Pasta with Sauce
This is as simple as you can get! A pound of pasta and a jar or less of sauce, costs less than $4 (and closer to $2 if you buy on sale or use coupons), and makes about 8 servings! Alison has a great post on her almost free pasta sauce coming up! Estimated cost? 25 to 50 Cents a serving!
Healthy Tip: Mix frozen vegetables and shredded or ground meat in with your sauce for a fully balanced meal!
I was really lucky about a month ago, and acquired about 40 tortillas and mixings at the end of a club event. Tortillas freeze well, but the trick is to freeze them flat! My last 'gift' from my parents was a Costco sized container of taco seasoning which you can add to any ground or shredded meat for a great mexican meal! Buy shredded cheese when it is on sale and make a cheese quesadilla for the ultimate frugal mexican meal! A ten pack of tortillas and a pound of shredded cheese should run you about $5 total, so 50 cents a serving for quesadillas! If I have sour cream or salsa on hand, I dress my tortillas up that way, but we buy the large jars of salsa, so the cost per meal is very low.
Healthy Tip: Make vegetable tacos! Stir fry green beans, onions, thin carrot sticks, peppers, mushrooms, etc with some taco seasoning, or add to a Quesdilla!
Casseroles are amazingly cheap, and make many servings, which can be packaged and either frozen or eaten later. My family's traditional casserole is not the most healthy though. We use leftover ham (blended into tiny crumbles), a can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup, refill the can with milk, and a pound of cooked pasta (spaghetti or shells). Mix it all together and add some of whatever cheese you have laying around on top for crunch, and cook @ 375 until you can't see the milk in the bottom of your casserole dish. This makes easily 8 servings for about $5, so about 63 cents a serving. It's not the most healthy, and is quite salty, but I've been thinking about adding some frozen corn for a bit of sweet.
Though I don't make it very often, I really like fried rice, and this post over at Apartment Therapy is what really inspired my post today! I haven't made fried rice in ages, and it is really cheap, and a change up from what I've been making lately, so maybe I'll give it a try later this week. To be really frugal, stir fry some mixed vegetables, with some onions, garlic, and either teriyaki or soy sauce. Add in the rice, and cook until warmed through. Then make some room off to the side, and cook your egg, for a bit, and then scramble it in! Eggs are some of the cheapest and healthiest protein you can eat, according to this post at Serious Eats!
So what is your favorite frugal recipe?