Cheap Eats

by Leanne Ely

They are cheap, versatile and quite tasty. Is there anyone who doesn't like potatoes? Yep, potatoes are about as cheap as they come. Buy a 50-pound bag of them (don't store them near apples or onions--they'll sprout eyes), keep them stored in a cool place--not the fridge--and you have got a good basic for your next meal.

Here are a few quick, cheap ideas to make potatoes the main meal:

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Bake the potatoes for an hour at 400 degrees. Take out some leftovers from the fridge and chop 'em up (I have used meat, chicken vegetables--anything)Take the innards out of your tater, mix with chopped leftovers, top with cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted. Ta da! Dinner!

Potato Cheese Soup

Start with a big pot of mashed potatoes (about 4 cups). Add 2 cans chicken broth, 1 cup milk and a little salt and pepper. Stir until hot. Add sharp cheddar cheese and serve. Filling and delicious.

Tater Tacos

Scoop out the innards of baked potato, chop and mix with prepared taco meat. Top with salsa, lowfat sour cream and cheese. A big hit at my house!

Potato Scramble

Chop raw potatoes and simmer till just done. Drain water off and put in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste. Cook 'til nice and brown. Break some raw eggs over the top and scramble them in. How much you use depends on how many you are feeding (about two eggs per person).

These recipes are fast, cheap, easy and tasty. Best of all they are satisfying. So remember your potato bin the next time you need to make a quick meal. You'll save yourself a bundle in time and money! Enjoy!

Leanne Ely is a New York Times best selling author of Body Clutter and the popular Saving Dinner cookbook series. According to Woman's Day Magazine, she is the expert on family cooking.

Leanne's syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva can be found in 250 newspapers nationwide and in Canada. Her vast broadcast experience includes media satellite tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's.

In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's own radio show, Heart of A Woman aired during drive time in two major California markets, Los Angeles and San Diego. Her current show, The Dinner Diva is one of the top Blog Talk Radio shows on the Internet.

On the Internet, she pens the Food for Thought column for the immensely popular,, with over half a million readers weekly. She has been featured in Woman's Day magazine, the Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orange County Register - to name a few. Additionally, she is a sought after speaker and has spoken all over the country, with keynote addresses to corporate and non-profit entities. Visit Leanne Ely on Google+.

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