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Cheap recipes to help save money for the holidays

The holidays are around the corner and that means grandma’s famous mac and cheese is too.
As a college student, the age has arrived where it’s almost offensive to come home and not contribute to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

To impress the family, here are some seasonal recipes to bring to the table this year that won’t hurt your pockets.
Whether you’re home for the holidays or just in your dorm these are some easy and inexpensive recipes to bring to your table this year.

These recipes can be found online at tasty.com and nbc25news.com.

Red Skin Mashed Potatoes (serves 10)

For some, mashed potatoes are the staple of their holiday side dishes. With red skinned potatoes, the skin adds texture for a less mushy taste.

5 lb bag of red skin potatoes-$3.99
8 oz cream cheese-$0.80
1 stick of butter-$0.84
½ cup of 2% milk-$2.11 (half gallon)
0.5 oz of chives-$0.80
Total: $8.54

1-Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil.
2-While the water is heating up, wash the potatoes, cutting away any big blemishes, but keeping the skins on.
3-Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork, allowing them to be cooked thoroughly and in a fast manner.
4-Once the water is boiling, safely transfer the potatoes to the pot, making sure they are all completely submerged.
5-Let the potatoes boil for about 15 – 20 minutes, until you can easily pierce a fork through the potatoes.
6-Drain the water from the pot.
7-Add the milk, cream cheese, and butter to the potatoes. Mash them all together.
8-Add salt, pepper, and any other preferred seasonings for taste.
9-When you are about to serve, cut the chives into tiny pieces and sprinkle them on the top to garnish.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans (serves 6)

Even though holiday dinners are typically used to stuff ourselves with less healthy meals, we should always intake some kind of fruit or vegetable a day to keep the doctor away.

clipart of string green beans
Graphic by Chris Swann

1 tablespoon olive oil-$2.52
3 cloves garlic, smashed-$1.48
1 ½ lbs green beans, trimmed-$2.58
¾ cup chicken stock-$1.22
1 lemon, zested-$0.54
1 lemon, juiced-$0.54
Total: $8.88


1-Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic green beans and season with salt. Sauté for 2 minutes, just until the garlic is fragrant.
2-Add the chicken stock, cover, and steam for 5–7 minutes, until the green beans are tender but still bright green. Add the lemon zest and juice and toss to combine. Season with more salt to taste.
3-Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.

Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie (serves 6)

clipart of sweet potato pie
Graphic by Chris Swann

What better way to end off your holiday dinner than with a sweet potato pie? A homemade sweet potato pie is not on the low-priced side but there’s a way to cheat the system.

3 large egg whites, room temp.-$1.62
1 cup of marshmallow fluff-$1.38
Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie (family size)-$5.94
Total: $8.94

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2-Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, 2–3 minutes.
3-Gradually add the marshmallow fluff and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, 2–3 minutes.
4-Dollop the topping on top of the sweet potato pie and swirl into peaks.
5-Bake the pie until the meringue has browned, 10–12 minutes.
6-Let cool before serving.

Sausage Cornbread Dressing (serves 6)

Thanksgiving and Christmas would be canceled if dressing was not on the table. To make sure your family doesn’t go without this year, here’s a cheap and easy recipe that adds a twist!

8 oz of Italian sausage-$3.57
2 stalks of celery, diced-$1.48
½ large yellow onion, diced-$0.54
2 cloves of minced garlic-$1.48
1 box of cornbread mix-$0.52
1 ½ cups of boiling water
1 stick of unsalted butter-$2.98
Total: $10.57

1- Heat half a stick of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until no longer pink, 7–8 minutes.
2-Add the celery, onion and garlic. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
3-Add the cornbread stuffing and toss to combine. Pour the boiling water and a half stick of melted butter over the stuffing mix.
4-Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then transfer to a small casserole dish.
5-Turn the broiler to high.
6-Broil the dressing for 1–2 minutes, until browned and crispy on top.

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