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Dinners for Dollars

March 5-11
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Chicken Noodle Casserole
3 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut up ($2.99)
8 oz egg noodles, cooked ($1.06)
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup ($0.60)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($0.60)
8 oz sour cream ($1.67)
1 row of crumbled saltine crackers ($0.98)
½ cup butter (on hand)

Mix together chicken, soups and sour cream. Gently stir in egg noodles and spread in baking dish. Melt butter and stir in crumbled crackers. Top casserole with buttered cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

COST-$7.90
The whole family enjoys this casserole. It reminds me of chicken noodle soup with a little bit of a crunch. Sometimes I add mixed veggies into the casserole. This meal usually makes 6 dinners, 1 lunch and leftovers which makes it around $0.72 per serving.

Taco Stuffed Shells

1 lb ground beef ($3.98 on sale)
1 pkt taco seasoning ($0.62)
1 pkg cream cheese ($1.68)
1 box large pasta shells ($1.06)
1 cup salsa ($0.78- half a jar)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.16)
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese ($1.16)
½ cup tortilla chips, crushed (on hand)
1 cup sour cream ($1.67)

Brown ground beef, drain and add taco seasoning as directed on the packet. Add cream cheese and cover, cooking until mixed well. Cook shells as directed on package. Drain, rinse well and return to pot, adding 2 T butter. Pour some salsa in bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with 1 T of meat mixture and place them in baking dish. Cover top of shells with taco sauce. Cover baking dish with foil and cook at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle crushed tortilla chips and the cheeses on top of shells. Cook, uncovered, for additional 15 minutes. Top with sour cream.

COST-$12.11
The first time I made this dish, my kids actually cleaned their plates which almost never happens. These stuffed shells are so good! We normally get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this dish which makes it about $0.93 per serving.

Spinach Lasagna

2 lbs ground beef ($5.98)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided ($1.16)
15 oz ricotta cheese ($1.39)
1 pkg (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained ($0.79)
1 c Sutter Home cabernet sauvignon wine (on hand)
2 jars (24oz each) Tomato and Basil Pasta sauce ($3.38)
12 no boil lasagna noodles ($1.42)
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese ($1.16)

In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, ricotta and spinach; mix well and set aside. Brown ground beef and drain. Add wine; continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in tomato and basil pasta sauce. In 13×9 baking dish, spread 1 cup beef-sauce mixture. Layer 4 noodles over sauce. Top with half of cheese mixture, 2 cups beef-sauce mix. Repeat layers. Top with 4 remaining noodles and beef sauce mix. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover, bake 15-20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

COST-$15.28
I love Spinach Lasagna and I really love this recipe. It’s very easy and quick to throw together and the taste is out of this world. It makes a ton, we normally get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and tons of leftovers. It works out to be about $1.09 per serving. That’s a little higher than I like to spend usually but getting my kids to eat spinach is priceless. Ha!

Zesty Lime Fish Tacos

1 lb tilapia, thawed ($4.98)
2 T taco seasoning ($0.62)
1 T butter (on hand)
1 box crispy taco shells ($1.24)
1 cntr (6oz) Greek yogurt, plain ($1.18)
1 t lime juice (on hand)
1 t sugar (on hand)
¼ t salt (on hand)
4 cups coleslaw mix ($1.59)
1 medium tomato, diced ($0.74)

In a large bowl, mix yogurt, lime juice, sugar and salt. Stir in coleslaw mix and let stand for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle fish fillets with taco seasoning on both sides. Spray skillet with cooking spray and add butter. Let butter melt and add fish. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side until flakey. Heat taco shells as directed on package. Remove fish from skillet and cut into small pieces. Scoop a layer of fish into each taco shell and add a generous topping of coleslaw mix. Top with diced tomatoes.

