I've looked through several threads via a search on Chow. (And appreciate many of the suggestions!)
However, I'm looking specifically for *recipes* that don't end up breaking the budget.
(not just suggestions like frozen veggies cheaper than fresh, or spices from the local Latin market, etc)
My problem is that what starts out sounding like a great cheap concept - say lentil soup or souffle (what could be cheaper than some bulk aisle legumes or eggs!?) - ends up costing way more than I anticipate, because the rest of the recipe for the soup involves using pancetta, my homemade chicken stock that came from expensive celery/onion/carrots/bay leaves/etc (and I dont eat enough chicken to have enough leftover carcasses for stock, so I have to buy chicken backs or parts), some wine or expensive balsamic vinegar, more expensive veggies for the mire poix.....or the rest of the souffle really needs $12/lb cheese to taste good.
I'm having the problem that I'm kinda a foodie, and want to make stuff taste really good... but that ends up costing more! I just cant bring myself to eat truly cheap stuff like ground beef with a can of tomatoes thrown in...
I'm trying to repay student loans... so I'm not broke, but I need to really tighten things up.
Any specific recipe suggestions?