I thought it would be fun to every once in a while post about cheap dinners. My goal is to get them as close to the $5 mark as possible, hopefully that'll work out! ;)
So here is the first one I have in mind:
--Side note about meatballs: these are one of the best things to keep in your freezer and have on hand. They are fully cooked and you don't have to thaw them before cooking them. It's literally 15 minutes from freezer to plate with these little beauties! :) They are filling and can be added to all kinds of meals in a hurry. If you have the time and are able to make them yourself and freeze them, you'll probably save even more money, but currently they are just a convenience item I buy.
Meal directions and price run down: I'm trying to think of meals that will feed larger families (at least 4) and families that have bigger eaters (husbands, teenage boys, growing kids!) So, the portions can be decreased if your family doesn't need as much. I'm also rounding up on some of the prices, trying to do prices that aren't the "sale" price so it's more realistic for times when you just pick these items up.
-A box of pasta (1 lb): $1, but have seen them regularly for cheaper ($0.89)
-1/2 a bag of meatballs (this will be a significant amount, I use about 1/4 each time and that's plenty for us and if this doesn't seem like enough for your family, I'd recommend using more pasta or breads on the side rather then more meat if you're hoping to cut costs) about $2.50 (the cheapest brand, full bag is around $5)
-Vegetables that are in season and are priced under $1/lb.
-Marinara sauce, if you canned it's free now! If not, you can get a variety of sauces at the store, but the cheapest I've found is a can, I believe it's Hunts brand, and costs about $0.88 for a large can. It can be found by the canned tomatoes at the store.
-French Bread with Garlic & Butter-$1-$1.50
Meal price: $6.38 (depending on which kind of bread you choose & your marinara sauce).
I'm going to also list off a few other bread ideas because I think sometimes seeing more options helps us get out of our "usual" that may not be the most cost effective choice. Other options: Jiffy mix ($0.50), frozen bread or rolls (approx. $1/loaf), frozen garlic toast ($2-3 depending on the brand).
This should be a pretty decent size meal too, even if you need to make even more then this, it's still a family dinner easily under $10 and can be made quicker then you can order carry out!
Watch for more quick and easy dinner ideas to come! :)