COST-$10.35
If you’ve never had fish tacos then you are missing out. These are delicious. My kids were not so sure the first time I made them but now they are fans! This recipe gives us 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers. I usually either buy a second box of shells or we use ritz crackers for the remainder of the taco filling. It works out to be around $0.86 per serving.

Ham Casserole

1 pkg frozen broccoli, thawed and drained ($1.49)
3 cups cubed ham ($3.68)
1 can cream of mushroom soup ($0.60)
1 jar (8oz) cheese sauce ($1.67)
1 cup milk (on hand)
1 cup uncooked instant rice (on hand)

In crockpot, combine broccoli and ham. Combine soup, cheese sauce, rice and milk and pour over ham mixture. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

COST-$7.44
I will tell you up front that broccoli in the crockpot has an odor, so be warned. If strong smells bother you then this might not be the dish for you. I have an 11 year old boy so smells are nothing new around here. Ha! The taste more than makes up for the smell with this dish. We usually get 6 dinners, 1 lunch and leftovers with this meal. It works out to be around $0.74 per serving.



DINNERS FOR DOLLARS

February 27-March 4
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Bruschetta Chicken Bake

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained ($0.68)
1 pkg stove top chicken stuffing ($1.67)
½ cup water
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut  ($2.99)
1 cup shredded mozzarella ($1.16)
Place tomatoes in bowl, add stuffing mix and water. Stir just until moistened. Set aside. Place chicken in dish, sprinkle with cheese. Top with stuffing mix. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

COST-$6.50
This is a quick and easy one dish meal. Toss it together and throw it in the oven. We get 6 dinner, a lunch and leftovers which makes it about $0.65 per serving.

Meatball Sub Casserole

1 bag frozen meatballs ($3.88)
1 loaf italian or french bread, cut into 1″ slices ($1.05)
8 oz cream cheese, softened ($1.98)
½ cup mayo (on hand)
1 t italian seasoning (on hand)
¼ t pepper (on hand)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese ($2.32)
1 jar (28oz) spaghetti sauce ($2.98)
Arrange bread in single layer in ungreased baking dish. Combine cream cheese, mayo, italian seasoning and pepper; spread over bread. Sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella. Place meatballs evenly over bread layer. Pour spaghetti sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

COST-$12.21
This is a family favorite. Everyone loves this dish. I always use the thin french bread, it fits better in my casserole dish. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this dish which works out to be about $0.87 per serving.

Shrimp Pasta Bake

1 bag frozen shrimp, thawed ($4.98)
1 jar (15oz) Alfredo sauce ($1.98)
1 jar (24oz) Marinara sauce ($1.88)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese ($2.32)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese ($1.16)
1 box penne pasta ($1.06)
Cook pasta as directed on package. Mix sauces together in large bowl. Add mozzarella and stir to combine. Pour in penne noodles and toss to coat. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Pour into baking dish and cook at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and continue baking additional 5-10 minutes until cheese melts.

COST-$13.38
I love this dish. It’s one of my favorites. Sometimes I add garlic or breadcrumbs on the top for crunch. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this dish which makes it about $0.96 per serving.

Chicken Pesto Flatbreads

8 flatbreads ($1.47)
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto sauce ($1.98)
3 shredded cooked chicken breasts ($2.99)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved ($1.98)
8 oz shredded mozzarella ($2.32)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese ($0.98)
4 T parmesan cheese (on hand from prev meal)
Heat oven to 450. Place flatbreads on large baking sheet. Spread with pesto and top with chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella. Spoon small dollops of ricotta over each and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

COST-$11.72
These are so yummy and the kids have fun assembling their own. I use flatbreads but you can also use pitas. There are so many different variations of this meal, we like to mix and match toppings. We don’t normally have any leftovers so it’s not a cheap meal but once in awhile it’s fun. It works out to be around $1.47 per serving.

