Ten Dollar Dinners Giveaway | The Daily Dish

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Ten Dollar Dinners Giveaway

296 Comments | Written on January 14, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

Save a few bucks and drop a few pounds?  What more could we want in the New Year!

Good thing Melissa d’Arabian has the answers.  Her show “Drop 5 Lbs” on the Cooking Channel premieres season 2 on January 19 at 10:30am ET, and her cookbook “Ten Dollar Dinners” is in bookstores now.

You will have to tune in to her show to drop those extra holiday pounds, but our giveaway this week will certainly help you save money in the kitchen!

Keep reading to learn how to win!

First…the winner of the “Dole YoNanans? giveaway.  Congratulations to comment #131 Katrina Millar.  Check your inbox, I will be emailing you with details on receiving your big prize!

Here is what you could win this week:

“Ten Dollar Dinners” Cookbook by Melissa d’Arabian

$50 American Express Gift Card – Enough to make 5 dinners from Melissa’s book!   

Here is all you have to do:

Leave a comment here on the blog telling us how you cook on a tight budget!  

One lucky winner will be randomly selected in one week from today. Be sure to come back to see if YOU are the winner!

Official Rules

*Note: Comments need to be approved through WordPress. If you don’t see yours right away, don’t worry…I will get to it as soon as I can! Remember to leave a comment right here on the blog itself, not on one of the photos, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Thanks!

A few of Melissa’s tips for eating on a budget:

-Clean out the pantry!  Take a peek around our pantry, fridge and freezer for ingredients lurking around that could come together to make a great meal.

-Make your ingredients do double-duty!  Lemons are great for juice and zest.  When cooking with shrimp, save the shells for flavorful stock.  The list goes on and on!

-Have a “bean” night once a week!   This inexpensive protein is also healthy and delicious.

Be sure to check out her book for more tips and tons of recipes.  Or, just enter and win this giveaway and it’s all yours!

296 Responses to “Ten Dollar Dinners Giveaway”

  • 1
    Crystal Schlueter says:

    I am currently on a pretty tight budget so I make a lot of soup, as it is cheap & I can throw in whatever ingredients I have on hand.

  • 2

    I need this cookbook because I am always looking for recipes that Ican afford to make that you can get the ingredients in a regular grocery store. I like to buy my ingredients on sale to make enough to have leftovers and some to freeze. So when my life gets crazy I have something to pull out of my freezer and cook for my family.

  • 3

    We have an “Anything you want night” where we make up a meal out of what we have on hand. We have ended up with some nice creations and used things on hand instead of opting to go out to eat. We have saved a lot of money this way and usually end up with leftovers for the next day!

  • 4
    Margaret Hadam-Hay says:

    I buy dried beans and cook up a pot every two weeks, I buy whole chickens to make soup, sandwiches, and dinners,and don’t waste anything, scraps of veg go into the freezer for soup, leftover meats go into a quiche or strata, etc.

  • 5
    Debbi R says:

    I live on a tight budget and make great use of coupons and the internet to save money.

  • 6
    Mandy Blank says:

    I try to make things like a large ham and then freeze some and repurpose other parts. I can really make it stretch!

  • 7
    Sue D says:

    I cook from my pantry and from sales at the store.

  • 8
    Deirdre Hope says:

    I make meatless meals, or have a sandwich night to cut costs and calories.

  • 9
    Robin M says:

    When I cook I always make alot so I can freeze the leftovers to have later. I fine that to cook alittle more with more vegtables will make the dollar stretch.

  • 10
    Valerie Lobmeyer says:

    I prefer to do stir fry or asian type meals where I can take 2 or 3 pork chops, chicken or whatever meat I have, cut into bite size pieces and cook with lots of rice and veggies. This stretches my meat from a little bit of meat to enough to feed 5 to 7 people, and the kids love it!

  • 11
    lorraine e. slauson says:

    I eat a lot of eggs: egg salad; curry egg salad; boiled eggs. Broccoli salad, raw broccoli. fruit make up my frugal diet. I’ve quit buying frozen dinners.

  • 12
    rog harris says:

    I do my grocerry shopping at the end of the week when I have both the current week and the following week’s grocery circulars to compare sale items at the local grocery stores. That way I have the best chance of getting the most value for my food dollars.

  • 13
    leann pabich-schiller says:

    Cooking on a tight budget: I have a garden every year and freeze things as a tight budget does not mean you cannot eat healthy. When I make meals, I see how many meals I can get (how far I can stretch a package of hamburger for example). I look for coupons, ad items that are cost effective and most of all, I try to use up all items as to not leave any waste!

  • 14
    Tina M says:

    We eat a lot of rice,eggs and soups. Or I will make something large and freeze it for the week..Great Giveaway..Can always use it for the food we need in our house..Thanks!!!

  • 15
    Gina Bangser says:

    I plan my meals ahead of time, purchase healthy pantry and staple items that are versatile, and always plan a back up meal for leftovers so that we make the most of every morsel! Hope I win, I commented and shared this on my pages 🙂

  • 16
    Michelle Feldman says:

    I like to use potatoes. I buy them on sale and can make lots of different meals, from soups to scalloped potatoes. They are also a go-to side dish with mashed potatoes, french fries, or hash browns.

  • 17
    Janine says:

    Homemade stock and dried beans are the base of many dishes. I can make some stews and soups for about $1.50 a serving.

  • 18
    Janine says:

    Homemade stock is the base of many dishes I make, along with dried beans. I can make some stews and soups for around $1.50 a serving.

  • 19
    Christopher B says:

    I try to save money and stop waste by repurposing leftovers as much as possible. I’m always only cooking for two, so we usually have quite a lot. It makes for some adventurous breakfasts.

  • 20
    Deanna says:

    As a single mom I have been using coupons especially when I see says buy one meat and get second free.. Not just meat items there are other items also and I sure helps my budget by doing that..

  • 21
    Barbara Goldhamer says:

    I make soup with lots of beans. I also use coupons.

  • 22
    lisa keys says:

    I create my meals based on what is on sale and in season in the grocery store.

  • 23
    Monica Caressimo says:

    I try to use recipes that I know has plenty of leftovers. We either take for lunch the next day or I use the dressed up left overs for another night.

  • 24
    Michelle Walker says:

    We do quite a few meatless meals, as well as plan meals based on sales!

  • 25
    Charity S says:

    I use coupons, simple recipes, and anything that’s already in my pantry.

  • 26
    Pamela V says:

    I try to find inspiration from the produce section and try to build a meal around that, and not forget that plenty of proteins aren’t found in the meat case: eggs, beans, etc.

  • 27
    David I. says:

    When I shop, I always buy whatever the best deal is at the time, whether it is marked down meat or vegetables or something that is on sale that I also have coupons for. Whatever I end up coming home with determines what the next meal or meals will consist of.

  • 28
    Jennifer King says:

    I dvr ten dollar dinners every time it comes on so I cam get new ideas to feed my family of 6. I price match my local grocery ads and check the day old bread aisle for extra savings.

  • 29
    Meg Frey says:

    For my family of four, I cut costs by making a two person meal into a 4 person meal. So I will take 2 chicken breasts and slice them into 4 cutlets and I will make rice in the 2 person serving size then add veggies and stuff to make the portion bigger. It’s more than enough for our family!

