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Old 05-22-2005, 02:23 PM   #1
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I am looking for any and all tasty low cost/easy recipes. I am trying to cut my food budget both here and abroad and looking for more ideas. Here is what I have so far:

At Home:

Ramen/Vitamins
Hot Dogs
Salads
"Toast Pizza" - Pizza Sauce, shredded cheese, random meat, slice(s) of bread...toasted in oven
Mac 'n cheese
Cheap "Beer Dinner"
"Supermarket samples dinner"
Wendy's 0.99 menu for "fancy" nights
Spaghetti (meatless)
Tacos made with beans instead of meat
Sandwiches

Abroad:

Bagguettes w/ cheese
Ramen
Load up at hostel breakfast
"pizza dash" - watch others in pizza place and eat stuff they dont touch when they leave...


That is all I have found thus far.

Fire at will! :greenguy:

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Old 05-22-2005, 04:19 PM   #2
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I was poor abroad so these are two dinners that I developed that fit my finances and tummy perfectly.

POOR MAN"S SOUP
-go to the supermarket and buy the cheapest can of soup available (usually generic brand and around 99 cents)
-Boil up some rice
-Add some of the rice into the soup
-Splash some sweet chilli sauce into the soup for xtra flavour.

Ta da! It's actually really tasty. WIth the addition of the rice the soup is now actually filling! Add a piece of toast too and now your actually full when you eat soup. Total price: around $1.40

DIO's SURPRISE
-Fry up whatever veggies you have available (onions, gr/red peppers, carrots, beans etc...)
-Boil one of those two min noodle packs
-Drain noodles, put in bowl, add stir fryed veggies on top and pour some sweet chilli sauce (or whatever sauce u have available) on top for flavour. Total Cost: around$1.50

As you can see I am a big fan of Sweet Chilli sauce. It helps any dinner taste excellent. And it's hot so it trains your taste buds to accept spicy foods later on in your travels!

Check the free food shelfs in hostels. There is almost ALWAYS at least half a bag of rice available. As well as pasta etc...I met a girl travelling that ate strictly what she found on those shelfs. And hey she was able to survive! Be creative.
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Old 05-22-2005, 04:26 PM   #3
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It all depends on what countries you're going to.

In France, baguettes and cheese are practically a dime a dozen, so I subsisted off of those for many meals.

In the UK, especially with London being so expensive, I found myself eating a lot of Pot Noodle when the budget was feeling tight.

Dublin was also damned expensive, so I found myself either picking up knick-knacks at the grocery store or getting cheap-ass fresh sandwiches at their local equivalent of 7-11. Otherwise I'd pool up a bunch of veggies with other people at the hostel and we'd make a giant community stir-fry.

Holland was all about the cheese and pastries.

In Spain, groceries are quite cheap, so you can pretty much buy whatever you need at the store and not blink at the price. I probably made my most elaborate hostel meals there, cooking up tons of pasta with fancy sauces (pancetta, sausage, you name it) and soups and sharing with everyone. You bring the wine, and I'll cook

In Costa Rica, it was often actually cheaper to just go out - the sodas sell full meals for under $3 that will keep you full 'til the next day. But when I had to make my own stuff to go (strenuous hiking calls for that) I'd just go buy some bread and other stuff to dress it up and make a sammich for less than a buck. Oh, and coffee is free just about everywhere over there!

When I do have the inclination to actually cook, then I generally buy a bag or two of pasta, a jar of sauce, and something to fatten it up (i.e. veggies, sausage, etc.) and make a big ol' pot and keep it in the hostel fridge for the duration of the stay. Salads are also nice, especially if you dress them up with whatever local ingredients are available, so you can have your cheap meal AND get a taste of the local flavor. Eggs are universally cheap, and you can do a zillion things with them, so those are always a good option. I've been known to hike around with a sack of hardboiled eggs and bread.

If you're planning on eating while in transit, bring some of those disposable Ziploc containers with you and you can eat your leftovers on the go! You don't always have to eat sandwiches or bags of chips on the bus
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Old 05-22-2005, 09:16 PM   #4
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I always did the pasta thing that omi was talking about, or the communal cooking. It really pays to have friends. I also took a jar of peanut butter with me. Its very filling. Also, when I found I had money to A- Eat a decent dinner or B- Drink up, I'd head out and get the cheapest bottle of Australian Shaz Cab I could find. Make it worth your money and get fourteen percent. Entertaining, Im happy, and not hungry. I would not reccomend a steady diet of cheap red wine, but I've done it a few times. cough. cough. And the free food shelf... Of course, I worked there and knew what was up for grabs, be really careful that you dont eat someone's food. There's nothing worse than not being able to track down the egg fried rice leftovers you splurged on and have to make last two meals and have to live with the visions of some jerk off eating your chinese while you down another bottle of Shaz Cab.... :greenguy:
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Old 05-22-2005, 09:17 PM   #5
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hmmm... I want it written, for the record, that I am not an alcoholic. And I would eat if I had money to drink too. Which was most of the time...
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:07 PM   #6
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rice, rice and more rice! There's a reason much of the world subsists on it! I like the poor man's soup option, but here's an even cheaper version. Instead of canned soup, buy some soup stock (you can get lots of different flavours - beef, chicken, veggie, mushroom, fish). A cube or spoonful, some rice and if you have some veggies... boil 'em up and tada! You can also add the stock to water when boiling pasta or couscous for some added flavour.

