Recession Proof Meals Part I

Lance and I have recently had a great time trying to cut our grocery bill without cutting taste or nutrition from our meals. We have made somewhat of a game out of re-creating dishes (which we might normally order as take-out) on a shoestring at home. Here is the first installment in our own version of "Recession Proof Meals" Hopefully this will inspire you, as we have been inspired, to cook smarter, tastier meals without breaking the bank!

Here's how we took one package of chicken on the bone and made it last for more than 2 yummy meals with minimal added ingredients.

It started with Chicken which we grilled and basted with barbecue sauce

My Grill-Master Husband cooked it to perfection!

$ 4.50 for the Chicken (Four Large Leg/ Thigh Pieces)
$ 1.00 for the ears of fresh corn
$ Seasonings and Sauce: (we already had.)

Meal #1: $5.50 (Dinner)


A few days later, we made a homemade pizza crust, added a cup of the chopped chicken, additional sauce, caramelized onions and Skim Milk Mozzarella for a delicious Friday Night alternative to spending 15-20 bucks for a pizza out!

We both ate leftovers of this for lunch the next day...

Pizza Crust Ingredients:
*Olive Oil

Cost of Crust Ingredients (which we had): $2.00
4 oz. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese: $1.50
Half an Onion: $ .60
Seasonings: Less than $1.00

Total Cost of Pizza Meal #2: $5.10 (We ate dinner and then both had lunch from the leftovers.)

In addition, we still have at least one cup of cooked barbecue chicken in the freezer for future use!


Because the pizza crust recipe makes so much, we were able to save half of the dough for use a few days later. It may seem labor intensive to make your own pizza crust, but it really is not. It helps if you have a strong mixer (Kitchenaid, etc.) but the main thing is that it takes very few common ingredients which you probably have on hand and is much tastier than a ready-made or canned crust. Although, if you are especially short on time, they make a nice substitute.

A few days later, we made a veggie pizza using olive oil and a few different vegetables we had on hand. It was pretty good as well! And it lasted for two meals for the Stuckeys. :)

All in all, Lance and I have really enjoyed the challenge of making fresh and tasty meals on a budget. It is quite satisfying to enjoy a meal and to know that we used mostly all things we either already had or were able to use more than once!

What ideas do you have for dealing with the current financial situation while in the kitchen?

Maybe you're trying to get started with this little avenue of cutting your grocery bill but are unsure where to begin...

**Remember that different things work for different people-- but don't be afraid to think outside the box. When you purchase meat, try to think of how you can cook once and eat twice. Try getting two meals from the meat. When you have the leftovers that you plan to use in the next few days or weeks then....
**Utilize your freezer! If you aren't certain you will use something before it has even a chance of going bad, put it in the freezer until you decide. Bringing me to my next point---
**Make the investment in good freezer bags. There is nothing worse than using cheap freezer bags only to discover your meat, veggies, fruits, have been burned. I.M.H.O, Good quality freezer storage bags are worth the expense and you can usually get a coupon!
**Many times, we have found that fresh produce is an excellent use of money, but only if you plan your meals ahead of time and know exactly what you need. If something is pricey and not in season, frozen veggies are an excellent alternative and often they have a very high nutritional value!
These may seem like simple ideas, but hopefully they will be helpful to some!

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