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I don't know what to make for diner anymore. Were sick of the same things over and over. So I need some low cost meal ideas. What are some of your family favorites?
by on May. 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Replies (41-50):
by Gold Member on May. 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Thank you so much. They sound so good.

Quoting SpiritedWitch:

Chicken is a super versatile food ... the other night I used one of the new Ragu creamy sauces (Three Cheese Alfredo ... the bacon is awesome). Poured it over frozen boneless, skinless breasts, added a little water to the pan, covered pan with foil and put in oven at 350 and then promptly fell asleep for two hours. *sigh* However! It was sooooo worth it. The chicken came out so tender that it fell apart using a fork. 


I think I am making meatball subs tonight. Simple, buy a bag (or make your own with fresh ground meat) of meatballs, warm up in skillet, add favorite sauce. Use hot dog buns or sub rolls cut open (I scoop them out ... sort of a bun bowl ... instead of slicing them open like buns)... lay a slice or two of ultra thin slice provolone (or cheese of your choice) on the inside of the roll, scoop some saucy meatballs in ... yummy. 


Amber's Chicken Grilled Cheese (NOT a fat free or lo-cal sandwich) ... you will need 2-3 boneless/skinless breasts, tomato (1 slice per sandwich), provolone and cheddar cheese (enough for two slices, one of each, per sandwich), Italian sandwich bread, butter (we like Blue Bonnet Light), Basil  and sliced onion (optional). 

boil two or three boneless, skinless breasts until they fall apart. (A big mistake many make is that do not season well enough when boiling so the chicken tastes ... well icky. Be sure to put your favorite seasonings in ... I use salt, pepper (fresh ground), basil and some liquid smoke.) When they are done, drain, add a little butter and shred with a fork. You can use the extra for lunch the next day. 

While the meat cools a little, slice the tomato if not done already, warm up pan for sandwiches (I use an electric griddle) and butter outside of bread. Lay butter side down, put one piece of cheese on each slice of bread ... provolone on one side, cheddar on the other. Put slice of tomato on provolone, sprinkle with basil (onion would go here as well but on the opposite slice of bread with the other cheese). Take some of the buttery shredded chicken and put on the sandwich, close sandwich and toast until golden. 

OPTION: to make a little healthier (maybe) ... use only one slice of cheese and bread and make as open-faced sandwich. 

Can be as a meal or as a side with a salad or soup. 


Wow! this is long ... but I love coming up with easy, doable cooking ideas. 

by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole

Tater tots are always a hit, so why limit when you eat them? Make them for dinner with this Cowboy Casserole! Out of all the easy casserole recipes to choose from, none are quite as unique and delicious as this one!

Cooking Time: 1 hr

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (10.75-ounce) cream of mushroom soup
  • (10-ounce) package frozen peas
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound bag tater tots
Watch How To Make Cheesy Broccoli Soup
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cook the hamburger with the onion in a skillet until the pink is gone.
  3. Drain extra fat. Stir in the soup and peas.
  4. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and pepper.
  5. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and spread the hamburger mixture over the bottom of the pan.
  6. Toss the cheese with the frozen tater tots and spread over the casserole.
  7. Bake for approximately one hour, until cheese is bubbly.

Read more at 
by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Simple Shepherd's Pie

By: 101 Homestyle Recipes, copyright Gooseberry Patch. Used with permission

Simple Shepherd's Pie

It doesn't get simpler than this easy ground beef casserole, otherwise known as a Shepherd's pie. This classic favorite never gets old with my family. Make up some Simple Shepherd's Pie for a wonderful weeknight meal.

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 45 min

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste
  • 3/4 ounce package brown gravy mix
  • 2 cans (10 3/4-ounce) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cups frozen sliced carrots, thawed
  • 10 ounces package frozen peas, thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 to 3 cups potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
  • paprika to taste
Watch How To Make Cheesy Broccoli Soup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Brown beef and onion in a skillet; season to taste with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Drain; pour into a large bowl. 
  3. Stir in gravy mix, soup, water, carrots and peas; mix well. 
  4. Spoon into a greased 9 inch deep-dish pie plate; sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  5. Spread mashed potatoes over top; bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika.

