Low-Budget Meals In a Minute

Ever go home and look in the fridge only to find it sadly, echoingly empty? Well, look again my friend... there are probably a ton of condiments in there just waiting to be made into a hearty meal. Here are some tasty new recipes I discovered while living on a limited income. Dish up some dinner, liven up lunch, whatever you like! Mmmm, MMMH!

Saltines and Ketchup

Ingredients: five saltine crackers, bottle of ketchup

To Make: arrange crackers on plate. Drizzle on ketchup. Eat. Delicioso!


1. Make sandwiches with the crackers (but I wouldn't reccommend this if you're low on crackers because then you can't "stretch" the eating time).

2. Squirt out little drawings/messages to self with ketchup squeeze bottle (assuming you are lucky enough to have one of these). Tip: messages should be no more than 2 words due to limited space on cracker. However, you can always line up the crackers and just write one big sentence across. Fun with Food!

Hot Dog Roll and Mayonnaise with Bread and Butter Pickles

Ingredients: hot dog roll, jar of mayonnaise, at least 2 bread and butter pickles (otherwise it would just be "Hot Dog Roll and Mayonnaise with Bread and Butter PICKLE).

To Make: Find one of those rubber scraper things to scoop out dregs of mayonnaise from bottom of jar. Sniff mayonnaise to make sure good. If smells bad, decide HOW bad. Trip to bathroom, or trip to hospital? Assuming the former, go ahead with scraping of mayonnaise jar remnants onto hot dog roll. Add pickles. Eat.


1. Chop up pickles and mix with mayonnaise (this is actually tartar sauce--WHO KNEW?), then spread on roll.

2. Cut roll in half. Put one pickle and one smidge of mayo on each half. Bon Appetit!

Condiment Surprise

The surprise is, no one can ever remember what goes in this. Not even you! Amaze and delight your friends with your own secret blend of ingredients.

Ingredients: Whatever condiments you can find in your fridge such as ketchup, mayo, salad dressing, taco sauce, A-1, Saucy Susan, etc., Pretzels

To Make: Mix all ingredients in bowl. Cook, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or chilled with pretzels on side or mixed in.

Jelly In a Bowl


Shrimp Mocktail

Okay, with a little practice this one might actually fool your friends... but it takes a skilled chef to really pull it off right!

Ingredients: several pieces of stale bread, water, ketchup

To Make: Check bread for green spots; remove if necessary (remember though, that mold is a valuable source of protein, and we all know that protein builds muscle). Break bread into small chunks. Use water to form bread into sticky lumps, then roll lumps into little shrimp-shaped forms.

Arrange "shrimps" in fancy circle on plate, then place bowl of ketchup in middle. Tastes just like the real thing!

Salt and Pepper* Sandwich

For those times when you're really "in a pinch!"

Ingredients: Salt, pepper, bread.

To Make: Sprinkle salt and pepper on bread.* Eat.

*Omit Pepper if you don't like it.
*Omit Salt if you don't like it.

For more tasty treats, buy my book "Making Lunch Out of Nothing At All".

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Cooking With Kids--Safely!

School's out! And summer is a good time to introduce... Read More

Flax Seed Will Add A Little Extra Flavor To Your Recipes

Flax seed will add a pleasant nutty taste to any... Read More

How to Bake: How Long Should My Bread Rise?

It depends. The best way to tell if the dough... Read More

Baking Perfect Breads, Cookies, and Desserts

We're all looking for that perfect pie, or cookies, or... Read More

Why do We Need to Knead?

Bread dough needs to be elastic in order to capture... Read More

10 Smart Shopping Tips To Protect Your Family From Getting Sick

Prevention of food poisoning starts with your trip to the... Read More

Digital Kitchen Timers ? Never Burn Another Dish

Digital kitchen timers come in many shapes and sizes. Timers... Read More

Gourmet Sauces, Rubs and Marinades - Give Your BBQ a Gourmet Kick

Many individuals agree that the sauce on barbecued meat is... Read More

Rice Cookers - Perfect Rice Every Time

Love fluffy cooked rice but dislike the preparation time and... Read More

10 Dishes Every New Bride or Groom Must Know How to Make!

Okay, you've either gotten married or are planning to pretty... Read More

The Perfect Scone: Keys to Make Your Scone Just Right

Ah, there's nothing like a tender, steaming scone in the... Read More

Roasting Meat - Temperatures and Times

Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, I still see... Read More

Barbecue Success With The Rule Of Thirds

Ever been to a barbecue party where the 'chef' placed... Read More

Dutch Oven Cooking Basics

Pioneer CookingWhen you think of a cast iron Dutch oven,... Read More

50% Less Cooking

50% Less Cookingwithout hitting the fast food button! Don't you... Read More

Making Homemade Pasta for Dinner Tonight

Homemade pasta cooked al dente (to the teeth), is a... Read More

Weber Grills Reviewed: Quality that Lasts

Barbecuing has long been a favorite pastime for many and... Read More

Troubleshooting Machine Bread

Bread machines-wonderful inventions that they are-don't think very well. You... Read More

Buying, Storing, and Preparing Apricots

When buying apricots, always look for those that are firm,... Read More

To Fry Or Not To Fry?

Here's a little known factoid - did you know that... Read More

What?s the Thick on Roux? Thickening Soups and Sauces

Soups and sauces can be thickened in a variety of... Read More

The Almighty Beer-Can Chicken

A popular method of cooking chicken in recent years both... Read More

Bacteria and Food-borne Diseases

Types of BacteriaBacteria are all around us, in the air,... Read More

Vegetarian Cooking - Three Basics

For any of the many reasons people choose to eat... Read More

Kitchenaid Stand Mixers ? A Kitchen Work Horse

Kitchenaid stand mixers are very popular in today's kitchens and... Read More

6 Tips for Perfect Homemade Hard Candy

There's nothing better than the juicy, flavorful hard candy from... Read More

Season Your Pans for Non Stick Cooking

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to cook a delicious... Read More

Buying, Storing, and Preparing Apples

When buying apples, look for those that are firm and... Read More

10 Easy Ways To Protect Your Family From Food Poisoning

Do you realize the many ways that bacteria can contaminate... Read More

Moms Easy Cooking - Fast Meal Ideas For Busy Moms

Every busy mom worries about how to prepare fast, nutritious... Read More

Fine Tuning Bread Machine Mixes

Sometimes bread machines can be tricky. We were trying to... Read More

Grilling Tips ? Safety Comes First at the Barbecue

You're standing at the gas grill in the hot sun,... Read More

How to Make a Cajun Roux

The process of preparing Cajun food is in no way... Read More