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Dinner ideas on the cheap?!

When I say cheap I mean, I'm not going grocery shopping bc we have no money. We have Tilapia filets for tonight, but we aren't getting paid until Monday... so I need ideas for the next four nights! Here's a few of the things I have:
about 5 baking potatoes, 3 cans of northern beans, 2 cans of black beans, 2 cans each of Cream of Mush. Cream of Chick. and Chicken broth. Spaghetti noodles, Elbow noodles, Tomato sauce, Rotel (diced tomatoes with peppers), any spice you can think of, some brown rice, some "boil in a bag" white rice, lots of olive oils, vinegars, sherry, etc. Salsa, peanut butter, syrup, honey, mustards (Dijon, honey mustard, reg mustard) minced garlic, a head of lettuce, and a few full bars of real butter, some frozen white corn and frozen honey carrots, and a frozen ham steak. I have all the main baking ingredients- all purpose flour, some wheat flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder/soda, vanilla, salt/pepper, powdered sugar, etc.

The key things I am MISSING from just about all my recipe's are milk, cheese and eggs. And I have a very small amount of margarine to work with too. And no bread (a few leftover hot dog buns, and a few flour/corn tortillas, but not very many!).

I'm just not very creative when it comes to this kinda stuff...This isn't everything but if you can throw out some ideas I can probably put something together. We've been using applesauce as a sub for eggs which works well in most things. We also have Bisquick baking mix, and one box of mac-n-cheese! Thanks ladies!!!

Answer Question

Asked by livn4hevn at 3:33 PM on Jul. 13, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 11 (622 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • You can make chicken noodle soup with the chicken broth, potatoes, spaghetti noodles, and carrots.

    Answer by Cafemomoftwo217 at 3:41 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • as far as bread goes, I make a bread- we call it a "flap jack" it is flour and water, pour in your oil- heat it then cook the mix like a pancake, I love them w/ pinto beans and sausage, but they are perfect for any meal and CHEAP! :)

    spaghatti noodles w/ butter and salt to taste- are very good, I wouldn't have thought it, but they are.

    crackers? peanut butter and crackers one night?

    I would do the ham, mashed potatoes and mac n cheese one night and hope for left overs the next night, or then cook some corn/beans for the following night to replace something that was all eaten.

    Answer by 2teens2LOs at 3:41 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I see that can also can make rice with beans and a salad (lettuce).

    Answer by Cafemomoftwo217 at 3:46 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • Also the elbows with tomato sauce also sounds tasty.

    Answer by Cafemomoftwo217 at 3:47 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • You could have baked potatoes one night with the salsa on them.

    Use the tomato sauce and spice it up with whatever spices you like and serve over the noodles. For toast, spread margarine or the butter on the hot dog buns and stick under the broiler for a minute. If I am the only one eating spaghetti for dinner, I will open a sm can of tomato sauce and spice it up with garlic and onion powders, pinch of salt, basil and oregano. It is sooo good!

    I would do the ham steak with some of the frozen veg for the sides one night.

    The soup would be easy one night, too like 2teens said.

    Or you could cook the rice and top with some of the beans and tomatoes with chilies. You can bake the tortillas to make yummy homemade chips to eat with that.

    Good luck!!!

    Answer by AngieBry at 3:52 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • How about bean tortillas with some rice, lettuce, and the rotel or salsa? You could do some scalloped potatoes with ham one night and then the macaroni and cheese with ham like a casserole the next day.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 4:06 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • If you have chicken of any kind you could make chicken and dumplings just mix up your flour with some water til the consistency of dough. We put some cream of chicken in for flavoring and use salt and pepper to taste. I've been where you have been for the past 3 months at the end of each month. Its crazy the things you can come up with when you have hardly nothing. I made once a casserole using rice, black beans, spinach, corn, cream of chicken with a can of rotel and at the time we had some velveeta and put in oven and baked it. It was SO good! Good luck on meal ideas it can be hard but can be done too.

    Answer by leann74016 at 4:19 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • How about chili with the tomatoes and beans? Serve with rice to 'fill out' the meal...

    You could make some kind of drop biscuits with bits of ham in them, or scalloped potatoes with bits of ham. In lieu of milk you could find a recipe that's heavier on the butter and cannibalize some of the cheese from the mac & cheese (or Kraft parmesan if you have some of that).

    Another good site is and search for dairy free or lactose intolerant options (so you find recipes that don't require cheese or milk). Good luck!!


    Answer by tigrefan98 at 2:20 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

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