Low-Budget Meals In a Minute

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Ever go home and look in the fridge only to find it sadly, echoingly empty? Well, look again my friend... there are probably a ton of condiments in there just waiting to be made into a hearty meal. Here are some tasty new recipes I discovered while living on a limited income. Dish up some dinner, liven up lunch, whatever you like! Mmmm, MMMH!

Saltines and Ketchup

Ingredients: five saltine crackers, bottle of ketchup

To Make: arrange crackers on plate. Drizzle on ketchup. Eat. Delicioso!


1. Make sandwiches with the crackers (but I wouldn't reccommend this if you're low on crackers because then you can't "stretch" the eating time).

2. Squirt out little drawings/messages to self with ketchup squeeze bottle (assuming you are lucky enough to have one of these). Tip: messages should be no more than 2 words due to limited space on cracker. However, you can always line up the crackers and just write one big sentence across. Fun with Food!

Hot Dog Roll and Mayonnaise with Bread and Butter Pickles

Ingredients: hot dog roll, jar of mayonnaise, at least 2 bread and butter pickles (otherwise it would just be "Hot Dog Roll and Mayonnaise with Bread and Butter PICKLE).

To Make: Find one of those rubber scraper things to scoop out dregs of mayonnaise from bottom of jar. Sniff mayonnaise to make sure good. If smells bad, decide HOW bad. Trip to bathroom, or trip to hospital? Assuming the former, go ahead with scraping of mayonnaise jar remnants onto hot dog roll. Add pickles. Eat.


1. Chop up pickles and mix with mayonnaise (this is actually tartar sauce--WHO KNEW?), then spread on roll.

2. Cut roll in half. Put one pickle and one smidge of mayo on each half. Bon Appetit!

Condiment Surprise

The surprise is, no one can ever remember what goes in this. Not even you! Amaze and delight your friends with your own secret blend of ingredients.

Ingredients: Whatever condiments you can find in your fridge such as ketchup, mayo, salad dressing, taco sauce, A-1, Saucy Susan, etc., Pretzels

To Make: Mix all ingredients in bowl. Cook, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or chilled with pretzels on side or mixed in.

Jelly In a Bowl


Shrimp Mocktail

Okay, with a little practice this one might actually fool your friends... but it takes a skilled chef to really pull it off right!

Ingredients: several pieces of stale bread, water, ketchup

To Make: Check bread for green spots; remove if necessary (remember though, that mold is a valuable source of protein, and we all know that protein builds muscle). Break bread into small chunks. Use water to form bread into sticky lumps, then roll lumps into little shrimp-shaped forms.

Arrange "shrimps" in fancy circle on plate, then place bowl of ketchup in middle. Tastes just like the real thing!

Salt and Pepper* Sandwich

For those times when you're really "in a pinch!"

Ingredients: Salt, pepper, bread.

To Make: Sprinkle salt and pepper on bread.* Eat.

*Omit Pepper if you don't like it.
*Omit Salt if you don't like it.

For more tasty treats, buy my book "Making Lunch Out of Nothing At All".

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit for rates and samples.

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