Cooking on a Dime

Creating delicious meals in South Jersey on a budget just got easier with these simple how-to's of the kitchen.

Chicken Piccata Recipe March 24, 2012

If you couldn’t tell by now, I really like the Dinner Spinner! It makes finding recipes and cooking so easy!

I went to Acme to do some grocery shopping and found buy one, get one free chicken breasts at $6.99. So I looked up chicken recipes on the Dinner Spinner and found Chicken Piccata.


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness; place in bag, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in butter. Stir in whine or broth. Bring to  boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Drizzle with lemon juice.

I also bought a bag of steam vegetables for $3.99 which brings the meal to a total of only $11.00!


Savory Oven Baked Chicken February 4, 2012

Did you know that there are recipes on the inside packaging of butter? I didn’t either until my mother and I were looking for recipes for my first meal.

After a long and hectic day at school, the last thing I wanted to do was make dinner for my family (I guess I know how my mom and dad feel when they get home from work and have to cook dinner). Before I got home, I stopped at the Acme to pick up some last minute ingredients for the recipe I found inside the butter packaging.

Savory Oven Baked Chicken

Preperation time: 15 minutes • Baking time: 25 minutes

Parmesan cheese mixed with breadcrumbs create a golden brown crunchy coating on this oven-baked chicken.

  • 1/2 cup dried breadcumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 6 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • Heat oven to 375°F. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan Cheese, parsley, pepper and salt in shallow bowl; set aside.
  • Combine butter and garlic in 9-inch pie pan. Dip 1 chicken breast at a time into butter mixture; place into breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat evenly. Place chicken breasts into ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Drizzle with any remaining butter mixture.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned and juices run clear when pierced with fork.

Something I quickly learned in the kitchen: it’s okay to modify the recipe for whatever’s easier and works for you. The recipe called for chicken breasts but we had chicken thighs in the freezer so I pulled them out the night before to defrost them (thighs are actually more budget friendly because they have the bone inside). Instead of buying fresh parsley, parmasean cheese, and fresh garlic, I bought freeze dried garlic and Acme brand seasoned bread crumbs which will last a lot longer than the fresh ingredients. I’m a firm believer in buying store brand items. You will save much more money!


After I set the oven, prepared the pan, and prepared the chicken, I cleaned up the kitchen and set the table for my family. After about 20 minutes, the chicken was smelling so delicious! I went to check on it and realized I had the oven too high! I had it on 475°F when it should have been on 375°F! Now since I’m cooking in my mother’s house, I have access to a meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, I would suggest investing in one. It’s super helpful and will come in handy a lot. While the temperature was hot enough to be fully cooked on the inside of the chicken, red juice came out when I pierced it. A sure sign that it wasn’t finished cooking. So I adjusted the temperature and started to make the rice (Rice is super easy to make. All you have to do is boil water, add the rice, and let it cook!). The rice and chicken finished about the same time so the only thing left to do was pour the salad in the bowl and call my family to the table!

My family really enjoyed this meal and so did I. I gushed about cooking my first successful dinner to anyone who would listen!


I want this to be a budget friendly blog for college students and anyone else trying to save some money. My first meal cost me about $20.00.


Chicken Thighs: Even though I already had the chicken, my father bought them on special at Acme, 4 packages for $19.99.


Spinach Salad, Freeze dried garlic, and bread crumbs: About $10.00.


Rice: About $5.00