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Recruiting All Ideas for Cheap Homemade Dinners!

Well, with the economic climate the way it is (and knowing that it is not to noticably improve soon), we all know that many of us are pinching pennies like we've never pinched before. My sister and I are on food stamps, and frequently find it hard to make them last till the end of the month.
So, here's your challenge, 'Hounders! What are your best penny-pinching, yummy, go-to dinners?

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  1. Mexican black beans over rice. I love this recipe and have made it several times. I tweak it though, by starting with a chopped onion and adding more cumin and jalapeno than it calls for and dried chilis to ramp up the heat. The lime juice is crucial. Also, it's important to take it off the heat while it still seems too watery. It really thickens up a lot once it starts cooling.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      1. Pasta. At about 1.09 a box, pasta is a great buy. I load it up with lots of veg. Spinach, mushroom, broccolli, red peppers, a touch of olive oil, little bit of garlic and you have a cheap dinner. Also, this is what I've been doing lately.
        Another one that I love is taking a flatbread, spread a bit of mustard on it. Open a can of sardines. ( I like the ones in mustard). Slice tomatoes and red onion very thinly. Place them on the flatbread and top with the sardines. Cheap and extremely good for you.
        Also.Eggs. Cannot go wrong with eggs. We have eggs for dinner on the average of once a week. Fried, scrambled, omelettes....a good deal.
        The above for the beans and rice is a very nutricious and inexpensive meal as well.
        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jarona

          Ditto the pasta and eggs suggestion. Eggs are very nutritious and cheap. A simple but tasty -- and inexpensive -- main dish in our house is as follows:

          Buy a bottle of fat-free (water-based) Italian salad dressing and a couple of chicken breasts. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pour half a bottle of well-shakened dressing into a saute pan. Saute chicken until done and dressing has evaporated, leaving the meat coated with spices from the dressing. So good, easy and cheap.

        2. Mostly home-made everything. Saw a box of frozen naan in the store: 3 for $3.25. Heck, I made a basketful for probably less than $1.50. I make less meat, but buy good cuts and supplement it with bunches of vegetables and spices. Cheap eats doesn't have to mean peanut butter and jelly and boxed mac and cheese. Even the dollar store has good deals on fresh produce.

          1. Tuna casserole- all you need is pasta, cream of mushroom, tuna cans, frozen peas and some cheese. Tends to last me a few days.

            Also, go to any local indian or Asian store and stock up there. Prices are much more reasonable.