Seven Family Dinners Under $5 Each

Written by admin

Most frugal moms are finding that prices just keep going up every time they go to the grocery store. It’s getting harder every week to feed our families on a budget. But there are still meals to be made for less than $5 for a family of four. Here’s a week’s worth of such meals to help you feed your family without spending a small fortune on food.

Hot Dogs & Chili

1 pkg. hot dogs, 99¢
1 can chili, $1
1 pkg. hot dog buns, 99¢
Potato chips, $1.84

Place hot dogs in a small pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil until plump. Heat chili in a separate pan. Place hot dog in bun, add mustard, ketchup, onions, cheese or other condiments as desired.



Loaded Baked Potatoes

4 large potatoes, 50¢
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, 90¢
1/2 head broccoli, cut into large chunks, 85¢
1 can chili, $1

Preheat oven to 400° F. Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush. Poke about four holes in potatoes with a fork. Cover each potato with foil adding 1 t. water before sealing tightly. Place on baking pan and bake for about 1 hour until tender. Place broccoli in microwave safe dish. Cover with 2 T. water. Cook on high 4 minutes or until tender. Heat chili in small pot on stove until hot. Slice potatoes in half, add broccoli and chili. Top with cheese.



Southern Pinto Beans & Cornbread

2 c. (1 lb.) dry pinto beans, $1.05
1 1/2 T. salt, minimal
1 t. pepper, minimal
2 c. self-rising cornmeal mix, 16¢
1 1/4 c. buttermilk, 28¢
1/4 c. vegetable oil, 16¢
1 large egg, 13¢

Cull beans by removing rocks, stems, etc. Rinse. Place in large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Blanch by draining and rinsing. Return to pot and cover with water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about four hours until beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed to keep beans covered. If beans are too thick, add more water.


Preheat oven to 425 ° F. Pour 1 T. of the oil in a 10″ cast iron or heavy baking pan. Heat skillet in oven while you mix remaining ingredients. Combine cornmeal mix, buttermilk and egg. Mix just until blended, do not over beat. Remove hot skillet from oven and pour oil into batter. Mix until ingredients are moistened. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour batter into skillet. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with onion wedges and butter or margarine for cornbread, if desired.



Five Layer Mexican Dip

This may sound like an appetizer but it’s filling enough to serve as an entree!

1 lb. ground turkey, (can used beef, if desired), $1.19
Taco seasoning, 39¢
1 16 oz. can refried beans, 69¢
1/2 c. salsa, 50¢
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, 90¢
1 med. tomato, chopped, 30¢
1/2 bag tortilla chips, 98¢

Brown ground turkey, drain. Return to skillet and add taco seasoning. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Layer in bottom of 13″ x 9″ pan. Cover with refried beans, salsa, cheese and tomato. Serve with tortilla chips.



Chili Mac & Cheese

1 lb. ground turkey, (can used beef, if desired), $1.19
1 pkg. chili seasoning, 39¢
1 16 oz. can pinto beans, drained, 69¢
1 16 oz. can tomatoes, drained, 69¢
1 pkg. macaroni & cheese, 39¢

Brown ground turkey, drain. Return to skillet and add chili seasoning, pinto beans and tomatoes. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Add to chili and mix well. Cook over low heat until thoroughly hot. Serve immediately.



Potato Soup

8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed, $1
1 med. onion, chopped, 25¢
1 can evaporated milk, 89¢

Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with water, bring to boil. Add onion, milk and enough water to fill pot at least 3/4 full. Mix well. Return to boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick and bubbly. Serve with crackers or cornbread, if desired.



Skillet Meat Loaf

1 lb. ground beef, $2.38
1 med. onion, chopped fine, 25¢
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine, 40¢
2 T. flour, 1¢
1 egg, 13¢
2 T. Worcestershire sauce, 14¢
1 1/2 T. salt, minimal
1 t. pepper, minimal
1 sm. can tomato sauce, 39¢

Mix ground beef, onion, green pepper, flour, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in large bowl until combined well. While messy, it’s easiest to mix by hand. Divide mixture in half and press into two large patties. Place in large skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until cooked through, turning occasionally. Pour on tomato sauce. Cook uncovered until sauce comes to boil, turning once. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans, if desired.


To save the cost of buying sodas, make a large pitcher of iced tea to go with your meals.

Sweet Southern Tea

8 tea bags, 16¢
1 c. sugar, 24¢

Pour about 2 quarts water into a large sauce pan. Add sugar and mix well. Bring to boil, stirring often until sugar dissolves completely. Add tea bags. Return to boil and boil for 1-5 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea. Remove from heat and let set about 15 minutes. Pour into 2-quart pitcher. Add ice and cold water to fill. Stir until ice is fully melted. Serve in glasses filled with ice.



One Response to “Seven Family Dinners Under $5 Each”

  1. Stephanie says:
    December 20th, 2009 12:03 am

    Oh I have one to add-Baked Penne Pasta-$4.67

    8 oz. Penne Pasta, cooked and drained (.66 cents dreamfield pasta at Publix with this coupon)

    1/2 lb. Ground Beef, cooked and drained (1 lb. is $2.26-so 1/2 lb. is $1.13)

    2 cans tomato sauce (I know these are under $1 per can)

    2 c. shredded Mozzarella ($1.88 Great Value Brand at Walmart)

    Any of your Favorite Italian spices-Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder

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