Smothered Chicken Tenders

10-12 chicken tenders ($4.76)
12 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon ($1.88)
2 T olive oil (on hand)
¼ cup teriyaki sauce (on hand)
½ cup ranch dressing (on hand)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.16)
Spread olive oil in bottom of crockpot. Place chicken on top. Combine teriyaki sauce and ranch dressing together and pour over top of chicken. Add shredded cheese and bacon on top. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

COST-$7.80
These chicken tenders are super yummy and so easy to do in the crockpot. The kids love them and don’t even grumble when I serve them with a veggie side. Ha! We rarely have leftovers though so it works out to be about $0.88 per serving.



DINNERS FOR DOLLARS

February 20-26
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Pizza Casserole
1 lb bowtie pasta, cooked ($1.06)
1 lb sausage crumbles ($1.68)
2 jars (26oz each) spaghetti sauce ($4.58)
1 lb cubed ham ($2.98)
1 lb sliced pepperoni ($2.00)
24 oz shredded mozzarella cheese ($5.89)
6 T grated parmesan cheese ($1.16)
1 t oregano (on hand)

In sprayed 13×9 baking dish, spread thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Layer 1- ⅓ pasta, ⅓ spaghetti sauce, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, 2 T parmesan cheese and sausage crumbles. Layer 2- ½ remaining pasta, ½ remaining sauce, 8oz mozzarella cheese, 2 T parmesan cheese and ham. Layer 3- remaining pasta and then sauce, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, 2 T parmesan cheese and completely cover top with pepperoni. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

COST-$19.35
This meal is not cheap. At all. But we are having guests on Monday and I needed something that would feed a group of kids and satifsy the adults too. This dish is yummy and it makes a ton. We get about 18-20 servings out of this dish so you can always halve or quarter it if you need to and it will be much cheaper. In this quantity it works out to be around $0.97 per serving, much cheaper than ordering pizzas.

Monte Cristo Crescents

1 lb sliced ham ($3.49)
2 packs crescent rolls ($3.96)
8 slices swiss cheese ($1.67)
Raspberry or strawberry jam (on hand)
powdered sugar (on hand)

Unroll crescents into triangles. Place a slice of ham and half of a slice of the cheese on top of crescent and roll it up. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. After baking, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with jam for dipping.

COST-$9.12
These are so good! I always serve them with sweet potato fries for some reason, the kids love the combo of flavors. I love Monte Cristo sandwiches but I have a sensitivity to eggs. So I make it this way instead and it satisfies the craving- plus this way has a lot less calories! We get 6 dinners and 2 lunches out of this which makes them about $1.14 per serving.

Taco Bake

1 lb ground beef ($3.89)
1 can diced tomatoes, un-drained ($0.68)
¼ cup water
1 pkg Taco Seasoning mix ($0.62)
¾ cup sour cream ($1.06)
7 cups tortilla chips ($2.29)
cups shredded Colby & Monterey Jack cheese ($2.32)

Brown meat and drain. Add tomatoes, water and seasoning mix. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour cream. Place half the chips in baking dish, cover with half each of the meat mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with chopped tomatoes if desired.

COST-$10.86
This is another dish that makes a bunch. And it’s so yummy. The kids love it and always clean their plates, which in our house is a score! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers which makes it about $0.84 per serving.

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu (recipe credit)

3 frozen chicken breasts ($2.99)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($0.60)
1 cup milk (on hand)
4 oz sliced ham ($2.49)
4 oz sliced Swiss cheese ($1.67)
1 pkg dry stuffing mix ($1.67)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix together the cream of chicken soup and milk in a small bowl.  Pour enough of the soup into the crockpot to cover the bottom. Layer the chicken breasts over the sauce. Cover with slices of ham and then swiss cheese. Pour the remaining soup over the layers, stirring a little to distribute between layers. Sprinkle the stuffing on top, and drizzle butter over the stuffing. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

COST-$9.42
This is so yummy! I was a little skeptical about chicken cordon bleu in the crockpot but it did not disappoint. It makes enough for 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers which works out to be about $0.79 per serving.

