There are so many ways to feel like we are living it up large on little money. You don't have to spend a fortune nor does it have to be complicated.
Today we will talk about living large at the dinner table. There are many ideas for having yummy and inexpensive meals that just feel like going out to eat or high end food. Inexpensive and simple.
Tacos, burritos, tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. They are all easy to make and oh so yummy. You don't have to stick with plain old beef tacos or bean burritos - jazz it up with whatever you have.
Maybe use chicken, seafood, pork, seasoned rice, salsa, avocado, any kind of cheese, beans, whatever you want or have. Tortillas are super easy and inexpensive to make and they are also cheap to buy. Tacos shells and tostada shells can often be purchased for $1 or so a package.
You can really experiment with Mexican food and cooking. In my opinion there are no rules and you can sure make it tasty (better than going out) and varied.
When thinking about having tortillas on hand - you also can make roll-ups and breakfast burritos as well. There are so many options!
Never underestimate rice as a main course. I love fried rice. You can make it vegetarian or you can add meat and egg. Throw in whatever leftover veggies you have, add meat and toss in an egg if desired. Soy sauce or any sauce you may have. Fried rice can be a filling high end meal for pennies.
Never dismiss a sandwich - they aren't just bologna any more!!!! There is NO limit to what you can add to a sandwich. Absolutely ANY kind of meat you have - ANY kind of cheese - and ANY kind of veggie. Yes veggie. Try adding different things to your sandwich - you may be surprised. I love to add tomato, lettuce, sliced radishes, even potato chips!!!!!
Think about Reuben, pulled pork, sloppy Joe, tuna melts, burgers, Hawaiian sliders, etc.
You can make grilled sammies, melts, or fresh veggie, BLT's or even baked bean. Summer is my time for fresh tomato sandwiches - maybe some sliced onion or cucumber! Fried green tomato sandwiches can be a hit. MMmmmmmmm.
A favorite I have made is a thin burger patty with mac and cheese added and then grilled. Oh my! Filling and it felt very high end!
There are absolutely NO limits - make it simple or make it fancy - using what you have. Sandwiches do NOT need to be boring.
A salad can be anything. Mix up any type of veggies, add meat or egg or avocado. Think about topping with leftover chicken, thin slices of steak or beef, thinly sliced pork chops, tuna, bacon,,,,,,,,
Throw in some nuts or seeds of any type. Whatever you might have. Top with grilled veggies or even fruit. Add some toasted bread or crackers as a side and boom you have a meal in no time.
Salads can be a nice treat. It gives you the opportunity to place an entire meal in one dish! Fruit or veggies and meat all in one.
Soup is comfort! Soup is yummy! Soup is inexpensive!
You can be as simple as throwing all the frig leftovers in a pot with some broth or juice or tomato sauce. Add meat or not. Add pasta, rice or beans if desired. You can make specialty soups fairly easy - potato, broccoli and cheese, cream of anything, gazpacho in the summer, French onion, tomato - you name it. I include chili and stews in this category as well. They are easy to make, use simple ingredients and can come together quickly. Not only do they fill you up, but most times you get more than one meal from a pot of soup.
Heck it can be as simple as jazzing up a pack of Ramen soup - that's OK!!!! Use what you have, get a little creative and have fun with it.
Another way to stretch the budget and have a tasty and inexpensive meal. Again folks - use up those leftovers in the frig. Can add meat or not. Use whatever seasoning you have - soy sauce (or Liquid Amino) is my go to. You can serve over noodles, pasta or rice.
There is so much variety in stir fry. Another one dish meal with almost all your food groups. Super simple and budget friendly.
CROCK POT DINNERS
There is positively no limit on what you can make in the cock pot. It may take a little longer - but you can use inexpensive cuts of meat and stretch that budget. Meats, veggies, soup mixes, cheese, broth, stock, you name it - throw it in and let it cook!!
If you are at your wits end on what to fix - just take a bit of this and that and put it together. Look through your pantry and your freezer - and get creative. Think outside the box.
DIP AND RIP
Think about an unconventional meal. I have had them, I bet you have too. Who says a meal has to be 3 or 4 courses? A meal is whatever tastes good and fills you up!!!!!!!
Make up dips of any kinds. Hummus, cheese melts, ranch, onion, spinach dips. Serve with sliced veggies or chunks of torn bread or crackers. You can even make fruit dips with cream cheese (sweetened) and have fruit for more of a dessert bar!
I love making a charcuterie plate for a meal. Cheese slices, fresh sliced veggies, summer sausage, hummus or dip, etc. It is filling and very tasty. (kind of like a deconstructed salad!)
Serve what you have - a cold meal is refreshing and tasty. You don't have to over think it - just serve what you like.
Breakfast for dinner can be positively decadent. Pancakes, waffles, quiche, eggs and meat and toast, biscuits and gravy, crepes, etc.
Make from scratch or use mixes. Use what you have.
Pull out some fruit from the freezer or pantry and make a sinfully delish topping for pancakes, waffles or crepes.
You can take whatever you have and jazz it up to make an extraordinary meal. Use your pantry and freezer - just the basics we all have - and put together a fine dining experience.
No need to have fancy and expensive ingredients. No need to go out and spend lots of money.
Make your family "an experience" at home.
LIVE LARGE on a budget - it can be done. It can be easy and tasty as well. Never feel deprived.