Grilling on a budget doesn’t have to mean just burgers and hotdogs

As the heat-wave across most of the country continues, if you’re like most of us, you’re probably relying more and more on your grill for meal preparation. After all, even though it’s no fun standing over a hot grill when it’s 90+ degrees outside, it sure beats heating up the inside of your house by preparing meals in the kitchen. But what can you grill when you’re on a budget? Chances are that you may feel limited to burgers and dogs because anything else seems out of your price-range.

However, here at $2 Dinners, we know it doesn’t have to be that way. While burgers and dogs are both popular choices for budget-minded grilling, you don’t have to feel restricted to just these two sandwiches. In addition to those all-American favorites, there is a wide variety of taste-tempting, easy and economical sandwiches that can be prepared on the grill.

This week’s menu is a perfect example of the flavorful and budget-friendly sandwiches you can create on your grill. Our affordably-delicious Philly-Style BBQ Chicken Sandwich comes together in a flash, and your family is sure to love this savory combination of smoky BBQ chicken, melted Mozzarella cheese, and crisp-tender veggies nestled on a soft roll. Serve these incredible sandwiches with chips or macaroni or potato salad, and you have a budget feast you can be proud of. For a cool and refreshing treat at the end of your meal, try our Orange Granita (think gourmet “slushy” that you eat with a spoon).

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

Philly-Style BBQ Chicken Sandwich (Serves 4 for approx. $1.78 per serving)

Orange Granita (Serves 4-6 for approx. .10 cents per serving)

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A frugal fiesta that’s perfect for a hot summer day

The “dog days” of summer have arrived; bringing with them the kind of heat and humidity that saps the energy right out of you. On days like this, even if you can find the motivation to cook, the thought of heating up the kitchen can send you running straight to the nearest air-conditioned restaurant. However, during a prolonged heat wave like we’ve been having recently, dining out every time the heat gets to be too much can get expensive in a hurry.

So how can you put an easy, healthy meal on the table on a sultry summer day without breaking the bank? How about letting your slow cooker do the work? Ideal for hot-weather cooking because it won’t heat up your kitchen, your slow cooker can help you prepare a surprising variety of dishes that are easy on your wallet, healthy, and tasty too. Our $2 Dinners Frugal Fiesta, which begins with savory and slightly spicy Slow Cooker Burritos, is a perfectly delicious example of what you can create with your slow cooker in warm weather. Served alongside the cool, clean flavors of our Summer Salsa with Tortilla Chips, they’re so good you might just forget all about the heat outside for a while.

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

Slow Cooker Burritos (serves 6 @ about $1.45 per serving)

Summer Salsa with Tortilla Chips (serves 8 @ about 45 cents per serving)

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This 4th of July picnic that gives you more bang for your buck

Planning a family picnic for the 4th of July? This year, celebrate your independence from out-of-control grocery bills and try our super-easy and delicious $2 Dinners menu. Parmesan-Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken tastes great hot or cold, takes minutes to prep, and “fries” to a delicious golden-brown right in your oven. Our tangy German-Style Potato Salad with Herbs is the perfect savory side dish because it contains no mayonnaise, so you won’t have to be as concerned about food spoilage on a hot day. For dessert, the classic combination of oranges and chocolate come together in a spectacular Chocolate Chip Orange Cake that’s soaked in orange syrup, so it needs no frosting (making it easier to pack and transport to your picnic). Add some raw veggies like carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes with ranch dip, and sweet tea or lemonade, and you have a perfect, budget-friendly 4th of July picnic that your family will love.

Click on the orange boxes for printable versions of the recipes

Parmesan-crusted oven fried chicken (serves 6 @ about $1.23 per serving)

German-Style Potato Salad with Herbs (serves 6 @ about 47 cents per serving)

Chocolate Chip Orange Cake (serves 9 @ about 23 cents per serving)

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