour it, saute in oil. Cook all of your potatoes, mash with milk, eat mashed potatoes now and later (they freeze too). You can use some flour and milk to make pan chicken gravy. 4) 1/2 of your chicken, put in baking dish, cover with undiluted mushroom soup, bake, have with some of those mashed potatoes. All of these meals should give you some leftovers. If you can buy anything, get a box of macaroni and a head of lettuce (you have salad dressing). You have corn and green beans for vegetables. If you have a little money, get a dozen eggs and a loaf of cheap white bread; that will give you French toast for substantial breakfasts or lunches all week. Any more questions? I did this stuff non-stop for seven years when my husband was in school fifty years ago. No sweat. Keep your kitchen clean: this improves your morale. Enjoy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Querencia

      that's amazing... thank you thank you thank you!!!

      1. re: livn4hevn

        You have gotten some great ideas to get you started. I know the foodies will cringe, but there were times I couldn't afford butter and used margarine. As long as other flavors are involved, such as onions and garlic, it will be fine. (Obviously you are not going to be making fettuccine alfredo or something where the butter flavor is predominant!) Tortillas are cheap and healthy and you can do wonders with a very small amount of ground beef or chicken with some beans or rice. Buy a can of chopped green chiles and make a casserole with Kings Ranch style casserole with your mushroom soup. Make beef and bean burritos with some cheese and serve with a salad. With $10 a day you could buy a lot of "extras" but by limiting your purchases to things like lettuce, eggs, pasta and various vegetables (I couldn't live without onions) you will have enough left over to buy some meat when your present supply is gone. I would think about hearty soups with a little meat, lots of vegetables and some starch (potatoes, rice, pasta), and casseroles, thrifty cooks' standbys. Best wishes. I think many of us have gone through these phases, and will have much better suggestions than I.

      2. re: Querencia

        This is one of those meals that I used to make for my kids. It was a tator tot casserole that they would beg me to make.

        Green beans ( or fresh/frozen broccoli)
        Cream of mushroom soup
        Tator tots-
        Put the tt in the oven and bake until a little crunchy.
        Brown the meat with garlic and onion, drain the fat
        Add the soup to a bowl, mix it with half a can of milk add salt pepper and garlic powder-add to the soup mix to the meat
        Drain the green beans or broccoli
        At the bottom place a layer of tator tots, then meat, then the veggie, keep layering until the casserole is full but the last layer should be the tator tots.
        Top with cheese of your choice.
        Bake at 350 bubbly
        should get a couple of big meals out of this.

        Another casserole with the hamburger is called Slumgolian.
        It's a goulash dish made with wide egg noodles, hamburger, onions, garlic, corn, black olives in a tomato sauce. Pretty tasty!
        Also a package of tortillas can be used making burritos and quesedillas adding anything to cheese for a little meal with a green salad.

      3. potatoes dont' always freeze all that well.....in my experience.

        I would suggest you spend some of your money on a big bag of onions........some eggs....maybe make a tortilla type thing with the potatoes..eggs........stretch the chili with beans with some hamburg, onions, and corn....I'd also suggest finding a cheap bag of broccoli-cauliflower type mix....and using this and chicken and rice a roni mix, as well as cream of mushroom soup to try and make some chicken divan type dish.

        barring that, there's always a form of shephard's pie.......ground beef, onions etc.......peas etc.....type thing...topped with mash potatoes and cheese if you like.

        1. If you had butter you could make a bechamel cheese sauce and serve it over the chicken breasts grilled:
          parmesean cheese

          If you had soft taco shells and shredded lettuce you could make tacos utilizing:
          ground beef (or the chili with beans if it has meat in it)
          chili powder
          rice a roni
          garlic powder
          grated cheese

          You could also make a Potato Gnocchi (w/ the potatoes and flour) and make either a browned butter sauce (served w/ parmasean) or a creamy tomato mushroom sauce from:
          cream of mushroom soup
          parmasean cheese
          a little of the ketchup

          1. Great challenge! I'd get some onions, butter, maybe some bulk spices (they are super cheap that way), whatever fruits or veggies on the biggest sale, either some dried beans or pasta
            Let's see,
            * a camping favorite in our house is a can of chili mixed with prepared mac'n'cheese. Yummy in a disgusting, camping way.
            *Bake some potatoes. Scoop out the insides, mash them, and mix in grated cheese and diced onion, milk and butter, salt and pepper. Stuff the insides with the mixture, top with a bit more grated cheese, bake til all bubbly. These are good side dishes, but are really filling, too. Also freeze well.
            *tater tot casserole! http://www.recipezaar.com/103811 is a variation; mess with it with the ingredients you have.
            *could make soup with beans, beef, onions, corn, potatoes

            1. I'd say you are pretty well stocked, actually.
              Protein: chicken, ground beef, cheese, milk
              Starch: flour, potatoes, tater-tots, corn, pasta from mac-cheese, rice-a-roni
              Veges: green beans
              Processed: chili, soups
              Seasoning and other: s/p, sugar, oil, garlic, misc sauces.

              What to buy: Looks like you're light on the veges, so that's what I'd spend at least some of my $10 on. Get whatever is in season and inexpensive (broccoli, cabbage, kale in the winter) and use that as a primary ingredient (broccoli with cheese sauce or just steamed for instance). Butter might be a good thing to give you a brighter outlook, and it's not that expensive. Plan your meals around the starch, then vegetables, and then how you're going to use the meat. Treat the meat as flavoring, like they always recommend in chinese cooking. So a single chicken breast might be enough for several people if it's combined with other things. Concentrate on the starch and veges, and let the meats be a treat. Variety is important.

              When you shop, go to a Mexican market for low prices on staples. BTW, I really like black beans and rice, which is a very cheap dish. I'd splurge on the butter, and balance its cost with tortillas or similar. Buy day-old bread and make bread pudding.

              What to make: Look up cheesy potatoes for a filling side dish. I've heard that cauliflower adds a lot to soups (ground up so it's not detectable), so maybe that's a vege candidate. Potato empanadas would be fun, or maybe hamburger in them. You could layer the mac and cheese with the canned chili in a casserole, then top with more cheese. For a special night, make crepes. You can still do 'themed' dinners (French, Mexican, whatever) to make it fun.