Ravioli Casserole

1 jar (28oz) spaghetti sauce ($2.29)
1 pkg (25oz) frozen cheese ravioli ($3.89)
2 cups (16oz) cottage cheese ($1.98)
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese ($3.69)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese ($1.16)

Cook and drain the Ravioli. Spread ½ cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of 13×9 baking dish. Layer with half the ravioli, 1¼ cups sauce, 1 cup cottage cheese, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

COST-$13.01
I make this dish when we are having guest because it’s easy and everyone seems to love it. Throw together a side salad, add some garlic bread and viola- dinner is done! We usually get about 14-16 servings out of this dish if I serve it with salad and garlic bread. It works out to be around $0.81 per serving.



DINNERS FOR DOLLARS

February 13-19
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Chicken Parm Crescents (recipe credit)

1 can crescent rolls ($1.58)
8 fully cooked frozen chicken strips ($2.99)
8 slices mozzarella cheese, cut in half ($1.98)
1 t garlic powder (on hand)
1 jar spaghetti sauce ($1.98)
1 box pasta noodles, cooked ($1.06)

Preheat oven to 375.  Separate crescent rolls into 8 triangles.  Pour sauce into a bowl or saucepan.  Place one half slice of mozzarella cheese on top of crescent roll.  Dunk chicken finger into spaghetti sauce and place on top of cheese.  Roll up crescent and place on cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining chicken fingers and crescents.  Sprinkle each roll with garlic powder.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and top each crescent with remaining half slice of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for additional 5-8 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat leftover spaghetti sauce and toss with cooked pasta.  Serve pasta with crescents.

COST-$9.59
These are soooo good. Every person in our family loves them and that almost never happens. I used half a bag of Tyson’s Crispy Chicken Strips for this recipe and they were perfect. This makes enough for 6 dinners and leftovers for 1 lunch. It works out to be around $1.37 per serving.

Mini BBQ Meatloaf Cups

1 lb lean ground beef ($3.98 on sale)
6 oz stove top stuffing ($1.58)
1 cup water
1 t garlic powder (on hand)
¾ cup BBQ sauce (on hand)
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.16)

Heat oven to 375. Mix meat, stuffing mix, water and garlic powder until well blended. Press evenly into 12 muffin cups sprayed with Pam. Make an indention in center of each with back of spoon. Spoon BBQ sauce evenly into indentations. Bake 30 minutes. Top evenly with cheese, continue baking 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

COST-$6.72
The kids love these mini meatloaf cups and they are so easy and fast to throw together. This recipe makes 12 and I always serve it with loaded baked potatoes and a veggie so we get 6 dinners, 1 lunch and leftovers. These cost about $0.67 per serving.

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

2 lbs ground beef ($5.98)
1 pkt taco seasoning ($0.62)
2 cans Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup ($2.00)
2 bags tater tots ($3.85)
1 bag frozen corn ($0.88)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend ($2.32)

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning as directed on packet. Stir soups and cooked corn into meat mixture. Line bottom of ungreased baking dish with tater tots. Spread meat mixture over top of tater tots. Top with another layer of tater tots. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Top with shredded cheese and continue baking for additional 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted.

COST-$15.65
This is the casserole that goes on forever! The tater tots make it so filling that it doesn’t take much to fill you up! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and a bunch of leftovers which makes this dish about $0.98 per serving.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili

1 can (16oz) black beans ($0.68)
1 can (16oz) kidney beans ($0.68)
1 can (16oz) tomato sauce ($0.43)
1 pkg (10oz) frozen corn kernals ($0.88)
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes ($1.48)
1 pkt taco seasoning($0.62)
1 T cumin (on hand)
1 T chili powder (on hand)
3 chicken breasts ($2.99)

Combine beans, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in crockpot. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours. Half an hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to crockpot and stir back in. Serve with cheese and sour cream.

