A new mom dives into parenthood. Will our heroine survive?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tonights Cheap Meal

Occasional I forego meal planning for a week and try to only use what's in my pantry, rather than going out for a huge grocery run. To accomplish this I try to find recipes that utilize the ingredients I have on hand. Once I find a recipe that comes close, I make substitutions for the ingredients I don't have and viola! Dinner is served!

So here's what's for dinner tonight, along with approximate cost:

Easy Hamburger Casserole
(recipe located at: http://southernfood.about.com/od/hamburgcasseroles/r/bl30221o.htm)

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, browned
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 large potatoes, sliced
2 Carrots, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


"Brown ground beef in a skillet with chopped onions; cook until onions are tender. Drain off excess fat; transfer ground beef and onion to casserole dish. Add layer of sliced raw potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper; shred carrots to cover potatoes. Put soup over carrots. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top and bake for about 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.This easy ground beef and potato casserole serves 4 to 6."

The only ingredients I didn't have were the carrots and I only had one potato so I only used one. I did have 80z's of frozen mixed veggies in the freezer so I used those in place of the carrots.

As for cost:
1lb ground beef: BJ's 90% lean, $2.29/lb
1/2 Onion: apx 30 cents
Salt n Peppa: negligable
Potato: $1.00 per pound, so probably about 60 cents or so...
Mixed veggies: 50 cents?
Cream of Mushroom Soup: 75cents
Cheese was probably about $1.00

So the approximate cost originally was $5.50 for this meal - BUT I stretched our last shopping trip yet another day, PLUS we never eat all of a meal. So this will be both our lunches tomorrow and maybe even the next day. Even if we only stretch it out to lunch tomorrow that's still only $1.38 per serving. Nice!

PS The best deal I have found yet on Cream of Mushroom Soup, which is in a ton of recipes that I use, is at BJ's. I buy it in bulk there for 75 Cents a can.


Debbie J. said...

That sounds really yummy!!! I bet R will enjoy it for lunch tomorrow too. 4 meals at $5.50 is really a good deal. I'm a Frugal Hacker too! Check it out!

Littlepenpen said...

Isn't it wonderful when you think you need to shop, that you can find something so yummy to put together? It happens to even me once in awhile. :o)

Stephanie @ ATime4Everything.com said...

Hi! Here are two cream soup recipes you can make yourself. I have not tried them yet but I am very excited at the thought of it! The can stuff makes a good meal, but the last time I bought it I noticed it now has lovely ingredients in it like MSG. I have heard these recipes are very good. Enjoy!