Dinner on a Dime

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Dinner on a Dime

I don't know about you, but I am really feeling the pinch lately when it comes to grocery shopping. I am not sure if it is because of shortages, or Covid, or whatever, but I think its pretty safe to say that the cost of preparing a nutritious meal has gone up exponentially over the last year.    

And that's not all. I was reading today where the cost of food is expected to rise between five and seven percent over the next year.  Bakery products, dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables, seafood, etc. Its all expected to increase.

What's more, the cost of eating out is expected to increase by six to eight percent. I think its pretty fair to say that we are all going to be affected by this to one degree or another.  To that end I thought it would be fun this morning to share some of my penny pinching main dishes.   

Dinner on a Dime.  Hearty main dishes that will fill up empty bellies without draining your bank account!  Delicious, easy to make and using a variety of ingredients, these are real family pleasers!  

American Chop Suey

A delicious spin on an old family favorite with plenty of meat, sauce, pasta and vegetables.  You can vary the cost depending on the meat you choose to use.  Obviously ground steak will cost more than hamburger or ground turkey.

This is comfort food pure and simple.  The pasta helps to stretch things and keeps everything nice and hearty.  A bit of bread and some salad on the side and dinner is served!   

Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole

A delicious potato casserole that I adapted from another site.  I tried to cut down on the fat and make it a bit healthier.  

With chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ham (or Canadian bacon), cheese, spring onions. This is a real family pleaser.

Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

This easy recipe for sausage and potatoes in the oven has to be one of my most popular recipes on here.  It has had literally millions of views.  No surprise there. This is a FABULOUS recipe.

I love sheet pan suppers.  They are so quick and easy to make and when you are talking about smoked sausage and potatoes, DELICIOUS as well!  

In this house we like to enjoy this with tinned baked beans!  But any vegetable would work well on the side! 

Spameroni and Cheese

I really love meals like this.  Economical, homey, comforting  . . .  I could eat like this every day of the week but I don't.

It is a real family pleaser all round.  With a bit of salad and perhaps some crusty bread, its a real family pleaser.  Don't ever underestimate the appeal of the occasional tin of Spam.  

Curried Beef Fried Rice


New, fresh and delicious.  Exciting even!  I added a quantity of lightly sautéed vegetables.  Its amazing what you can put together using just a little bit of this and a little bit of that!  

Beef, vegetables, rice and the perfect blend of seasonings. This is really quick, easy and incredibly tasty!    

Chicken and Corn Chowder

This has to be one of my all time favorite suppers.  Its hearty and delicious and very simple to make. 

I wish I could tell you how many times I have made this deliciously thick and hearty soup.  If I had a nickel for every time, I'd be rich.  Totally and utterly rich!

Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers


I adore roasted vegetables of any kind.  Roasting helps to enhance the natural sweetness of any vegetable. I really love the caramelized edges and almost-stickiness to them that happens when you roast them. I am drooling here.

Add some toasted buns if you wish to tuck the sausage and peppers into, or bake a potato to have along side and you have a really delicious family dinner that nobody will turn their noses up at!

Amish Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

This is one of my absolute all time favourite chicken casseroles.   Not only is is a great way to use up stale bread, but you can also use up leftover cooked chicken or even turkey, or you can cook chicken specifically just to use in it.  

I love recipes like this. They may seem a bit old fashioned, but they are always delicious and you don't really need to buy in anything special to make them. Most of the time you will have everything you need right in the house to make them.

I usually poach chicken to use in this recipe. You can also use leftover cooked roast chicken or the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken.  

Cabbage Soup with Cheese

Not only is this delicious but it's really quick to make as well.  Once you have all of the vegetables chopped, it goes together lickety split.  There's nothing too out of the ordinary here  . . .  bacon, cabbage, onions . . .  a couple of cheeses . . .  dried herbs, and some chicken stock and that's basically it!  

This always goes down a real treat with some crusty bread, or crackers, or even a fresh batch of biscuits on the side! 

Garlic Chicken and Rice

We eat a lot of chicken in this house, and I have a bazillion ways of making it tasty. This dish is soft of like an oven baked pilaf.  
Nice and garlicky and filled with lots of bits of chicken . . . . and don't hate me . . .  cheese. 

Dinner on a Dime


1.  Shop the fliers and plan out your menus before going shopping.   Stick to the list.

2. Plan at least one meatless meal a week. Lentils, beans, peas, eggs, peanut butter, tinned fish etc. All offer great tasting protein at a good price.

3. Take stock of what you already have in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer, and buy accordingly.

4. Eat more grains. Rice, barley and couscous are readily available these days and can go a long ways in bulking out pricier ingredients such as meat and cheese.

5.  Avoid recipes that require specialty ingredients or ingredients you know you are only going to use once or twice. Often a suitable substitute can be found that can be used that is something you already have in your larder. 

6.  Try to eat seasonally and locally.  It only makes sense to eat things when they are in season and it also helps to lower your carbon footprint. Fruits and vegetables are much cheaper when bought in season.

7.  Use your leftovers.  The cost of a whole chicken might seem a lot, but when you know you are going to get two or even three meals from it, it becomes a lot less of an extravagance.  

8. Don't go shopping when you are hungry. You are more prone to impulse buying when your stomach is doing the talking rather than your wallet!

9. Shop the high and low shelves, rather than the middle.  The middle shelves usually contain the higher priced items.

10. Don't be fooled by retail tactics to get you to spend more money. Is it really a bargain if you save 50 cents on an item because you are buying two of them, but it is costing you a dollar or more than what you were originally going to spend?

Healthy eating and feeding your family doesn't have to be expensive with just a bit of prior planning!

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again!  


  1. Oh ! Thankyou for this . I will be reading over all these lovely ideas later on .

  2. Your recipes always sound good and you have some wonderful ideas here. But what I'm really into are some of your tips at the end. Several I know or have already done but there were some good new ones here too. Right now I'm in the process of eating down the fridge and for once my weekly grocery list for Rick was eggs, garbage bags, bananas and Diet Coke! I suspect next week will be more but for now -- all good!

    1. Thanks Jeanie. That is a great tip to eat down the fridge! I try to do that also! This week I have not had to go once. But, like you, suspect next week I will have to get much more! xoxo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!