  • 30
    christie says:

    I start in the meat department to look for the best deals. I go from there figuring out the weeks menu because I can save the most money in the meat department.

  • 31
    Irna says:

    I never use more than 500grams of meat for my family of five. I plan my menu for the week before I go shopping. Fruit and vegetables are bought on Sunday at the market before closing time the farmers practically give the stuff away. I use my bread maker to make pizza bases as well and bake cookies etc in large batches and freeze .
    I calculate how much the groceries will cost and bring cash for it. I leave my cards at home so there is no way I can impulse buy .

  • 32
    Jennifer says:

    We are a family of 7 four boys and one girl we are always on a tight budget and I bulk shop my grocerys. Make a lot of things and freeze meals. I would like this book for new ideas

  • 33
    Vonnie Jeffers says:

    I make out my menu and only shop once a week.

  • 34
    Kenny says:

    I plan meals & shop based on what’s on sale at the grocery store that week. If it’s not on sale, chances are it will have to wait for another time. I also make more food than I will eat and freeze individual portions.

  • 35
    Shirley C says:

    I make dishes that I can divide and freeze the extra portions to cook later.

  • 36
    Ashley C says:

    I love to cook and I get my inspirations for what to cook from watching 10 dollar dinners. Most meals I make tend to be fast and simple, as I have a baby to run after alot of the time.

  • 37
    Dollys says:

    I work weekend 12 hours shift and I have to plan my meals on my weekly budget on sales only. Usually I used a lot of chicken because one week at month i bought at 0.99 cents per pound….im a chicken specialist!!

  • 38
    Melissa says:

    Absolutely love Ten Dollar Dinners!
    I DVR every episode!

  • 39
    Tauni Fort says:

    My husband and I are recent college graduates. We have date night (meaning a meal together, we prepare together, as we are on a VERY tight budget) and we make a meal plan for the week and go grocery shopping the next morning for the week.

  • 40
    Jackie Gunzelman says:

    I take advantage of the sales at the grocery store and I’m a coupon clipper. Plus I like to use up items in my pantry. I love to experiment and “throw things together” 🙂

  • 41
    Merrill says:

    I make my menu list with attached recipes based on sale proteins and seasonal produce. I write out the ingredients I need to purchase for each item. I reorganize the list by the aisles in the grocery. I shop once a week with a set budget. Its reduced my grocery bill by 30%.

  • 42
    June Biedma says:

    I check the sale flyers of the area supermarkets along with coupons that I have and write out my weekly menu plans based on those criteria – Big win!

  • 43
    Carole says:

    I’ve had Meatless Mondays for more than a year and it’s taught me to find protein in other foods. I shop my Farmers Market and buy what is in season. I’ve learned to create flavorful meals for not a lot of money.

  • 44
    Mary Jo says:

    We have a very tight budget. I have 5 children and one income. We eat alot of pasta and chicken and we get sick of the same thing…

  • 45
    Carol says:

    I buy meats in bulk and then separate portions in ziplock bags. Saves time and money! You only cook the amount you need.

  • 46
    Sueann says:

    We have a Food Saver and we use it!!! I thought it would be a cabinet space hog, dust collector but it has paid for itself over and over already.

  • 47
    Kim Manion says:

    I cook enough to have leftovers for my husband and myself to take for lunch the next day. That is much cheaper than pre-packaged foods or fast food.

  • 48
    Jenn Peterson says:

    I shop on Wednesday’s at my local farmers market where previous and current week of sales are both on at the same time. Buy whatever is on sale and be creative with what I have on hand. I search for recipes with the flavor I like and substitute with what I have in he house. I.e. it it called for pork, I use chicken that I already have.

  • 49
    Allen says:

    I shop for what’s in season. I also go through all the ads for the different markets in my town to make sure I’m getting the best deal on whatever I buy.

  • 50
    Keekes says:

    Vegetarian nights help me when cooking on a budget.

  • 51
    Amanda Raney says:

    I use one package of meat (especially chicken breasts I buy in bulk on sale) last for 2,3 or even 4 meals. I always freeze the breasts individually because sometimes one is enough for whatever meal I am making for just my husband and me.

  • 52
    Christy LeRoy says:

    I go to a smaller local grocery store and buy produce and meat on quick sale (reduced) and freeze if I’m not able to use it right away!

  • 53
    Jane t. says:

    Breakfast for dinner! Pancakes, eggs, French toast, etc!

  • 54
    Marianne W. says:

    When money is tight, I HAVE to remind myself to see what’s in the pantry and the freezer in the garage. It’s so much easier to just buy new stuff, like say, chicken breasts on sale, when I already have several packages of them buried in the freezer.

  • 55
    jane young says:

    I cook big pots of soup with lots of veggies and stock my freezer for anytime meals.

  • 56
    Rose Lanier says:

    I have had to be careful and frugal when it comes to meals. Cooking for 7 or now cooking for 2 has always been a challenge. I take a look at the pantry and see what I have then plan a meal around that. It has been a challenge but oh so much fun!

  • 57
    Debbie Hard says:

    We are a one income family, so the budget is REALLY tight. I love to see what “new recipes” I can come up with using just what I have in the pantry, frig, and freezer without going to the store. I have come up with some keepers 🙂 I should put them all in a cookbook…Great Meals WITHOUT Going to the Store 🙂

  • 58
    Lori Budnik says:

    I will make a protein (like chicken) knowing that I need to make a second meal of it. I would like some ideas to make this yummier!

  • 59
    John says:

    I date opened jars and make sure to use up groceries before moving on to new items

  • 60
    Georgia says:

    I try not to use any process foods. With basic ingredients one can make about any recipe. I take advantage of fresh foods in season and make myself use them. It is not only frugal but much healthier.

  • 61
    Meagan Davis says:

    I have started using the crockpot to save on meals because you can through random meats and veggies in and have a meal ready when we get home rather than going out or ordering pizza. i also buy in bulk or items on sale that are freezer friendly or storage friendly so I don’t have to go shopping as often.

  • 62
    Michelle C. says:

    I use fresh veggies to “bulk up” chili for example, just used portobello’s with ground turkey in order to stretch the recipe a bit. Also, add greens (spinach, escarole) to stretch the recipe too and get healthy all @ once!

  • 63
    Lynn Swearingen says:

    We have a household of 10 & in construction work, so this time of year is hard due to work slowing down. I use coupons all year to stockpile everything for winters & the Internet to find more savings. The guys hunt, so we have a lot of deer meat; cube steak, ground, tenderloin & sausage to help during winter months.

  • 64
    Susan P says:

    I make larger meals and then eat leftovers the next day.

  • 65
    Veronica Garrettt says:

    I shop sales. I buy staples. I buy in bulk instead of packaged food.

  • 66
    Lindsay Brown says:

    I am currently a stay at home mom of two and just LOVE to watch “Ten Dollar Dinners”! With only my husband working we’ve had to learn how to cook on a pretty tight budget and thanks to this show I’ve been able to change it up a bit with new dinners and new twists on old ones! Thank you Melissa!

  • 67
    Carolyn N says:

    On Sunday I typically cook the store’s “lost leader” (whole turkey, huge roast, chicken thighs etc) and use them for at least three meals over the next couple of weeks. The last meal is almost always a soup or stew. And don’t forget the bones, they are great for making tasty homemade stock.

