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DH's work is seasonal and is unusually slow right now. ☹️ We eat out far too much and I need to start making some food.  I am not a good cook.  Also, we don't eat a lot of meat, but do eat ground beef in casserole/type things.  We don't like soup, and DD just had her tonsils out so we have recently overloaded on soup.  I also have several cans of Costco canned chicken which I really like!

Since I am not a good cook, don't like to cook, I like to make things that last for several days.  I was planning on making a lasagna.  What else?  Any good mexican casserole recipes with ground beef?  Anything I meatless I can make but that would last more than one day?  Good casseroles with canned chicken?

Help me stop running out for pizza!

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A few of my go to for cheap meals.

Lentil and broccoli quiche

Lentil and brown rice taco 'meat'.  

Ground beef tacos

Breakfast for supper

Spaghetti made with sausage (the kind I buy is a spicy cheap kind $2.50 per pound)

Beans, cornbread and fried potatoes (ok, yes that is a very southern meal LOL)

That is all I can think of for now.

We also do a lot of baked chicken and roasted veggies.

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Mexican cornbread casserole is a southwest ground beef recipe that's yummy and fills a 13x9 pan.

Chicken/broccoli/rice casserole

Sloppy Joes

Bbq meatballs served over rice

Chicken spaghetti casserole

I like Pioneer Woman's chicken salad recipe. You could try using your canned chicken.

You could make a big pan of chicken enchiladas inexpensively.

If you don't like to cook, have you used rotisserie chicken from the grocery store deli? I can get two meals out of shredding one chicken for the above recipes which is still pretty frugal, imho. ?

For meatless (2 dinners per week at our house) we like a big pan of Mexican quinoa. Lasts us 2 dinners.

also meatless:

Loaded baked sweet potatoes

Eggplant pizzas

Eggplant parmesan

Mexican street corn tacos using refried beans as the protein

Spinach lasagna

What about spinach and cheese stuffed shells? Meatless and makes a lot.

 

 

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You can make several day's worth of quesadillas at one time - some with and some without meat - and shove the extras in the freezer.

Otherwise, in a crunch we sometimes do fish tacos or baked potatoes.

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One time at Trader Joe’s their sample for the day was this yummy chicken salad made with canned chicken and their Quinoa pesto served on toasted English muffins. They were so good! And so simple!!! I’m sure you could just use any pesto with your canned chicken though. 

We like a pot of beans (cheap!) served many different ways...one day with rice, one day with cornbread, one day mashed up for burritos/quesadillas. 

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I like penne pasta with tomatoes and basil. It's a Martha Stewart recipe where you just throw stuff into a pan and let it cook. Very tasty.

Budget Bites (or ...Bytes? I can't remember) has a similar recipe with penne, smoked sausage, spinach and cheese (we nix the cheese bc of Dd's allergy and it is truly just as good). Delicious, super easy and fast. 

Also check out Makenna Gott's youtube channel. She  is a milspouse (they have another channel, GottLove) who is a very simple cook. I love her pork bbq (crockpot) and her coleslaw, and she has a couple of yummy, super easy Asian recipes. (tell her I said hello! lol)

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Only one meal but cheap and easy

Black bean tacos

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, drained

1 can petite diced tomatoes, partially drained

1 packet taco seasoning mix.

Heat all.together and serve on flour tortillas.  Add cheese, sour cream, lettuce ,guacamole, lime juice, cilantro, etc as desired.

You can make it stretch farther by adding a 1/2-1 cooked rice or some cooked ground beef or shredded chicken.

 

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Your library might own a cookbook called Cheap, Fast, Good.  It has recipes listed by "cheapness" and tips for prepping stuff in cost effective ways.

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Truthfully, if you don’t like to cook and you don’t want to....even a supply of TV dinners, frozen pizzas, and other stuff from the freezer section of the grocery store would be more cost effective than ordering pizza.  Sure, cooking from scratch might be healthier and/or more cost effective, but if your primary goal is just to save money by not going out for pizza, start by planning ahead and buying frozen.  

