Easy Budget Meal Ideas

Give me your best budget recipes, looking to expand my range of good meals to make on a budget.

Pic related is my Italian tuna pasta recipe. With bread and grated cheese this will feed two men easily for a main meal, or make 2 main meals for one man over two days. This requires only one pot to make and is actually really good.

>Ingredients
200-250g of dry pasta
Can of diced tomatoes
Can of tuna in oil
Margarine or table spread
Mixed herbs
Salt
Tomato ketchup

>Method
Cook pasta in water with some salt and a dollop of table spread.
When nearly cooked strain the pasta and save a small amount of the water it was cooked in.
Add the can of tomatoes, a good dollop of table spread and a squirt of ketchup and stir until uniform. Also add the small amount of water from cooking the pasta that you saved earlier.
Add mixed herbs and more salt to taste.
Add the tuna with half it's oil and stir.
Let it simmer until the pasta has finished cooking and the sauce has thickened. Feel free to add more herbs, salt or table spread as it does.

That's all there is to it. If you don't like tuna (you don't actually taste it so much in this) you can swap it out for precooked sausages and add more table spread to replace the oil from the tuna. Serve with bread and grated cheese.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    1 scoop of choccy protein powder
    250ml of milk
    1 bowl of Shredded Wheat
    1 banana chopped up

    wala, everything the body needs

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I'm too much of a poorgay to buy protein powder. I do eat oats + milk with a chopped up banana every morning tho.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Sounds tasty.

        All the cheap stuff I cook is basically just carb (rice, quinoa, or mashed taters)
        + sauce (tomato, soy, or butter)
        + meat (whatever’s the best price)

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Chickpea curry with rice, lentils curry with rice, tofu stir fry, egg fried rice. Those are the cheapest and hearthiest dinner meals i eat on the budget, that still provide more than good ol' pasta and sauce. For breakfast nothing imo beats oatmeal or eggs. Im basically a peasant.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Been meaning to get into making my own curries and chilli but haven't got around to buying the initial cupboard full of spices yet. Egg fried rice is good I usually at it at least once a week. I like to fry an onion and some ham with the eggs before I dump the cooked rice into the pan.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Honestly i have just few basic spices and i use a curry mix. I bloom what little spices i have with a little bit of tomato paste added at the end, then i add a can of tomatoes, little bit of coconut cream, cook it for a moment, then i dump my rinsed canned chickpeas. After its cooked i some frozen vegetables. Good volume, reasonably tasty and pretty filling for that price.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          You should use sesame oil with the chickpea recipe. Sesame seeds are one of the things to pair chickpeas with to make a complete protein. As I'm sure you're aware, nearly all plant proteins are known as incomplete proteins because they lack essential amino acids etc. But in some cases you can hack an almost complete protein by pairing two incomplete proteins.

          https://i.imgur.com/TiLQXDi.gif

          > 3 chicken drumsticks (12 / $5)
          > 1 lbs rice ($1)
          > 5 qts water
          boil the frick out of drumsticks until everything has fallen off the bone. Remove remaining ligaments and tendons. Add chicken bouillion (and extras like onion, celery, pepper) for extra punch
          drop in rice and cover pot. wait 30 minutes.

          you now have chicken rice for the entire week

          Kek this is based I'm gonna do it.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Honestly i have just few basic spices and i use a curry mix. I bloom what little spices i have with a little bit of tomato paste added at the end, then i add a can of tomatoes, little bit of coconut cream, cook it for a moment, then i dump my rinsed canned chickpeas. After its cooked i some frozen vegetables. Good volume, reasonably tasty and pretty filling for that price.

        I throw in some frozen vegetables*
        I make it mostly because its cheap and easy. Literally no cutting, everything is pantry staples, so clean up is easy.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Chickpeas
      I make mean hummus with chickpeas. One of the ingredients in hummus is tahini (sesame seed butter) so it makes for a complete protein when paired with the chickpeas. Excuse the shorts apparently I was crossdressing the day I took this photo.

