Grocery bills are increasing across the country. Individual items are increasing in price which makes creating affordable meals more challenging. Here are some of our favorite meals that typically cost around $5. The best part is these meals are not only frugal but also appeal to all ages in regard to taste and enjoyment.
The bonus with this meal is that the filler to the chili is spaghetti. At less than a dollar a box for spaghetti noodles, it adds a great backdrop for seasoning. The Cincinnati Chili is what it is because of the seasonings – chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon. In a crockpot combine, browned ground beef with 6-ounces of tomato paste, 4 cups of water, one can of tomato sauce, chopped onion, and minced garlic. The seasonings vary based on spice level, but a general rule of thumb is to increase or decrease cayenne pepper based on spice level desire. Add 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon cloves, ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt to the crockpot. Splash in Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar and mix. Cook on low for 8 hours. If you want to really go crazy, add in shaved chocolate (or save for topping). When you are ready to eat, prep the spaghetti. Put a bed of spaghetti on the plate and top with a scoop of chili.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This is another crockpot gem and takes a few items. The ingredients include chicken breast, corn tortillas, cheese, enchilada sauce, and sliced olives. Put the chicken in the crockpot and pour enchilada sauce over it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Once cooked, shred the chicken in the sauce and top with cut tortillas into strips. Top with shredded cheese and sliced olives. Cook for another 30-60 minutes. If you have tortilla chips, you can also use those instead of tortilla strips. Have leftover meat, use that. Rotisserie chicken makes a great quick fix for the casserole when you only have 30-60 to prep a meal.
Red Beans and Rice
This can be an easy and jazzed-up recipe. Combine a can of kidney beans or soaked dried kidney beans with spices like pepper, cayenne, salt, basil, sage, and a bay leaf into a pan and cover with water and chicken or vegetable bouillon. Cook the beans until soft and mix in a can of diced tomatoes. Cook rice separately and pour beans over rice. Add in leftover meat or veggies for added flavor. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before eating.
Hawaiian Fried Rice
This one is a great one to combine leftovers. Saute cooked rice in a saucepan with oil. Combine in vegetables and meat of choice. Spam or ham are good choices. Add in chopped pineapple and you have added the tropical flavor. Don’t forget to scramble an egg in the rice for the ultimate fried rice touch.
Enjoy pizza at home with the personalization of any ingredient your family enjoys. Making a pizza crust with pizza yeast is not as difficult as making bread. Make the pizza crust based on the pizza yeast package. Add in Italian Seasonings for extra flavor to the crust. Top with pasta sauce, desired cheese, veggie and meat and bake! What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Topping ideas include:
-Roasted veggies like fennel, broccoli, tomatoes, red bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant
-Picked veggies like cucumbers, jalapeños, red onions
-Capers and olives
-Prosciutto, pepperoni, salami, sausage
-Cheese options like parmesan, mozzarella, gouda, cheddar
Do you have a favorite budget meal?