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Low-Budget Meals In a Minute

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Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 6276
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Low-Budget Meals In a Minute Reply with quote

Low-Budget Meals In a Minute
By D. Giolitto

Ever go home and look in the fridge only to find it sadly, echoingly empty? Well, look again my friend... there are probably a ton of condiments in there just waiting to be made into a hearty meal. Here are some tasty new recipes I discovered while living on a limited income. Dish up some dinner, liven up lunch, whatever you like! Mmmm, MMMH!

Saltines and Ketchup

Ingredients: five saltine crackers, bottle of ketchup

To Make: arrange crackers on plate. Drizzle on ketchup. Eat. Delicioso!


1. Make sandwiches with the crackers (but I wouldn't reccommend this if you're low on crackers because then you can't "stretch" the eating time).

2. Squirt out little drawings/messages to self with ketchup squeeze bottle (assuming you are lucky enough to have one of these). Tip: messages should be no more than 2 words due to limited space on cracker. However, you can always line up the crackers and just write one big sentence across. Fun with Food!

Hot Dog Roll and Mayonnaise with Bread and Butter Pickles

Ingredients: hot dog roll, jar of mayonnaise, at least 2 bread and butter pickles (otherwise it would just be "Hot Dog Roll and Mayonnaise with Bread and Butter PICKLE).

To Make: Find one of those rubber scraper things to scoop out dregs of mayonnaise from bottom of jar. Sniff mayonnaise to make sure good. If smells bad, decide HOW bad. Trip to bathroom, or trip to hospital? Assuming the former, go ahead with scraping of mayonnaise jar remnants onto hot dog roll. Add pickles. Eat.


1. Chop up pickles and mix with mayonnaise (this is actually tartar sauce--WHO KNEW?), then spread on roll.

2. Cut roll in half. Put one pickle and one smidge of mayo on each half. Bon Appetit!

Condiment Surprise

The surprise is, no one can ever remember what goes in this. Not even you! Amaze and delight your friends with your own secret blend of ingredients.

Ingredients: Whatever condiments you can find in your fridge such as ketchup, mayo, salad dressing, taco sauce, A-1, Saucy Susan, etc., Pretzels

To Make: Mix all ingredients in bowl. Cook, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or chilled with pretzels on side or mixed in.

Jelly In a Bowl


Shrimp Mocktail

Okay, with a little practice this one might actually fool your friends... but it takes a skilled chef to really pull it off right!

Ingredients: several pieces of stale bread, water, ketchup

To Make: Check bread for green spots; remove if necessary (remember though, that mold is a valuable source of protein, and we all know that protein builds muscle). Break bread into small chunks. Use water to form bread into sticky lumps, then roll lumps into little shrimp-shaped forms.

Arrange "shrimps" in fancy circle on plate, then place bowl of ketchup in middle. Tastes just like the real thing!

Salt and Pepper* Sandwich

For those times when you're really "in a pinch!"

Ingredients: Salt, pepper, bread.

To Make: Sprinkle salt and pepper on bread.* Eat.

*Omit Pepper if you don't like it.
*Omit Salt if you don't like it.

For more tasty treats, buy my book "Making Lunch Out of Nothing At All".

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
Liked this article? Have more of the same emailed to your inbox each month. Sign up for the Copywriting and Marketing Ezine from Dina at and learn to write search engine friendly web copy and market your web based business for free. Article Source:

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Nana Lee
Garde Manger Chef

Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love your ingenuity!
However, when I was a kid, back in the '40s, things were kind of scarce. So for after school snack my mother would wet the stale bread on both sides. Then she would dip it in sugar, on both sides.
This was our afternoon snack.
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Capo di tutti Capi

Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 2224
Location: SW OH

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mother was little during the depression and they would have coffee and crackers for breakfast. She would sometimes make it for my siblings and me for breakfast.

Coffee and Crackers

butter saltine crackers and place in plate (should cover bottom)
sprinkle sugar over crackers
add milk (cream or half & half) and sugar to coffee
pour coffee over crackers

I used to love this and I didn't even like coffee.

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Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 159
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: meal Reply with quote

Smile My mom would fix me bread,sugar and milk in a bowl. They say I liked it so well I wouldn't eat anything else. So I always had that for my very lean times when i had nothing else in the house even now i keep those items around just in case. Laughing

Smile anita
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Garde Manger Chef

Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 47
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: even more... Reply with quote

When we are too tired to hit the store on a empty cupboard night:

1. We make "pizza" with stale bread, ketchup and whatever is left over. (bologna torn up into bits; pieces of cheese; leftover chicken, onion slices, etc.,). Then we pop it into the oven on BROIL for about 2 minutes. Voila! You can also build them with triscuits or saltines.

2. We have butter and sugar sandwiches.

3. Peanut butter on a spoon (like a peanut butter lollipop)! Peanut butter on a celery stick.

4. Rice with soy sauce, chopped green onions and any bits of chicken or leftover veggies.

5. Sandwiches spread with a thin, thin layer of cream cheese (it had to go around), paper thin slices of onion, and then, be creative - chives, dried basil, pepper and/or salt. Mmmm...... a dash of worcestershire sauce and tabasco for me, please!!!

6. Leftover rice with butter, sugar and milk - into the microwave for about 40 seconds (a dash of vanilla and a toss of cinnamon, if you have it) and that's a breakfast I have had MANY a lean morning.

I could probably go on and on -but, I think I'll go make a cream cheese sandwich instead! Bye!
Mom, wife and Le Cordon Bleu cooker/caker!!
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Capo di tutti Capi

Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 585
Location: Long Beach CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Low budget Reply with quote

During the depression my mother would order a bowl of hot water and put ketchup in it for tomato soup.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~ Red Auerbach
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Commis Chef

Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Low-Budget meals Reply with quote

It's funny--I just realized that I don't have any ketchup in my fridge! So many excellent low-budget meals I'm missing out on. Wink

At least once a week, my boyfriend and I have eggs n' toast. If we're in a fancy mood, we'll throw in whatever's in the fridge--torn pieces of lunch meat, about-to-go-moldy cheese, mustard, leftover stirfry. But we're simple folk and eggs n' toast is fine enough for us.

We also try to stock up on frozen meals from Trader Joe's. If you have a TJ's store near you, I highly recommend them--they're the ones in bags and are usually some combo of frozen veggies, frozen chicken, rice or noodles, and sauce. The sauce is truly excellent (we wish they sold the sauce separately!) and the chicken is actually pretty tender and decent! They run about $5 each, I think, and cook up in about 20 minutes. We usually have enough left over for lunch the next day, so four meals for $5 is pretty good. Our favorite is the Garlic Chicken one. Yum!
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