I love to cook. (I do admit to having the local Chinese
restaurant on speed dial, however). One of the big benefits of cooking at home is how much money you save over either convenience foods or said Chinese delivery.
While I've never calculated the
cost-per-serving of any of my favorite recipes, I do know that several
of the recipes that I most often put into my cooking rotation are fairly cost-effective. Here are two of my favorite cheap recipes,
and a basic idea of how much each ingredient costs:
1. Chicken Tikka Masala
Image courtesy of kelly sue
This is a new favorite after our neighbors served us this tasty goodness for New Year's.
- 3 whole (to 4) Chicken Breasts
Currently $1.87 per pound at our local grocery. 3 whole breasts is about 1.5 pounds, so approximately $2.81
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Coriander
- Cumin, To Taste
I already have all three of these in my spice cabinet. So even though it's not free, I'm calling it that.
Our favorite yogurt is the Greek Gods variety, which is a pretty hefty $4 per 24 oz.
I can generally find a pound of butter for approximately $2.00
You can get a pound of onions for about $1.29
This is generally about $1.60 per pound.
- 1 piece (approximately 2 Inches) Chunk Fresh Ginger
About $2 per pound, if I can get it on special
This is the expensive part. This spice concoction cost nearly $6
- 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
I have this on hand, so we're calling it free.
1 quart generally sets me back about $2
About $4 for a five pound bag.
Cost per serving (6 servings): $4.45
Okay, so the cost on this is not nearly as good as I thought it would be, but to be fair, once you've invested in the rice and the garam masala spice, it makes each subsequent cooking (of which our household has many) much cheaper.
2. Tortilla Soup (Found in the Fix-It and Forget It Lightly Cookbook)
Image courtesy of Collin Harvey
- 2 uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
$1.87 per pound, and this would be about 1 pound of chicken
- one 16-oz can fat-free refried beans
Generally, about $0.75
$1 for a bag of frozen corn
About $1.50 for a jar of salsa
- 1/4 water
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
$2 for a 2-cup package
$2 for my favorite brand of cheapy chips
Cost per serving (7 servings): $1.37 (This is such a fan favorite in our house, it should probably be considered 4 servings, rather than 7. But even with gorging ourselves, it still comes out to $2.41 per serving)
If you're curious about how the recipe goes together, put everything but the cheese and the chips in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 or more hours. Add the cheese and stir to melt. Crush some chips in each bowl, and ladle the soup on top.
What are your favorite go-to recipes? Are they splurges or money savers?