Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Dirt Cheap Dinners Cheap economical meals from a few staples

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    • #238165

      I just wanted to share a few budget minded meals from when I was growing up for all of us who need a little help stretching our food dollars.

      My grandmother used many of these during the great depression.

      The main things needed and you should always have on hand are:

      A Bag of flour
      A Bag of potatoes
      A dozen of eggs
      A bag of onions
      Butter and or Oil
      salt and pepper

      Meal #1 Potato Soup

      Put a little butter in a large pot, Place diced onions in and saute until onions are clear. Add a little Salt and Pepper, Add a few cups of water and a few peeled and diced potatoes. Boil until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

      At this point you can either serve and eat as is or add a few cups of milk for a cream base soup.

      Meal # 2 Eggs and Potatoes

      In a pan put a few pats of butter or oil and some peeled sliced potatoes. Saute until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork. In a bowl crack a few eggs, pour in a bit of milk and add salt and pepper.

      stir vigorously to break yolks and thoroughly mix milk in. Pour over potatoes and cook stir turning bottom frequently to prevent browning on bottom of the pan. Serve as is or saute diced onions in butter and place them on top.

      Meal #3 Potato Pirohi-Perogie(European filled Dumplings)

      Dough: In a bowl mix a few eggs and a bit of water, add enough flour to form a stiff dough.

      Filling: Peel and boil a few potatoes, drain off water add salt add pepper and mash.

      Using a large pot fill half full with water and put onto stove to boil.

      Place a large frying pan on stove and place a mixture butter and oil along with diced onions and saute until onions are clear.

      On a flat surface sprinkled with flour roll out dough. Using a knife or pizza/pastry cutter cut into 3-4 inch squares. Place a small spoonful of the filling in the center of each square.

      Fold over a corner of the dough to the opposite corner to form a triangle. Pinch edges together.

      Drop Pirohi into boiling water. Remove when they float and place onto butter/oil and saute lightly. Serve and enjoy.

      These are very versital can be filled with sauerkraut, browned ground beef. You can fill them with cheeses or sausage for homemade ravioli (just skip the saute) and top with spaghetti sauce.

      Meal #4 Dumplings (European) or Gnocci (Gnocchi)(Italian)

      Dough: In a bowl mix a few eggs and a bit of water, mix in a bit of mashed potatoes, add enough flour to form a stiff dough.

      Using a large pot fill half full with water and put onto stove to boil.

      On a flat surface sprinkled with flour roll out dough thick. (There are many methods used to form these.) Using a pizza/pastry cutter cut into 1/2 inch strips and cut pieces off about 1 inch long from each strip and place into boiling water. Remove from water when they float to the surface.

      Meals made with these:

      #1 Gnocci- Top with spaghetti sauce and serve

      #2 Chicken and dumplings – Great for that one piece of leftover chicken. Shred chicken meat and place in a pot with water and chicken bouillon or broth. bring to a boil.

      season with salt and pepper. (Can add celery, carrots, onion, peas to this. Just cook until vegetables are soft) In a cup mix a bit of water and flour together and add to chicken mixture.

      Cook until it starts to thicken. (If gets too thick just add a bit more water). Add prepared dumplings and serve.

      #3 Sauerkraut and dumplings
      In a pot empty a can of sauerkraut, add pepper and dumplings and serve.

      #4 Fried Sauerkraut and dumplings
      Open a can of sauerkraut and drain. Put a bit of oil or butter in a large frying pan and heat. Add sauerkraut and a bit of pepper.

      Saute for a while and add prepare dumplings and cook a while longer. Serve.

      #5 Fried Cabbage & Dumplings- Halushki-Haluska (European)

      In a large frying pan, Place a bit ofoil/butter. Slice cabbage and add to pan. Cook until cabbage is soft.

      Add dumpings and cook a bit longer. Serve or wait a day (Better the second day).

    • #414008

      This is an awesome list:

      I would add always have a box of powdered milk on hand. I don’t think they had that during the depression but you can sure do a lot with a box of powdered milk.

      You can find lots of uses for powdered milk. Another frugal website has lots of great recipes for powdered milk. Just google things to do with powdered milk and you will find lots of info.
      Tracy in va

      tracy in va

    • #414009

      I remember this post when it was originally sent through to the list and was wondering about it. I am glad it “popped up” again!

      Thanks Tracy in VA for bringing it back to my attention.

    • #414017

      if you don’t have powdered milk and don’t want to use your regular milk, try using 1/3 cup of coffeemate (we always seem to have this) to 2/3 cups water. I’ve used this is chowders and potato soup.

    • #414018

      these recipes made me warm & fuzzy inside since many of those my grandma used to make too!! Halupski & Pierogies! 🙂
      thanks for the recipes!!

      i also find that just having simple things on hand can make a lot! I made bread pudding the other night all with eggs, milk, butter, spices, and leftover bread. yum.

      and even desserts/cookies sometimes can be made out of simple things. and tortillas and dough. now i want to go cook something!

    • #458404

      Thank you so much for this frankumsgirl. I’m sure that IF I ever had to feed myself on short cash……this would feed me for a week easily.

    • #458405

      Great Tip Niddi !!! This will come in very handy

    • #458419
      Avatar for frankumsgirlmos

      These are such exceptional ideas for feeding your family! AND I have used quite a few of these ideas when the dollars were tight;-D

    • #458690

      Not sure about the coffee whitener thing because I don’t like the ingredients in it. As for powdered milk, watch that you use it in time, it does get ranky. It’s also not cheap anymore like it was years ago but is handy to have for sure.

      I have used it a few times.

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Dirt Cheap Dinners Cheap economical meals from a few staples