  • 68
    lauriel williams says:

    I use coupons combined with sales to stock up. My first “shopping” trip is to my stockpile then I go to the store to add to my stockpile and take advantage of sales.

  • 69
    Angelica Gunn says:

    I live off of sales and coupons. Its only a two person household so buying full chicken and ham is usually a waste in my household.

  • 70
    Jennifer says:

    I keep track of what leftovers I have so that I never end up throwing away and wasting food.

  • 71
    lauriel williams says:

    I stack coupons in addtion to items being on sale. This drives the cost down and I by multiple newspapers so that I can stock up.

  • 72
    Susan C says:

    Buy sale items, use coupons and don’t make too much food and end up throwing it away.

  • 73
    Stacy Harter says:

    I cook enough to have left overs and a meal plan to make over the left overs into a new meal while not seeming like we are eating left overs. I also shop for fresh produce a couple times a week to make sure nothing spoils before I get to it.

  • 74
    Sharon says:

    Couple of meatless meals a week, soups, lots of veggies and fruits (in season), pasta/rice fillers. Always use the leftovers for lunches. We don’t eat any packaged foods. Healthier and taste better when home made.

  • 75
    Laura W says:

    I am in college so am on a tight budget. I cut corners by cooking with Melissa’s cookbook. It’s amazing food without being hard on my wallet. I love her and her cookbook!!

  • 76
    Gloria Woods says:

    My husband and I are retired and we live on a budget. I am also cooking healthier foods.Now that I’m not working and have more time, I am cooking more meatless meals and have started using dried beans and whole grains more than ever. Thanks for this opportunity.

  • 77
    Marsha Gladhart says:

    I take advantage of my supermarket’s coupons personalized to my buying habits and then build my meals around those deals. I also create my own recipes out of what I have in the refrigerator and cabinet. Some of my favorite meals have been based on what’s available in my kitchen. It’s creative, fun and uses foods that would have gone to waste in the refrigerator.

  • 78
    Paula says:

    I buy in bulk to help save money and then vacuum pack and freeze some of the items. It is so much cheaper.

  • 79
    Karen says:

    I stock up on sale items that I use regularly.

  • 80
    Theresa S says:

    My plan for cooking on a budget involves watching the grocery ads and stocking up on the best buys whenever possible. I plan our meals for the week based on sale items and what I already have on hand in the freezer and pantry. Even though it’s just two of us, we buy meat in the family sized packages to take advantage of the lower prices.

  • 81
    Brooke Smith says:

    I try to only plan for about 4-5 meals a week and for the remainder of the meals pull things together I already have- especially those frozen foods that seem to be on the hideout! :o) Thanks for this opportunity!

  • 82
    Antoinette Federico says:

    Hi Melissa…When I shop I take advantage of the managers specials, mainly on my meat items. I see what’s on sale and plan my meals accordingly. Fresh vegetables are a must. I make homemade pancakes and waffles and freeze them for breakfast. Everything we cook is from scratch..It’s better for you and a lot less expensive.

  • 83
    Randi says:

    I am cooking on a fairly tight budget. I use a lot of potatoes and pasta as they are both reasonably priced and very filling.
    Freeze all leftovers. Nothing is ever thrown out.

  • 84
    Meta says:

    I watch the ads to see what is on sale and base menus based on that. Often I use leftovers from one meal in another dish later in the week. Leftovers make great lunches also. The little bits of this and that go into the freezer to be used for a later combo meal.

  • 85
    Erin P says:

    I use lots of veggies and always shop through the clearance protein bin at the grocery store and freeze my finds until I need them.

  • 86
    Kelly S says:

    I need Melissa’s new cookbook to spend the $50 Americn Express Card to buy my meals for the 5 days on a budget. I could learn to stretch my tight budget. I have been unemployed for 18 months and HAVE to spend less but eat healthy.

  • 87
    Amy Froehlich says:

    My favorite recipe right now is egglplant lasagna. roast sliced eggplant, layered with tomato sauce & shredded cheese in casserole dish, heat till melted. delish!

  • 88
    chrissy says:

    Shop bulk and use the heck out of my FoodSaver.

  • 89
    Lynn Rowe says:

    It’s all about leftovers. Put them together over a bed of rice and suddently you have a second night’s meal. Casseroles made with canned soup is another money saver.

  • 90
    diane d says:

    with a tight budget, i experiment a lot

  • 91
    Carole Resnick says:

    Stove top Mac and Cheese.

  • 92
    DONNA FOSS says:

    When big packs of meat are on sale I stock up and split the packs up. I also never throw away leftovers.

  • 93
    Gayle Haney says:

    I try to stay on budget by buying alot of ingredients when things are on sale & using coupons.

  • 94
    Debbie White says:

    I cook an a tight budget,by buying food on sale,using coupons and cooking one pot meals.

  • 95
    ShirleyD says:

    I keep a large ‘post-it’ note on my refrigerator door …listing items (fruit, veggies, etc.) that should be used in a few days. Also, any ‘odd’ seasoning/sauce ingredients are marked with date — some keep several months – others only a week or 2. This pushes me to plan a menu to use these items in a timely manner

  • 96
    Ron Miller says:

    Reduce portions, instead of a 12 or 14 oz. steak, it’s 8oz or 10 IOW

  • 97
    Morgan Ledford says:

    That’s exactly what we do! We clean out our pantry/fridge/freezer.we have had some interesting meals, finger food diners, side food only dinners, peanut butter jelly Graham crackers, but at least I’m getting my every penny out of my groceries!

  • 98
    Anne says:

    I cook good food on a budget through a combination of careful shopping and running a thrifty kitchen. I make a lot of things from scratch, which is more economical (and tastier) than buying processed foods. For example, later this week I’m planning to make chicken stock using frozen carcasses and vegetable scraps, which I accumulate in the freezer until I have enough to use.

  • 99
    Sherry Laughman says:

    On the weekend I set a dollar amount for the upcoming 7-10 days of meals (usually a conservatively snug amount), then challenge myself to find ways to come in under that amount. For example, I had pesto sauce on my list, but got to the store and yikes! Instead I bought fresh basil and with ingredients I already had on hand, made my own. Yum! Once my list is done from items I need to use up, I visit a coupon database that shows every site that has a coupon for the items I will be purchasing and print them off. While I’m at the store, I stock up on items that are a bargain and stock them in overflow storage. I can then plan from these stockpiles for next weeks meals. I love to bake, so I save a lot on breads, rolls, cookie dough, pie crusts and pancake mixes by making them in batches ahead of time. They are handy when I need them and my family can enjoy quality for much less!

  • 100
    Jamie Bailey says:

    Portion control! Also, I cook with rice and noodles. They are cheap and a great stape to any meal.

  • 101
    Susan says:

    Buy the best deals. Use inexpensive nutritious ingredients like beans and eggs. Eliminate waste (use what I buy).

  • 102
    Ron L. says:

    Pasta is the go to dinner on a budget

  • 103
    Katie says:

    My husband decided to return to school so sticking to a budget is essential! I buy meat in bulk and divide it up in freezer bags. I also use the store’s ad each week to help me with meal planning ideas. But probably the biggest thing is eliminating waste!

  • 104
    Emilie says:

    We buy our meat in bulk from farmers. Less expensive and healthier than store-bought meat.

