by Amy Sherman in Restaurants, January 10th, 2016
by Guest Blogger in Restaurants, October 27th, 2015
In a city famed for its food, where even sandwiches and salads can push $20, finding cheap eats is a challenge. From Mexican taquerias to upscale French brasseries and everything in between, we found some of the best under-$10 meals without resorting to a burger or a food cart.
Click here for the full gallery of 15 top Fog City finds. Read more
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 17th, 2015
By Michael Nagrant
Chicago has many top-notch high-end restaurants. But the Windy City dining scene isn’t built on opulence alone. For every caviar-filled mother-of-pearl spoon or seared lobe of foie gras on offer, there’s probably a hundred superlative (under $10) cheap eats just as satisfying. Here’s a guide to a few of the best.
Check out the full gallery for the best cheap Chicago eats.
Secret Chicken Sandwich at Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken
Not much is better than fried chicken or doughnuts, except of course when you combine the two for a fried chicken doughnut sandwich ($6.96; pictured above). That’s just what the geniuses behind killer maple-bacon-topped crullers and pistachio-crusted, Meyer-lemon-glazed cake doughnuts did. It’s not on the menu, but if you ask for the secret fried chicken doughnut sandwich, you’ll get a buttermilk-and-pickle-brined, flaky fried chicken breast slathered with lustrous housemade aioli on a sugar-crusted, old-fashioned doughnut, the very epitome of drunk food. It’s so tasty, though, you don’t have to be remotely soused to enjoy it.
by Cameron Curtis in Recipes, June 19th, 2014
On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts kicked off their Waste Not … episode with a look at new ways to stretch your dinner dollar and take advantage of your freezer and pantry for budget-friendly fixings. While your New Year’s resolution for healthier eating in 2015 may have led you to the grocery store for seemingly necessary specialty ingredients, believe it or not, you don’t have to spend a lot to prepare lighter recipes. It all comes down to stocking your kitchen with good-to-have staples like a mix of whole grains and canned beans. Check out Food Network’s 14 Musts for a Budget Pantry, then read on below for some of Food Network’s favorite healthy dinners that won’t break the bank.
Made with only a handful of ingredients, this recipe for easy-to-prepare Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans (pictured above) suggests roasting tomatoes and garlic until soft and sweet, and letting them shine in place of a traditional tomato sauce. For extra heft, Ellie Krieger adds cannellini beans to the pasta, plus sprinkles of fresh basil and nutty Parmesan cheese for flavor.
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 22nd, 2014
If your recipe calls for a fancy ingredient, don’t skip the recipe, simply swap the costly item for another less expensive alternative. Our supermarket expert Nicole Cherie Jones chatted with Beth Moncel, author of Budget Bytes, Gabi Moskowitz of brokeassgourmet.com, Carrie Robinson of thefrugalfoodiemama.com and Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet, to find out how you can save hundreds of dollars at the grocery store and still nail recipes that call for pricey ingredients.
1. Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms are pricey at $5 to $8 per ounce, and they’re also elusive. Save up to 95 percent with baby bella (cremini) mushrooms that register at only 38 cents per ounce.
by Melissa d'Arabian in Family, Food Network Chef, February 20th, 2014
1. Grab the smallest cart available: Studies have shown that grocery stores can do one simple thing that will result in you unwittingly spending more money — put out bigger grocery carts. So use this information to your advantage and always select the smallest cart available. And if only one size is offered, then either use the hand held basket (if possible), or make your cart visually “smaller” by filling it up with inexpensive produce first, before hitting the rest of the store.
2. Buy meat when it’s a loss leader: Imagine a world in which all your meat was 50 percent off (or more!) — it’s doable if you shop the loss leaders. Every week in major grocery store chains, there is usually one beef, one chicken and one pork cut on sale for 50 to 75 percent off its normal price. The objective of a loss leader is to get shoppers in the door of a supermarket, and though the store may take a hit on this one item, they know that you will also likely buy the rest of your groceries while you’re in the store (and make up the cost). I like to stock up on a few packages of these loss-leader meat items because meat freezes so beautifully. Then you always have a stock of various meats at the ready for diverse and cost-effective family dinners. (Wine is also sometimes a loss leader.)
by Maria Russo in Family, Recipes, April 27th, 2013
Every budget shopper knows that dried beans are downright cheap. So when I’m thinking about inexpensive, but healthful, meals to feed my family (and let’s face it, I spend a lot of time thinking about just that), it’s impossible not to place this versatile little nutritional gem front and center on the menu. Thus, I created “Bean Night.”
