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Entertaining for the Poor as F*ck: Making Awesome $10 dinners

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: I eat a lot of raw vegetables, not because I’m doing a raw-cleanse, but because I’m lazy. Just. So. Lazy.

I suffer from an illness known as “hangry” (hungry + angry). Symptoms include eating humane portions throughout the day until I arrive home after work and whine until I can figure out a dinner to make that requires the least amount of time and effort. Time + Effort = Stupid and I hate it.

I am, however, getting really bored of my usual dinner: a meat, a vegetable, a starch. I should try a little harder, right? One or two nights a week, maybe?

But oh: the COST.

Don’t worry. I’m here to divulge my favorite quick, cheap meals. The ingredients are simple and friendly, and each serving (about 4 for each recipe) will cost LESS than $10 (suck it, The Man). Make substitutions as needed for your gluten/dairy/soy/wheat/fun free lifestyle.

Sausage Ragù over Creamy Polenta – adapted from here 


Do you see this fancy shit?? Ragù. RAGÙ! It’s got an accent over a vowel. Fancy.


3 chicken or turkey sausages, casings removed, $5

1 tablespoon olive oil, $Should already be in your pantry

1 cup finely chopped onion, $0.39

4 garlic cloves, minced, $0.99

1 1/12 cups Red Sauce (don’t be shitty), $3

2 1/13 cups water, divided, $Free from your tap

1 cup whole milk, $2

¾ cup instant polenta, $3

1 ounce grated “cheese”, $Leftover in your fridge from last night’s dinner from Dominos

Black Pepper, $Already on your spice rack

Optional: Parsley (honestly what is the point of parsley? To pretend like there’s something green and fancy in your meal? Screw you ya douche poser garnish).

Total cost of ingredients ($14.38)/# of servings (4) = $3.60 (BOOYA. You little genius, you.)


1) Head a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and sauté for 5-6 minutes until it’s all crumbly.

Like so

Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Drain that pan, wipe it clean, and put it back on the stove over medium heat.

2) Add oil and onion and sauté for just under 4 minutes. Add garlic, sauté maybe 1 minute.

Bring on that good smell

Stir in the sausage crumbles, red sauce, and 1/3 cup water. Bring that shiz to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered.

3) Pour remaining 2 cups water and milk into a small pot (it’s called a sauce pan. Go figure) over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Gradually pour in your polenta and cook for 3 minutes. Stir CONSTANTLY otherwise you’re a failure because you can’t make porridge so just give up on life.

Remove from heat, stir in cheese and pepper.

4) Serve creamy polenta with sausage mixture, top with parsley IF YOU MUST.

Eat up, peasant!

And may I suggest enjoying this delicious dinner with one of my certifiably cheap red wines.


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Forever Renting Riss

Forever Renting Riss

Marissa moved to San Francisco for love. She has previously moved to Los Angeles for dreams and Boston for distancing herself from her New Jersey roots.