I was over at Cheapeats the other day, looking for quick and inexpensive meals for those busier nights of the week. There were some wonderful ideas, which prompted me to think of some more I can serve my family.
Here are five meals for under $10 that are not only inexpensive dinners, but easy and quick to make!
- Puff pastry makes a cheap and simple meal look like a gourmet dinner. Brown ground beef. Add garlic, onion if desired, s/p, and any flavor you choose. If you feel “Italian,” add some tomato paste and a bit of water or wine. If you feel “Mexican,” add some salsa. Place one sheet of puff pastry on a greased cookie sheet. Put the beef on top. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Add the top layer of puff pastry. Bake as instructed.
- During my childhood, Campbell’s Tomato Soup and a grilled cheese sandwiches were always paired together on Friday’s during Lent. This is an inexpensive meal and is actually quite delicious. Dunk your grilled cheese into the soup and mmm MMM good!
- Breakfast for dinner? It tastes great and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. All you need is an “all in one” pancake mix and a package of sausage or bacon. If you have stale bread, you can make French toast for an even more inexpensive meal.
- Homemade macaroni and cheese is inexpensive and fills even the emptiest of bellies. Boil macaroni until it is al dente. In a saucepan, melt ½ stick of butter and ½ cup of breadcrumbs or crushed crackers. Remove from pan and wipe pan down. In pan, melt ½ stick butter and add ¼ cup chopped onions. Cook until translucent. Add 3 tbs. flour, ½ tsp. paprika, cayenne and s/p to taste. Slowly mix in ½ cup dry white wine. Slowly mix in 2 c. of milk or light cream. When this becomes thick, stir in 2 cups of grated cheddar. When melted, mix macaroni and sauce in a large greased casserole dish. You can even add frozen broccoli into the mixture. Top with grated cheese if desired and sprinkle on bread crumbs. My mother used to place sliced tomatoes under the bread crumbs as well. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbling.
- Potatoes and ham are an inexpensive and easy meal to prepare. Boil six or more potatoes. Let cool. In a saucepan, brown onions, garlic, s/p together in olive oil. Add chopped leftover ham or smoked pork chops. Add cut up potatoes. You can leave the skin on or take it off. Mix and taste. Season if desired.
Do you have any inexpensive meals that are not labor intensive? Share!