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DINNERS FOR DOLLARS


January 30-February 5

Catalina Chicken

3 frozen chicken breasts ($2.99)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce ($0.89)
bottle Catalina dressing ($1.69)
1 pkg French Onion Soup mix (on hand)

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot. Pour remaining ingredients over top. Cook on low for 6 hours. Before serving, shred chicken and return to crockpot. Serve over rice.

COST- $5.57
This dish makes enough for 6 dinners, 1 lunch and leftovers on Wednesday. That makes it around $0.55 per serving. But make sure to not buy the fat free Catalina dressing, the taste is not the same in this dish.

Crockpot Orange Apple Pork Chops

10 boneless pork chops ($5.89 on sale)
1 cup apricot jam ($1.49)
3 T brown sugar (on hand)
1 t salt (on hand)
½ t pepper (on hand)
½ t cinnamon (on hand)
¼ t ginger (on hand)
¼ t cloves (on hand)
1 can (11oz) mandarin oranges, undrained ($0.68)

Place pork chops in bottom of crockpot. Mix jam, brown sugar and spices together and pour over pork chops. Pour can of mandarin oranges over top. Cook on low 6-7 hours and serve over rice.

COST- $8.06
This makes enough for 6 dinners and 1 lunch. That makes it around $1.15 per serving, which is more than I usually want to spend per serving but Mr.McHunky loves this dish. I only make this one every few months.

Italian Minestrone Soup

2 lbs ground beef ($5.89)
4 oz sliced mushrooms ($0.39)
2 stalks celery, sliced (on hand)
1 cup chopped carrot (on hand)
1 can diced tomatoes ($0.68)
1 T dried oregano (on hand)
4 cups beef broth ($2.09)
cup dried elbow pasta ($1.06)

Brown the ground beef and drain. Add meat to crockpot and mix in vegetables. Add whole can of tomatoes, oregano and beef broth. Stir well and cook on low for 8 hours. Half an hour before serving stir in dry pasta. Cook on high for 30 minutes until pasta is tender. Top with parmesan cheese.

COST-$10.11
I love this soup, it’s so good. It normally lasts for 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers which makes it about $0.78 per serving.

Cowboy Chicken

3 frozen chicken breasts ($2.99)
1 T brown sugar (on hand)
1 T dijon mustard (on hand)
2 cups salsa ($1.69)
1 cup sour cream ($0.98)
1 can corn ($0.68)

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot. Mix brown sugar, mustard and salsa and pour over chicken. Add water to cover chicken with sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours. Half an hour before serving, shred chicken and return to crockpot and add sour cream and corn. Serve over rice.

COST-$6.28
This is a dish that the kids love! It makes 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftovers which makes it around $0.52 per serving.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 bag (30oz) frozen shredded hash browns ($2.98)
3 cans chicken broth ($2.31)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($0.60)
¼ t pepper (on hand)
1 pkg cream full fat cheese ($0.77)
shredded cheddar, bacon bits & sour cream for garnish

Combine all ingredients in crockpot except for cream cheese. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and cook until melted. Serve with shredded cheese, bacon bits and sour cream.

COST-$6.66
I’m making this as part of our SuperBowl Sunday party. It makes a bunch, usually 12-14 servings, which makes it about $0.51 per serving for just the soup. Of course, we always add the shredded cheese, sour cream and bacon bits for extra yumminess. Those garnishes bump it up to around $0.85 per serving.



DINNERS FOR DOLLARS

I know I said I was going to do my menu plan posts on Thursday but of course, plans change quickly around here. I’m going to post my menus every Monday for that week. So the menu below is what we are eating this week. I realized it’s easier for me to add my cost to the recipes when I have time to go over the receipts and add up the prices.

January 23-29

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

3 frozen chicken breasts ($2.99)
2 T real bacon bits ($0.89)
1 t minced garlic (on hand)
1 pkg ranch dressing mix ($0.68)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($0.60)
1 cup sour cream ($1.18)
1 lb pasta noodles, cooked ($1.08)

Combine bacon, garlic, ranch dressing mix, soup and sour cream; mix well. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot and pour mixture over top. Cook on low for 6 hours. Before serving, shred chicken and return to crockpot. Add pasta noodles and mix together.

COST- $7.42
This dish usually makes enough for 6 dinners, 2 lunches and enough for leftover Wednesday. That makes it around $0.62 per serving. And it’s delicious!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 lb frozen meatballs ($4.38)
1 lb dry angel hair pasta noodles ($1.02)
46 oz jar spaghetti sauce ($3.36)
½ sauce jar of water

Break noodles and place in bottom of crockpot. Pour in sauce and water. Add tiny dash of olive oil. Top with frozen meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve with parmesan cheese.

COST-$8.76
I love this in the crockpot. I was afraid it might be dry when I first made it but it wasn’t. Plus it makes a lot. It makes enough for 6 dinners, 2 lunches and leftover Wednesday. That’s about $0.73 per serving.

