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Dinners for Dollars

March 19-25
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Cheeseburger Cups

1 lb ground beef ($3.98)
½ cup ketchup (on hand)
2 T brown sugar (on hand)
1 T mustard (on hand)
t worcestershire sauce (on hand)
1 tube (12oz) refrig. buttermilk biscuits ($1.39)
½ cup cubed velveeta cheese ($1.98)

Cook beef and drain. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat, set aside. Press each biscuit onto bottom and up sides of greased muffin cup. Spoon beef mix into cups; top with cheese. Bake at 400 for 14-16 minutes.

COST-$7.35
The kids absolutely love this cheeseburger cups. Sometimes I even sneak petit diced tomatoes in there. We don’t normally get any leftovers out of this meal but Mr.McHunky does at least get 1 lunch in addition to our dinner. It works out to be about $1.05 per serving.

Chicken Hashbrown Bake

16 oz sour cream ($1.69)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.16)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($0.60)
32 oz frozen hashbrowns, thawed ($2.98)
3 cooked chicken breasts, diced ($2.99)

Mix sour cream, cheese and soup in bowl. Add potatoes, mix well. Add chicken, mix well. Spoon into greased baking dish. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

COST-$9.42
This is another family favorite! And it makes a ton too. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers which works out to be around $0.79 per serving.

Meatball Bake

1 pkg Stove Top Chicken Stuffing ($1.49)
1 can cream of mushroom soup ($0.60)
¼ cup milk (on hand)
1 pkg (1 lb) frozen meatballs ($3.89)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.16)

Prepare stuffing as directed on package for Light Prep; set aside. Combine soup and milk in baking dish. Stir in meatballs and sprinkle with cheese. Top with prepared stuffing. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

COST-$7.14
We really enjoy this meal. The stuffing offers a great flavor in contrast to the meatballs (I always use Italian meatballs). We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers from this dinner so it works out to be around $0.60 per serving.

BBQ Shrimp Linguine

1 T packed brown sugar (on hand)
1 t chili powder (on hand)
1 t sweet paprika (on hand)
½ t cumin (on hand)
¼ t ground red cayenne pepper (on hand)
½ t salt (on hand)
¼ t pepper (on hand)
1 lb medium frozen shrimp, thawed ($4.98)

1 lb linguine noodles, cooked ($1.06)

In large bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Add shrimp and toss until evenly coated. Bake at 475 for 5 minutes, turn and bake additional 8-10 minutes. Serve over hot linguine noodles.

COST-$6.04
Oh how I love this meal. The sweet and spicy mix is amazing. If you don’t like spicy, cut some of the chili powder and cayenne pepper. But even my kids eat it with the spices in the recipe above. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and limited leftovers, which makes this dinner about $0.60 per serving.

Baked Tortellini
13oz  bag frozen tortellini ($2.69)
24oz  jar marinara sauce ($1.98)
1/2   cup heavy whipping cream  ($0.89)
1     cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided ($1.16)
1     cup shredded mozzarella ($1.16)

Cook tortellini for 3 minutes, drain and toss with 1 T of butter in bowl. Combine the marinara, cream and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Add to pasta and toss gently to coat. Put tortellini into greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

COST-$7.88
I love pasta and I love finding new ways to cook pasta. I buy the generic cheese tortellini from Wal*Mart normally but sometimes I splurge on the Portebello Tortellini and man oh man is it yummy in this dish! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this meal which makes it around $0.72 per serving.



Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding Recipe

 
Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
 

Definition: Warm, deliciously decadent killer of all diets

 

We enjoyed the non-chocolatey Sopapilla Cheesecake from last week so much that I decided to do another chocolate-less treat this week. I decided on Krispy Kreme bread pudding because it’s a family favorite and I am subconsciously sabotaging my efforts to look less jiggly in a swim suit this summer. I mean, obviously.

 

 
 
Ingredients:
 

1 dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
Nutmeg & Cinnamon, to taste
1/4 lb raisins, optional

 

 

Cut each donut into pieces and spread in bottom of greased 13×9 baking pan.

 

 

In bowl, beat together eggs and milk.

 

 

In separate bowl, stir together equal parts nutmeg and cinnamon, sugar, vanilla & raisins if you use them.

 

 

Spread Cinnamon mixture on top of donuts.

 

 

Pour egg mixture over top of donuts.

 

 

Stir until mixed and let sit for 30 minutes. Then stir again. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until pudding is browned.

 

 

Look at all this yummy.

