admin / March 26, 2009

Budget Foods and Ideas to Check Out

Everywhere you look these days, food companies are offering suggestions for low cost recipes. Even the local supermarkets have arrows pointing to great deals. I’ll admit some bargain foods taste awful and they can get boring after you’ve served them a couple of times. Here are some foods I got on sale and have to say they tasted anything but bland or inexpensive.

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The first one is the Chef Boyardee pizza kit. Remember money saving experts say you should look on the bottom and top shelves because that’s where the bargains are. It’s true because this pizza kit was sitting on the top shelf and cost only $3.45. And it makes two 12 inch pizzas. Why I think this is a good buy is you can eat it as is or you can add leftovers to it. Maybe vegetables, bacon, or even more cheese. And as you make it yourself, children really like to get involved.
Next product is the Yakisoba noodles. I purchased these from Walgreens and three boxes cost $3.33. Once again they’re great on their own for a quick lunch or you can dress them up with more vegetables and even leftover roast chicken for supper.
The Pasta Roni cost just $1. I’ve been buying Rice a Roni for many years and use their Spanish Rice flavor for everything from burritos to stuffed tomatoes in the summer. I hadn’t tried the Pasta Roni, before. Once again I was really impressed. I just love the Tomato Parmesan flavor. I added more cheese as a topping and served it with a salad. The Four Cheese flavor is great as a more sophisticated mac and cheese. Sun dried tomatoes are also a nice addition or even tuna.

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The Michelina’s products were on sale for $1 each. Sometimes I’m weary of the low cost frozen items, but once again I was really impressed. I served a chicken stir fry with the rice and vegetables. And all the lasagna needs is a side salad.

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And here are some ways I use other low cost items.

Spaghetti
Spaghetti is great for making Asian dishes. One of my favorite recipes is to take cooked spaghetti, add some oil, soy sauce, some stir fried vegetables like carrots and red peppers. Toss everything together and top with some chopped peanuts or sesame seeds.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Who doesn’t love tuna noodle casserole? But if the family starts getting sick of it, try adding things like fresh sautéed mushrooms, and I’ve even added curry powder.

Fish Sticks
This is a great time to stock up on things like fish sticks. Most kids love them, but once again they can get boring if you serve them too often. One alternative is fish tacos. You can use hard or soft shell tacos. Spread the shells with a mixture of mayonnaise and taco seasoning. Add the fish sticks and top with the usual lettuce, tomato and salsa. I’ve found pineapple salsa is really great with the fish.

Potatoes
Potatoes are still a bargain and here’s something I’ve been making for years. If you have a picky eater in your house, they’ll love this.
Bake a potato, cut it in half, scoop out all the potato and put it into a bowl. Mash it with butter/margarine, milk and enough cheese to taste. Put your empty baked potato shells on a baking sheet. Take a can of baked beans and spoon the beans into the empty baked potato shells. Top with the mashed potato and then top with more shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until everything is heated through and the cheese is bubbling.

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