      2 cans of chickpeas washed and drained
      2 tablespoons of tahini
      Garlic
      Olive oil
      Juice from 1 lemon
      Salt

      Mash the chickpeas up with a fork. Add the tahini, lemon juice and some oil. Mix and mash thoroughly. Add salt and garlic to taste (I use heaps of garlic) and add more oil to consistency. Eat on toast or on crackers with tomato.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        not nearly enough tahini for hummus. I add 1/4 of a cup per can.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        please buy some decent shorts

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >please buy some decent shorts
          No, it's cutoffs or lycra that do it for me.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            This is a cooking board. Get your gay troony bullshit homosexualry outta here. Your disgusting thighs and shorts have nothing to do with cooking.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              Frick you. Also you can xdress sometimes and not be a troon. Im a guy that comes across normal and straight. I sometimes fill out pronoun sections as 'pink on the inside' but that's just my sense of humour.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Again, your post has nothing to do with a board about cooking. Your reply also has nothing to contribute to a cooking board. Stop forcing the discussion of a topic based on your sexual preference, troony.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                You started this particular discussion talking about troonys and now you're talking about sexuality as well. Sounds like latent homosexuality coupled with sexual frustration has you all fricked up.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I loves me some humus! I usually just buy the little cups with the kalamata olives.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Huh?

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    > 3 chicken drumsticks (12 / $5)
    > 1 lbs rice ($1)
    > 5 qts water
    boil the frick out of drumsticks until everything has fallen off the bone. Remove remaining ligaments and tendons. Add chicken bouillion (and extras like onion, celery, pepper) for extra punch
    drop in rice and cover pot. wait 30 minutes.

    you now have chicken rice for the entire week

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Any combination of legume/pulse + cereal grain, maybe with a little bit of meat to supplement protein. There's a massive variety of bean and lentil soups and stews that you can pair with rice, bread, pasta, etc. Just the other day, I had a red lentil soup with some chicken breast chunks over a bowl of rice and it was great.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Ever heard of naporitan? Try frying up some onions first then mix it up with the ketchup to make a sauce. It caramelizes the onions and makes it taste so much better than the usual ketchup pasta slop.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Pancakes.
    >110 ml milk
    >3 eggs
    >1 banana
    >a few grams of baking powder I eyeball it
    >110 g flour
    >15 g sugar/honey/other sweetener (optional depending on your toppings of choice)
    This is a very filling breakfast/supper. I typically spread jam over them, but you can also add fruit on your choice, peanut butter, syrup, etc.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Gonna use this recipe, haven't made pancakes in so long I've forgotten how. Also you forgot the salt.

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I tried a weird kind of shakshuka yesterday which actually worked well

    >mince garlic, put in pan with a little butter or olive oil
    >put a tin of mackerel in tomato sauce in, if you can only find plain tinned mackerel you can use tomato puree
    >season with chilli flakes and cook for about 6-7 minutes on medium heat
    >crack two eggs in the pan and hit it with some pepper, cook for one minute uncovered and two minutes covered for a runny yolk

    you can sub in fresh tomatoes and cook down with water for longer if you want

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    1 pound of ground beef or pork,
    1 lipton sidekick
    1 cup frozen veg
    maybe an onion or some garlic

    get a pot big enough to hold all of it, cook up the meat then add the water and/or milk that the sidekick needs, toss in the pasta and powder, toss in frozen veg, EZ

    1 pack pork chops
    some potato
    frozen veg

    peel, cut and boil the potatoes
    season the pork chops with whatever you like, oil up the potatoes and put them both on the same tray and bake together side by side until the pork is done
    10 min before boil up some water and toss in the frozen veg

    ez chops, starch and veg

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      also buy perogies and Kelbasa

      cheap steak and broccoli to make stir fry

      full leg and thigh chicken legs are cheap

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    i microwave pasta, drain, then dump whatever i got in it. then some kind of chilli powder or paprika or something

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I cooked tomato sauce the other day and made parmigiana di melanzane in the traditional, unbreaded manner to have for lunch after services yesterday (just come home and pop that shit in the oven).
    $3 for the eggplant, 20¢ for the frying oil, $1 for the mozzarella (managers special) and $1 for the parmigiano + ~~*$1 for the tomatoes, $2 for the basil, idk how much for the wine since we buy it in gallon jugs and I only used a cup of it (let's say a dollar), 15¢ for the garlic, 60¢ for the olive oil, 45¢ for the onion) ÷ 8 servings = 65¢) × 3 servings used = $1.95) = $8.15 ÷ 4 servings ≈ $2.04 per 2 vegetable serving.
    We still have five servings of tomato sauce left as well as a little over a quarter pound of mozzarella so I'm making a pizza tomorrow with onion and green peppers as toppings. Would cost something like $3 to make it, provide a serving of veg per quarter and still leave another three portions of tomato sauce leftover

