Frugal Gourmet: Grown-up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

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grownupgrilledcheeseI’ll admit that when I first saw this recipe, my immediate thoughts went something like this: Bacon? Cheese? Together on a sandwich for less than three dollars? Yes, please—now!

And really, how can you possibly go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich for grown-ups? Gone are the days of two slices of Wonder bread buttered with a slice of Kraft cheese in the middle (my 5 year-old self just danced a jig thinking about how many of these she’s devoured). It’s time to usher in a new dawn of grilled cheese:

Bigger, badder, but for as little money as possible of course.

For this installment of bacon and cheese bliss, you’ll want to do your shopping carefully as cheese can easily blow the most stringent budget. However, if you’re careful to purchase the other ingredients on sale, you can have a bit of wiggle room leftover to splurge on a pricier type of cheese.

The best part of this recipe from Cooking Light is that it’s completely flexible. Don’t eat meat? Sub in extra veggies or tofu. Not a fan of white bread? Swap in whole wheat. Not a fan of spinach? Mix it up with some kale or field greens. The key here is shopping for items that are on sale and that will work for other recipes.

When I made this for lunch, I added some extra arugula and basil that was leftover from another meal, and I swapped cheddar for brie because that’s what I had on hand. Not only was the sandwich delicious, it helped me spare these last bits of ingredients from ending up spoiled in the trash can. Be adventurous with what you throw into this recipe and enjoy every budget-friendly bite along the way!

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Jen is the owner of The Happy Homeowner, where she writes about living a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time. Previously, she paid off $14K in credit card debt in less than a year and hasn’t looked back since. Follow along on Twitter with her financial, fitness and travel adventures @bthhomeowner!