Couscous is cheap and filling, and eggs are probably the cheapest form of protein.
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:15 AM   #7
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When in England I lived off pasta. I would sprinkle that parmesan cheese on top and that was it! I had a few random comments, but hey I usually eat bland meals anyway.

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Old 05-23-2005, 05:43 AM   #8
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Being of an Irish/Scottish background, I favour potatoes You can do anything with potatoes to make em taste brilliant, and theyre dead cheap. But like Bellelass said, drinking is more important, I think its the irish/scottish background kicking in again.
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:24 AM   #9
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wow great thread. We should put together a !TravelPUNK Cook Book....

On a side note my friend just bought a case of 250 pkgs of romajn noodles for like 10 bucks. ha ha The sad thing is he WILL eat them all..


Quote:
DIO's SURPRISE
-Fry up whatever veggies you have available (onions, gr/red peppers, carrots, beans etc...)
-Boil one of those two min noodle packs
-Drain noodles, put in bowl, add stir fryed veggies on top and pour some sweet chilli sauce (or whatever sauce u have available) on top for flavour. Total Cost: around$1.50
ahh yes that sounds good....:eat:
have you ever added tuna to noodles it's actually quite tasty... and cheap
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:28 AM   #10
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Beans and rice. One bag of beans usually costs < $1.

You just soak them overnight and then simmer them for a few hours the next day, and toss some rice in. Each big pot will feed you for a whole week, and is very filling. You really can't beat it.

(This is more for home though, as you need a big pot and some time to make them.)
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:21 AM   #11
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I am the queen of stir fry. Whatever veggies I can get, especially green beans, bell peppers, bok choy, pea pods, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, celery, whatever-- fry that up in some sesame oil or olive oil and dump garlic and basil in it, or even some type of meat or meat-like substance if you want to be really fancy. And at home I have access to lots of fresh herbs so that's even better. Add noodles or rice for interest, haha.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:22 AM   #12
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Oh, and I second Dio's suggestion of sweet chili sauce-- YUM! :eat:
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:26 AM   #13
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mmmm.. okay it's definitely lunch time.
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"Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once."
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:05 PM   #14
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One cheap crappy unhealthy thing we've always made is tater tot casserole. It's actually super yummy. Fill the bottom of a pan w/tater tots (so cheap and versatile!), cook till they're unfrozen, mash em up a bit. Mix together a can of green beans (or whatever vegetable you can come up with ) with cream of whatever (mushroom is my fav) season if you want it less bland, dump it on the tater tots and put some cheese (real or American) on top and bake till cheese is brown and ta da! If you're rich and not a vegetarian, most people put ground beef in there as well. It makes a couple days worth of food (feeding multiple people).

Another good easy thing is smashing tater tots with some eggs and seasonings with a little cheese on top. Microwavable!
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:08 PM   #15
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now i want some tator tots dammit :eat:
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:56 AM   #16
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I apologize!
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:25 AM   #17
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Lemme emphasize how wicked this tread is...Great, great thread guys. I applaud *clap clap clap*

Oh, and OMI, great tips for budget eating in abroad.

Here at home, the cheapest stuff I make is rice and assorted veggies. Simply put oil in the pan, fry up some garlic, put in onions until brown, then add either bay-choy, or some other "main" course veggies.

Then i add in cheap sauceages and add a little bit of seseme oil, little chicken powder, a little soya sauce, a little sugar, then its done.

Seriously, you can feed your self for a week in Chinatown for 5 bucks...no joke. I did many times when I lived on my own.
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:34 AM   #18
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I got this one off the back of some kraft box I can't rememeber what but it is really good. cost is not to bad either especially if you drop the chicken and add some more veggies.

Quote:
Quick & Easy Lemon Chicken & Rice

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 35 min
Makes: 4 servings, 1-3/4 cups each

1/2 cup KRAFT House Italian Dressing*
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips*
1 cup chicken broth*
1 cup small broccoli florets*
1 red pepper, cut into strips*
1 cup thinly sliced carrots*
2 cups MINUTE Brown Rice, uncooked*
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning*
2 Tbsp. KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese*



HEAT dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 1 min.*
ADD broth, broccoli, red pepper and carrots. Bring to boil.*
STIR in rice. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 5 min. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 min. Stir in lemon pepper seasoning; sprinkle with cheese.*
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:38 AM   #19
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This is a picture of that dish I just found it online at krafts website :eat:
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"Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once."
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“If you can imagine a man having a vasectomy without anesthetic to the sound of frantic sitar-playing, you will have some idea what popular Turkish music is like.”
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:41 PM   #20
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The other day I made the simplest meal. It literally took less than five minutes to put together. All I did was put some

chicken breasts in a glass casserole dish
add some wild rice
a bit of butter
then HALF the amount of water (that the rice package called for)
To make up for the other half, I used Italian salad dressing.

I let it cook in the oven on 350 for about an hour and a half. I then added a little bit more water and dressing (equal parts of each) because it was a little dry looking. Continued to bake until the rice was cooked and it was delicious.

I imagine it would take a lot less time if you used minute rice or something, but I prefer the long cooking rice myself.

Adam, that recipe looks really good, I might have to try it sometime!
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