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Sounds good, how do you make it? I want to try it.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Sauce:
        Onion, 300g ⅔/lb
        Olive oil, 80ml/⅓ cup
        Salt, as necessary
        Wine, 1 cup
        Garlic, 5 cloves
        Tomato, whole, peeled, plum type, one 800g/28oz tin
        Basil, a handful or two of leaves
        Finely chop onion and place in pan (not pot) with olive oil.
        Salt generously and set to high heat.
        Cook, stirring about every now and again until the onion just starts to colour.
        Add a third of the wine and reduce back out as you continue to stir from time to time; meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic
        Saute a bit more then, when the onion begins to colour again, add half the remaining wine and reduce back out again, still stirring, then add the garlic
        Saute again, this time until the garlic starts to colour, then add the last bit of wine and reduce out again.
        Puree the tomato and add it to the pan; as water to the blender to get every last bit of tomato out of it.
        Cook, stirring often, until the tomato stops foaming.
        Continue cooking until the tomato sauce reduces and can be "cleaved" (the spoon, when pulled through it, separates the sauce enough that the pan bottom is visible for a while).
        Off the heat, adjust salt as necessary and stir in basil; alternately, puree the sauce before adding the basil if you prefer it smooth.

        Parmigiana:
        Thinly slice eggplant and mozzarella.
        Fry eggplant in cooking oil until lightly coloured then remove to kitchen paper and pat of excess oil; if you want to strain and keep the oil for reuse, it has a nice sweet flavour after frying eggplant in it.
        In a cake pan or something (I used a loaf pan), layer some eggplant slices, sprinkle lightly with salt, top with some sauce and top with some sliced mozzarella (also sprinkled lightly with salt unless it's one of those tofu-looking ones. Repeat, ending with a sauce layer without mozzarella. Dust it with grated parmigiano instead.
        Hot up the oven at 180°C/350°F then put the pan in. Since it's all already cooked, you just need to heat it through. For my loaf pan, that took 30 minutes. ymmv

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Sounds Kick ass! Can't wait to give it a go! Thanks anon!

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Thanks and welcome. A word on pureeing a second time: the sauce will appear orange at first if you do that but will settle back to red with time.
            I don't know why it does this.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              I would guess that it does that because pureeing incorporates a bunch of air into the sauce and the air bubbles spread the red pigments of the sauce out enough for it to appear orange, then as the air leaves the sauce, it goes back to red. I would probably just use a stick blender myself to get it chunkier than puree, but thinner than default.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Cheap yogurt that doesn’t contain weird chemicals
    Granola or oats
    Evaporated milk or normal milk
    Maybe some chopped fruits or raisins
    You may even add protein powder if you’re into that.

    Tastes good and is very easy to make.
    Just make sure you don’t buy expensive ingredients by mistake (granola and fruits can be expensive for example)

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Baked potato.

    Ingredients: potato

    Directions: bake it

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      If you a baller you put a little oil on it and then coat it in salt.

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    This isn't a recipe but something I've started doing to save money is to keep bones from cuts of meat and using them to make stock. I just put them in a pot full of water, add in some veggies and herbs, simmer for a few hours (skimming off scum once in a while) and strain. You can do this with shrimp shells too.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Oh and to add onto this the aldis near me has young chickens for 6 dollars, it's 3.75 pounds. I get all the different cuts, get all the bones to work with and plus it's fun learning how to butcher it myself

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        same this is good, they used to have 2 for $8-$9, not sure if they still sell those

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Tried this with small adjustments. Used chicken instead of tuna (it's cheaper here) and instead of simmering it in the pot, I put it in oven with some grated cheese on top.
    It was good, thanks anon. Might try it with og recipe (tuna) if I see them on sale.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Glad you gave it a whirl and liked it. If you're not just trying to make it as cheaply as possible you can use olive oil instead of table spread and it will actually be good for you.

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Two chicken thighs
    Cup of chopped carrots
    Cup of chopped celery.
    Cup of dried egg soup noodles.

    Two tbs of chicken stock powder.

    I cook the chicken in some water, skim off the scum, then dump in the veggies, spices, simmer until chicken is tender to pull apart. Add back in with egg noodles, simmer for another 5 minutes.
    Wala.

