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Three Cheap and Easy Chicken Dinners

Poor secretaries know that eating out every night takes a big chunk out of your budget. Cooking dinner for yourself is a great way to cut food costs and experiment with the foods you like. Iím always on the look-out for meals that are easy to prepare and cheap to make and these three cheap and easy chicken dinners fit the bill.

Two of the following recipes involve the use of a slow cooker. If you donít already own one, I highly recommend it. Slow cookers are the ultimate tool for easy preparation. All you have to do is mix up the ingredients, start the cooker and return to a hot and ready meal later on.

Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

* 1 cup of uncooked rice
* 3 cups of water
* 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
* 1 can of cream of chicken
* 2 uncooked chicken breasts

Prepare by mixing all ingredients in a slow cooker and cooking on high for 3-4 hours.

Cheap Chicken Alfredo with Penne

* 1 box of penne pasta
* 1 small bag of frozen broccoli
* 1 jar of ready-made alfredo sauce
* 2 cups of chopped, cooked chicken
* 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
* Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by cooking the pasta and steaming the veggies in two separate pots. Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes to desired texture and drain. Return the noodles to the pot and add the vegetables, sauce, chicken and basil to the pasta in the pot. Stir and cook over low heat until everything is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

* 1 cup of uncooked long grain rice
* 3 cups of water
* 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
* 1 can of cream of chicken soup
* 1 bag of frozen broccoli
* 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken
* 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon of onion salt
* 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Look for preparation tasks you can do ahead of time. Cooking and chopping up the chicken for two of these recipes immediately after returning from the grocery store will save you time when youíre throwing dinner together after a long day of work.

Experiment with these recipes to suit them to your individual tastes. If you donít like alfredo sauce, use marinara or pesto instead. Use different vegetables if you donít like broccoli or try different styles of pasta. Spice up the recipes with chili powder or crushed red pepper if you like a little zing in your meals. If you have leftovers, stick them in individual serving Tupperware containers to take for lunch the next day. Get creative Ė play around with these recipes and enjoy creating dishes that taste great and save you money!

Submitted by:

Sarah Russell

Sarah Russell, aka "The Sexy Secretary," is a connoisseur of living the good life on a budget. Check out her website at http://www.thesexysecretary.com for more fabulous ideas on how to trim down your expenses without reducing your quality of life.


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