StashLearn
Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Life

5 Fab Summer Recipes Under $15

July 05, 2019

3 min read

Summer parties are the best, but can be low key expensive when you’re asked to contribute some sort of food dish. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a mad dash to Whole Foods or an upscale convenience store on my way to a party, only to walk out $45 in the hole with nothing more than a few hard cheeses and bespoke sea salt crackers.

In an effort to save money over the last few years, one thing I’ve worked on is banking some recipes with inexpensive ingredients. Now, when I’m invited to a summer party and don’t want to show up empty-handed, I make one of these recipes, whose total ingredient cost is under $15!

NOTE: Food costs based on average of online retailers. 

Minnesota Dip

I call this “Minnesota Dip” because the recipe came from a friend in Minnesota. In reality, it has nothing to do with the Midwest. It’s a salty, tart, and semi-sweet bean dip that will make everyone who eats say, “What’s in this?!?” and become instantly addicted. The best part is that you can toss it together and serve it immediately. Just throw all of these ingredients in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips:

IngredientCost
1 green pepper, chopped~$.75
1 red pepper, chopped ~$1.50
1 onion, your choice of color, chopped~$1.00
1 can corn~$1.15
1 can black eyed peas~$1.50
1 can pinto beans~$1.00
4 or 5 jalapeños, chopped, de-seeded ~$1.25
1/2 cup canola oil ~$1.50
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar~$2.25
1/4 cup sugarhave at home
Salt to tastehave at home
Tortilla chips$2.00*
Total cost before tax:$13.90

*Note: why are we buying $5 bags of chips when UTZ, Calidad and Santitas chips are right there for $2!!! Be reasonable, people!

Beer Battered Green Beans (with a dip!)

Green beans are so cheap, it’s almost a miracle. Any green bean-based recipe is going to be a win for your wallet, and if you’re feeling adventurous, I’d recommend this dish of beer battered green beans (with dip!) that requires:

IngredientCost
½ pound green beans, washed, dried, trimmed~$1.00
1 ¼ cups of lager (less than a can or bottle of beer)~$2.75
¾ cup self-rising flour~$1.50
½ cup corn meal~$2.00
Vegetable oil~$2.00
Garlic, 2 cloves (from 1 bulb) ~$.75
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1 lemon, squeezed)~$.75
½ cup Mayonnaise~$3.00
¼ teaspoon or more, to taste, of salthave at home
2 tablespoons olive oilhave at home
Black pepper to tastehave at home
Total cost before tax$13.75

Recipe:
Let’s make and chill your aioli sauce first. Mash that garlic and ¼ tablespoons of salt until it gets pasty. Then whisk in mayo, oil, and lemon juice. Season with pepper and a little more salt if desire. Cover and place in the fridge.

As your aioli sauce chills, mix the flour, cornmeal and beer in a bowl. Then mix in the crisp, fresh, dried green beans. In a pot, heat 1 – 1.5 inches of oil to approximately 375 degrees. (Yes, you will need a cooking thermometer for best results. Ask for it for your birthday.) In small batches, place the green beans into the oil, frying in small batches, about 2-3 minutes per batch. They should be golden brown when you remove them and place them on paper towels for draining.

Let it cool for a few minutes, then serve the GBs with aioli sauce on the side.

Healthy Mexican Bean Dip

This is so easy that I mastered it in college. It does taste significantly better if you let it refrigerate overnight, but beggars can’t be choosers, and it’s fine to serve day-of. All you need to do is throw all these items in a big bowl, mix, then serve with tortilla chips. The best part is that anything left over (if there is any) will make excellent omelet or breakfast taco filling the next day!

IngredientPrice
2 cans black beans~$2.30
1 can corn~$1.15
2-3 tomatoes~$2.50
1 medium white onion, but whatever you love is fine~$1.50
10-15 sprinkles of hot sauce~$3.00 (or less for a small bottle of generic)
One healthy drizzle of olive oilhave at home
Salt to taste have at home
A healthy smattering of cilantro~$2.00
Tortilla chips~$2.00
Total cost before tax$14.45, assuming you don’t have hot sauce at home (you totally do!)

Vegetarian Italian Pasta Salad

So simple. So beloved. Ideally requires two hours of refrigeration before you take it on the go, but we’re not picky! Remember not to overcook your pasta, because the dressing will soften your noodles even more. To save money, I’ve eliminated meat (better for vegetarians, anyway!) and replaced a more expensive red pepper with a second green pepper.

Here’s what you need to throw in a bowl:

IngredientsPrice
1 16 oz box of tricolor rotini, cooked~$1.50
2 green peppers, chopped~$1.50
1 red or orange pepper, chopped~$1.50
1 medium red onion chopped~$1.50
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered~$3.00
1 cup of bottled Italian dressing~$2.00
1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed~$3.50
Salt and pepper to tastehave at home
Total cost before tax$14.50

Sweet ’n’ Salty Potato Chip Chunks

Sorry not sorry. It’s time you know about these. They’re divine. They’re unpretentious. They’re salty. They’re sweet. And best of all? They’re cheap.

PriceIngredients
2 cups crushed ridged potato chips~$4.00 (go crazy, get the name brand!)
9 ounces white baking chocolate or baking chips~$4.00
½ cup chopped pecans, because you’re fancy~$6.00
Total cost before tax$14.00

Recipe:
Melt that white chocolate in a (microwave safe) bowl. Then mix in your crushed chips and nuts, and use a spoon to put chunky dollops of the mixture on wax paper or foil, then refrigerate for two hours. Remove and enjoy!

Happy summer snacking!

Investing, simplified.

Start today with as little as $5.

Get the App

Hooked on Stash? Tell your friends!

Get $5 for every friend you refer to Stash.

Refer friends

Hooked on Stash? Tell your friends!

Get $5 for every friend you refer to Stash.

Refer friends

By Emily Winter
Emily Winter is a writer and comedian in New York. She's written for TV Land, Glamour and Fusion TV.

Next for you
Cheap Summer Cocktails You Can Make At Home

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
pop culture Retirement Careers market news politics
Disclaimers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit www.stashinvest.com/disclosures.