This is a post by staff writer Pamela Britton-Baer, whose mission is to help fight your evil debt blob and get your personal finances in tip top shape.
You’ve got the big screen, the surround sound and the DVR all set to record those great Super Bowl commercials. Now for the food. Contrary to popular belief, feeding all your friends doesn’t have to break the bank. We have plenty of super dollar store recipes to help you save money on the big day.
Reflect On the Awesomeness That Is the Dollar Store
Before we begin cooking, however, let’s take a moment to reflect on a dollar store’s frozen food section. (Cue the angels singing). Most have a fantastic selection of snack-type foods. Everything from pizza rolls to hot wings to stuffed potatoes. There’s also a plethora of chips and dip available in the snack aisle. Why not offer a smorgasbord of finger food to your guests?
If you’d rather go the traditional route and make a little something special for your Super Bowl buddies, there’s no end to the number of things you could whip up with a minimum of effort and dollars.
Let’s go shopping at the Dollar Store! (Well, mostly.)
So what’s on the menu for Super Bowl Sunday? Let’s start with the easiest recipe in the world. Layered bean dip. A little of this and a little of that, all scooped up with a tortilla chip. Yum.
Word to the wise: Be careful when shopping at dollar stores as they’ll frequently try and trip you up with not so real ingredients. For instance, we found a good-sized bag of shredded cheese, but it was American cheese. Sometimes you need the real deal, in this case cheddar. The sour cream was the same way. They had imitation sour cream instead of an “all natural” product. Try not to ingest that’s manufactured in a chemical plant.
Classic Bean Dip Recipe:
1 can refried beans
1 jar (or can) of salsa
1 can olives
1 tub of sour cream (see note above)
1 package of your favorite shredded cheese
Inside a 9 x 9 baking dish, layer the beans, salsa, olives, sour cream and cheese, in that order. If you can find guacamole at your dollar store, you can add that on top of the beans. Or not. Serve with tortilla chips.
A good dip is a great way to start off a party, but if you’re craving something warm to combat the cold, how about some homemade chili?
Homemade Chili Reciipe:
1 package of red beans, rinsed and drained.
1 package sausage
4 tsp. Chili powder
4 tsp. Dried onions
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot soak beans overnight. If you forget to soak them overnight, you can always boil the beans for an hour and then drain/rinse. You’ll still need to slow cook them, however, but you should always give them a sauna treatment prior to that cooking.
Once you’ve cooked or soaked your beans, rinse and drain them again. Place them back in a pot and add just enough water to cover. The trick to cooking these babies is to do it slowly. You can’t rush the process. Let them simmer. Once they start to break apart, it’s time for step two.
In a large skillet, combine sausage, dried onion, and chili powder. Cook until brown. Drain fat. Add one can of stewed (or halved or diced or whatever your store has on hand) tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are warmed then add the whole shebang to your beans. If you like your chili with a little more WOW add more chili powder. Don’t forget to salt and pepper to taste. You can also add in a can of corn. Top off with sour cream and cheese and voila! It’s really easy and super delicious.
Alas, dip and chili probably won’t feed the masses – or masses of hungry men, as the case may be. So how about bacon wrapped hot dogs for a main course? Sounds yucky, but bacon wrapped hot dogs should be right up there with peanut butter and jelly for two things that go together. Simply wrap your dogs and cook. Throw on some of that chili afterward. You can’t go wrong.
Whether you’re feeding one, or dozens, it’s easy to stretch your dollars by thinking ahead. And with our help, the recipes are, well, super easy!
Photo: Cooking Classy