Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

If the partial government shutdown puts a crimp in your holiday budget, here are dishes that won’t. And although Washington-area pocketbooks might feel the pinch most acutely, expanding your repertoire of thrifty meals is a #win-win for us all. They happen to be easy to assemble, too.

The following suggestions are from our Recipe Finder:

Sherley’s Parmesan Puffs, pictured above. These four-ingredient, white-bread wonders might be the cheapest party food you can make. They’ll disappear quickly, so make multiple batches.


Pink Bean Dip. It’s packed with protein and quick to assemble, and the color alone might lift your spirits.

Homemade Sausage McMuffin With Egg. A fast-food classic that costs less to make at home.


Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Easy Cheese Soufflan. Jacques Pepin’s deft touch and cottage cheese make this one-skillet dish creamy and light.


Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Cumin-Cilantro Chicken Patties. Just about a cup’s worth of rotisserie chicken yields enough for six patties.


Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Carrot, Cumin and Kidney Bean Burgers. One of the meatless budget recipes that helped put Britain’s Jack Monroe on the map.

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry With Peanut Sauce. From EatingWell magazine, this is thrifty, filling, easy to prepare and healthful.

Pesto Rice Meatballs. When this recipe was published in 2008, the estimated cost per serving was $1.27.


Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Spinach and Bacon Chili. Less than a pound of ground meat stretches into a meal for four, with leftovers.


Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Jacques Pepin’s Baked Apples. Dessert for six can be as simple as this in 30 minutes, thanks to a little butter and sugar, a few teaspoons of preserves, Golden Delicious apples, and the master French chef’s hand.

Interested in an inexpensive three-course menu for four to make at home? Check out chef Peter Smith’s effort for WaPoFood, also from our archives: Asparagus Salad With Crystallized Ginger Vinaigrette; Pan Stew of Bottom Round Steak With Rosti Potato; and Roasted Apples.