Chicken and Dumplings

3 frozen chicken breasts ($2.99)
2 cans cream of chicken soup ($1.20)
2 cans of chicken broth ($1.54)
1 can refrigerated biscuits, cut into quarters ($1.38)

Put frozen chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot. Mix soups and broths and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred chicken and return to crockpot. Drop quartered bicuits into crockpot one by one making sure each gets covered. Continue cooking on low for 30 minutes to an hour.

COST-$7.11
I love this recipe. Everyone in my family loves this recipe. They normally all ask for seconds. It makes a lot- we get 6 dinners plus seconds, 2 lunches and leftovers.  It works out to be around $0.51 per serving.

Lasagna

2 lbs ground beef ($5.89)
1 jar spaghetti sauce ($1.98)
1 cup water
1 container (15oz) ricotta cheese ($1.38)
2 cups Italian cheese ($2.32)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (on hand)
1 egg (on hand)
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked ($0.95)

Cook ground beef, drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1½ cups Italian cheese, 2 T parmesan cheese, and egg. Spoon 1 cup meat mixture into bottom of crockpot. Add 3 lasagna noodles on top (broken to fit) and then cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat mixture. Top with remaining 3 lasagna noodles (broken to fit), cheese mixture and remaining meat mixture. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

COST-$12.52
This is the best and easiest lasagna I have ever made. I even use the no boil lasagna noodles! It makes a bunch, which works out great for a large family. We get 6 dinners plus seconds, 2 lunches and leftovers. That’s about $0.89 per serving.

Sweet and Spicy Sausage

1 cup packed brown sugar (on hand)
¼ cup spicy mustard (on hand)
2 lbs Johnsonville sausage, sliced ($2.29)

In crockpot, combine brown sugar and mustard. Add sliced sausage and stir to coat evenly. Cook on low for 3 hours. Serve over rice.

COST-$2.29
This is another family favorite that’s easy to throw together. I always have rice on hand so that’s what I serve this with but it would be good with egg noodles too. We normally don’t have any leftovers of this dish so it costs about $0.38 per serving.



DINNERS FOR DOLLARS

JANUARY 16-22

Don’t you love this cute little menu? It’s a free printable that I found on pinterest. I’ve been doing really good for the past few months with planning menus and cutting our grocery budget. I’ve also been using my crockpot almost exclusively and I love it. Seriously. Love it. I buy those nice slow cooker bags that make clean up a snap for Mr.McHunky, because we have the “I cook it, you clean it” rule at our house.

I grocery shop on Friday’s so I will be doing my weekly menu posts on Thursday’s for the following week. The menu above covers Monday January 16 thru Sunday January 22. I will post the menu and then each of the recipes, including the total cost of each.

Baked Ziti

1 box ziti noodles ($0.85 on sale)
1 lb sliced sausage ($2.29)
1 jar spaghetti sauce ($1.68 on sale w/ coupon)
1 can sliced mushrooms ($0.49)
1 carton ricotta cheese ($1.38)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese ($2.32)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese ($1.98)

Mix ziti noodles and spaghetti sauce in bottom of crockpot. Add about ¼ cup water to jar, shake and pour over ziti noodles. Add sausage, mushrooms, ricotta and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Stir together until mixed well. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Cook on low for 6 hours.

COST- $10.99
I’ve made this dish before and it makes enough for our family of 6 to eat dinner one night, Mr.McHunky to eat leftovers the next day plus still enough for Leftover Wednesday’s dinner. That’s about $0.85 per serving.

BBQ Sandwiches

3 frozen boneless chicken breasts ($2.99)
1 bottle BBQ sauce ($1.19 on sale w/ coupon)
1/4 cup brown sugar (in pantry)
3 T worcestershire sauce (in pantry)
Hamburger buns or sandwich rolls ($1.06)

Dump frozen chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, brown sugar and worcestershire sauce into crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours. Shred chicken and return to crockpot, cooking additional hour. Serve on hamburger buns or sandwich rolls.

COST- $5.24
I use the bags of frozen boneless chicken breasts and I get 2 dinners out of a $5.98 bag. This dinner makes enough for dinner for the 6 of us plus Mr.McHunky takes it for lunch the next day. I serve this with tater tots and a veggie. The cost for just the BBQ sandwiches is about $0.75 per serving.

Enchiladas– recipe adapted from HERE

1-2 lb ground beef ($5.89)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed ($0.68)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed ($0.68)
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic ($0.98)
cup water
1 t chili powder (in pantry)
½ t cumin (in pantry)
½ t salt (in pantry)
¼ t pepper (in pantry)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar ($1.16)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese ($1.16)
6 flour tortillas ($0.99)

Brown ground beef and drain. Add all ingredients except cheese and tortillas; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. In separate bowl, cominbe cheeses. In crockpot, layer ¾ cup beef mixture, one tortilla and ⅓ cup of cheese. Repeat layers. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

COST- $11.54
I’ve made this dish before as well. It makes a ton so if you have a smaller family you might want to half this recipe. I use 2lbs on ground beef. We get a full dinner for all 6 of us, plus lunch for Mr.McHunky on Friday and lunches for the family on Saturday. That’s about $0.89 per serving.

