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5 Dead Cheap Dinners You Can Make At Home

You know that feeling? When you’ve been working and/or studying all week, you just paid rent, your car rego was also somehow due this week and three friends all have their birthdays this weekend. It’s hard not to be cheap in such circumstances.

Cash is minimal, if even existent, and toast for the third night in a row has lost all appeal (if it ever had appeal that is.) But fear not comrades, delish eats are possible with a low budget in mind. Alter your amounts based on number of people you’re cooking for (rocket science not required).

Panko Chicken

  • Chicken (whatever cut, suggest drumsticks)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Egg
  • Panko Crumb

Grab a few chicken drumsticks from your local, and marinade it in some brown sugar + soy sauce (for one to three hours if you’re super time poor, 24 hours if you’re all organised like that.)

Dip in some whisked egg, then into some Panko and bake. Pair it up with some rice + green veg; super yum and with a few food groups too.

Asian Beef Stir Fry

  • Ground Beef
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sesame Oil (if you have it)

Cabbage and Carrots get a bad wrap often, but they’re a budget and cheap lifestyle delight. Chuck them into a pan with some oil and add a bit of water to soften them up until they’re at your liking. Season with some salt/pepper, then chuck in some garlic + your meat (can also use pork or chicken here friends).

Once it’s cooked through, toss some sesame oil or soy sauce – whichever is easier – to bring it to life. Stir it up for a minute or so, then you’re sorted.

Corn, Black Bean & Tomato Salad

  • Cooked Yellow Corn
  • Black Beans
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato
  • Cilantro
  • Chilli Flakes and Lemon Juice (optional)
  • Corn Chips (optional)

Okay if you’re a salad person, great. If not, you’re about to become one. You wont need much time to whip this one together and it’s packed full of flavour. Add some chopped, cooked corn and black beans into a bowl. Then chop up a bit of red onion to taste, and a handful of chopped cilantro.

Toss them all together, and drizzle some Lemon Juice if you have any lying around or fresh lime/lemon just to add some zest. If you have a chilli tooth, sprinkle some flakes on top and toss. Substitute your fork with some corn chips for some extra crunch + add pumpkin if rich. DELISH & CHEAP.

French Onion Soup

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Bread
  • Cheese

With winter around the corner, this soup will warm ‘ya heart and also keep the $$ in your wallet for the weekend. Chop some onions up, neat or not, don’t worry if your lack of knifing skills lets you down here. Grab a pot of some sort on medium heat, and chuck in some butter til melted. Once it has, thrown in the onions and garlic.

After about ten minutes, add in the vinegar and let that simmer away for 30-45 mins or so, just keep tasting as you go – don’t want any burning now do we. Once the onions start to stick, add water to taste and salt/pepper as required. Again let it simmer away until happy with the taste. Then grab some bread, add cheese and grill it away (can do this on a pan too if you don’t have a grill) until melted. I’m already salivating.

Boost Your Ramen

  • Get bloody creative

We all have no doubt had our run ins with the traditional cheap man’s food that is Ramen. But scour your fridge for additions to the $2 Ramen packet in the pantry. Think runny eggs, any leftover meat, soy sauce, peanut butter (seriously), cabbage, green opinion, Sriracha, crispy bacon, shrimp and even tofu.

Image source: A Little Yum, Budget Bytes, Stacey Homemaker, Taste, Greatist, Freunde Von Freunden

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