Cheap and Easy Eats Challenge

In her recent post about finding ways to save money, financial literacy guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade talked about eating out less. Learning to cook doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. There are many tasty recipes that you can try that are simple to prepare, based on low cost, easy to find ingredients.

If you’ve never cooked before, here is one of my favourite go-to items, especially when I am working late. Much of the ingredients can be prepped the day before (say Sunday afternoon) when you have a little extra time. Depending on how many vegetables you add, it also provides great lunch leftovers.

Give it a try, or better yet, add some of your favourite recipe ideas below for our readers to try.

cheap and easy dinner recipe

Roasted Italian Sausage and Root Vegetables

Prep time ahead: 15 minutes + 15 minutes parboiling.
Prep time dinner: 15 minutes + 30-40 minutes cooking.


  • 4 Italian pork or turkey sausages
  • any variety of root vegetables you like, cut quite large, about 6-8 cups in total, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and beets.
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (the more the merrier!)
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil


  1. Clean & slice root vegetables into 1-2 inch sized chunks.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Drop vegetables in & parboil for 10 minutes only. Drain & set aside. This is the part I do the day before & leave the vegetables in the fridge ready to go.
  3. Preheat oven to 380F.
  4. Slice sausages into large meatball sized chunks.  In a small amount of olive oil, brown sausage until outside is crispy but not yet cooked.  Drain.
  5. In large bowl, mix 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Stir in vegetables until coated.  Add sauteed sausages and mix.
  6. Pour vegetable and sausage mixture into oven-proof casserole pan.
  7. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown, stirring occasionally (the larger your veggies the longer it will take).

That’s it. Serve with crusty bread & you have a one pot meal.  Root vegetables are inexpensive but cooked this way taste fantastic.

If you’ve never cooked before, or don’t make it a routine, take the cheap and easy eats challenge. Start out with the commitment to cut out at least one take-out meal a week, then once you get the hang of it, add in more home cooked meals. You’ll save money and probably enjoy your meals even more.

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