  • 105
    Carrie Conley says:

    I am constantly looking for sale items…

  • 106
    Kathy says:

    We do a “Clean out the Pantry Night” at least twice a month. We forage our pantry, refrigerator and freezer for interesting ingredients to mix together to make a tasty and inexpensive meal.

  • 107
    catherine a dempsey says:

    I clean out all of my veggies by placing them on the table with whatever fresh herbs that I have. Then I look at tomato,broth and bean products available from my pantry and create a unique dish.

  • 108
    Judy Anthony says:

    Everyone in my family has their favorites, and I love to try new things, so once a week we have “try something new” night. I either find something in a cookbook or use what I have on hand to create something new. We all decide if it’s a keeper or a file 13 recipe. More so we found out we have new favorites.

  • 109
    Maggie M. says:

    When I’m on a budget, I try to buy things that I can use in multiple recipes so they don’t go to waste. Plus, pasta with veggies and soup is always good!

  • 110
    Maggie M. says:

    When I’m on a budget, I try to buy things that I can use in multiple recipes. Also, pasta with veggies and soup are good!

  • 111
    Jennifer Weidman says:

    I plan our meals a week at a time, based on what I have in the freezer/fridge or what’s on sale. I plan for leftovers to reuse in a second meal or freeze the leftovers in lunch-sized portions. If the kids don’t want to eat what I make for dinner, they can eat any of the leftovers in the fridge. Pancakes are always an option in a pinch!

  • 112
    Kate H. says:

    When I am on a tight budget I go to my Mom’s house and she feeds me. Love her!!

  • 113
    l bryant says:

    We have a summer garden and we can a lot. I have a winter garden with Kale, baby spinach, swiss chard, and leaf lettuce that helps provide the main ingredients for winter salad. We have a bowl of soup at dinner every night before the main meal. It is filling, nutritious and it cuts the cost of the meal. With 4 boys (all over 6 feet) and my daughter and husband these couple of things have helped save us a lot of money.

  • 114
    Maryyh says:

    2 things: I try to buy meat on sale ($2 per pound or less) and I also check my pantry for ingredients to build recipes around.

  • 115

    I really need this book. Im a stay at home mom with 2 children in diapers. Its hard to cook on a tight budget. The diapers take up most of the budget.

  • 116
    B says:

    Every Sunday I make a big pot of soup of dried beans and veggies, enough for lunches all week (and leftovers for the freezer).

  • 117
    Joanne Houston says:

    I make sure that once a week we have left over night. I use to waste so much just by throwing things out, now I serve whatever is in the fridge, a little of this or that, sometimes redone a little bit, but it cleans out the leftovers and gives us a great variety meal

  • 118
    l bryant says:

    We are a one income family. We have 4 sons(all over 6ft. tall and always hungry) and and a daughter, We try to keep our food budget under our limits. We have a summer garden we can and freeze from. We have a winter greens garden that we use for salad and cooked greens. We also set the meals a week prior. I shop all the sales (I am very lucky that almost all the retailers are within 5 miles of my home.) I use several coupon/saving sites to “extreme coupon” items we need. We have 2 full freezers that we use to the max. I go to the discount bread bakery and know which days are markdown for meat, dairy and fresh veg at the grocers. Our meal plans can often change to accomondate use by veg. and fruits but the cost savings is worth it and the canned goods are used when the fresh (discounted) items are not available.

  • 119
    Natali M says:

    I love cooking always have im on a weighloss journey thats why i love cooking baking but in this economy healthy is exoensive i shop around i watch extreme coupining as schooling lol yes im serious i am not embarrased too go too go anywhere if price is lower. Anyways example i found mac and cheese boxes last nigjt im like this should do i made it like always i brolied broccoli and carrots while i did it chopped up mix mac andbcheese together with veggies in baking dish added ligjt turkey ham awsome veggies included 🙂 so for me it be awsome too win because i love cooking 🙂 i been told many times instead if teaching i should of been a chef ha lol 🙂

  • 120
    Tr3mere says:

    Sometimes cooking on a budget means going to the back of the cabinet and using the items you have looked over for too long. I try and never throw out any food product, it’s like tossing money in the garbage.

  • 121

    We freeze any leftovers, change the meal up the next, veggies go into a sealed container to use for soups or pot pies, we make our own breads, rolls and pastas, we can our own foods from our garden, I make anything and everthing I can from scratch, we make our own laundry and dish soaps and we make our own candles. And we only shop once a month so we are not in the store buying extras all the time.

  • 122
    diane t. says:

    I am from a large family with 11 siblings so I’ve learned to cook for large groups. Now with my sons gone it’s just the 2 of us. I continue to make large meals. My husband takes lunch and I freeze what I can and have leftovers on the 3rd day. It works out great!

  • 123

    I love to cook a roast in the crock pot and always put more water in when cooking so that I can use the leftovers for different dishes. I always cook carrots and often potatoes in with the roast. If there is enough roast left, we have hot roast beef sandwiches for a 2nd meal, but our favorite is taking the little bit of beef that is leftover, tearing it into small pieces, and then using the broth and beef and leftover carrots/potatoes as the base for vegetable beef soup–which is often enough for at least 2 meals—so often I get 4 meals out of one basis cooking.

  • 124
    cathy j says:

    I watch the sales for menu ideas.

  • 125
    Jennifer Rogers says:

    I start on a tight budget, I lost my job in september of last year, and since then, we’ve been on food stamps, $347 a month, total, to feed myself and my daughter, who is 12, mathmatically that works out to about $5.50 each worth of food money per day over the course of thirty days, so being frugal is essential, we always prepare meals from scratch, that right there is the key to saving money on food. we plan menus based around what things are on sale at the store, we use coupons. we rarely have leftovers, we make sure that things are portioned out for us so we arnt wasting anything. If there are leftovers somehow, you can betcha that we will be adding them to something else, lol, waste not, want not!!!!

  • 126
    jeff j says:

    We eat a ton of leftovers so we aren’t wasting food.

  • 127
    Angel F. says:

    With three teenage boys in the house there is not such thing as a leftover in my house! I use a lot of coupons, only buy what is on sale and buy in bulk and freeze whatever I can.

  • 128
    Joyce Johnson says:

    My husband and I are both retired and are on a budget. I buy items that can be used for more than one meal. I also use all leftovers so nothing goes to waste. I try not to use any processed foods because they are do bad for you. I try to buy most things on sale to save tons of money.

  • 129
    Pamela says:

    I go through the grocery ads and plan my dinners around whats on sale. I like to make things to where I will have plan overs and freeze into individual containers.
    My husband travels alot so i’m able to grab something out of the freezer and warm it up in a jiffy!

  • 130
    Kathy Y says:

    I always try to to make more than 1 meal out of a main course and use those coupons.

  • 131
    Sue says:

    I work at a dry bean elevator. Beans are still a great source of protein and really cheap food. We eat beans 3 to 4 times per week.

  • 132
    Judith says:

    We raise our own vegatables and beef.That
    comes in handy. I also coupon a lot and
    look for bargains when I shop at the grocery
    store. I also make soup and chili in large
    amounts to freeze in containers for use later.

