Monday, August 8, 2022

National Dollar Day

 The Dollar ain't what it used to be. But being the cheap$kate that I am, I can still stretch a buck even today August 8th on National Dollar Day. So read on to see recipes that use Dollar ingredients, and foodstuff that cost about a Dollar. And you know the deal, just click on a highlighted recipe name to see all the tasty details from my extensive collection of cheap and tasty blog postings.

Yay, 99c only Store and Dollar Tree!!

You can't get more basic than a Sandwich and I don't mean a boring Baloney Sandwich, although I do crave one every once in a while. 

Let's start with a Philly Hoagie Sandwich. My wife, Linda, was raised just outside of Philadelphia and when we visit her kin I always make a stop for a local Hoagie Sandwich. It's really just an Italian Sandwich filled with deli cuts of meat, usually salami, pepperoni, and provolone cheese, and topped with lettuce, onion, and tomato. 

The above sandwich is from Dale's Deli in Levittown, Pennsylvania and this is where I get the best local Hoagies. They use salami and ham for theirs.

You want a bread roll with some crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. Instead of the usual mayo and mustard, a  Hoagie has a dressing of oil, vinegar, and dried Italian herbs. Check out my video below to see how I make mine.

I often get cold cuts and cheese of all types, from roast beef to ham steaks. You have to be quick on the draw when you see a too good to be true deal. If you wait until the next day or even a few hours later it may disappear forever.

The way I keep my sandwiches cheap is to buy "day old" bread from my local supermarket bargain bin. If you toast bread that's been out a little too long, I bet you cannot tell the difference from fresh-toasted bread, at least I can't. I even get croissants on sale that cost less than a dollar apiece when you break the package down.

You can still find tomatoes for less than a dollar a pound, especially cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes. Lettuce is cheap when you break it down even if it costs a couple bucks per.

Two easy side dishes are Easy Coleslaw and Potato Salad, again I can keep the ingredients at a buck each including the condiments mustard, pickle relish, and mayo. 

My Homemade Potato Salad is the bomb, just check it out below and rock your next patio party with it.

 Potatoes are one cheap veggie. I find packages of shredded cabbage and carrot at my 99c only Store.

How about a Dollar Tree oatmeal breakfast? And that includes coffee.

I like fruit with my yogurt, especially when yogurt is still pretty cheap. Bananas, apples, and even mangos can be found on the cheap at my nearby 99c only Store or ethnic market. The container of yogurt may be small but it's enough for a snack or light breakfast when you add fresh fruit.

The same goes for PancakesI also like mine with fruit. You can still find pancake mixes in the box for a buck or buck twenty-five at the 99c only Store and Dollar Tree. While the syrup there is not pure maple, you can always splurge for the real thing elsewhere - don't tell, but that's what I do these days. 

You can't get much cheaper than an Egg Sandwich. I can still get half a dozen eggs for a buck twenty-five at my local Dollar Tree, that's less than 25 cents per egg. 

I like lettuce, tomato, and mayo on mine. I like my egg fried with a slightly runny yolk. You can scramble an egg as well. I use toasted bread. Get fancy and use a pretzel roll. I often start my day with a Fried Egg Sandwich using day-old bread.

I get many breakfast ingredients for around a buck each and here are just some of the deals I've found.

My Old School Country Breakfast is made with some of the above ingredients. Check out my recipe below, which my dad made for me as a kid.


Even Larry The Cable Guy has a Biscuits & Sausage Gravy that rates high on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale.
 

Pasta is still a steal and I have a few recipes up my tattered sleeves. Let's start with a fresh Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad. Just purchase the cheapest veggies on sale like carrot, onion, celery, cabbage, and spinach. You could just use a package of fresh-frozen veggies, too. Steam the chopped veggies for a couple of minutes and mix them into cooked pasta. Serve warm or cold.

I get packages of penne, macaroni, and spaghetti for around a buck. And I have a lot of recipes that take advantage of cheap pasta. Including Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Veggies in Cream with Pasta,  Chicken Stroganoff (with egg noodles,) Creamy Mushrooms & Pasta, etc. Again just type and enter the word "pasta" in the Search window located at the top-right side of this blog.

They sell a lot of dollar frozen meals and I usually have one in my freezer just in case.

I even find enough ingredients for a quick Homemade Pizza. Dollar Tree sometimes sells cooked pizza crusts. So all you have to do is top them with pasta sauce and anything else you like, then heat the pizza in the oven until bubbly.

Incredibly I ran across a full-sized frozen pizza by Oprah for 99.99 cents! I picked up about 4 of them and headed back home to review them. How does it measure up on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best? Click here to find out.

