When I decided to leave the work force for a bit, to be home with the kids, I knew we had to do a complete re-do of our monthly budget. One of the first things I had to get under control was our trips through the drive-thru. This meant eating at home more, and on a budget. As is often the case, I thought back to my childhood and my Mom. She was couponing and stock piling way before anyone had ever heard of Extreme Couponers. I sat down and compiled a list of frugal recipes my Mom made when we were growing up. I came up with a list of $5.00 dinners and $10.00 dinners. My goal was to reduce our monthly grocery budget to $450.00/month for a family of 4 (and NOT eat hot dogs every night :). Below is my first $10.00 Dinners Post.
Stuffed Peppers, baked mac ‘n cheese, and green beans
Cost and ingredients: 4 pack green peppers ($1.00), 1 lb. ground beef ($2.39), 12 ounces ketchup ($.50), 1 sleeve of crackers ($.50), 1/2 chopped onion ($.25), 1 egg ($.15), 1 tablespoon brown sugar ($.10), 1/2 box maccaroni ($.50), 1 cup graded mild cheddar cheese ($.75), 1/2 cup milk ($.15), 1 teaspoon butter ($.15), 2 cans shelled green beans ($1.40), 2 slice bacon ($.30) Total: $8.14 or $2.04/person (Note: my prices are what I paid, purchasing items on sale, and/or using coupons.)
Stuffing: In large bowl, crush crackers into small pieces, add ground beef, 1 egg, 1/2 chopped onion, and 10 oz ketchup. Stir ingredients together until well blended. Prepare Peppers: Wash the peppers, then remove the top, and all seeds. Stuff and top the Peppers: Fill each pepper with the ground beef mixture. To make the glaze for the top, I use 2 ounces ketchup and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix these two until the brown sugar is dissolved into the ketchup, then spoon and spread over the top of the peppers. Bake the Peppers: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, place the peppers into an ungreased baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes.
Baked Mac ‘n Cheese:
In a glass baking dish, add cooked and drained maccaroni, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon butter, dash of salt, and 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
Empty beans into sauce pan (do not drain), add 2 pieces of uncooked bacon, cut into bit size pieces, add a dash of salt as desired. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, until beans are soft.
A slice of buttered french bread and a tall glass of lemonade.
I hope you enjoy,