It started 10 years ago when Philippe went back to graduate school and we transitioned from having two steady incomes to having suddenly none (plus a very expensive tuition bill and a baby on the way). I watched every penny, so I created a handful of uber-cheap dinners that I could feel good about eating — meals that cost about $5 to make. My plan was to rotate these extra-cheap meals into our weekly menu plan to save money.
by Jennifer Perillo in Family, Recipes, February 28th, 2013
Whether you’re grocery shopping to feed just yourself or an entire family of 10, it’s easy for your total bill at the checkout counter to reach an uncomfortably high price, even if you’re stocking up on essentials alone. But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice nutrition for the sake of your wallet, and indeed eating well on a budget is easy to do. The key to making wholesome meals without breaking the bank is knowing which products to buy — and knowing how to best put them to use to get the most out of them in dishes that your family will enjoy. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite money-saving tips below, plus get can-do, kid-friendly recipes that are easy to prepare on a budget.
Make Each Ingredient Go Further
To stretch the value a somewhat pricey ingredient, like meat, mix it with far more inexpensive products that won’t distract from the overall taste or texture of the dish. The next time you make tacos, burritos or burgers, try swapping out a portion of the beef or chicken for mashed beans or rice; the supper won’t suffer, and you’ll use less meat to feed more people. In her recipe for Beef and Black Bean Sliders (pictured above), Ten Dollar Dinners host Melissa d’Arabian combines ground beef with cooked black beans to create moist, flavorful burgers on a budget. She forms the mixture into traditional patties, grills them and serves them on toasted buns with tangy coleslaw for a fuss-free 10-minute meal.
Keep reading for more tips and recipes
by Catherine McCord in Family, February 27th, 2013
Eating on a budget can be challenging, especially when trying to feed your family the best-quality food possible. Planning your grocery list wisely isn’t just about searching for sales or clipping coupons. Think about the hidden dollars and food that gets wasted — sometimes without us even realizing it. I’m talking about leftovers from recipes that once enjoyed front and center stage, only to be cast in the back of the fridge to be forgotten.
Those leftovers needn’t go to waste, even smaller portions. A few leftover meatballs may not make a complete meal for a family of four, but they’re a necessary ingredient for my Shortcut Bolognese Sauce. The sauce comes together quickly — in about the same time it takes for the water to boil and pasta to cook. Mash the meatballs and saute them with some chopped onions and olive oil in a deep skillet. Once the onions are golden, stir in some marinara sauce and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, so the meat can soak up the flavors in the sauce. With minimal effort, you’ve transformed a humble meal into a hearty one by using a few meatballs to bulk up a simple tomato sauce.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, December 7th, 2012
Do you want to get serious about cooking, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right tools, especially when you’re on a budget? Setting up a well-rounded kitchen can be a daunting, not to mention expensive, task. Whether you’re a college student, newlywed or budding cook, these 10 cooking tools under $10 are a great start to upping your game in the kitchen.
1. Whisk: A whisk will come in handy when mixing batters or whisking eggs for breakfast.
2. Fine Grater and Zester: Zest adds instant flavor and color to any recipe. This tool does double-duty by grating hard cheeses like Parmesan too.
3. Swivel Peeler: Peel potatoes to be mashed, remove the tough outer skin of butternut squash and prepare carrots for your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe with this gadget.
Get 7 more kitchen tools under $10
It’s no surprise that between shopping for dinner parties, holiday open houses, tree trimmings, decorations and, of course, presents, it can be easy to rack up a hefty spending bill as you celebrate the season of giving. This year, as you shop for close family members, distant relatives and relative strangers alike, let Food Network’s holiday gift guides rescue your wallet from the seasonal pinch. You’ve heard it before: It’s not the amount of money you spend on a gift but the thought you put into it that counts. Food Network’s collection of both quirky and classic items makes it easy to find presents that are both inexpensive and full of heart for everyone on your list. Check out a few of our favorite gifts below, then browse our entire collection of goodies in our gift guides, organized into two price increments: those less than $20 and those less than $50. Tell us in the comments below: What’s the best, most inexpensive gift you’ve ever given?
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