  17. 2 months ago
    Total cost: $2.26 per serving

    Pork chops in apple gravy with vegetable dressing and sauteed spinach.
    Dressing
    Butter or other cooking fat, 4tbsp
    Carrots, celery and onion, 125g/5ish oz each
    Stock cube or powder, enough for 4 cups stock
    Stale bread, 300g/⅔
    Egg, 1-2 large
    Add cooking fat to a pan and set to high heat; if solid at room temperature, allow to melt.
    Add finely chopped vegetables and salt generously with stock powder (or lightly with plain salt if your cubes don't crumble).
    Saute, tossing often, until vegetables are quite dry save for the fat then chop the bread into cubes.
    Stir the vegetables and bread together until nicely mixed, adding a little water as necessary to soften the bread.
    Once bread is soft and dressing is cooked, add a little at a time to beaten egg to temper it then add the egg mixture to the pan with the rest of the dressing.
    Mix thoroughly then tip out into baking dish and bake until set.
    Set aside.

    Pork chops and apple gravy
    Pork chops, enough for four people
    Cooking fat, 4tbsp
    Flour, 30g/4tbsp
    Stock cube or order, enough for two cups
    Apple juice, 600ml/2½ish cups
    Salt and sear chops in hot fat then remove from the pan, leaving the fat behind.
    Add flour to make a light roux.
    Add stock cube and apple juice and whisk to dissolve both the cube and roux.
    Re-add chops and any cast off juices and allow to finish in the gravy at low heat. Set aside.

    Sauteed spinach
    Spinach, 350g/12oz
    Cooking fat, 2tbsp
    Blanch and shock spinach.
    Squeeze of excess moisture.
    Heat fat in a pan then add spinach.
    Salt to taste while sauteing.

    To serve
    Divide the dressing and chops between four plates in such a way that the two create wall that separates one side of the plate from another.
    Divide the gravy between them taking care to keep it to one side.
    Add spinach to the other, un-gravied side.

    Variations:
    Sauerkraut added to the roux gives a nice contrast if you're using a particularly sweet juice.
    Adding garlic or onion before the spinach is also nice but not necessary.

  18. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    My lazy man budget meal is buttered rice and lettuce wedges.
    I just buy cheap frozen mixed vegetables, cook rice, and throw it all in a pan or pot with a big knob of butter. Salt and pepper as you please, and its good.
    Cut some lettuce wedges, and drizzle dressing on top. Usually thousand island or a vinegrette.

  19. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    2 lbs of stewing beef, browned on a griddle
    few onions chopped and sauted until clearish
    add some garlic, black olives, chopped chillies to the saute for a couple of minutes
    This is my favourite cheap batch cook, black olives and real chillies are a secret weapon
    put in a big pot with the meat, add a couple cans chopped tomatoes and like a 3/4 pint of beef stock some of which you also used to deglaze the beef pan
    simmer for about an hour, meanwhile drizzle some mushrooms with olive oil, hit them with some sage and parsley, let them sit a while then griddle them too
    add them for another hour, hour and a half of stewing, just until the meat is tender and the sauce is reduced enough for your liking
    serve with a steamed potato
    I get about 6 servings out of that which would be maybe just over 2 bucks a pop
    sometimes I add some cayenne pepper but if you're using real chillies you don't have to, there's enough flavour and heat off them already

  20. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Cheeseburger fried rice
    Beef mince/ground beef, 80% lean, 400g/14 oz/just short of 1lb
    Onion, 200g/7oz/just shy of a half pound
    Rice, day old, yield from 300g/⅔lb uncooked weight
    Cheddar and/or American cheese, shredded (we like ChedaSharp, a cheddar flavoured American cheese used in the food service industry), 100g/4ish oz
    Tomato, beefsteak, 100g
    Lettuce, shredded, 100g
    Ketchup, mayo and mustard, to serve.

    Crumble cook the mince on low heat to render its fast then remove the cooked beef and set it aside.
    Peel and finely chop the onion and add half to the pan, upping the heat to high.
    Once coloured, add the rice and cook, mixing the fat and onion throughout.
    Re-add the mince, salt to taste and stir to mix throughout.
    Bowl up, topped with cheese then the tomato, lettuce and remaining onion.
    Offer the condiments at the table and serve with spoons.
    My Nipnong aunt invented this and she used to use sottilette Kraft (IE American cheese in Italy) that she would peel from its plastic, fold up and run through a rotary grater.
    Later, long after she'd died, I learned about taco rice and figured that cheeseburger fried rice was likely built off of that because taco seasoning wasn't available in Italy back then and plain cooked beef on rice would be beyond bland.