  • 133
    Nancy Andrews says:

    I am on Social Security and retired, I think all that are on this are on a tight budget, I like to think I can be frugal but you can always use new recipes to help out. I like her show on the Food Network and was really happy when she won the Next Food Network Star shows.

  • 134
    Kris says:

    I buy meat in the family pack which is cheaper and separate it into meal size portions and freeze it. You really save money. Also going through the ads and mark each item needed at the lowest price and shop at one store that does price matching (Walmart). This saves money in the products but also time and gas!

  • 135
    Martha Spiegel says:

    I watch for sales and buy as much as I can afford or store of that item. I buy things like ground beef in bulk packages and break them down into 1 pound portions and freeze them. I also tend to buy what’s on sale at the store and them cook using what I have.

  • 136
    Marilyn B. says:

    Five free dinners and the inspiration to do it…..sign me up! We’re all looking to stretch a buck especially after the holidays. This would be fabulous!

  • 137
    Felicia Chartier-Plastini says:

    I use lots of coupons! And I have learned how to ‘cook cheap’. Great book giveaway! I raised 7 kids and had to learn real fast how to be good with money!

  • 138
    colleenwool says:

    I am on a tight budget, and use coupons, and buy items on sale !

  • 139
    Cristina S says:

    My budget got cut drastically since we are now a one income family. So I have to get creative and improvise with cheap cuts of meat and frozen vegetables (since we still eat healthy). Especially now that is cold, I get away with stews and soups alot 🙂

  • 140
    gail says:

    I’m on a very tight budget. We are a family of five who just had my senior citizen parents move in with us. I need to make sure that they eat healthy food. It is very hard to feed 7 people.

  • 141
    linda capilla says:

    During the week I freeze uneaten leftovers, and at the end of the week I use leftovers plus whatever other refrigerator scraps to make a great stew. It is usually filled with a lot of vegetables and homemade stock so it is very healthy and helps me watch my waistline!

  • 142
    Kari Bucklin says:

    I make a habit of haunting the meat aisles at the stores I shop searching for reduced prices. This is especially helpful at the club stores where the need to unload larger quantities of product make for larger discounts. I then take them home and divite them into manageable portions for the two of us and freeze them immediately. I always have plenty of pastas, rice and potatoes on hand to make the meats a meal. Our favorite budget busters are soups, stews and chili or anything low and slow in the crockpot to tenderize less pricey cuts.

  • 143
    Jean S says:

    I eat lots of peanut butter sandwiches and this would enable me to cook healthy and even have something for lunch at work

  • 144
    Anissa Fetchen says:

    I try to make one big trip to the grocery store and use coupons once per month. Then only use what I have in my cabinets and freezer to make dinner without running to the store every other day.

  • 145
    David Baxter says:

    When I lived in the orient learned to cook rice and noonle dishes with little meat and many veggies.These were inexpensive,filling and served a entire family for less then 5-6 dollars.Very easy and guick to make.Thats what I like!

  • 146
    Deb D. says:

    I buy what is in season and on sale and use coupons.

  • 147
    Lori says:

    I have been cooking on a tight budget for years and am always looking for ways to change up my meals to keep them interesting for my family.

  • 148
    Pat Ingalls says:

    It seems we all think alike as I also makesoup each week, cook up a pot of beans, rice, etc., and keep them on hand in portions to lower dinner costs and save cooking time. We’re all doing our best to keep food costs down BUT still feed our families good food.

  • 149
    kimberly says:

    To help my family with sticking to a tight budget I grab the weekly circulars to get the best deals at my local grocery stores, I also frequent the local market for fresh veggies and fruits.

  • 150
    Becky T. says:

    We are on a pretty tight budget so I use a lot of coupons and plan my meals around what’s on sale. My husband and I became empty-nesters this year but I still cook every meal for 4. That way I always have leftovers and can create new meals out of them. Nothing gets wasted and I also use a lot of “bottom of the jar” recipes. I make my own stock out of chicken pieces and parts and vegetables and fresh herbs that are about to “go.”

  • 151
    Lorna McDermott says:

    I buy items on sale with coupons & combine with fresh fruits & vegetables.

  • 152
    Heather D. says:

    I watch her show everyday at lunch! I love it, I watch the grocery ads for what’s on sale that week, we make a lot of mexican food 🙂 It goes far for not a lot of money and is always yummy! I use coupons when I can!

  • 153
    Pat says:

    This cookbook will be a great addition. I love practical recipes that are low in cost. Also can help my son and family with new ideas!
    Many thanks!

  • 154
    karen says:

    Try shopping based on a menu and the coupons I have.

  • 155
    Tiffany Kinard says:

    We tend to eat a lot of rice and pasta.We also eat more meatless meals than before.I try to save as much money as possible by using coupons and catching sales.We also shop at places like Aldi’s and Save-A-Lot to save money as well.

  • 156
    Rhonda says:

    I love Ten Dollor Dinners! I am always looking for sales and buy in bulk to save money. I also by my meats on sale and freeze in portions for 2.I try to keep my pantry stocked so that I can whip up something in a jiffy. Bean night is a great idea! Works for us!

  • 157
    kathy d says:

    I try to stretch what ever I make by adding a cheeper item and I don’t throw the leftovers away. There is usually something you can make out of them or add them too

  • 158
    BJ says:

    I would love to win this cookbook. I enjoy
    her shows on the TV Food Channel.

  • 159
    jane keller says:

    I try to use meat in sauces. A little goes a long way and everyone is satisfied.

  • 160
    Susan Broughton says:

    The way I cook on a budget is to do dishes that feed a lot without costing a lot. I have my husband, me, my daughter and her husband that live here that I feed. The economy hit us hard my husband lost his job after 31+ years and has not found another one yet. My daughter just graduated college and hasn’t found a job either , so I’m on a really tight budget. I watch $10 dinners everytime its on looking for good tips and ideas. I really enjoy it! Thanks

  • 161
    Nina says:

    I use the the Internet to look up recipes for making everything from scratch, not just food, but also detergents,makeup, etc.

  • 162
    Linda Baergas says:

    Being a college kid, I have very little money left for food so I plan out my shops with coupons, making sure that I only spend less than a dollar on everything and I keep away from junk food. I have Celiac disease as well so much of what I buy has to be gluten free naturally since the specially prepared products are so expensive. I stock up on produce when its on sale, as well as milk and freeze everything so it lasts longer!

  • 163
    Terry D. says:

    I usually cook around what’s on sale at the store, I used a lot of ground beef and just create something, my family is usually game on eating what I make. I use the food network as much as possible.

  • 164
    Barbara says:

    I combine manufacturer’s coupons with store coupons for optimal savings. Also, avoid the center aisles of the store and use a shopping list to cut back on those impulse buys!!

  • 165
    Susie says:

    I shop once a month for major food purchases. I buy a meat bundle at the store I go to & then the other things I buy generic products & eat one meal a day that is well-balanced.

  • 166
    jo says:

    cooking on a tight budget means eating less meat and when we do use meat, put it in a recipe where lots of extra pasta, rice or beans can be added. Those are low cost items that add substance to meals and make a dish go further.

  • 167
    Deb Harp says:

    Only $10?? and I’ll bet they’re QUICK too! Love Melissa’s tips – cant’ wait to see more!

