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gemiwing's avatar

What is your cheapest recipe?

Asked by gemiwing (14713points) July 8th, 2010

Beyond beans and rice- what is your cheapest recipe? It doesn’t have to be the most nutritionally balanced as I can add healthy things to it or adjust it as needed.

My cheapest-

Hoe cakes (Cherokee version)
2c cornmeal
2c boiling water
(variations include garlic/butter/herbs or maple syrup)

Mix, patty and then fry in shallow pan with a small amount of oil/bacon fat. Makes six-eight patties.

What’s yours?

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19 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
knitfroggy's avatar

about a cup of elbow macaroni, cooked
1 can drained tuna fish
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can mushrooms (if you like)

mix it all together and call it tuna casserole

dynamicduo's avatar

Eggs, hands down the best bang for your buck for protein. Omelettes using whatever leftover veggies are in the fridge double as breakfast or dinner. When I eat cheap, I incorporate a lot of discount vegetables, cause if I eat only processed food I feel absolutely awful. I haunt that discount rack first thing in the morning and gobble up anything that looks good. Zucchini has been plentiful, so that on the BBQ makes a nice side veggie. I make pancakes from scratch (this recipe) which doubles as waffle batter simply by putting it into a waffle machine, the most expensive component is milk and butter as I buy flour from the super bulk store.

AmWiser's avatar

@gemiwing your hoe cakes are what our family calls hot water cornbread – di-lishous.

My cheapest recipe is:
2-large potatoes cubed
1-pack smoked sausage – sliced
1-small onion – chopped or sliced

brown the potatoes in about 2tbls oil until slightly done
add onion and smoked sausage
cover, cook on low until potatoes are tender.

knitfroggy's avatar

@AmWiser I make taters and sausage quite often. It’s so good, it doesn’t seem cheap!

Keysha's avatar

For me, it is
1 lb cooked mashed potatoes
2 egg yolks

mix together until smooth, and fry in a pan coated with no stick spray. Serve with butter.


1 lb ground beef
2 cans tomato soup
2 tsp garlic powder or 2 med cloves of garlic, diced small
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 med onion or 2 tsp onion flakes
2 tsp vinegar
1 can water

Pasta if desired

Cook and drain beef, add rest, cook until thickened. Makes great soup, spaghetti sauce, or, add more beef and have for sloppy joes.

AmWiser's avatar

@knitfroggy I agree, it doesn’t seem cheap! And if there are any left-overs, I like to add an over easy or scrambled egg and have it for breakfast.

jca's avatar

I agree eggs are about the best bang for the buck. i like fresh fruits and veggies, and whatever ones i buy depends on what’s on sale.

for desserts, rice pudding is pretty cheap to make, so is tapioca pudding.

YARNLADY's avatar

A bowl of oatmeal with peaches.

SamIAm's avatar

growing up dad always made fried breaded chicken cutlets (that’s not the cheap part, although, i guess it could be inexpensive-ish if you shop wisely), and he always made these potatoes with it:

1–2 cans sliced white potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
salt, pepper and paprika to taste

fry together in a little bit of evoo and it’s surprising delicious…

gemiwing's avatar

I love seeing others recipes- especially for really cheap things. It’s interesting to learn how other people cook frugally, doubly so because ‘frugal’ means different things to different people.

We’ve been very blessed this year with friends’ gardens. Tons of lettuce and veggies. We make our own soy milk, tofu, bread, tortillas as well so that’s always a few cheap ingredients for us. I can’t wait for the tomatoes to ripen- hellooo tomato sauce!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Insert Tab P into Slot V
Mix thoroughly

forgive me I am in a goofy mood

NaturallyMe's avatar

Aha, here’s one my mum made for me recently and i thought it was REALLY tasty. It’s spaghetti, and for the sauce you use a tin of tomato and onion mix and heat it up on the stove. In goes 4 dessert spoons of Nola mayonnaise and mix it. That’s it!

NaturallyMe's avatar

Oh, here’s another one, it’s not necessarily the cheapest, but it’s pretty simple and not expensive really. It’s a couscous dish. You just cook the couscous as usual, with salt, then chop up some avo and tomatoes into small pieces and mix it in. It’s filling, quick, and not expensive.

ucme's avatar

Bread & point. That’s where impoverished families take a slice of bread & point it toward a butcher’s shop. The flavour of the meat wafts onto the bread. Aww poor little mites.Apparently a true tale of life in some parts of England during the war.Honest, cross my heart.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Ooh, how could i forget oatmeal! Cooking it with half milk and half water on the stove makes is so much more delicious too.

downtide's avatar

Sliced potatoes and onions, pan-fried with a can of hot dog sausages (drained and cut into pieces). Or substitute the sausages for a can of corned beef to make corned-beef hash.

Another one which I actually found in a Mexican restaurant – warm up a can of refried beans and mix in a little grated cheese (it should be warm enough that the cheese melts) and a little mustard. Spread on a slice of toast (the restaurant used slices of French bread) and add a bit of chopped tomato on top, and stick it under the grill.

SamIAm's avatar

Just thought of another: I really love squash and zucchini and will often cut them up into bite size pieces and drizzle some evoo and seasoned salt on them! or add some good seasons dressing. so good and refreshing and my late night guilty free snack!

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