Posts Tagged 'budget'

feed 10 people for $20 or less

everyone is looking for ways to save money.  here is a fantastic budget friendly way to feed 10 people for $20 or less from my dear friends at

The ground rules for this list: It will include a main dish and a side dish — no drinks. We listed desserts separately; many fruit-based and baked desserts are inexpensive and will also keep your budget under $20.

We expect that you already have some basics around like salt, pepper, and oil. (If you’re picking up those staples just to make a dish on this list, then you will probably go over-budget.) But with those givens, you can make these meals for $20ish and feed a crowd in the process.

This list admittedly does not allow for the most high-quality meats. If you are going to buy fresh, grass-fed ground beef, for instance, you will probably go over-budget. But consider this list a starting point, and buy the best-quality ingredients you can afford.

  1. The Potluck — Let’s just get this one out of the way. When it comes to just your own pocketbook, a potluck is the best way to go. Make a batch of cupcakes and a pot of coffee, and invite your friends to bring the rest of the meal. Spread the cost of a party out among a group of friends and everyone gets to feed everyone else. Having said that, the rest of this list focuses on meals that will cost less than $20 total — no matter who’s paying.
  2. Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce + Grilled Vegetable Mix — Great summer eating, vegetarian-friendly, and the most classic dinner party dish of all. Just toss spaghetti with lightly simmered crushed canned tomatoes, along with garlic and some herbs. Grill zucchini and yellow squash (so inexpensive this time of year!) and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. You’ll have plenty of cash left over to buy good cream for homemade vanilla ice cream!
    Recipes: Basic Tomato Sauce, Grilled Zucchini Salad
  3. Pulled Pork Wraps + Cabbage Salad — You can buy a big pork shoulder roast (pork butt) for very little money. Slow cook it with a little garlic and ginger, and then shred it and serve it with tortillas and simple shredded cabbage salad.
    Recipes: Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger Pork Wraps with Peanut Slaw
  4. Homemade Pizza + Green Salad — The key with keeping homemade pizza inexpensive is to keep the toppings simple. Don’t splurge on four kinds of cheese and imported salami; make toppings of crushed tomatoes, Parmesan, and perhaps one vegetable. Pizza shouldn’t have too many toppings anyway!
    Recipes: Homemade Thin Crust Pizza, Basic Vinaigrette
  5. Bean and Rice Burritos + Fried Plantains — Here’s another vegetarian option: hearty rice and bean burritos with a smattering of herbs and perhaps some cheese, as well as a side of fried plantains. Bring out a pint of ice cream to serve with the rest of the plantains, and you have dessert.
    Recipes: How to cook dried beans, Sweet Fried Plantains
  6. Cheese and Spinach Frittatas + Biscuits — Good eggs aren’t expensive; you can buy a couple dozen and make enough frittata to feed an army, as long as you have enough skillets! Fill them with inexpensive ingredients like cheese and fresh spinach, and serve them with fluffy, light homemade biscuits.
    Recipes: Frittata, Touch-of-Grace Biscuits
  7. Pancake Bar + Fruit Slices — Like the frittata, this is breakfast for supper. We love fluffy pancakes; what about a big batch of pancakes with a side of seasonal fruit? Ask guests to bring their favorite pancake toppings.
    Recipes: Golden Oat Pancakes, Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes, Chunky Peach Pancake Topping
  8. Chicken Thighs in Balsamic Vinegar + Roasted Carrots — Here’s a cold-weather meal that’s great for fall. Chicken thighs are full of flavor, easy to cook without making them dry, and inexpensive. Our favorite recipe for chicken thighs involves just a little balsamic and Parmesan. Add in a big bag of carrots tossed with olive oil and thyme and roasted.
    Recipes: Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Vinegar, Roasted Carrots (from Ina Garten)
  9. Grain Salad with Roasted Vegetables + Miso Soup — Another favorite dish for a big crowd is a grain salad. You can toss it with simple, inexpensive seasonal roasted vegetables like squash or carrots — or baked tofu cubes — and then serve it with a side of basic miso soup for a very filling meal.
    Recipes: Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Miso Soup, Baked Tofu

<3 kt

  • Stew + Fresh Bread — One more classic way to feed a lot of mouths: soup or stew and bread. It’s filling and so delicious too.
    Recipes: Classic Beef Stew, No-Knead Bread In a Hurry
  • leftover bagel ideas

    i love these ideas from!!!  you can also freeze bagels so they do not go bad and pull them out to defrost when you are craving one!

    1. Make Sandwiches – Because leftover bagels are a little too chewy for our taste, we pack the bagels and the sandwich fixings separately in our lunch. At work, we toast the bagels before assembling them into warm, crunchy sandwich.

    2. Make Bagel Pizzas – A favorite from when we were kids, and still a great quick weeknight meal! We smear the bagel with a little tomato sauce, a sprinkling of cheese, and whatever pizza toppings we’re in the mood for, and then we bake them under the broiler or in a toaster oven until the cheese is bubbly.

