If you are anything like me, you save money where you can. As the financial planner of my life (YES – I give myself titles), I aim for the best bang for my buck. Sometimes this is hard, but I know how to make it work when it comes to dining. Over my next couple of blogs, I will share with you hearty meals that feed up to four adults. Whether you have roommates, a family or live alone, these recipes can fit any schedule or any budget.
Please keep in mind basic seasonings were not added to the recipes lists. Scroll to the bottom of the blog to view what I feel should be in ALL kitchen cabinets.
Now here are three QUICK and EASY meals that are less than $5 per serving.
3-4 Chicken Breasts – $6
Ragu alfredo sauce – $2
Pasta – $2
Total – $10 ($2.50 per serving) with the option to add broccoli ($3) and garlic bread ($3)
1. Bring pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Drain when pasta is al dente (firm yet easy to chew).
2. Slice or cube chicken. Season to liking (for me: cajun seasoning, seasoned salt and pepper). Cook in pan on medium heat until chicken turns from pink to white. Pour alfredo sauce on chicken.
3. Serve over pasta when sauce starts to bubble.
Steak and Gravy
Beef Chuck Steak – $6
Cream of chicken – $2
Bag of Rice – $2
Total $10 ($2.50 per serving) with the option to add green beans ($2)
1. Bring pot of water to a boil. Add rice. Drain rice when bag appears to be full.
2. Cube beef. Season to liking (for me: seasoned salt, garlic power and pepper). Cook in pan on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add cream of chicken and I can of water. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Serve steak and gravy over rice.
Baked BBQ Chicken
10-12 Drumsticks – $5
BBQ sauce – $3
Total $8 ($2 per serving) at this rate your side options are endless. I normally serve baked beans ($2) and corn on the cob ($3)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Foil bottom of 13×9 cake pan. Fill with chicken. Season to liking (for me: Cajun seasoning, seasoned salt, garlic power and pepper). Pour BBQ sauce on chicken. Cover top of pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Take foil off the top and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Serve with sides of your choice.
(To check if chicken is fully cooked, cut into one of the larger pieces. If meat is white at the bone chicken is ready to serve.)
These recipes are meant to cut costs and time in the kitchen. And as promised, here is a list that no kitchen should be without:
• Seasoned salt
• Black OR white pepper (works great if you have children)
• Garlic power
• Onion Power
• Cajun seasoning
• Chili power
*All values have been estimated on varying costs.