9 Cheap Recipes for Meals, Desserts and Drinks

Need a cheap, quick and easy recipe or idea for a meal, dessert or beverage? Or a tip on how to cut your family's cooking costs? Look no further because our members have made it simple. Check out their frugal and tasty recipes and ideas. Bon appetit!


Cheap Recipe for Pizza dough, Breadsticks or Focaccia

1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt,
5 1/2 cups of flour

Mix the water, yeast and sugar together. Let sit for 10 minutes. Mix olive oil, egg and salt in mixing bowl. Add the water-yeast-sugar mixture to the olive oil mixture, then add the flour. Knead or process until dough is mixed. (you may need to add a little more water). The dough should seem slightly sticky. Knead by hand for about 5 minutes on a floured surface. Let rise (covered) for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a greased bowl. Divide into three portions. You may then use the dough or freeze it. It's good for about 3 months in the freezer. I usually make two batches (6 portions) at once.

To use for pizza: Precook the crust for 4 minutes at 425 degrees. Add sauce and toppings and cook at 425 degrees for 13 minutes.

For breadsticks: Form into sticks. Sprinkle course salt on top and bake for approx. 13 minutes at 415 degrees.

For focaccia: Shape into square pan and add toppings (onions, garlic or spices) and drizzle the top with olive oil. Let rise for about 1/2 hour. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 415 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes. (I cover the pan with foil and bake the focaccia on the barbecue.)

This is a cheap and easy recipe that is freezable. The dough can be used for either three medium pizzas 18 breadsticks or 3 focaccia breads. I just divide the dough into three parts and freeze. Then I can decide what I want to make later and pull one or two portions out of the freezer about 2 1/2 hours (or more) in advance of the meal. --mattandbrettsmom

When there's absolutely nothing left in the house, we make pancakes out of Bisquick. You can't get any cheaper than that! --metallovinmom


Tuna Casserole (On the Stove)

1 bag egg noodles
3 cans tuna
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or 1 can of mushroom soup and 1 can cheddar cheese soup)
1 can peas
Splash of milk
Dash of butter
Seasonings to taste

Cook egg noodles then drain. Stir in tuna, soup, milk, butter and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, etc.). Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixed well. Add peas. Cook another 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Feeds 6 to 8, keeps well and is quick to fix. --poolgoddess

During the winter we make a lot of chili. I buy the beans and chopped tomatoes on sale for $.50 a can at most. You can get canned corn (3 for $1) and a pound of ground turkey on sale as well. Add some Tabasco and a can of tomato sauce (10 for $1) and voila! --jlbari



My husband and I drink a lot of tea. It's pretty cheap when you make it yourself with teabags (as generic as they make) and sugar. We have an iced-tea maker. Once I had some fancy drink mix at a friend's place that was tea lemonade. I went home, made a pitcher of tea, a pitcher of lemonade (1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar) and mixed these in a gallon container. Tastes great! I drink that, water from the Brita, and often juice, which I water down. Try making your own lemonade by using lemon juice (generic!) and sugar. --brenda t

Squeeze lemon and lime wedges into a glass of water. It will give it a little flavor, plus it's water, which everyone needs a ton of anyway. Get some refillable water bottles. Keep them in the fridge, in the door where the little ones can reach them when they open the fridge. --beejie



Get an angel food cake, a can of lemon pie filling and a tub of Cool Whip. Split the angel food cake in half, spread some lemon filling on it and put the cake back together. Mix the rest of the lemon pie filling with the tub of Cool Whip and frost the entire angel food cake. You can also use strawberry pie filling and add real strawberries on top to decorate it. --poppyfresh

Summer Delight

1 commercial angel food cake
1 quart lime sherbet, softened
1 quart lemon sherbet, softened
1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Slice cake horizontally into 3 layers and place each layer on a plate. Spread lime sherbet on 1 cake layer and freeze. Spread lemon sherbet on 1 cake layer and freeze. Place lemon layer on top of lime layer and top with remaining cake layer. Spread whipped topping on top and sides of cake. Freeze. Once completely frozen, wrap tightly in aluminum foil until ready to serve. Slice to serve. Yield: 12 servings


Raisin Clusters

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups raisins

Line a baking sheet with buttered waxed paper; set aside. Melt chocolate with condensed milk and vanilla in small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper. Makes 30 clusters.


No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1 stick margarine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
3 to 4 tablespoons peanut butter, optional
3 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter (if used), oatmeal and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine the margarine, milk and sugar in a saucepan; bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute. Combine the hot mixture with the oatmeal mixture; stir well. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. --cajun mommy

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