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I made this for dinner. It’s an easy coconut curry. You can substitute almost and meat or veg and it’ll taste great. It’s great for disguising leftovers. It’s fast on the stovetop; you don’t HAVE to use the crockpot. 

https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/slow-cooker-curry-cashew-chicken

I may try this one this week. It’s a rice-based taco casserole that apparently freezes well. It might be worth browsing the website anyway. 

https://www.eatingonadime.com/taco-rice-casserole-it-freezes-great/

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What kinds of food do you like to eat?  What do you buy when going out?

Our favorite cheap recipes here increase the amount of sides and decrease the amount of protein.  And we try to reuse the same ingredients until they're used up - like, cilantro comes in a large bunch. If I buy it, that week we will cook up:
-black beans (to use in salad, as a side, or in burritos)
-Vietnamese or Thai style veggies and chicken
-plain rice (as a vehicle for other foods)
-white chili

Or sweet potatoes/butternut squash gets prepped in cubes so I can pull them out of the freezer and bake or steam them really quick.  They get added to hash, used in pasta dishes, or served with a bit of salt or cheese & jalapenos.

So think about what you do like, and how to adjust the amounts to decrease expensive ingredients or increase your use for basic ones. Look at the circulars and see what's on sale. I could definitely give you some of our favorites but I have found that our pantry of 'staples' isn't much like others. I have 6 jars of different grains and a pasta maker that is in heavy use, lol, because we got tired of paying $5 for a small thing of fresh pasta or $2 for dried when I could make the same thing at home for $.30 - $1 and a bit of work.

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Cheap and nutritious takes some work.  A good resource is your local Cooperative Extension - they know what's in season locally and have recipes on their web page. Here's ours: http://fnec.cornell.edu/category/recipe/

In general try bowls.   Prepare the protein and veg, put on a bed of lettuce/rice/pasta. Fruit as dessert.

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There is a chicken and stuffing casserole that is serious comfort food for me!  I have never tried it with canned chicken but it would probably work.  I have been craving this lately. (Note- this is one of those casseroles using cream of --- soups and butter and other such things.  I never claimed it was a healthy recipe)  It is fairly inexpensive though and might use up some canned chicken.  

 

https://www.theseasonedmom.com/chicken-and-stuffing-casserole/

 

 

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Potatoes & meat....brown ground beef, breakfast sausage or dice smoked/polish sausage. Pour meat in a bowl.  Dice and fry potatoes in same skillet.  Mix meat and potatoes together.  Eat.

Tator tot cheeseburger casserole....layer browned ground beef in casserole dish.  Mix together can of cream of chicken soup & 8 oz sour cream. This goes on top of meat. Sprinkle later if shredded cheese and too with tator tots.   Bake at 375* for 20-30 moms or until tots are done.

BBQ -- pork bbq -- put a pork butt in crock pot. Add a can of soda.  Cool 8-10 hours on low.  Pull out & shred. Mix in a little seasoned salt.  I don't add bbq sauce, I left each person do this in their own.  This also freezes good so if you make a big batch you can freeze in portions for easy meal later.

Potatoes, green beans & smoked sausage -- I do this in crockpot but have heard people do it in the oven.  Big dice potatoes out in bottom of crockpot, next dump in frozen green beans then top with cut up smoked/polish sausage.  Pour a can of chicken broth in.  Cool on low 4 hours or until potatoes are done.

Ground beef and chicken can be cooked and frozen in meal size portions.  I find it I have that much done ahead of time it makes cooking quicker.

Also if you find a casserole or meal that yall like (lasagna) it might freeze well.  Make 2 when making and freeze one for later. 

Pinterest has some good easy and cheap meal ideas.

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My whole family loves Crack Slaw. I'll link a recipe, but you can make it in lots of different ways. I like adding some Chinese Five Spice, sriracha sauce, and green onions along with some garlic and ginger. You can make a ton at once and leftovers heat up easily. Plus, it's ground beef and cabbage - pretty inexpensive.

 

Crack Slaw

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Boxed mac n cheese.  Seriously cheap, and I actually like it.  (I kind of hate to admit that.)

Costco sized package of chicken thighs.  Saute in a heavy pot in whatever tasty or neutral fat you have around (olive oil, butter, corn oil, just not margarine) until whitened (not browned.)   For every 2-3 thighs, pour in one can of cream of chicken soup.  Cover and simmer for half an hour.  This makes its own gravy which is excellent on white rice.  Or you can drop a dumpling recipe on top of it after half simmered.  Reheats well in the oven.

