Cheap and Delicious: Dinner on a Dime

Featured Article,How-To
May 19, 2011

Cheap eats that taste expensive? Totally doable with a few savvy shopping how-to tips and a little elbow grease in the kitchen.

Photo by Mark Boughton/Styling by Teresa Blackburn

Saving money at the market is second nature to most of us. But here's something you may not know: You can eat like a king on a pauper's budge—trust us. Just because you’re rethinking your food dollars, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the fun of cooking! Make your food dollars s-t-r-e-c-t-c-h smarter while adding tons of interest to your meals:

  • Stock up on pantry and freezer items
  • Eat fish in season—it's cents on the dollar compared to meats and poultry
  • Make up a variety of homemade salad dressings instead of the bottled versions
  • Buy whole heads of lettuce rather than the pre-packaged mixes
  • Add vegetarian recipes to your dinner schedule. Be creative: Cajun red beans and rice, Italian navy beans and pasta, or Mexican with black beans and corn tortillas
  • Eat more eggs! They are a great source of protein and can be used for omelets, frittatas, fried rice, and breakfast suppers
  • Recycle Meals: Turn leftovers into soups, stews, casseroles, pastas and rice bakes, or make sandwich wraps and salads
  • If you don't have a crock pot, buy one and use it regularly. A slow cooker makes cheap cuts of meat and poultry falling-off-the-bone tender.

—By Nancy Hughes

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