  • 168
    Patricia Watson says:

    Save all leftovers. At the end of the week I make leftover soup. All leftovers (veggies, meats,sauces,noodles,potatoes,rice, everything) into one pot with stock. Season to taste. Serve with Salad or Cornbread. My family loves it.

  • 169
    Emma Sleppy says:

    Pasta makes things stretch but too many carbs, need some ideas on inexpensive meals with protein!!

  • 170
    Danielle L. says:

    I use coupons from the Sunday paper as well as on-line coupon websites and try to match them up with sales in the grocery store flyers. I also buy meat and veggies from a warehouse store where they are much cheaper.

  • 171
    Charolett Beasley says:

    I am so thrilled to see a great new cookbook about budget cooking and the wonderful meals you can create even if you think can’t afford the “fancy” stuff. Even if I don’t win this gracious gift, I will in line to purchase it soon.

  • 172
    fran says:

    eating lots of beans with rice

  • 173
    Vicky D says:

    We eat alot of soup.

  • 174
    Bobbie C says:

    We are now on a super tight budget. Our home was wiped out by Sandy. We are all well but adjusting to a new financial situation. We are eating in evernight now too, no take away dinners, and I have the kids onboard to be in charge of a dinner two days of the week. Trying to make a tough situation fun!

  • 175
    Dixie Neitzel says:

    I use lots of coupons and pick up meat deals on Mondays after the weekend to save even more!!

  • 176
    sally mclane says:

    I use a lot of chicken, buy in bulk when items are on sale, and utilize leftovers in different recipes.

  • 177
    Waialae says:

    I do this daily by scanning the grocery ads then finding coupons to fit what I need to purchase for the week.

  • 178
    MarthaC107 says:

    I shop the sales and do competitive markdowns.

  • 179
    Jenice says:

    I love to watch your program. You have such good ideas.

  • 180
    flo dietzel says:

    I use beans alot instead of meat for protein.I usually make something that I can use for two meals.If I make chilli one night I save some and we have chilli dogs another night or chilli fries.

  • 181
    Debbe says:

    Purchase sale items or use coupons at regular grocery stores. Shop mostly at Aldi’s – discount grocery store. Unemployed so making every penny stretch. Your show helps so much. Eating a lot of soup this winter.

  • 182
    David Frederick says:

    I use my slow cooker at least once a week and buy a large size piece of meat, roast, pound ground beef, package of chicken, etc. and can make several meals with different add-ons.

  • 183
    jane says:

    Tight budget–need to know more ways to say. Make a lot of chicken noodle soup and chili.

  • 184
    Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    Time (or maybe scheduling) is more of a challenge for me than money is…however, I’m always looking for ways to save and good recipes!

  • 185
    Tina Machia says:

    I too am on a very tight budget working 32 hours a week and living alone can be challenging when it comes to imagination on meals. One of the ways I save is to buy a package of very lean meat (chicken, beef, pork etc.), the first night I will cook it (leaving a third of it for the next night), with veggies on the side. The second night I will use the other third of the meat and make a stir fry and the third night I will make a salad out of all the left overs. One package meat, three meals.

  • 186
    nicole says:

    would love to read this book. We all have high food costs and look for ways to save

  • 187
    Roberta McElwain says:

    I plan my shopping with whats on sale in the circulars. Then I make them and save the leftovers for another meal. I also look for recipes to use different cuts of meat that may be cheaper to buy and use.

  • 188
    Pam C says:

    I’m a recent widow so am now down to just one income. I have to shop using coupons and sales, but try to do most of my cooking on the weekend so I can cook bigger quantities to last the week instead of buying fast food.

  • 189
    Dee S says:

    Less meat, more veggies and beans and always plan meals!

  • 190
    Marlene says:

    I plan my menus for the week after I see the weekly ads.

  • 191
    Beth says:

    I make a lot of soups and meals with rice, it’s filling and goes a long way!

  • 192
    Joyce Best says:

    I start out by making a menu for the week and from that I make my shopping list. Sticking to the shopping list is what makes it easier to stay on my budget.

  • 193
    Emily says:

    I use grocery coupons to save money .

  • 194
    Karen A says:

    I plan meals around what I have on hand and what is on sale at the store that week. I add to savings by using coupons and shopping at stores with rewards cards (mine offers cents off on gasoline purchases) for additional savings. I try to not purchase anything that is not on sale and stock up when it is. And I purchased a larger freezer to take advantage of purchases made on sale.

  • 195
    Carolyn Eberle says:

    Buy what’s on sale that week….and plan your meals around that. Use cheaper meats for stews…or cook early in the week and use leftovers (or steal some off to the side) for soups, casseroles or hot sandwiches. My family doesn’t realize they’re leftovers then!

  • 196
    ashley kirby says:

    I am a stay at home mom with 5 kids. Cooking for a family of 7 on a low budget has its challenges. So each week I plan a menu based on the protien thats on sale at the grocery store and then I map out my grocery list to make sure I have everything for each meal. Coupons are also a great helper for a large family.

  • 197
    Katie Contests says:

    Besides using coupons, I usually rely on soups and bread products!

  • 198
    cindy says:

    I shop the sales and use coupons.

  • 199
    Marianne D says:

    I try to make recipes that will provide enough leftovers for another meal or a couple of lunches. Watching the coupons and store sales and using store loyalty cards to get extra savings is another smart move.

  • 200
    Jacquie Z says:

    We’re always on a tight budget, we cook beans alot. Beans and cornbread or beans and rice.

  • 201
    Amy L says:

    I stock up when things are on sale, clip coupons, and read money-saving blogs to keep our grocery bills down.

  • 202
    GladysMP says:

    I save money on meals by planning menus ahead and also purchasing in bulk. I must do this to stay in budget.

  • 203
    Barrie says:

    I am on avery tight budget because of disability. I hardly ever can afford meat at the store, so I use a lot of beans,rice, potatoes, and pasta. Sometimes if I can afford some ground beef, I make tacos,to which I had diced potatoes to extend it. Then beans the next day, and chili beans the next day. Any left can make a casserole with the meat,rice,chunky taco sauce,and cheese.

  • 204
    Irene McPhee says:

    I plan my meals around the store specials and make good use of my coupons.Basic things like vegetables,eggs,beans and grains can always be turned into a simple meal.Leftovers are good because with a few added ingredients I can turn them into a completely different meal .

  • 205
    Beverly says:

    I buy mostly sale items. I use coupons a lot. I stopped buying frozen meals. I rarely eat out.

  • 206
    Tammy says:

    I try to cook healthy all the time so I have to use coupons and lots of left overs. I have made some of mellissa receipes and they are delicious….

  • 207
    Laura K. says:

    I stock up like crazy when something is on a really good sale. We don’t eat much beef-we like chicken and eggs are always a good budget stretcher.

  • 208
    Dennis D Sturtz says:

    We all know how hard it is to cook on a budget and keep it healthy. Looking at the other comments are all great ideas. Use your pantry, your freezer, reproduct and one other method I found benificial is to check the soon to be out of date meats. Also the the out of date or slightly damaged reduced rack. The Ten Dollar Dinners would be a great cook book to assist in budget, healthy cooking.

  • 209
    Melissa says:

    By using coupons/recycling cans & bottles & taking full advantage of leftovers!

  • 210
    Arlene C. says:

    I cook once and eat twice.