Canned pasta sauce is still cheap and so are small tins of fish. Hey, that's a meal right there. Just cook the pasta and mix in some tomato sauce then add a can of fish at the last minute to heat through. Some tinned fish has tomato sauce added, so that's even cheaper to make. Click here to see my Sardines in Tomato Sauce & Pasta.

A simple pasta dish is a Bolognese that uses cans or jars of tomato sauce and a small package of ground beef or turkey. Add some garlic and dried Italian herbs and simmer. It's a small serving but hearty enough.

I especially like canned Clams with Pasta. Just heat up the minced clams and liquid with a splash of white wine, if you can afford to, and mix in the cooked pasta. It's so simply delicious.

In my bachelor days, I even used grated cheese from those plastic shakers on my pasta dishes. If my wife did not object I would still be using it, but go ahead and shave it if you got it, a block of parmesan, that is. And most pasta benefits from garlic, which I find fresh, dried, and in jars.

I don't really crave Spaghettios but these Star Wars versions could pull me back in with force!

When I watch sports on TV I will invite my rowdy buddies over for hot dogs. Now, this is a meal for cheap$kates, especially when they bring the beer!


Plus, it's so easy to make hot dogs my way. I set out the condiments of mustard, pickle relish, chopped onion, shredded cheese, sauerkraut, and chili. Believe it or not, I get all of that for a dollar each.


For a while, Coney Islands' most famous Nathan's Hot Dog showed up at my local Dollar Tree in the frozen deli case, so I found out why they are lauded. Read my review, here.


I like a Stir Fry because you can make it cheap and fast. Rice is always a bargain along with chicken, my favorite protein to use. I also find frozen veggies and typical Chinese condiments easily.


The cheapest Stir Fry I've come up with is Chicken, Carrot & Cabbage. Serve over rice.


Here in Los Angeles, you can get Mexican food everywhere and I do. 

I make a damn good Huevos Rancheros and I sometimes use canned beans and a cheap jar of salsa with a fried egg, all on the cheap. I make this recipe all the time and I courted my wife with this recipe - she loves it. Try it with tortilla chips sometimes.


I had high hopes for a frozen Fresh Guacespecially for 99.99 cents. The first and main ingredient is Haas Avocado. The texture and color are spot-on but the flavor is mild and overpowered by too much lime juice. Oh well, I'll keep looking but you can see my review here and make up your own mind.


Love or hate them, canned Tamales are a bargain and plentiful. I barely remember the taste from my bachelor days, but I used to have a can or two in my pantry as a late-night meal of last resort.


The first frozen meals I had were made by Banquet and Swanson. Old habits die hard...I do like their Salisberry Steak - there is something about the mushy sides of mashed potatoes and tender corn that have stayed with me and that I crave. I have a sadly funny post on frozen Banquet Turkey Dinners.


I had to try this Lobster Bisque from Dollar Tree. Was there actually lobster in the soup? How's the flavor and did it have a creamy texture? Click here to get all the hopefully tasty answers.


l admit to having a sweet tooth. When I make my own sweets I usually keep the sugar amounts to half what a typical recipe calls for. Crumbles, Cobblers, and Fruit Pies with fresh fruit are the way to go. The ingredients list is small and you can even use canned fruit - I look for unsweetened or low sugar. Of course, use fresh fruit, too.


I love Peach Cobbler, and my Mom's Cherry Pie is the best - two great dessert recipes for my visitors to check out.


My Mom makes a classic Pumpkin Pie for the holidays or anytime really.


You will want to bookmark her Pumpkin Pie recipe, especially now that organic pumpkin puree is out there.


I get sweets that are ready to eat at my local dollar stores. Sometimes it's a good call and other times not. Cordial or Chocolate Covered Cherries are a success and I still have a Moon Pie on occasion.


I went to a garden party and brought some Dollar Tree Cream Puffs. Check out what my neighbors thought of my edible (?) gift -- oh boy!


I find enough ingredients for a Tuna Salad. Frozen cooked Turkey Meatballs, crispy Spring Rollsand a Lobster Egg Roll (lacking in lobster.)

 
Canned Meat? Every once in a while it brings a flashback to my childhood school lunch dazes. 


Be sure to check out my Vienna Sausage Corndog Party and see how lowdown I can go!


I never had a Wichita, Kansas White Castle until I moved to Los Angeles. They remind me of a Mcdonald's regular hamburger with chopped onion and nothing else. I prefer to defrost them at home and then add the condiments I like.


My wife calls me her "Louisiana Man" so you can be sure I'm all over Cajun dollar deals that show up on the shelves.

Don't know how long dollar days will last in this economy, but keep checking back to see how to ride out any economic earthquakes and hurricanes, and still have a full belly.
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