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5 Recipes for When There’s More Week Than Money

March 3, 2012

You know those weeks – an unexpected expense, multiple payments come due at the same time or an interruption in income and you see that you won’t be able to get all the way through the week. Some basic meals can be filling, but budget stretchers too.

An easy favorite here – mix up some macaroni and cheese, and add some bulk macaroni to it. Normally the cheese in the packet will stretch to double the amount, although it won’t be as “cheesy” as it calls for. Add leftovers, a can of no bean chili, or diced hot dogs. It’s not the ritz and not health food, but beats being hungry.

Another easy and budget stretching one – mix up a package of corn bread mix, pour about 3/4 of it into the pan. Brown a half pound ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef, pork etc). Add about a handful of oatmeal per person, then add a packet of taco or chili seasoning. Sprinkle over the cornbread batter. Top with shredded cheese, some salsa or other leftovers to taste top with remaining batter and cook as directed.

Still another is Texas hash. Saute 3 large onions, thinly sliced and a large sweet pepper, diced in three tablespoons fat (reuse that bacon grease!). Add a pound of ground beef and brown until crumbly, then stir in two cups diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup uncooked rice, 1-2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly, pour into greased 2 quart baking dish and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover for 15 minutes longer. If desired, simmer slowly on top the stove rather than baking.

There are many websites that have under $20 meals or under $10 meals…but sometimes that’s a stretch. For under $5, if you keep your pantry stocked, you can have a hot, tasty meal. Plan ahead!

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