Wednesday, January 21, 2009

$10 Dinners

We've been eating pretty well for the past two evenings and we've been eating pretty cheaply too.

Just thought I'd share these 2 recipes because we really love them (and by we I mean the older 4 in the family - the triplets don't eat anything yet anyway!)

Chicken Parmigiana:

4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves (2 lbs at $1.83/lb = $3.66)
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs ($.50)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ($.50)
1 large egg, lightly beaten ($.10)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine ($.10)
1 (14-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce ($1.01)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese ($2.00)

Total cost: $7.87 (fed 7 for dinner and a large lunch for Kirk later this week)

Place chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip chicken in beaten egg; dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Melt butter in a large skillet; add chicken, and brown on each side over medium-high heat. Arrange chicken in a lightly greased 11-x7-x1 1/2- inch baking dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

From: Southern Living's Easy Weeknight Favorites

Layered Enchilada Bake:

1 lb lean ground beef ($1.98)
1 large onion ($.23)
2 cups salsa ($1.50)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed ($.67)
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix ($.20)
6 flour tortillas ($1.44)
1 cup sour cream ($.35)
1 pkg (8 oz) mexican style shredded cheese ($3.39)

Total cost: $9.76 (and it could be cheaper when cheese is on sale - I can't remember what I paid for it but this week at HT it's buy one get one free or 50% off each pack) This also fed all of us and left plenty of leftovers.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown meat with onions in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add salsa, beans and seasoning mix; mix well.

Arrange 3 of the tortillas in single layer on bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of half each of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat all layers. Cover with foil.

Bake, covered, 30 min. Remove foil. Bake an additional 10 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

I just LOVE this recipe - it is so good and very easy to make. It comes from one of my favorite places: Kraft Foods - it's a free site that even sends out a free magazine full of recipes - if you haven't checked it out DO - you won't be sorry!

But the best part about this recipe? If you want to make it ahead and freeze you can!!

Make Ahead Directions:

Line 13x9 baking dish with foil, with ends extending over sides of dish. Assemble recipe in prepared dish as directed. Cover with foil. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered, 1 hour. Remove foil. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve. To decrease the baking time, thaw casserole in refrigerator overnight, then bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted.

Enjoy these cheap meals - check back for more and please feel free to share some of your recipes! I am always on the look-out for great family recipes on the cheap :) Try to keep it under $10 or if you have a smaller family try for $5. Of course, larger families may be at $15 but even that beats eating out by far.

It's not so bad on the cheap side...


  1. Yay!! I can't wait to try these. Not that the trio will eat them. I will send you the recipe for cheeseburger pie. It is good and fairly cheap to make, even 2 of the trio ate it!!

  2. I should also add - that I serve egg noodles and broccoli with the chicken parmigiana so that takes up the rest of my money to make $10.