    Suggested, but not necessary: instead of salt, using beef stock powder.

    Gets you four servings, each with enough veg that each portion counts as one of your five a day and can cost as little as $1.37 per serving not including the condiments.

  21. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Recently tried beans and rice for the first time because financial hardship. Internet wasn't joking, it's freakin good. I'm going to keep eating this forever even after money picks back up.

    Also yeah hummus owns, I literally eat homemade hummus daily. I never get sick of it, and buy all the ingredients cheap and in bulk.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Recently tried beans and rice for the first time because financial hardship. Internet wasn't joking, it's freakin good. I'm going to keep eating this forever even after money picks back up.

      I add chicken or beef bullion sometimes. If I want it spicy I also add some garlic red chilli sauce. Really good.

      If I want more protein I add some cooked eggs with it.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I eat rice and beans with soy sauce sometimes. Apparently rice and beans together makes a complete protein but the absurdity of classing rice as a protein source highlights the ridiculousness of a plant based diet.

  22. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Rice pudding with seasonal fruit.
    Rice, 150g/⅓lb/1 cup
    Sugar, to taste
    Milk, as needed
    Seasonal fruit, 400g/14 oz/just short of 1lb

    Rinse rice.
    Put in a pot with the water.
    Bring to the boil.
    Cook, stirring from time to time, taking care the pot doesn't boil over, until you're left with a thick rice sludge.
    Add a pinch or two of salt and sweeten to taste then allow to cool before stashing in the fridge
    To serve, mix some of the now solidified rice pottage with milk, either cold or hot, and fruit.
    You could cook the fruit with additional sugar into a compote or jam first if you'd like but it's not necessary.
    Makes four servings.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >the water
      Should have said, start off with a litre/quart of water and keep additional water warm in a kettle if it manages to reduce out before the rice is cooked so the way through. Just add the water from the kettle if/as necessary, continuing to boil until done. You cannot overcook this but you really don't want to UNDERcook it so err n the side of too much rather than too little cooking

  23. 2 months ago
    Blueplate

    Cottage pie

    2-3lbs of Chuck roast I grind
    Bag of frozen corn
    Spanish onion
    Garlic
    Tomato paste
    Bag of potatoes
    Parmesan cheese
    Butter

    Dice onion and garlic
    Saute onion til it's see through
    toss garlic in til it smells good
    Mix tomato paste+any herbs you like/want, I use whatever fresh "Italian blend" herbs they have
    Toss in corn for last minute then set aside

    Peel and chop potatoes into uniform chunks
    Salt water heavily
    Put potatoes in cold water, then bring to boil
    Boil til a knife can go through with ease
    Shred a frickload of parm
    Either mash or rice(I rice) potatoes
    Mix in melted butter, how much depends on how you like your potatoes and if you rice or mash, I use about 6oz of kerrygold
    Mix in 80% of the shredded parm
    Once the meat is cool, rub some butter along a deep cake pan to grease it
    Dump filling in, press down to fill in any gaps or voids
    (optional) spread any cheese you want onto meat mix(I don't but your fatass might want to)
    Cover with potatoes well, don't allow any bubbles of air or liquid will erupt from it
    Give the surface a nice texture, anything will do

    Cover with foil, and bake at 350°f for 25 minutes
    Remove foil toss remaining shredded parm onto it, raise temperature to 400°f for another 25 minutes
    Sit on cooling rack for a good 15-20 minutes(I'm moronic so I dig in after like 5 minutes)
    Lawry's seasoning salt works well on top, even a squirt of ketchup its good

    You can use those disposable foil pans from the dollar store, and when I make one, I actually make two and freeze one at the point before you start to bake it.

    Each one should feed a fatass for 4 days minimum

    • 2 months ago
      Blueplate
  24. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >1kg frozen spinach: £1.50/4 servings = £0.37 per serving
    >1kg basmati rice: £1.85/13 servings = £0.14 per ser serving
    >1kg chicken thighs: £3.25/3.5 servings = £0.92 per ser serving
    >Garlic, butter, various spices, hot sauce etc = too miniscule to be counted

    Works out to around £1.59 for a tasty and nutritious meal that has around 850 calories and 50 grammes of protein.

  25. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    shoplifting and church

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