Posted in Cooking Tips, Recipes

Two Family Dinners under $6

Our family is attempting to keep our grocery budget under $500 a month for a family of four.  You can read more about our plan Here. In order to make this work our daily dinner budget has to be between $6 and $8 most nights. If we can find dishes that are even less on some nights we can then use the saved money to splurge a little on a dinner here and there. So this week I tried to come up with two dishes that were about $5 per meal. We also save money in the budget by having leftovers for lunches. So both of these dinners provided enough for us to have a hearty dinner meal and also left overs for a few of us to have for lunch the next day.

We are super sale shoppers and we buy a lot of our meat when Big Y has their buy 1, get 2 free sales. We have a chest freezer. So we can store the meat for when we need it. We also have chickens, which means we get eggs very cheap. But if you do not have chickens you can buy cheap eggs at walmart or Aldi. You can also stock up when big Y sells them for $.99 a dozen. Crack the eggs into ice cube trays to freeze them.

I hope you like these super cheap dinner ideas. They were easy to make, tasted great and we very budget friendly! Enjoy.

Chicken Club Quiche Bake

IMG_20190102_172730469-01.jpeg

6 eggs  ( $1.00)

1 cup pancake mix  (.40 )

1/2 cup water (free)

1 tomato chopped (.50 cents)

3 strips of bacon chopped (1.20)

1 chicken breast (1.60)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (.40)

1 yellow onion  (.16 cents)

 

1 sweet potato (32 Cents)

2 tablespoons pancake mix (.10)

 

Total Cost  $5.68

This made enough for all of us to have seconds for dinner plus lunch for my husband the next day.

Dice chicken in to small pieces. Cut up the bacon into small pieces and  dice the onion.  Cook the bacon on medium heat in a fry pan until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and add chicken and onion into the bacon grease. stir over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Drain off excess grease. Scramble 6 eggs and mix with 1 cup pancake mix and water. Pour egg mixture into a 8×8 greases baking pan. Add chicken , tomato , onions and bacon to the pan of egg mixture. Cover with the Parmesan cheese. Cook in a 400 degree oven until egg is cooked through and firm.

While Quiche is cooking, grate the sweet potato and mix with the 1 tablespoon of pancake mix. Using the extra bacon grease in a frying pan. Form the potato mix into 4 small patties and fry until brown on either side. You can put them aside and then heat them on a cookie sheet in the oven for a few minutes before the quiche is done.

Check out How to Dice An onion

Chicken and Zucchini Pasta

1 tomato (.50)

1 zucchini (.33)

1 chicken Breast (1.60)

1/2 block of cheese  (.90)

1 cup Parmesan cheese (.50)

1 box of elbow macaroni (.88 cents)

1/2 container of pasta sauce (.50)

 

Total cost 5.11 cents

 

This made enough for everyone to have two helpings for dinner plus three lunches leftover.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Cut the chicken breast into small cubes and saute in a fry pan with some oil until cooked through. Grate zucchini and dice tomato.

In a 9×13 baking dish, mix pasta, pasta sauce, zucchini, tomato, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking Tips

What Cut of Chicken to Buy

68018a41-3bdc-4498-8b83-7017dde0f963_3.052623a4e2ad6e7eac3015fcf7d1347f

Getting the tastiest chicken for the best price.

Until recently, we always bought the boneless, skinless chicken breasts to cook with.  They come all trimmed up and required little to no prep before seasoning and cooking them. Plus, white meat is better, right?

That’s what we thought until we tried some recipes that specifically called for thigh meat. Thigh meat is darker, and juicier, with a richer meaty flavor. The little bit of extra ft keeps it moist and tender while cooking.  Muscles that are exercised more, have more oxygen and are richer in nutrients, since chickens don’t fly, the thighs are the darkest and most nutrient rich meat on them. It does have a higher fat content than the white met. But as I mentioned earlier the ft helps keep it extra tender and juicy while cooking and is worth the extra flavor and melt in your mouth texture it gives the dark meat. Dark meat only has 3 more calories per once than white meat.

Dark Meat takes a little bit longer to cook, once per once, than white breast meat, but the thighs are usually smaller, making them quicker to prepare.

The best part about thigh meat is that it is cheaper per pound than the breast meat. Skinless chicken breast averages about $4.oo  per pound (for regular, non organic) and skinless chicken thighs average only about $3.00. That dollar per pound really adds up if you are cooking for a big family.

You can save even more money per pound by buying the thighs with the bone still in and deboning it yourself. It takes a little more prep work, about 1-2 minutes per thigh. But it can save you a lot of money, bone in chicken thighs average around $1.00 per pound. I get ours at Stop and Shop for $.89 per pound. Now, I am not professional butcher, so a small amount may get wasted in the deboning process, but all in all , I am still saving a lot of money by doing myself.

So there you have it, chicken thighs, tastier and cheaper than chicken breast!

Here is a short tutorial on how to debone a chicken thigh.