 

 
 
 
Doesn’t that look melt in your mouth scrumptious! That’s why it’s called the Diet Killer. One more yummy look…
 
 
 
 
 
Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 t vanilla extract
  5. Nutmeg & Cinnamon, to taste
  6. 1/4 lb raisins, optional
Instructions
  1. Cut each donut into pieces and spread in bottom of greased 13x9 baking pan.
  2. In bowl, beat together eggs and milk.
  3. In separate bowl, stir together equal parts nutmeg and cinnamon, sugar, vanilla & raisins if you use them.
  4. Spread Cinnamon mixture on top of donuts.
  5. Pour egg mixture over top of donuts.
  6. Stir until mixed and let sit for 30 minutes.
  7. Stir again.
  8. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until pudding is browned.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/


Dinners for Dollars

March 12-18
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Fiesta Ravioli

1 pkg frozen Cheese Ravioli ($3.89)
1 can (10oz) enchilada sauce ($1.67)
1 jar (16oz) salsa ($1.42)
2 cups shredded Colby cheese ($2.32)

Cook ravioli according to package directions. While ravioli is cooking, combine enchilada sauce and salsa in skillet and heat through. Drain ravioli and return to pot. Pour salsa mixture over top and toss to coat evenly. Add shredded cheese and stir well.

COST-$9.30
This is another family favorite meal. One of the kids, not naming any names, actually licked his plate clean last time I made this dish. We get 6 dinners, 1 lunch and leftovers which makes this dish around $0.78 per serving.


Sweet & Sour Chicken

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up ($2.99)
1 jar apricot preserves ($1.26)
¾ bottle Catalina dressing ($1.89)
1 cup orange juice (on hand)
1 can pineapple chunks ($0.88)

Mix ingredients in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve over white rice.

COST-$7.02
I love this version of sweet and sour chicken. It’s tart which appeals to me more than the sickly sweet flavors of some of the other recipes I’ve tried. If you like it less tart you might want to consider using less Catalina dressing. We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers out of this meal which works out to be around $0.64 per serving.

BBQ Beenie Weenies

4 cans kidney beans ($2.72)
4 cups BBQ sauce ($1.89)
2 pkgs lil smokies ($4.98 on sale)

Mix beans, sauce and lil smokies in crockpot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

COST-$9.59
The kids love beenie weenies but the only way Mr.McHunky can stomach them is if I smother them in BBQ sauce. This crockpot meal makes a ton so if you have a smaller family, consider halving the recipe or you’ll have beenie weenies coming out of your ears for a week! We get 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers so it’s about $0.64 per serving.

Breaded Pesto Tilapia

8 Tilapia fillets ($4.97)
3 cups breadcrumbs (on hand)
4 T pesto sauce ($1.62)

Preheat oven to 400. Coat each tilapia fillet with pesto sauce on both sides and dip into breadcrumbs until coated evenly. Bake for 12 minutes.

COST-$6.59
I love fish and I really love pesto so when I saw this recipe the first time I knew I had to try it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We get 6 dinners and 2 lunches out of this meal so not as many leftovers but the taste is worth scrounging for food later on. I always serve this with Zatarin’s yellow rice and a veggie. It works out to be around $0.82 per serving without the sides added in to the cost.



Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake

 
Sopapilla Cheesecake
 

Definition: Warm scrumptiously delicious slice of heaven

 
 
I’ve been making a lot of gooey yummy chocolatey treats around here lately so this week Matt requested something different. He loves cheesecake so I decided on a Sopapilla Cheesecake. The warm scrumptious layer of sweet cream cheese in the center in contrast to the flaky dough is just amazing.
 
 
This treat never lasts more than a day in our house. That has nothing to do with the fact that I eat it as a breakfast danish, nothing at all. Just wait till you see the final product picture, you will understand why this dessert never lasts more than a day around here. It’s that good.
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
 
3 cans crescent rolls
2 pkgs (8oz each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1/4 cup butter or margarine
Cinnamon & Sugar
 
 
 
 
Unroll and spread 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 13×9 baking dish.
 
 
 
 
Combine softened cream cheese, vanilla and 1 cup of sugar until well blended.
 
 
 
 
Spread cream cheese mixture over top of crescent rolls.
 
 
 
 
Unroll and spread remaining 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls over top of cream cheese mixture.
 
 
 
 
 
Melt butter or margarine in microwave and spread over of crescent rolls.
 
 
 
 
 
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
 
 
 
 
 
Look at all that yummy in that pan. At this point, the house smells divine and children, husbands and dogs are hovering around the kitchen waiting for a slice of heaven. Let the cheesecake cool first though before you cut into it.  Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
 
 
 
 
 
Doesn’t that look yummy? Believe me, it tastes even better than it looks! Serve warm for maximum scrumptiousness. 

Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cans crescent rolls
  2. 2 pkgs (8oz each) Cream Cheese, softened
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 t vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  6. Cinnamon & Sugar
Instructions
  1. Unroll and spread 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 13x9 baking dish.
  2. Combine softened cream cheese, vanilla and 1 cup of sugar until well blended.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture over top of crescent rolls.
  4. Unroll and spread remaining 1 1/2 cans of crescent rolls over top of cream cheese mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
Notes
  1. Depending on your oven you might need to extend baking time in 5 minute increments until dough in middle of pan is fully cooked.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/


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.