This is my all time favorite breakfast comfort food from my childhood and it is cheap and easy to make and can be served over biscuits, bread, hash browns or mashed potatoes.
When I was young my Mom made her living at babysitting and would accept "drop ins" and many times had to stretch breakfast to serve more children and it was easy to do with this recipe. It is a basic white sauce and for every cup of milk used, you use 2 Tablespoons of margarine or butter and 2 Tablespoons flour and a few extra dashes of salt and pepper as desired.
This recipe makes enough to cover 8 biscuits split in two generously, depending on appetites, can feed a family of four (or 2 adults and 1 teen boy) for $2-3 dollars (depending on the prices of ingredients where you live)..
In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter or margarine and then add the flour, salt and pepper. This is what it will look like.
Remove from heat and add milk, 1 cup at time, stirring constantly and mixing thoroughly to avoid the gravy getting lumpy. Continue until all milk mixed in.
Tear up dried beef into small bits and put in the gravy mixture.
Put back on stove at medium to medium high heat, stirring constantly until it is a gravy consistency - actual varies greatly depending on what stove you use, but usually 1-4 minutes it will thicken up. If you get a gravy that just won't seem to thicken up for whatever reason after about 7-8 minutes, you can thicken it up by adding a few tablespoons of instant potato flakes.