    3. In Salad – Leftover bagels may be too stale to eat on their own, but we’ve found that we really like them torn up into big, soft croutons in our salad. They soak up a bit of the dressing, and add some substance to the salad. Sometimes we toast the bagel first for a little crunch.

    4. In Frittata – Like leftover pasta, we’ll throw cubes of bagel into a dinner frittata. Think of this as a quick, extra-eggy bread pudding!

    5. In Bread Pudding – And while we’re at it, why not make savory bread pudding?! We don’t usually have enough bagels left for a full-sized pudding, but we can make smaller ones in individual ramekins. Just fill a ramekin with bagel chunks, cheese, and veggies, then pour a mixture of egg and milk over the top. Let it sit for a little while and then bake at 350°.

    <3 kt

    leftover cooked rice ideas

    yo, we are in a recession!  using EVERYTHING and wasting nothing is key to survival.  i had a fiesta bbq and made way too much rice.  now i need ideas of what to do with it.  searching the internet, i found some unique recipes:

    • is a working moms’ blog and they always have fantastic ideas:

    1.) Fried rice. Scramble an egg, add diced whatever leftover meat you have (smoked ham and roasted chicken are always winners, though I’ve even used up leftover Chinese food with awesome results), diced carrots and celery, diced onion, and any leftover cooked vegetables from the fridge. Mix together soy sauce, a little honey, and rice wine vinager; pour it over, toss to coat, and serve it up.

    2.) Quiche with a rice crust. Combine rice, an ounce or two of grated cheese (something hard, like cheddar or swiss), and an egg; press into a pie plate and bake until set. Then pour in the quiche filling and bake some more.

    3.) Thicken a soup or stew. Seriously, just add it to prepared broth by the handful. If you add too much, call it porridge. No? Fine… make some chicken soup and add just enough so that you can call it chicken soup with rice (singing the song is optional).

    4.) Rice pudding. This recipe from is easy and delicious. If you serve it for breakfast, your kids will think they’re getting away with something.

    5.) Jambalaya. Think fried rice with a Cajun twist. Pick a recipe here, or make up one of your own: Start with a diced sweet onion sauteed in olive oil. Add crumbled hot sausage and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Add some tiny shrimp (thaw ‘em first) and chopped bell peppers, toss in the leftover rice, and douse with a tomato-based sauce. Authentic? Nah. Tasty, quick, and economical? Yes, indeed.

    1. Garlic Rice – This is a simple Philippine fried recipe that calls for adding pantry staples plus some ground pork, but after reading comments made on the recipe from users, the pork can be omitted and vegetables such as mushrooms and green peppers can be added.
    2. Calas – A sweet rice fritter made with leftover rice, flour, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Like the garlic rice above, this too can be made with things you most likely already have in your pantry.
    3. Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice – If you’re looking to use up your leftover rice and the baskets full of tomatoes you’re bringing in from your garden, here’s a  Giada De Laurentiis that will help you. I’ve never made a recipe from Giada that I didn’t like.
    4. Anything Rice – This recipe takes your leftover rice, some eggs, onions, green peppers, and anything else you have leftover in your frig and creates a meal out of it.
    5. Rockin’ Rice Pudding – Tyler Florence’s recipe for rice pudding using three cups of cooked rice. Hmmm. I have three cups leftover from last night. Guess what I’ll be making tonight!
    6. One other tip – Cooked white rice can be frozen after it’s cooled, so if you can’t use it right away, put it in an airtight container and freeze it.

    let me know if you have any suggestions too!

    <3 kt

    4th of July BBQ leftover ideas

    everyone is going to BBQ this weekend for the fourth of July.  however, what in the world are you going to do with all of those leftovers???  i’ve searched high and low for some budget friendly ideas!!!  check them out:

    1.  leftover hot dog & hamburger buns

    i love chopping buns into little cubes, dousing them with olive oil, a little minced garlic, fresh grated Parmesan, and a dash of red pepper flakes.  after preheating the oven to 400, i throw them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 10 minutes.  presto!  homemade croutons!!!

    2.  leftover sausages, hot dogs, and brauts

    slice these up and toss in an omelet, spaghetti, on a pizza, or in a burrito.  or slice and freeze them for a quick meal down the road!

    3.  leftover corn on the cob

    you can always toss them back on the grill to reheat them.  you can use the kernels in some homemade salsa.  i love cutting the kernels off of the cob and adding them to a pasta salad!  here’s my favorite whole foods recipe:

    Corn & Roasted Tomato Salad


    4 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed
    6 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 cups chopped spinach
    1 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1/2 pound dried penne or fusilli pasta
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup toasted walnuts
    Salt and pepper to taste


    In a medium skillet, dry-roast corn over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Place in a large mixing bowl with tomatoes, garlic, spinach and blue cheese. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain thoroughly. Add hot pasta to bowl with corn mixture. Stir to wilt spinach and blend ingredients. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Toss with walnuts, season with salt and pepper and serve.

    feel free to send me your ideas for BBQ leftovers too!  hope you had a great 4th!

    <3 kt

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