Ground beef casserole:  Brown 1 lb ground beef, pour off fat, pour in 15-16 oz of tomato sauce.  In parallel, cook 8 oz of wide, flat noodles.  Drain and mix with a 50/50 mixed of cream cheese and cottage cheese mixed with chopped scallions (green onions).  Grease a big casserole dish.  Layer in the dish, starting with the noodle layer, ending up with at least 4 layers.  Bake for one hour at 300 uncovered.  Reheats well in the oven.

Tuna casserole:  Two cans of water packed tuna, drained and rinsed and drained again.  Two cans of mac n cheese.  (I have not made this in a while, and have not looked for this ingredient--I am not completely sure that it's easy to find anymore.)  Layer in greased casserole--MNC, tuna, MNC, tuna.  Top with crumbled plain potato chips (I like Ruffles for this.)  Bake uncovered for half an hour at 350 until warmed through.  Reheats well.  Actually tastes pretty good, which is hard to believe based on how it sounds but there you have it.

English muffin pizzas:  One package of Thomas' English muffins.  One ball of mozzerrella cheese.  Equal amount of sharp cheddar, both grated and mixed together.  First make the sauce:  1 can tomato paste, mixed thoroughly with 1 cup of boiling water.  Sprinkle generously with dried minced onions, and with garlic salt.  Grind up in a mortar and pestle 1 t oregano, 1/2 t thyme, 1 t basil, 1/4 t rosemary (all dried).  Sprinkle onto sauce.  Then mix thoroughly.  Lay out English muffin halves on a cookie sheet, they will just fit.  Spoon sauce evenly into each one.  Then sprinkle with mixed grated cheeses.  Take sliced sandwich salami and cut in eighths and dot onto the muffins, then sprinkle and press on sliced scallions.  Bake in 400 f oven for 20 minutes.  These are really good, but don't reheat well.  

 

 

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I prefer to eat mostly vegetarian. Especially during the warmer months I like to keep some bean salad in the fridge. This is my current favorite. There's no cooking involved, just a little chopping and some mixing. It's a versatile recipe. If you don't want to use pickled jalapenos you can use fresh. If you don't want to use bottled salad dressing you can make your own. You could add some rice or quinoa if you wanted. It will keep several days in the fridge. I eat it as a main dish with some whole wheat crackers or tortilla chips, and put it in garden salads. You could also eat it (cold or warm) in tortillas, maybe with a sprinkling of cheese, sour cream, etc.

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On 5/25/2018 at 8:33 PM, KungFuPanda said:

I may try this one this week. It’s a rice-based taco casserole that apparently freezes well. It might be worth browsing the website anyway. 

https://www.eatingonadime.com/taco-rice-casserole-it-freezes-great/

That one sounds great for us!

 

14 hours ago, CaliforniaDreamin said:

There is a chicken and stuffing casserole that is serious comfort food for me!  I have never tried it with canned chicken but it would probably work.  I have been craving this lately. (Note- this is one of those casseroles using cream of --- soups and butter and other such things.  I never claimed it was a healthy recipe)  It is fairly inexpensive though and might use up some canned chicken.  

https://www.theseasonedmom.com/chicken-and-stuffing-casserole/

YUM!

29 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

I prefer to eat mostly vegetarian. Especially during the warmer months I like to keep some bean salad in the fridge. This is my current favorite. There's no cooking involved, just a little chopping and some mixing. It's a versatile recipe. If you don't want to use pickled jalapenos you can use fresh. If you don't want to use bottled salad dressing you can make your own. You could add some rice or quinoa if you wanted. It will keep several days in the fridge. I eat it as a main dish with some whole wheat crackers or tortilla chips, and put it in garden salads. You could also eat it (cold or warm) in tortillas, maybe with a sprinkling of cheese, sour cream, etc.

Thanks for reminding me of salad/cold ideas!

I forgot about baked potatoes!  We love those!

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To me, cheap recipes depends on how you shop. Buying meat and other staples you like to cook with when they are on sale is key for me. Plan meals around the inexpensive cuts of meat and it will usually go better than starting with a recipe and buying what you need.

