Teriyaki Chicken with Veggies and NoodlesThis is one of our favorite dishes. It combines teriyaki marinated chicken with a bag of frozen vegetables (and sometimes fresh onions, peppers, and mushrooms if we have some on hand), and rice noodles.
It’s a delicious meal in which I shred the chicken so that it absorbs more of the teriyaki sauce, and it only costs us about $4.00, maybe $4.50 if we throw in those extra fresh veggies I mentioned.
3 chicken breasts (about 1 lb.) -- $2.301 bag frozen vegetables -- $1.10
1/3 package rice noodles - $0.50
Total cost -- $3.90
Pizza NightWe get an awesome “take-‘n-bake” frozen pizza from our grocery store (Aldi) for $4.99. We really like the 16-inch, five-cheese pizza they offer, which combines mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, asiago, and romano cheeses. I’m bad, because I add extra mozzarella and then put the oven on broil for the last few minutes to really melt all the cheese. It’s awesome! And it feeds our family with leftovers for lunch the next day.
Pizza -- $4.99Extra cheese -- $1.00
Total cost -- $5.99
Self-made Hamburger HelperThis meal isn’t one we do every week, but it makes a nice filler for nights when we just don’t feel like doing much cooking. A box of shells and cheese and a half pound of ground beef make this a quick, easy, and affordable meal. Lately, my wife has been requesting that I use half a packet of French onion soup mix to flavor the ground beef. She likes her burger on the side with ketchup, as does our five-year-old son. Personally, I like mine mixed in with the shells and cheese.
If we’re still a little hungry after this meal, we might have a bag of microwave popcorn later in the evening.
Mac n’ cheese - $1.39Half pound burger $1.50
Popcorn - $0.75
Total cost -- $3.64
Tacos/EnchiladasTypically I start with three chicken breasts that I cook, shred, and add hot enchilada sauce to. Depending upon my mood, I might also sauté some peppers and onions; however, it’s not integral to the meal. Then I melt cheese on some tortillas, cook some dirty rice that we can either eat on the side or add to the tortillas as filler, and we have a plentiful meal without much in the way of cost.
This is another meal that often provides enough leftovers for lunch or another complete dinner, so it’s kind of a two-for-one type deal.
Tortillas - $0.503 chicken breasts (1lb.) - $2.30
Enchilada sauce ½ can - $0.75
Shredded cheese - $0.75
Dirty rice – $1.50
Total cost -- $5.80
Breakfast for DinnerAnother cheap family favorite is breakfast for dinner. My wife is a wiz at whipping up French toast, and we get delicious maple sausages 10 for $1 at the grocery store, so this ends up being a quite low-cost dinner option to work into our regular meal plan.
French toast (8 pieces of white bread and 3 eggs) -- $0.85Syrup - $0.50
Whipped topping - $0.50
Sausages - $0.50
Total cost -- $2.35