Steak House Dinner on a Small Budget

I was in the mood for a steak house inspired dinner this weekend. But seeing how I have seemingly hundreds for things to pay for in the next three months (wedding = $$$) I really didn’t think it was in my budget.

Grilled Flank Steak with tomato garnish. Photo by

But I was recently inspired by this recipe from for grilled flank steak with a tomato onion garnish. I thought I could make it work within my budget if I substituted a different cut of meat.  I don’t know if you have purchased a flank steak lately but they are not cheap.

As a perused the meat aisle in the grocery store on Friday evening I came across a large London Broil cut that looked promising. I tucked it into my cart with my other ingredients and just hoped I had made the right decision.

Here is the cost breakdown:

$2.00 Tomatoes

$1.00 Red Onion

$1.99 Fresh Basil

$6.14 Steak (Flank Steak was $15+)

$2.09 Italian loaf

$.60 Potatoes

$14.07 plus the few staple items already in my frig.

That’s $3.46 per person.

Tomato Garnish

We like our steak still slightly mooing. Mmmm warm juicy rare steak.

Steak- The recipe from didn’t call for much of a marinade but I like marinades! So I chopped up two cloves of garlic, and added salt and pepper and some worcestershire sauce to the steak and let it hang out with that goodness in the refrigerator overnight.

The key to serving the large piece of steak is to grill it to the desired doneness (I don’t think doneness is a real word), let it rest for 5 minutes, and then slice it very thin.

Potatoes- My twice baked potatoes included “everything but the kitchen sink.” I added greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), a little butter, parmesan, mozzarella, and a little aged cheddar with lots of cracked pepper and sea salt. They were delicious (and naughty but delicious)!

Bread- I felt like I needed some bread because all good steak houses have bread on the table. I sliced the ready-made loaf. Buttered each slice and then warmed it in the oven.

Strawberry Lemonade- To make the base, I combined two cups of fresh (frozen) strawberries, 1 1/4 cup sugar, approx 2 cups lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved into the juices, I transferred the mixture to a blender to combine. then I mixed the strawberry lemon base with 5 cups of water and refrigerated for at least an hour.

Overall, this was a great meal, and I didn’t even have to leave a tip…..this is a joke in my family. My mom determines which restaurant she eats at by whether or not she is required to leave a tip. She does not like the tipping concept:) We usually just tell her we will pay her part of the tip so we can eat somewhere decent. Love you, Mom:)