Easy skillet meals are a good deal

Are you a busy cook on a budget looking for dinner ideas that are low-cost, fast and easy? Skillet meals may be just what you’re looking for! These one-pan wonders are a busy cook’s best friend because they need just a few budget-friendly ingredients, require little preparation time, and are literally a “meal-in-one”. You won’t even need to worry about serving a side dish unless you want to add some fruit or a small salad. The best thing about skillet meals though, is that since your whole dinner cooks in just one pan, there’s only one pan to wash when dinner is done!

So, if you’re ready to try a time-saving skillet meal, these $2 Dinners recipes are a great place to start. Your family with love the south-of-the-border flavors in our Beefy Enchilada Skillet Dinner, and our Skillet Pasta and Meatballs is a real winner that goes from the stove to the table in under 30 minutes, and needs just five ingredients!

Click on the oranges boxes for printable versions of the recipes

Beefy Enchilada Skillet Dinner (serves 4 @ aboout $1.94 per serving)

Skillet Pasta and Meatballs (serves 4 @ about $1.75 per serving)

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$2 Dinners Time Saving Tip

Time-Saver Tip of the Week:

Save yourself time in the kitchen by cooking several pounds of chicken at once and freezing it for later use. I often buy those 3lb. bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from the Superstore (priced at around $6.50) and cook the whole thing to use later. To cook chicken: Poach it- Place chicken in a large pot with enough chicken broth to cover. Bring broth to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking for 6 minutes (freeze the stock and use for soup later). Or you can Bake it- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and place chicken on sheet. Drizzle with a little vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear. Once your cooked chicken has cooled, just chop it into smaller pieces and freeze 1-2 cups per container. Use frozen cooked chicken within 6 months.

Make This Incredible Pulled Pork for Pennies

Here in the Tarheel State, there isn’t much of anything we like to eat better than pulled pork BBQ. In fact, we North Carolinians are so crazy about our barbeque, we’ve been known to engage in passionate and somewhat heated debates about sauce, preparation methods, and which restaurant has the best pulled pork. However, even when we don’t see eye-to-eye, something we can all agree on is that there’s nothing quite like a big ‘ole plate of pork BBQ!

So how do you satisfy your cravings for pulled pork at home without getting takeout? Make it in your slow cooker! This delicious and amazingly easy pulled pork recipe is the creation of my friend and co-worker Anita. She came up with this recipe a couple of months ago and brought it to work for some of us to try. I have to say it was love at first bite, and I knew she had a real winner. When I got the recipe from her, I realized that she had created a recipe that was not only delicious; it’s easy and economical too. The onion soup gives this pork a little something extra that takes the flavor over-the-top, so if you’re a pulled pork lover, you have got to try this, and don't forget the coleslaw (thanks Anita)!

Click on the orange boxes for a printable version of the recipes

Anita’s Incredible Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (makes 7-8 cups. Serves: 8 for BBQ plates @ about $1.00 per serving, or 12 for sandwiches @ about 90 cents per serving (includes bun)

Easy Coleslaw (serves 8 @ about 50 cents per serving)

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