What’s your go to junk food/take out substitution

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i make my own beef and broccoli and fried rice with veggies at home, have been saving a bunch on takeout


Chipotle rice: white rice, generous pile of chopped cilantro, generous squeezes of lime, salt to taste, little bit of a neutral oil. I could eat this every day. Top with beans, protein, veg, or nothing.


I love fast food fries but ever since I figured out how to make fries at home in about 10 minutes I order them a lot less.

I have a Potato Express that lets me microwave a raw potato and in 4-6 minutes it’s cooked. I chop it up into wedges and fry them in a frying pan with a bit of oil. When they’re done I season them and have a very quick single serving of fries.


A $4 packet of Thai tea has made gallons of Thai iced tea. It isn’t quite as good as the $5 cup of Thai iced tea from the bubble tea place down the street, but I can make it with less sugar and drink it a few times a week.


Honestly, the 99c pizza dough from Walmart is great. It can be frozen as well.

Don’t want to spend 30 dollars on ok pizza? Grab the dough, add whatever ingredients you have anyway, bake bake 17 minutes. Voila! It’s a great way to clear out extra veggies, 3 almost-empty shredded cheese bags, 3 almost empty bbq sauce bottles… haha.

If you spread oil or butter and seasonings on the crust, it tastes AMAZING!


What is one meal you cook to treat yourself when you need a mood boost?

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It ain’t quick but this is my rock bottom mood booster meal.

Lasagna but I try to docker it up as if I am taking myself on a date. So spinach ricotta, homemade sauce, good cheese, good bread, good wine(to drink while I’m cooking and when I eat), and if I need a huge mood boost then home made noodles.


Homemade tomato soup (my grandma’s recipe) & grilled cheese


Kraft Mac and cheese. It’s horrible, I know, but it’s my “just don’t give a fuck anymore” dinner.


Flour tortilla quesadilla! Wohoo


Grilled cheese sandwich with like 4 different cheeses and a side of ketchup 😬


What is your favorite (still relatively cheap) splurge grocery item?

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At the back of grocery store there is a rack with day old bakery items. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. And they are heavily discounted. And most of the time it can go in the freezer. Bagels for half off. I’ll take them. Also the nice sandwich rolls for $2. I’ll take those as well. Also usually there are 10 or 12 instead of six. I love that section and alway see what they have.


We started splurging at the grocery store to keep us from going out to drive through. Even buying “dumb and expensive” things at the grocery store is still cheaper and healthier than drive through. So we get frozen taquitos, we get poptarts,we check the soon-to-expire cheese bin and get crackers and salami to go with it.

Oh and jam! A jar of jam is so cheap and makes toast or dessert feel fancy and luxurious. We’ve tried so many flavors of jam this year. we liked red plum the most, cherry preserves are in 2nd place, and a home made no sugar added raspberry we bought from a flower farmer also amazing.


Sometimes I’ll treat myself to a pack of Pink Lady apples rather than a standard cheap bag.

Those are the best shopping trips.


Kalamata olives. Feta or goat cheese. Avocados. Cherries, but I only buy them when they’re on sale.


Real parmesan


Busy grocery store worker needing meal prep ideas

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What I do is put a bunch of chicken breasts in the Instant Pot (frozen or fresh, doesn’t matter), add 1 cup of water, and set the timer for 20 minutes. I then let it release naturally, which is usually another 30 minutes. After that, I shred the chicken and put it in meal-sized bags for the freezer. I usually get 6 bags (4 portions in a bag) per full instant pot. I also cook pork roast in a similar fashion.

I buy bags of veggies that can be cooked in the microwave; usually they’re about $1/bag. This is more expensive than bulk buying them, but I find I eat more veggies with this convenience, so it’s a trade-off I make.

