Sunday, February 4

Newest Frugal Meal Ideas

So, I've been eating a lot of ground beef, as usual. Hey, not only is it fairly cheap, I actually do like it! Anyhow, here are some simple meal ideals suitable for one or two diners.

Meal #1: Beef and Mushroom Sauce
Fry up your slab of ground beef, as usual, spicing to taste. When the beef is cooked, simply throw on some cream of mushroom soup. I've been using the low fat variety myself. It doesn't add much by way of calories but it does provide a lot of flavor and basically helps fill you up with water. For a side dish, just choose some vegetables that go well with mushrooms. For example, since I like simple meals I just tossed in a can of romano beans and stirred until the soup was mixed well. Serve and eat!

Meal #2: Beef and Black Bean Soup
Pretty much the same as above, but a very different flavor. I found some ready to eat soup that comes in a carton. It's red pepper and black bean soup. It's pretty yummy all on it's own. If you want to change up the meal a little bit, don't add the soup to the beef. Simply serve a side dish of long grain and wild rice with your beef and use the black bean soup as if it was gravy.

Meal #3: Chicken Pasta with Mushroom Alfredo
Honestly, I do actually eat things other than beef! Anyway, fry up some chicken breasts or whatever chicken you have around the house spicing to taste. At the same time, prepare a pot of pasta. I recommend tri-color rotini as it has carrot and spinach as well as regular pasta. One way to serve this is to break the chicken into chunks and then add the mushroom soup to the pan. Once the soup and chicken is ready it can be dumped into the drained pasta and stirred together. Another way to serve this is to put portions of chicken and pasta on your plate and drizzle mushroom soup over them.

Mix and Match
The meals above are ones that I have recently prepared. They are very cheap, especially with a side dish of pasta or rice. However, you can substitute any meat that you have on hand, any flavor of soup that goes with the meat you choose, and any side dish of vegetables, beans, rice or pasta that you enjoy. With this you have the frugal dining trifecta, tasty, cheap and healthy!

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13 comments:

Jenn said...

A couple of variations for you:

If you make hamburger or salsbury steak type patties of raw ground beef and then freeze them, then you can do the beef and mushroom thing by taking the frozen patty, putting it in a casserole dish, pouring the cream 'o soup over it (sometimes I mix in one of those $.33 pkg of "beef gravy mix" in for extra flavor) and then baking it for about 45 min to an hour. For added zip you can take it out of the oven, take the hamburger patty out, mix a dollop of sour cream into the sauce and add the patty back in. Viola, instant stroganoff! serve over noodles.

For the chicken, you can do a rip off on chicken parmesean by dipping that chicken breast into some egg wash (ie a little scrambled egg) then some breadcrumbs before cooking (frying/baking) then right at the end you pour some spaghetti sauce over it and melt a little mozerrella on top. Serve with pasta.

Frugal Guy said...

Jenn,

Thanks a lot for the additional ideas.

I've got an instant craving for the beef 'n gravy in a casserole dish!

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Frugal doesn't have to mean condemning yourself to cream-of-mushroom-soup hell! Just use basic ingredients (non-prepared foods) and your meal will be inexpensive. Fresh veggies are cheap, as long as you don't go gourmet, and taste great. Roast a whole chicken stuffed w/onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and some herbs.

Easy, cheap, and a LOT better tasting.

Cream of mushroom soup?!?! {shivers}

Frugal Guy said...

LOL! But I don't LIKE vegetables... ;)

You are right though. I have to agree fresh vegetables are better for you and better tasting, assuming you actually like them.

Mom2fur said...

Another idea for your beef and mushroom sauce: brown the steak, then put on your mushroom soup and simmer on low for an hour or two. Your meat will be sooooo tender! If you really want to go 'fancy,' add a dab of sour cream at the end, serve over noodles and you'll have beef stroganoff!

Mom2fur said...

Oh, LOL--I just saw Jenn's post for stroganoff, too! Yep, great minds think alike...

Frugal Guy said...

Mom2fur, thanks for adding to the recipe mix! ;)

Anonymous said...

if you ever want to kick it up a notch, I make a tetrazzini using your #3 recipe ingredients.

I cook some spaghetti
cook chicken breast in skillet - only I add some diced green pepper, diced onion, sliced mushrooms, and a small jar of pimentos, to the chicken when it is done browning. I saute them all together then mix in the mushroom soup, plus one can of chicken broth, then in a baking dish I put the cooked spaghetti, the chicken/soup concoction, and then put a thin layer of whatever shredded cheese I have on hand, mozerella or cheddar - and bake it til the cheese browns just a bit and the juices are bubbling.

My whole family loves it!

Frugal Guy said...

Anon, thanks for adding another great idea. I must be hungry, as thinking about the recipe is making me drool. ;)

Sheshe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheshe said...

Hey Frugal Guy!

I've been looking for a ground beef meal idea and I'm just going to have to try your #1! Simple and sounds so tasty. I want to thank you!

I might boil some pasta to go with it. What do you think?

Frugal Guy said...

Sheshe,

Thanks for the note, sounds like it would taste great to me!

Anonymous said...

I make "Rice and Roni" (not the boxed kind) from Paula Deen's recipe I found on Food Network.com. It is simple, good and cheap! A nice break from plain, old rice. It would go with any of the recipes you posted!