Sirloin steaks with mushroom and onion sauce and baked potatoes

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Happy December! Let’s welcome it by spending all our money, planning out all the end-of-year stuff and think about how fast the past 365 days went. Or, we could talk about food and the happy things in life. Enter the “budget meal.”

Even outside of the fact that December means Christmas, the cost of living at this time of year rises. All the good, organic food is harder to find and more expensive. I swear it costs more to heat the house in the winter than it does to cool it in the summer.

John and I decided to trim our food costs by planning dinners that didn’t require too many ingredients we didn’t have and wouldn’t be too expensive. We didn’t set a price limit this time because we wanted to see how well we did picking out budget meals without a budget, ideally telling us whether what we think of as budget really is “budget.”

First up? Sirloin steaks in a mushroom and onion sauce with a baked potato.

It sounds really easy, but steak is one of those meats that makes the plate feel a little upscale, even if it’s not a fancy cut. Since I was planning on eating the potato plain, I decided to utilize the juices of the steak from cooking it in the cast iron skillet and saute some mushrooms and onions with it. The sauce would accompany the potato well and keep it from tasting too dry.

I say I, in that I came up with idea. John gets full credit for cooking this one.

One other thing to consider is that we cooked this dinner on Sunday, when we knew we’d be home long enough to cook a baked potato and not feel like we’re starving while we wait one hour for it to be done. Because that happens.

Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom and Onion Sauce and Baked Potatoes, recipe via

Sirloin steaks with mushroom and onion sauce and baked potatoes

Serves 2


  • Sirloin steak, divided into three pieces – $6.13
  • Salt and pepper
  • Button mushrooms, sliced – $1.68/container but only used half, so $0.84
  • Quarter of a yellow onion, sliced – $0.88 divided by 4, $0.22
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire¬†sauce (already had, would consider a pantry item)
  • 2 Russet potatoes, $1.34
  • Butter (pantry)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and scrub the potatoes, then poke several times with a fork. Cut two pieces of foil. Rub butter on the foil where you’ll place the potato. Put the potato down, season it with salt and wrap it up in the foil. Do this for each potato. You’ll end up with a little pool of hot butter you can pour on top of the potato! Bake for one hour, or until you can poke a knife or a fork through with ease.
When the potatoes are close to being done, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Salt the skillet and sear the steak for about 2 minutes on each side.
Add the mushrooms, sliced onion and Worcestershire sauce and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes each side, or until however well done you like your steaks.
Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if needed. I dressed my baked potato with a small pad of butter, more salt and pepper, and a few pinches of sharp cheddar cheese, which I had in my fridge.
Total cost? $8.53 for two, or $4.27 each. Not bad for having steak. Not at all.
Downsides? No leftovers for lunch the next day. We ate the whole steak. But the positive part is that we enjoyed a hearty meal for way cheaper than anything we’d get outside of the house for that price, and I consider that an accomplishment.
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  • Wade Wingler

    Yum! I think you could put those onions and mushrooms on a slice of bologna and it would be good! Nice post!

    • solidgoldeats

      Thank you! It was quite tasty.