  • 211
    Rae C says:

    I plan my meals by whats on sale…add rice and veggie to stretch meals not more meat. soups, meatless meals..breakfast -pancakes- for dinner. Always use coupons….

  • 212
    Christine Norman says:

    I use lots of coupons, buy items on sale, stock up, and cook/bake from my pantry stock.

  • 213
    Ttrockwood says:

    I always pack my lunches, and buy pantry essentials in bulk. I’m vegetarian and make a huge batch of sweet potato black bean chili with veggies that can be a pasta sauce, a stew, or ontop of roasted veggies

  • 214
    Linda Beus says:

    I use all the tricks everyone else seem to be using, coupons, reduce items, soups, left over everything. Sadly we all seem to be going down the same road.

  • 215
    Mary Perez says:

    I make pinto beans,retried with a little olive oil. I make rice,and have corn tortillas. We have rice and bean tacos,and have lettuce,tomato,avocado,and salsa on the side.

  • 216
    Beth says:

    I feed my family and make meals from the weekly grocery ads. I only buy on sale and with multiple coupons. I stockup and store and freeze then use as needed.

  • 217
    carol magee says:

    I check the pantry and freezer for stuff to use in meals when planning my dinners for the week.I also use a calculater when shopping to keep down those impulse items.when my list gets over 100.00 I know I’ve got to head for the register,or put something back.

  • 218
    Deanna G. says:

    I buy on sale & use coupons! 🙂

  • 219
    Bob L says:

    I love chili and usually make a big pot of it and eat on it all week. I can eat it any time of the year, but it is really wonderful in the winter; it does make for a very inexpensive meal.

  • 220
    Dorene says:

    PASTA is my lifesaver…and lots of veggies!

  • 221
    Judy G says:

    Soup is on all the time at my house. Love putting anything and everything in them. Leftover make great soup.

  • 222
    Diane Kroese says:

    Love Melissa! would love to win her book, for feeding my family I always shop the sales and waste nothing!

  • 223
    Marina Cameron says:

    I always shop with coupons, and make meals that reheat well for a lunch or second dinner.

  • 224
    Pauline Gudas says:

    I plan meals that include fresh vegetables and then I shop the sales for them I will usually purchase chicken and meat when it is on sale. I then vacuum pack and freeze them. It costs a little more upfront but it is nice to pull out a protein from the freezer and add to the meal from the pantry

  • 225
    Rene Pearson says:

    I find making soup to be an expensive way to have a hardy dinner with hardly any fuss.

  • 226
    Angela Barnes says:

    I always use any left over meat the next night. I will use it to make stir fry or soups.

  • 227
    Holly B says:

    I try to use up what’s in my fridge before I go shopping. I make frittata’s, stews and pizza’s. I make and freeze my own pizza dough to have in the freezer for leftover night.

  • 228
    Nichole Drager says:

    I look at everything that I have an plan a menu based on the foods. My kids have helped me to create new recipes. We have leftover night at least twice a week so that we can make use of everything. Coupons, portions and use of grocery staples helps to keep the budget within reach.

  • 229
    Jim Kottke says:

    I always start with some sort of soup and then add whatever I can get that’s inexpensive to add to it.

  • 230
    MARY K says:

    Not as well I could be. Soups and pasta dishes are a good way to stretch a budget. In the summer, I try to grow vegetables.

  • 231
    Tabitha P. says:

    i roast a chicken and use the leftovers for the next nite’s dinner!

  • 232
    Pamela Shank says:

    I try to shop sales,use coupons and plan menus ahead.

  • 233
    Wendy says:

    I start in the bargin bins at the grocery where they are clearing items from the shelves at 1/2 price and build using that and my on sale pantry stock.

  • 234
    Melissa says:

    I used to manage a $5-$7 a meal plan, but rising grocery costs have made that very difficult lately. I buy the 3.5 bag of frozen chicken breasts from walmart for $6 and that will make two or three meals. I also have a meatless night. Every once in a while we throw in a pizza night from Little Ceasars. $6 pizza and its so good! Cheapest meal of the month usually, just not the healthiest 😕

  • 235
    Janice E says:

    Use my pressure cooker a lot – great for dried beans, and for tender treatment of less expensive cuts of meats.

  • 236
    Ann B. says:

    Our local supermarket marks down the meats that are set to expire. I stock up. My motto is “use today or freeze”. I save lots of money buying our meats this way. Right after ThanksGiving they marked all the 25lb. Turkeys down to $4.00 each. I bought 3 and froze them, now I won’t have to buy turkey until next Thanksgiving, plus, one turkey does a few meals PLUS those delicious turkey sandwiches!

  • 237
    melissa says:

    Gardening ,Coupons , BoGo’s ,and whatever is on sale! That’s about all you can do to stay on budget. I would rather go without something to buy good food for my family . Low budget doesn’t mean you have to eat sugary chemicals all week.

  • 238
    barbi says:

    we swap coupons at work and I shop sales combined with coupons to get the best deal.

  • 239
    Teresa says:

    I try to use what I have on hand. It can result in some new and fun combinations!

  • 240
    Mary K says:

    I like making soups and pastas. In the summer, I try to grow vegetables and fruit.

  • 241
    Linda West Mottern says:

    I save leftover vegetables and put them in a freezer bag when it is full I add fresh items and make soup. We also haven meat Mondays. Having pastas, vegetarian meals.or fish. Being retired and on Social Security we need to watch our pennies. Thisbook would. Be a great help to our family.

  • 242
    Lynnette says:

    As I have a houseful of 7 to feed (parents, siblings, my boys) there are 6 adults and 1 child, so not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to servings. I make soups, stews, casseroles, etc. along those lines. 🙂

  • 243
    LaTanya Bennett says:

    The majority of my grocery cart is filled with sale items; otherwise I search for budget friendly recipes.

  • 244
    rose s. says:

    buy in bulk & in season

  • 245
    Cassandra Hunter says:

    I utilize all the ingredients in our house on a multi meal function level. It’s amazing what you can do and how many different options you can get out of food staples! 🙂

  • 246
    Cassandra Hunter says:

    Don’t see my first comment here, so I will share again- I utilize the ingredients we have in the kitchen to make multi meals. It’s amazing what you can get out of food staples! 🙂

  • 247
    Kelly says:

    make enough for the next day’s lunch! save a lot of money by not ordering lunches out. love M. de Arabian’s show!

  • 248
    shabby E says:

    I grew up in a family of eight and survived college years by learning how to throw everything left in the cupboard into one pot. I will always have beans lying around which are great for bean salads and thick chili’s and they fill you up fast. Another great thing I love are stir frys! Ramen noodles with any vegetable I have in the fridge and some egg for protein.

  • 249
    lynn says:

    I shop the front page of my grocery ads and make my weekly menu from that.

  • 250
    susanh says:

    Cooking in bulk and freezing the extras. My kids are big waffle and pancake eaters so I make lots of them (and different varieties) and have them in the freezer for easy toasting in the morning.

  • 251
    Caroline says:

    I cook on a budget by buying in bulk and using ingredients in a variety of ways to make different meals!

  • 252
    Deanna P says:

    We are a family of 3 and I can make 3 different dishes with a whole roasted chicken. $5.99 for the chicken and 3 dinners what a bargain!

