At the request of a reader, I am going to post a week's worth of dinner recipes. I am NOT trying to tout the healthiness of our diets, but the cheapness that is included. Most of what I use is either bought with coupons or at Aldi's. I do not serve five course meals, but rather humble casseroles and simple meals.
Roll of 8 cresent rolls (or 2 4 ct. -- this is what I use because I get them for free so often)
3/4 lb ground beef
1/4 lb. bacon, chopped
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 small onion, chopped
shredded mozarella and cheddar cheese
Brown the ground beef and bacon separately. In the bacon drippings, cook the chopped onion. Lay out the cresent rolls (unrolled) into a baking dish. (You could also use canned biscuits or homemade biscuits.) Scatter enough cheese to act as glue (just a thin layer). Next, scatter on the beef, bacon, mushrooms and onions. Top with more cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the dough is cooked. This can be transformed magically into pizza with some marinara!
**Cresent rolls are free, .75 for ground beef, .38 for bacon, .50 for mushrooms, .25 for onion, $1 for cheese -- Less than $3 for entire casserole
Quick Cheap Chili
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 small onion chopped
2 cans chili beans
1 can rotel
Brown ground beef and onions, add in chili powder and rotel, then add chili beans. Cook about 2o mins.
Add sour cream, corn chips, cheddar cheese, or just eat plain!
**Rotel can be found for free, 2 cans of chili beans is .80. 3/4 lb of ground beef is .75 (if found on sale for .99), I found a huge box of chili powder at the dollar tree, which has made endless pots, so maybe .05, and onions are around .25 each. -- So the entire pot of chili, which feeds us all dinner and lunch for DH and me the next day is less than $2!
Hamburger Helper (can often be free with coupons and sales)
**Free Hamburger Helper, .75 for 3/4 lb. ground beef, .80 for 2 cans green beans -- $1.55 for meal.
Fish & Chips nite!
1 box battered fish filets (baked in the oven)
4 large potatoes
olive oil to coat
salt -- rosemary -- black pepper
Slice the potatoes into thin logs. Coat the potatoes with the oil and sprinkle on seasonings. Bake at 350 degrees until done.
**Fish is $1.99 at Save A Lot, potatoes are around $1.
Soup and sandwich nite
Chicken noodle soup
**Cheese was .48 a pack with coupons -- bread was free with coupon -- soup was .07 a can on sale with coupons. This meal -- to feed our whole family, is less than $1.
**Jarred marinara sauce (free with coupons & sales), pasta .33 on sale, .75 for 3/4 lb. ground beef, $1.50 for tossed salad, .50 for garlic bread -- Just over $3 for entire meal
Roasted Chicken -- Put chicken in pan, massage with olive oil and season with rosemary, kosher salt and pepper.
3 cups self rising flour
1 cup butter milk
1/2 cup shortening
Cut shortening into flour. Add in butter milk. I do "drop biscuits" by dropping spoonfuls onto a sprayed sheet pan. If the mixture is too dry, add in some water. If it is too wet, add in more flour.
1 can chicken stock
1 can water
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
Melt butter, add flour, once cooked for a min, then add in the liquid and whisk until you have gravy.
**Chicken around $3, potatoes are free (combine coupons and sales), sweet peas .80 for 2 cans, .50 for chicken stock, around $1 for biscuits (you could use free canned ones). This meal is around $5 for us, but it could be much less with free biscuits and cheaper chicken. This is our splurge meal.
My kids have a choice -- all these items are free or close to free with coupons
--Chunky Monkey Shake
frozen banana chunks
couple of squirts of chocolate syrup
Blend until smooth -- my kids love these!
This is a "find what you can" meal at our house, too. Most items are found for cheap or free at grocery stores frequently.
Snacks (cheap or free again)
Desserts at my house are a little different. We do not make something every single night, but I often bake a cake or cookies that I get for free with coupons. There is almost always ice cream in the freezer and pudding cups, too.