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Jun 16, 2008 05:28 AM

Favorite Frugal Meals to Cook?

In this economy of ours, this foodie would love to hear your ideas for your favorite frugal meals. Thanks- Susie

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  1. Spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and chilli - luckily it's one of Mr GG's favourite meals!
    Pasta with grated courgette, garlic and basil
    Spaghetti carbonara

    Pasta=cheap comfort food. Mind you, my favourite brand has gone up by a third due to the rise in the price of wheat, so not quite so cheap any more!

    1 Reply
    1. re: greedygirl

      Ohmagawd, yep, spaghetti w/ oil & garlic. If you have it, toss in some broccoli, chili flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Toasted bread crumbs and Locatelli Romano is a double bonus!

      Eggs are also a great frugal meal and oh so versatile. Poached, fried, scrambled, hard-boiled. YUM!

    2. Spaghetti tossed and heated with a can of white beans or garbanzos, spinach (defrosted chopped frozen will do) or escarole, and a can of spicy cut up tomatoes. Sprinkle with parmigiana. Enjoy.

      Cheap, easy, nutritious, low fat and yummy. Who could ask for more?

      1. We eat a lot of humble meals that combine fresh produce with cheap dried goods- lentil soup (.99c/bag) with fresh spinach and tomatoes or whatever's in season.... taboulleh (bulgur= very affordable, goes a looong way) with mint and parsley from the yard and a fresh tomato.... cuban black beans over brown rice with some fresh fruit and veggies on the side.... My trick is to stock up on a wide variety of usual/unusual dried beans, rice, grains, etc, and then buy produce when it's in season, and to shoot for hearty and satisfying 'peasant' food. I rarely eat meat, but will occassionally buy a pound of good quality bacon and cut it into fourths- even at $8/lb, that's only $2/meal, and 1/4 lb of bacon sauteed with onion, garlic, etc goes a very long way as a base for soups, stews, casseroles, etc.

        1. what about salads? there's so many variations and you can add more interestings items as money allows.

          1. IN the protein camp....
            Anything calling for boneless, skinless chicken breasts turns into chicken thighs. At first, I was not a dark meat fan, and now - I am SOLD on it. Stays jucy..and it's easy to "de-skin." I have seen thighs as low as 97 cents/pound!

            This is especially true for chicken soups, "stews", chili's, casseroles.

            Breakfast for dinner always a good one - eggs - cheap protein - some bacon (cheap-ish), and whatever else you fancy - hotcakes, toast, whatever (cheap).

            1 Reply
            1. re: stellamystar

              I never liked the dark thigh meat either. But like you we have been trying it lately and really liking it. Like with an asian braise. Yum. We get a really good brand of organic ones, but still much cheaper than what we were buying. And good.