It's really not possible to cook a wholesome, fulsome meal every time someone comes around. Because the better you cook, the more the guests tend to ungratefully loiter around your house needlessly. And where once in a while cooking a lavish feast for your guests is just fine, making rack of lamb every week can tick you off a bit. So the next time these uninvited guests come over, why not cook one of the inexpensive meals.
Now don't get me wrong here. I completely believe that the man who knocks on your door ought not to go back hungry and all that stuff, but sometimes you need to give yourself a break and rein in your finances, because lets face it, it can pinch the pockets a bit! So on that note, here are some simple ideas for families.
Macaroni and Cheese
It comes in a pretty big pack and the initial investment may seem a bit high, the pack lasts for quite a while and is definitely one of the best options for a quick meal.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Could it possibly get simpler than that? Get some frozen chicken and some bread, grill, stuff, eat. Bread is cheap and the chicken can be cheap if you know where to get it. If you feel this is getting too thrifty, throw in a slice of cheese to make the person eating feel better.
The beautiful thing about scrambled eggs is that you can control just how pricey you want to make it. Want it really low? Stick to the eggs and the margarine. A bit higher? Add a couple of pieces of onion? Bit higher? Put tomatoes in it. Higher? Mushrooms! The point is that scrambled egg is a delectably simple and cost-cutting meal which gives you the option to put a screw on its price tag.
Take a can of tuna, add some mayo or salad dressing to it, mix and dump on the bread. All in about 5 minutes and one of the tastiest options for seafood lovers.
Or any baked boiled vegetables are really cheap and will drive your guests out. I mentioned potatoes because in most countries, they are by far the cheapest vegetable. But you can add a bit more jazz to it by boiling some broccoli and carrots. Be nice and put some salt and pepper on those though.
Of whichever brand you get in your local supermarket and whichever are the cheapest. Dunk the noodles in water, add the garnish and you're good to go! And quite frankly, every one loves them. Can make for an amazingly romantic yet inexpensive meal for 2.
Bread and Butter
And at the pinnacle is the one which has been touted as the humblest of all over recorded history - the bread and butter. You need to bundle up two ingredients (any guesses?) and you can make this meal for an army and yet it will be amazingly inexpensive!
The art of making a good inexpensive meal lies in picking up the best possible ingredients for the lowest prices. The cumulative price of the dish will automatically plummet. Oh and another little advantage of cheaper meals? They are easy and not at all time-consuming!