My family really likes this chicken, black beans and cream cheese recipe served on taco shells or tortillas. It will only be cheap when items are purchased on sale. I like it because it's easy and I always have enough for 2-3 meals. I use unfrozen chicken breasts and reduce the cooking time. 

http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/crock-pot-chicken-with-black-beans-cream-cheese-89204

This BBQ shredded chicken is super easy and cheap, especially if you substitute regular paprika for smoked. I don't add BBQ sauce during cooking, and instead serve it on the side. https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-bbq-shredded-chicken-168003

 

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Baked beans and collard greens

Veggie hash with fried eggs

black bean and spinach quesadillas 

spiced chickpea wraps

 

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My favorite “cheap and lazy” dinner is fried rice. Rice, whatever veggies are available in your fridge or freezer, eggs- boom! You’re done. Throw in leftover chicken or whatever meat you have for bonus points. You can make the batch as large or small as you like, and my dd says it's always better the second day, so I usually make plenty for leftovers fro a day or two. 

 I started typing this reply, and dd and dh came to ask when we were eating dinner. I asked what they wanted, and they both said, “fried rice!” Lol!

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7 hours ago, SarahCB said:

My whole family loves Crack Slaw. I'll link a recipe, but you can make it in lots of different ways. I like adding some Chinese Five Spice, sriracha sauce, and green onions along with some garlic and ginger. You can make a ton at once and leftovers heat up easily. Plus, it's ground beef and cabbage - pretty inexpensive.

 

Crack Slaw

 

This looks super yummy!!

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2 hours ago, Pippen said:

To me, cheap recipes depends on how you shop. Buying meat and other staples you like to cook with when they are on sale is key for me. Plan meals around the inexpensive cuts of meat and it will usually go better than starting with a recipe and buying what you need.

My family really likes this chicken, black beans and cream cheese recipe served on taco shells or tortillas. It will only be cheap when items are purchased on sale. I like it because it's easy and I always have enough for 2-3 meals. I use unfrozen chicken breasts and reduce the cooking time. 

http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/crock-pot-chicken-with-black-beans-cream-cheese-89204

 

We have that same recipe often!

2 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

 

spiced chickpea wraps

 

recipe for this?  I love bean based recipes.

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22 hours ago, CaliforniaDreamin said:

There is a chicken and stuffing casserole that is serious comfort food for me!  I have never tried it with canned chicken but it would probably work.  I have been craving this lately. (Note- this is one of those casseroles using cream of --- soups and butter and other such things.  I never claimed it was a healthy recipe)  It is fairly inexpensive though and might use up some canned chicken.  

 

https://www.theseasonedmom.com/chicken-and-stuffing-casserole/

 

 

I LOVE this casserole.  When we make it we put slices of swiss cheese between the chicken mixture and stuffing.  Comfort food for sure, and easy!

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4 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Chicken pot pie is an easy recipe especially if you use bought crust..  

Or do the filling in a casserole dish and biscuits on the side.  I know some do biscuits on top but my family prefers them on the side

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I like fish tacos too when frozen fish is on sale.

Corn chowder. Or clam chowder.

Tuna melts - I make these a bit differently than most people.  I cut some apple into the tuna and mix with miracle whip.  And then for the cheese I use old cheddar.

Pirogies with sour cream.

Macaroni and cheese, the homemade kind.  You can add some chopped ham or bacon.

I also like a panzanella, a salad with tomatoes and bread and I make it with some crumbled sausage.

I also make a casserole with ground beef cooked with onions, mixed with a bit of tomato sauce and allspice, salt and pepper.  i layer that with shredded cabbage, cover the dish and cook.  You can serve it with some root veg and boiled new potatoes.

 

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one of our favorite cheap and easy meals is to cook boneless skinless chicken thighs in the crockpot. I don't add any liquids. Just season with a little salt and pepper. Once cooked--drain, shred and add Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce. Serve over baked potatoes. I stock up on the bbq sauce at Publix when it's BOGO. Bag of baking potatoes and other toppings are cheap at Aldi. We add shredded cheese, butter and sour cream.

Here's a recipe for white bean chicken chili that we all love, too. I used canned chicken (something else I stock up on BOGO at PUblix). I sub a can of Rotel for the tomatillos because I'm just not that fancy. ? It's also good topped with cheese and sour cream. The hardest part of this recipe is opening all the cans. lol

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