COST-$7.76
This is so yummy. Sometimes I add cream cheese, which makes it even better. It makes a bunch too. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers so it works out to be about $0.65 per serving.



DINNER FOR DOLLARS

February 6-12

Crescent Pepperoni Roll-ups

2 cans crescent rolls ($3.96)
1 pkg pepperoni slices ($2.00)
8 mozzarella cheese sticks ($1.85 with coupon)
garlic powder (on hand)
pizza sauce ($2.78)

Unroll crescent rolls into 16 triangles. Place 3-4 slices of pepperoni on each triangle and top with half of a cheese stick. Wrap tightly and press to seal ends. Sprinkle crescent rolls with garlic powder. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce.

COST-$10.59
My family loves these. There are usually only 3 leftover for Mr.McHunky to take for lunch the next day. I buy the Classico Pizza sauce and it is so yummy.  This dish works out to cost about $1.50 per serving, a little more than I usually spend but once in awhile we like to splurge Ha!

Ritz Chicken Casserole

2 sleeves Ritz crackers ($1.00)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($0.60)
1 cup sour cream ($1.46)
½ cup chicken broth ($0.77)
3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked ($2.99)
4 ounces margarine, melted (on hand)

Crumble 1 sleeve crackers in bottom of casserole dish. Drizzle ½ the melted butter over crackers. Cut cooked chicken into bit size pieces. Mix chicken with soup, sour cream and broth. Pour mixture over crackers. Crush other sleeve of crackers over chicken mix and drizzle remaining butter over top. Bake at 300 for 30-40 minutes.

COST-$6.82
This is a family favorite around here. You can’t imagine how yummy this is until you make it. We usually get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers from this meal so it works out to be about $0.62 per serving.

Bubble Up Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef ($5.98)
1 can (10oz) enchilada sauce ($1.67)
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce ($0.44)
1 can refrigerated flaky layer biscuits ($1.38)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($2.32)

Preheat oven to 350. Brown ground beef and drain. Mix in enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Cut the refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir them in the meat mixture. Pour it all in a greased casserole dish and bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake an additional 10 minutes.

COST-$11.79
This is another family favorite! I use mild enchilada sauce because the kids are not fans of hot fire in their mouthes but if your family likes spic- use the hot enchilada sauce. This makes a bunch, we get 6 dinner, 3 lunches and leftovers. It works out to be about $0.84 per serving.

Baked Dijon Tilapia

10 Tilapia fillets ($4.97)
3 T olive oil (on hand)
2 T Dijon mustard (on hand)
1 T lemon juice (on hand)
2 t Worcestershire sauce (on hand)
½ cup breadcrumbs or crushed crutons ($1.06)

Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Place fillets in dish and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together oil, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl. Spoon and spread over each fillet. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over each fillet. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.

COST-$6.03
We love fish in our house and even the pickiest of my kids will eat this without one complaint. I always use tilapia but you could use white fish or flounder if you prefer. I buy the frozen tilapia fillets from Wal*mart and use about half the box for this dish. We typically get 6 dinners and 2 lunches from this which works out to be around $0.75 per serving.

Meatball Sub Casserole

1 bag frozen meatballs ($4.38)
1 loaf italian or french bread, cut into 1″ slices ($1.05)
8 oz cream cheese, softened ($1.98)
½ cup mayo (on hand)
1 t italian seasoning (on hand)
¼ t pepper (on hand)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese ($2.32)
1 jar (28oz) spaghetti sauce ($3.36)

Arrange bread in single layer in ungreased baking dish. Combine cream cheese, mayo, italian seasoning and pepper; spread over bread. Sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella. Place meatballs evenly over bread layer. Pour spaghetti sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

COST-$13.09
I was hesitant to make this the first time because it sounded strange. But I am here to tell you that it is so dang good! We usually get 6 dinners, 3 lunches and leftovers. It costs me about $0.94 per serving.

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