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Everyday Cheapskate: 3 Ways to Stretch a Can of Tuna to Feed 4 Hungry People

Mary Hunt on

Are the popular reality television shows anything close to what you consider reality? Take the venerable hit show "Survivor," which is getting ready to launch its 39th season, for example. To me, that seems more like fantasy than reality. And, honestly, I can't remember the last time I had to survive on approximately 14 grains of rice per day or think of multilegged creatures in terms of grams of protein. Still, I think that borrowing a few basic survivor attitudes and skills could help us to look at some of the items in our freezers, refrigerators and pantries -- like that lone can of tuna -- a bit differently.

Let's say that 6-ounce can of tuna in your pantry is the only scrap of protein in the house. You've got four hungry people to feed. A trip to the store is completely out of the question. Did I mention we're marooned on a deserted island? (Wink, wink.) What will you do? What WILL you do?!

That's exactly the question I once posed to three frugal food experts. Their responses, while varied, prompted me to make sure I have canned tuna on my shopping list as soon as I return to civilization.

FRUGAL BLOGGER

Pat Varetto, writer of the Frugal Living Blog, says, "I would probably make a tuna pie, using leftover vegetables from the freezer, which I always seem to have in abundance."

TUNA PIE

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Make a simple pie crust, and line a baking dish with it. Drain 2 to 3 cups of vegetables (mixed vegetables, beans, corn, peas and carrots ... just about any combination will do), and set aside the liquid.

Add tuna to the vegetables (don't drain the tuna). Add a generous tablespoon or so of cornstarch in a half-cup of the vegetable liquid. Mix well. Then add it to the vegetable/tuna mix.

Pour it into the pie crust. Top with more crust, and prick the crust in several places.

Bake at 350 degrees F until the crust is slightly browned, about a half-hour.

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