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by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Slow Cooker Eight Layer Casserole

Layer upon layer of pure goodness. This Eight Layer Casserole has everything your body needs. From vegetables to bacon to even more vegetables and bacon, it has it all. With every bite you will be thinking that this is the best slow cooker recipe.

Cooking Time: 5 hr

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons imitation bacon bits
  • small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15-ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 can (8.75-ounces) whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
See a Tomato Bacon Tortellini Recipe
  1. Crumble ground beef evenly over bottom of a slow cooker. Sprinkle with bacon bits, then onion. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine tomato sauce, water, chili powder, salt, and black pepper; pour half over beef and onion layers. 
  3. Sprinkle rice evenly over top, then corn. Top with remaining tomato sauce mixture, then bell pepper. 
  4. Cover and cook on low about 5 hours or until rice is tender.

Read more at 
by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Mexicalli Pie

By: 101 Homestyle Recipes, copyright Gooseberry Patch. Used with permission.

Mexicalli Pie

Spice up your week with easy casserole recipes, like this Mexicalli Pie. For Mexican recipes it sure is simple and the perfect quick dish to make for the whole family. Enjoy this yummy budget friendly dish today!

Serves: 6

Cooking Time: 30 min

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup chunky-style zesty salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp or Mexican-style Cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup corn chips, crushed
  • sour cream, sliced jalapeño peppers, diced tomato (optional)

Read more at 
by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Barbeque Beef Casserole


Barbeque Beef Casserole
This image courtesy of

The Barbeque Beef Casserole is a creative take on a tried and true classic. Easy to make and easy on the wallet, this ground beef casserole recipe has a golden cornbread crust that compliments the tangy barbeque sauce--perfect to satisfy both savory and sweet taste buds.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 30 min

  • 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • large onion, diced
  • green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • (8.5-ounce) package cornbread mix
See a Tomato Bacon Tortellini Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until evenly browned. Add the onion, bell pepper, corn and tomatoes. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Drain excess grease, and stir in the barbeque sauce.

  3. Spread the beef mixture over the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Prepare the cornbread batter mixes according to package directions. Spread the batter over the top of the beef mixture.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread layer comes out clean.

Read more at 
by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Lasagna Florentine

By: 101 Christmas Recipes, copyright Gooseberry Patch. Used with permission.

Lasagna Florentine

Lasagna isn't know for being easy, but this Lasagna Florentine is surprisingly super simple! You can never have too many easy pasta recipes, and if you can make easy lasagna recipes part of your every day collection - even better!

Serves: 9

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • (26-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 16 ounces container cottage cheese
  • 10 ounces package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 12 ounces package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • eggs, beaten
  • lasagna noodles, cooked
See a Tomato Bacon Tortellini Recipe
  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain; stir in spaghetti sauce and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, spinach, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and eggs. 
  4. In an ungreased 13"x9" baking pan, layer one cup sauce mixture, 3 noodles and 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixture; repeat layering once. 
  5. Top with remaining 3 noodles, sauce mixture, mozzarella and Parmesan. 
  6. Cover with aluminum foil; bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Read more at 
by on May. 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Good for your husband.  Hamburger Helper is not food.  It's a mess of chemicals and crap.

You can, however, make ground beef and noodles at home...and it's better for you.

You can also make homemade Tuna and Noodles...and, again, it's better for you.

Get some chicken breats, slice lengthwise but not all the way through, open the 'pocket' and stuff in anything, ham, cheese, bacon, broccoli, anything...fry a bit, until slightly brown and then bake until no longer pink.  Serve with rice, potatos, couscous, noodles anything...and a veggie.

Salisbury steak


Look up's awesome too.

Quoting ashley1693:

Thank my dh would love that.
I don't mind doing hamburger helper but my dh can't stand it.

Quoting Texascandee:

HB with baked beans.  Brown the HB then add it to baked beans with onions............does your family like Hamburger/Tuna helper?

Only when the last tree has been cut down,
Only when the last river has been poisoned,
Only when the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

— Cree Indian Prophecy

by Gold Member on May. 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM
by Member on May. 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Quoting TiffanyRose06:

these sound awesome!
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