Dinner for $2.11.

We’ve had some financial disasters lately. Just look.

  • Husband accidentally scraped the door of a 6-month-old BMW: $200
  • Cat had ear infection and tooth thing: $520
  • Stupid tree fell on our stupid house: $1,000
  • Paycut for state employees (aka, me) : approx. $150 a month in May and June


So when I wanted to get take-out Thursday night after a long and depressing meeting (some media people were let go at other schools, also my library budget for next year will probably be a whopping ZERO DOLLARS) my husband wisely thought we should cook at home. And by we, he meant me. He works nights, so I cook dinner, then he cleans up the kitchen. I usually like that arrangement a lot, except when I’m tired and whiny and want some sweet and sour shrimp.

BUT he was right. I ended up getting some mustard greens on the way home from my meeting to make beans ‘n’ greens (‘n’ pasta if you want to be exact) and it was very tasty and very, very, very cheap.


.43 – mustard greens

.99 – fettuccine

.59 – can of chickpeas

.10 – garlic clove

total: $2.11. Yay! Much better than the $22 takeout. In fact, one could probably make this even cheaper, if you’re the kind of person to use dried beans. I’m usually not.


Beans and Greens (adapted from Passionate Vegetarian, serves 2-3)

  • 8 oz. fettucine
  • 1 large bunch greens (we like mustard greens, but kale or chard would work here too), washed, center ribs cut out, and sliced crosswise
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas (or cannelini, or navy beans)
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Start the pasta in boiling water.

2. Heat the olive oil over med-high heat, and stir in the greens, then cook for 2 minutes. Cover, then let them cook for 2-3 minutes. They should look gently wilted and tender, but not like the life is cooked out of them. Definitely still green. Basically, til they look kinda like this:


3. Add the beans and garlic to the skillet, then sautee for about 4-5 more minutes. When the pasta is done, drain and add the beans and greens to it, plus salt, a lot of pepper, and grated Parmesan if you want to get really fancy. That might bring the total cost over $3.00 though. High roller.


2 thoughts on “Dinner for $2.11.

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