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Cook Fancy Dinners For Less

written by: chesanekc•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 5/21/2010

Do you want to cook fancy meals without spending a lot of money doing it? It may seem impossible, but it's not. You can easily make a fancy meal without overspending in your budget.

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    Cook Fancy Dinners for Less

    Are you tired of making the same old thing every night for dinner? Do you come home from work and just whip up something cheap and quick? Well if you are sick of cooking meals that just don't seem to have any pizzazz, then try cooking some fancy ones, without spending a lot of your money.

    Times may be tough, but that does not mean you have to sacrifice your taste buds. If you want to cook a fancy meal, but do not want to spend too much money, then here are some tips for you.

    For example, say you are a pasta lover and you usually find yourself opening a can of pasta sauce and boiling up some noodles every night when you get home. It's easy and it's cheap, but it's also very blah. So how can you jazz it up without overspending? You most likely have boxes of pasta in your cupboards already, so use one, but instead of just the plain old jar sauce make your own! All you need to get is garlic cloves (ranging from $1-$3), olive oil (which you most likely already have), dried basil (you can buy the store brand which is usually only $1 or $2), and a can of crushed tomatoes (the store brand can range from $1-$2). Right here you have already spent just about the same as you would for a jar sauce, but it will taste better.

    Once your pasta and sauce is made you can sprinkle some basil on top to make it look even better, as well as a sprinkle or two of parmesan cheese. Not a pasta lover? No problem. There are tons of other ideas, such as chicken or pork! To save even more, buy in bulk and freeze the extra. Then you'll have an easy meal on a day where you're just too tired to cook and can't afford expensive take-out.

    Here's a quick and cheap way to make delicious chicken. Buy chicken breasts and marinate it in garlic, oregano, olive oil, and lemon juice (all these items will cost you roughly $3-$4). Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes and sprinkle capers over the chicken when done. This is a simple and cheap way to may your chicken look more appealing and even taste better!

    There are all kinds of ways to liven up your dinner without spending a lot of money. Try to estimate what will go into your dinner to see how much you will spend. You'll be surprised at how much you will not go over your spending when trying to cook a fancy meal.