Swiss Chicken

3 frozen chicken breasts ($2.99)
6 slices swiss cheese ($1.09)
1 can cream of mushroom soup ($0.60)
¼ cup milk
2 cups stuffing mix ($1.68)
½ cup margarine, melted

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in botton of crockpot. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and milk; mixing well. Spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle melted butter over top. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4-6 hours. Before serving, shred chicken and return to crockpot; stirring mixture well.

COST- $6.36
This dish normally makes enough for dinner for the 6 of us plus a lunch for Mr.McHunky. That’s about $0.91 per serving.

Chili & Cornbread

2 lbs ground beef, cooked ($5.89)
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed ($0.68)
1 pkt chili seasoning ($0.69)
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic ($0.98)
1 can tomato sauce ($0.46)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T sugar
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix ($0.50)

Mix all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours. Serve with cornbread.

COST- $9.20
We love chili. We are also chili minimalists, we don’t like a lot of extras in our chili. I’ve experimented for years to find the perfect chili recipe with the right brand of products. I use the generic Wal*mart pinto beans, tomato sauce and mild chili seasoning and I use Hunt’s Fire Roasted diced tomatoes with garlic. The flavors are great. Mr.McHunky adds hot sauce to his and we all top it with cheese. It makes a ton- we get dinner for the 6 of us, plus 2 lunches and another night of leftovers for 4 of us. That makes it about $0.77 per serving including the cornbread.

Hawaiian Ham Sammiesrecipe credit

1 pkg of 12 Hawaiian sweet rolls ($2.24)
1 onion, minced (on hand)
1 stick of butter (on hand)
3 T dijon mustard (on hand)
2 t worcestershire sauce (on hand)
3 t poppy seeds (on hand)
1/2 lb shaved ham ($1.99)
8 slices swiss cheese ($1.09)

Melt butter in small skillet and add onions. Add mustard, worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds into onion and butter. Let simmer for several minutes. Slice rolls as a group lengthwise and place bottoms in a foil lined 13×9 pan. Spread 3/4 of onion mixture on rolls in pan and top with ham and cheese slices. Replace roll tops. Spread remaining onion mixture over top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes on 350.

COST- $5.32
I haven’t made these before but I thought they would go perfectly with NFL playoff Sunday. I don’t imagine we’ll have many leftovers since the recipe only calls for 12 rolls. I’m guessing it will end up costing about $0.89 per serving.



Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Bars Recipe

Every year I make something yummy for the neighbors mainly to apologize for anything my kids have done during the year just to be neighborly. Last year I made The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. They are super yummy and everyone loved them but they are also very time consuming when you have a little baby who demands to eat and stuff. So this year I had to simplify the plan a little bit. I decided to make Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Bars instead. The recipe is easy and the end result is delicious.

Ingredients:

1 tube of sugar cookie dough
1 family size box of brownie mix
2 pkgs (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
2 tsp peppermint extract, divided
2.5 cups white chocolate chips
4 candy canes

Directions:
1. Prepare brownie mix as directed on the box. Stir in 1 tsp peppermint extract. Bake as directed on box.

2. While brownies are baking, press sugar cookie dough into bottom of 13×9 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.

 3. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown. Let cool.

 4. When brownies are done baking, cut off all the hard edges and discard….or eat them like I did because it’s a shame to waste perfectly good brownie edges.

5. Crumble baked pan of brownies into large mixing bowl and add 2 pkgs of softened cream cheese. Mix well. (I forgot to take a picture of that step so use your imagination). After mixing, spread the brownie mixture on top of cookie layer.

6. Melt the 2.5 cups of white chocolate chips in microwave until smooth. Stir in remaining 1 tsp of peppermint extract.

7. Working quickly, evenly spread white chocolate over top of brownie layer.

8. Place 4 candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush into small pieces.

9. Sprinkle crushed candy cane bits over top of the white chocolate layer.

10. Lightly score the top of the chocolate to prevent cracking and put in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to help set the chocolate. After chocolate is set, cut into bars.

11. Put bars into cute Christmas tupperware lined with festive tissue paper and deliver to grateful neighbors.



THE YUMMIEST CREAM CHEESE DANISH RECIPE

Can you tell what I’ve been craving this week? These are sooooo good.

Cream Cheese Danishes

Ingredients:
Two 8-ounce tubes of crescent rolls
Two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar plus some to sprinkle on top
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9 x 13 pan. Separate 1 can crescent rolls. Press triangles together in a single layer on bottom of pan. With electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg. Spread in pan. For the top layer use last can of crescents. Be sure edges are pinched together. Brush milk over dough. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes.

I also sprinkled a few with cinnamon too. Yummmmmmm. Sorry, no picture.  They disappeared too fast for me to get one….