Stay at Home Moms

Cheap go-to meals?

I am trying to save the dollars since DH is not bringing in a paycheck.

Tonight I used leftover roast to make shepherd's pie and put another in the freezer.

Any ideas are appreciated.

Re: Cheap go-to meals?

  • I usually do a stir fry if there is any leftover meat or vegetables. A bag of rice tends to last us forever. The only thing I ever really need to buy is Veri Veri Teriyaki.
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  • I absolutely LOVE this recipe for sloppy joes.

    its also great to separate in to portions & freeze.  

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  • American Chop Suey (makes enough to save for leftovers)

    Chicken broccoli and Ziti

    Meatballs with pasta.  (with this recipe, you can also just make the sauce)

  • I usually just lurk on this board, but a great cheap meal for us is salsa chicken in the crockpot:
    For my husband and I:
    I usually do 2 chicken breasts, a big jar of Pace salsa, corn and black beans in a crockpot on low for about 6 to 8 hours. We usually serve it with tortillas or taco shells and add a little cheese and/or sour cream there is usually leftovers too.
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  • kmc217kmc217 member

    I second the salsa chicken recommendation but I love to use Newman's pineapple salsa and a can of black beans and 3 good sized chicken breasts and that usually makes enough to eat and freeze a full sized portion. We do it over rice or as burritos with guacamole. 

    We also like soups, even for summer. I make vegetable soup (peppers, carrots, zucchini, onion, celery, 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, 32 oz carton chicken broth, 1-2 cans white beans or chick peas (I use 2 because my kids are insanely into beans), 1/3 cup whole wheat orzo or other little pasta.  This makes a huge pot-- usually enough for 1 dinner for all 4 of us and enough for a couple lunches or a dinner for the kids again.

    Beef barley soup -- I use recipe and it is so good, really cheap and only uses a small piece of top round which is cheap but since it cooks so long it gets super tender.  

     ETA: I also just discovered the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Florentine Pasta recipe and my family is in love with it. The whole recipe makes a HUGE amount and I usually can get away with 3 good sized chicken breasts diced and will still feed my family of 4, my mom and have enough for 2-3 lunch portions. 


    DD1 7/10/08  DD2 8/11/10  DS 7/2/13

  • Homemade burritos (seasoned chicken, black beans, rice, usual toppings.  The chicken stretches far with the added filling items)

    Spicy Bean Burritos (from Annie's Eats)

    Homemade Pizza

    Soups always make a lot and stretch far

    Breakfast for dinner 

    I feel like I have more cheap(er) meals that I use regularly.  I try to balance our menu out with some cheaper meals when I'm planning for the week.  Let me think about it.  I may be back :)

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  • I'm sorry to hear about your DH. :( Is it temporary? Does he have any prospects?

    When I think "cheap", I think about using staples/condiments most people would have on-hand.

    Here's some from my own stash:

    Crockpot shredded BBQ chicken (you could serve on buns like sandwiches or over baked potatoes, which are inexpensive!):


    Enchiladas Verdes (tortillas, salsa, cilantro, sour cream - all cheap - and you can 2x or 3x this recipe and freeze):


    Meatballs Nirvana (uses jarred dried spices, most people have these - and you could do meatball subs or spaghetti and meatballs):


    Turkey Helper (my version of Hamburger Helper only needs three ingredients!):


    HTH! :)


    eclaire 9.10.06  diggy 6.2.11

  • There are these chicken mexican dishes they sell at Target and  am not kiding they are GOOD, each meal is 2.99 and serves 2. I eat them because I really like them but thats a thought. 
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  • Another idea:

    A girlfriend of mine always talks about the "bread store". It's a discount breadstore by name brands like Wonderbread, Buttercrust, or SaraLee somewhere around here. Apparently, they are all over and house any breads that aren't perfect enough for grocery store shelves and are like $1 or less.

    Can you look into one of those near you? 

    I know we spend a ton on breads, buns, rolls, etc. 


    eclaire 9.10.06  diggy 6.2.11

  • I will buy a whole chicken and roast it. Meat and veggies for the first night, chicken pie, chicken salad, etc. the second night. If you are feeling froggy you can make stop with the leftovers.

    Breakfast for dinner

    Beans and Rice (toppings make this great)

    You can also use leftover roast for philly sandwiches.


    BFP 11/29/11 MC 12/29/11
  • Chicken and rice, cheeseburger soup, spaghetti, pasties...All pretty good.

    We started buying in more of a wholesale manner to save money. We can buy $100 dollars worth of food and have it easily last a month. Instead of bags of flour, we by it by the pound (at like 33 cents a pound, it's significantly cheaper). Same with sugar and all of our spices, as well as oatmeal, noodles, beans. I think I am not spending 10 cents per spice instead of 1.50 per spice. 

    I also think planning ahead at least two weeks of meals really helps to lower how much I spend. I can buy for the specific meals, and if I feel lazy one night, I can switch out from a future night, or eat leftovers. 

    We really just cut everything out. No soda, only apple and orange juice. Milk in bulk and then freeze it. No frozen dinners, or easy breakfasts. It was hard to adjust at first, because the microwave was my love, but now I feel a lot healthier, and DD1 loves helping me cook.

    Our favorite to do is homemade biscuits. 3 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/4 tea salt, 1 1/4 c butter, 1 cup milk. Lightly kneaded, cut some circles, in the oven at 450 for 14 minutes. Soooo good!

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  • imageTobeMrs.Shavers:

    I'm sorry to hear about your DH. :( Is it temporary? Does he have any prospects? 

    Thank you.  He was injured at work.  We are waiting on Worker's Comp.  He also has a return date for work, so I am hoping it doesn't get so bad.

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