I have cheap sauce mixtures I can make (teriyaki and lemonpepper are go-tos) but on long days that I just need something on the table, I start the rice cooker or water for pasta boiling, defrost the chicken, cook the veggies in the microwave and add them to the chicken in the sauce pan, add the sauce, and at this point, the rice cooker is about done – dinner in 20-30 minutes without much fuss.

For example, tonight we had quinoa (you can cook that in the rice cooker), a bag of frozen carrots, a bag of broccoli, a bag of cauliflower, and one of the pre-cooked Instant Pot chicken portions. I added store-bought orange sauce.

Can it be cheaper/healthier? Yes. But it sounds like you are open to making a trade-off for convenience/realism of what you will eat.


This is the website I made for myself of all of the recipes I’ve collected over the years that went over well. I tried to focus mostly on cheap, easy, and meal prepping recipes. I hope it helps you in any way.


Also, red meat isn’t horrible in moderation. Get some brioche buns and cook up some burgers!


Get your husband or niece to cook?


Eat the grocery store. Light it on fire and then eat it. Very cheap.


You can cook *a lot* of stuff in a rice cooker, ranging from porridge to boiling eggs or vegetables.
Water/stock, (frozen) veggies, whatever dried herbs/spices you like, maybe a stock cube… Turn it on and let it do it’s thing.

I love them for breakfasts when cooking for multiple people, because I will make porridge in the rice cooker and have it sit there on warm. Whenever someone gets up and is hungry, they can help themselves, without having to cook again. Perhaps stir and add a little more liquid to prevent it from sticking, but it can sit there, no worries.


Recently discovered Garden Salad at Aldi for 89¢

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Just a heads up, it’s not a bad idea to wash all salads again, even the ones that are labeled as prewashed. Bagged salads have been a part of food recalls before.


I lived on these bags the first few weeks of having my baby home. I got so sick of takeout but those Cesar, Asian, and southwest salad bags are bomb and make lunch so easy.

Really hate how much plastic is in them though.


Not sure the current price, but we used to get the Italian salad bag as well and it was very good. I remember it being cheap as well.


I swear to God it’s like you’re me in a parallel timeline bc I also discovered the Garden Salad today at Aldi for 89 cents and I was pumped! I told my SO first thing when he got home from work lol. It really is a good deal compared to everywhere else. I’ve been going through them like crazy bc of a diet


I’ve never known weather I could trust prewashed stuff, can anyone quell my fears?


spent years always prioritising buying canned tuna only to realise… it’s actually not as cheap as i thought.

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Nice try, Jessica Simpson.


Also canned tuna probably shouldn’t be your main source of protein because of mercury poisoning. If you like canned fish, check out sardines! They taste even better IMO, and are more sustainable without the huge mercury concentration.


Whole chickens are extremely cheap if you’re willing to do a little knife work (which I am and enjoy doing). Also usually get some stock from the bones which goes well in tons of meals, easy to freeze, etc.


I’m not 100% sure about this but I recall tuna being much cheaper in the past, it may have been among the cheapest proteins at one time. I suspect the cost increase is due to increased demand from population pressures and overfishing.


Prices on tuna has gone up. When I was first in college, cans were about 50 cents or so. I think last time it was a major part of my diet, cans were about $1.50 for the cheap kind.


Everyone hop aboard the sustainable foraging train. The surplus of dandelion and violet greens in my yard means I don’t have to buy salad leaves all season long.

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Iirc dandelion greens were one of the things my grandma survived on during the war. The ones enemy soldiers didn’t loot. lol

I should just post all these war survival tips, cause they’re actually all very sustainable, too. Like some became extremely sparing with whatever they consume their whole lives.

Edit: I forgot the most important thing, it’s beautiful!!


My garden is 99% dandelion at the moment so it’s kind of appealing. But the other 1% is cat and/or fox shit.


just to be aware if you are harvesting from a public park or any managed area they may have been sprayed with roundup as they are seen as a pest.


Make a simple syrup out of the violet flowers! It’s fucking gooooooood.