  • 253
    Jackie Wolinski says:

    During “lean” times, I cook the same amount of meat but then portion it out to use for several different meals. My family doesn’t notice the absence of meat when mixed with other ingredients.

  • 254
    Debbie Chaney says:

    I have no idea how to cook on a tight budget…that’s why I need this book!

  • 255
    Leigh Sapp says:

    I am currently cooking my way through Melissa’s book this month! I prefect budget break after the holidays! I’m a huge fan (of Kristina too) so I use tips but also stock my freezer with all our leftover parmesan rinds and add them to just about anything on the stop top to give it that cook all day depth of flavor!

  • 256
    Amy Thornton says:

    Just cooking at home instead of ordering take out is the way I try and stay on a budget.

  • 257
    Connie S. says:

    Shop the grocery adds and plan meals based what is in season and on sale.

  • 258
    Brandy W. says:

    I try to make meals that I can use the leftovers to create another meal the next day to save money!

  • 259
    Tim says:

    We plan our meals a month at a time and shop sales (often buying store brands) to get the best prices.

  • 260
    Susan Bickta says:

    Every Sunday I study the ads for my favorite grocery stores as well as the coupons …. I’ll only buy things that are on sale and if I have a coupon for that item….. well, what could be better than that? My favorite sale items are buy one/get on free or, on ocassion buy one/get teo free …. add a coupon….. it’s almost like stealing!!!

  • 261
    Carmen says:

    We usually do “breakfast” one night a week – pancakes or eggs of some kind

  • 262
    Chef Dennis says:

    We all know how hard it is to cook on a budget and keep it healthy. The other comments are all great ideas. Use your pantry, your freezer, reproduct and one other method I found beneficial is to check the soon to be out of date meats at your grocery. Also the the out of date or slightly damaged reduced rack. The Ten Dollar Dinners would be a great cook book to assist in budget, healthy cooking.

  • 263
    Donna says:

    I shop the grocery ads and use coupons then plan meals accordingly.

  • 264
    Sharry Murawski says:

    I tend to cook with a lot of ground beef and chicken (which I stock up on when it’s on sale). Then I use this in casseroles so that I can plan for leftovers on another night.

  • 265
    Robert says:

    I’m just learning how to cook, much less trying to fix anything on a tight budget. I need this book bad because right now I’m out to sea:


    and drowning.

  • 266
    Regina says:

    I always buy what is on sale at the store and make my meals from that. A no meat night helps cut costs too. Lots of casseroles are good .

  • 267
    Susie B says:

    I use a lot of ground beef and whole chickens, or whatever is on sale. The cheaper types of meats can go a long way.

  • 268
    Linda Smith says:

    I use alot of macaroni, beans, and anything that will last more than a day…also freeze alot for later…hate throwing anything away…I am a very tight budget, I go to local churches and organizations to help with food, they usually hand out noodles, peanut butter, and jelly…every little bit helps….Thanks for letting me post…I would love to win…thanks again and God Bless…

  • 269
    Lori B. says:

    My husband is a full-time med school student – so we know all about cooking on a budget!!! 🙂 We use our crockpot a ton to cook simple, hearty, and large-portions of soups, stews, and breakfasts like steel-cut oats. Then we eat leftovers the entire week. Bonus: This is a huge time-saver as well!!! 🙂

  • 270
    david lotz says:

    Very carefully.

  • 271
    Vanessa Leineweber says:

    My husband is retired and I’m working so we try to come up with ideas of what is in the pantry and fridge, but our imagination is limited and want to expand our meal ideas and help to keep it within budget.

  • 272
    Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    We make alot of pasta meals.

  • 273
    brenda says:

    Currently working on trying to cook healthier for cheaper. I have a kidney transplant, so I spend a lot of money on my anti-rejection medications. I also take prednisone, which has caused me to gain a lot of weight. I haven’t completely figured out how to do it. Trying to make a chili, soup, and make other recipes using a rotisserie chicken. This prize would definitely assist me with becoming better at this and not relying as much on frozen meals.

  • 274
    Carrieann Dittes says:

    One of my resolutions this year is to cook better meals for my family. I usually tend to fall-back on pasta, but would love learn to be more creative. 🙂

  • 275
    brittany says:

    I eat on a budget by shopping the sales, growing our own vegetables, and printing coupons!

  • 276
    Diana C says:

    I try to buy for the whole week all the perishables I need. Then I make sure I use up all my shelf/can foods. When I can, I buy large portions of chicken and split it up between 2 meals for the week. I also key an eye out for sale items or in store coupon items that can be part of a quick dinner.

  • 277
    Penny Snyder says:

    No matter how small my food budget is, I still try to find healthy fruits & veggies to add to my weekly menu!

  • 278
    Joan says:

    I always hit the markdown section of my local supermarket for produce and meats. I also watch for sales and stock up on items I know I’ll need.

  • 279
    anissa g says:

    We use coupons and watch out for sales on a tight budget

  • 280
    Barbara H says:

    I “shop” my freezer. I try to match sales and coupons, and stock up when I find great deals on foods my family eats. I try to go 2 weeks between trips to the grocery store. This forces me to get creative, using what I have on hand in new ways, and save money to boot. I’ve cut my food budget by almost 50%. I throw fewer items away due to spoilage/expiration too.

  • 281
    Bonnie Whitbey says:

    i use coupons, coupons. coupons, then I check the sales and make a shopping list, I can usually feed my family for an average of .50 to $1.00 per person, In this there has to be a vegetable,and a protein, and usually have a fruit or berries with cream for dessert, can usually freeze an xtra meal or 2 for anyone wanting more at a later time

  • 282
    Jan S says:

    We are on a tight budget too. We use rice, potatos and pasta for fillers with meat and veggies. soup one night of the week. I make all our cookies from scratch, cake too. Its really been fun for me to meet this challenge.

  • 283
    jan s says:

    I also forgot to mention I try to only buy whats on sale so the money stretchs further.

  • 284
    Angela S says:

    I “shop” my pantry.

  • 285
    Marilyn says:

    I love the show with Melissa. I have learned much from her with her budget recipes and look forward to any show with her on.

  • 286
    Tamara Jo Rankila says:

    I’m single, so I plan my meals by the week, usually two weeks. spend a Sunday making dishes that I can freeze in single portions. That way if I’m tired, or forgot to take a protein out of the freezer, I have a home made meal that is done. Eggplant parm., Pork, that has been portioned out in slices, that can be turned into anything I want. I portion out everything in single servings. No waste of food or Mooney.

  • 287
    happi shopr says:

    I buy in bulk, break it down and put everything in freezer bags for quick, cheap meals in a flash.

  • 288
    MK says:

    Pasta and salads do it for me.

  • 289
    Heather S says:

    plan a menu for the week based on sales at my grocery store and coupons

  • 290
    tanya tran says:

    I use a lot of coupons and buy a lot buy 1 get 1 free.

  • 291
    Debra Monk says:

    I so believe in budgeting for meals and would like some more DELICIOUS recipes that Ms D’Arabian has on her shows.

  • 292
    Susan F says:

    I try not to waste anything

  • 293
    Terri Moore says:

    I cook on a budget by making my own chicken broth from leftover chicken, using dried beans and baking cookies myself.

  • 294
    Barbara says:


  • 295
    shirley zolenski says:

    I cook on a tight budget by making meals that I can use the leftovers for new meals

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