You can dip the dandelion heads in a breading (or egg and then rolled in parm cheese) and pan fry them in a little bit of vegetable oil. They are really yummy and not bitter 🙂

EDIT: here is a recipe! Im not sure if links are allowed so I’m not crediting the website I got it on, but this is a very basic recipe so you’ll find it in many places.

This is for a large batch, I would half it or quarter it.


60-70 Dandelion flower tops

3 eggs, OR (sub one-fourth cup (65 grams) unsweetened applesauce to replace one egg).

1 cup milk/non dairy milk.

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. fine ground cornmeal or sub gluten free option. (You can use pancake mix as well or parmesan cheese).

Oil of your choice – enough for 1/8-1/4″ in your hot cast iron skillet.

add optional seasoning.

Dandelion Fritters Directions:

Gather Dandelion tops during the morning when they have opened up their bright and cheerful faces to the sunshine. Leave 1/4″ of the stem as a handle. Harvest only from a non-chemically treated area.

Rinse in cool water and pat dry on a paper towel.

Heat your cast iron skillet and melt coconut oil for frying, just a little deeper than if you were making pancakes.

For the batter, combine egg, milk, and your flour in a bowl and mix to remove lumps. At this point, if you prefer sweeter fritters, add a little maple syrup or honey, or cinnamon and a tsp. of vanilla extract. For savory fritters, you might add fresh or dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, or even cilantro or parmesan cheese. In addition, we like to use a 1/8 tsp. of cayenne powder for a kick of flavor.

Prepare a skillet on the stove with oil over medium heat. I prefer my cast iron.

Holding one of the flowers by the greens at the base, twirl the flower into the batter until covered in batter.

Place it into the skillet, petals down, and continue until the skillet is full. Brown the first side, then flip over to brown the other side. The stems will collapse nicely until you have mini-dandelion pancakes. We like dandelion fritters crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I keep the fritters warm in the oven to serve the family all at once. When finished, serve hot.


Blueberry Yogurt Cheesecake 🍰 (287 for the whole thing!)

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Listen very carefully OP….

If that entire amazingly good looking cheesecake is 287 calories we NEED the recipe.

I’m not too proud to beg



Got the recipe from OPs comment section on prof (they did post it). Literally can’t wait to try.


Seriously guys, just go to their profile and you’ll see the comment with the recipe. Why is everyone getting so hostile?


Hahaha this is hilarious. People are going rabid for the recipe


Simmer down folks😂


Lightened up Fettuccine Alfredo & Blackened Cajun Chicken (Recipe!)

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Gotta throw in some spinach or broccoli get them vitamins and whatnot


Yum! Thanks for the recipe! I have a giant tub of Greek yogurt that needs to be used up so definitely trying this tomorrow for dinner!


It looks so good!


Love it, greek yogurt instead of heavy cream! I will definitely need to try it!


I want that really bad


Oyakodon — Japanese Chicken and Egg over Rice — a three-day masterpiece or a 15-minute wonder. Recipe in the comments.

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This looks and sounds like a delicious breakfast or dinner option. Saved to give a try! Thanks for sharing, I’m eager to see how my family likes it.


Warms my heart to see oyakodon getting some love. One of my favorite Japanese foods by far, which is saying something, since Japanese food has a lot of amazing entries.

I also love the macabre self-awareness of the dish’s name: “oya” means parent and “ko” means child (“don” means bowl).


This recipe is a touch confusing, but I want to encourage people to try this, and use all the ingredients (dashi, mirin, etc) OP recommends. Oyakodon is my all time favorite comfort food. It’s just awesome.


looks amazing. but– reading the recipe and I’m not seeing what about this made it a 3 day dish. the longest part of the preparation in your instructions is only a 24hour wait at maximum.


Oyako-don is also Japanese slang for revenge sex with your ex’s mom.

BTW, I love Oyako-don. (the food lol)