10 Dirt Cheap Recipes Your Kids will Love

With the economy in the state that it’s in and the cost of groceries going through the roof it’s becoming more and more important to find inexpensive recipes to feed your family.  But you can’t just feed your family; you need to fix something that the kids will eat too.  Check out 10 dirt cheap recipes your kids will love.

  1. Macaroni and cheese with chicken: Pasta is one thing that will allow you to stretch a dollar.  Boil up some pasta.  While the pasta is cooking work on making a simple cheese sauce using butter, flour, milk and cheese.  Melt the butter and then whisk in the flour to make a paste.  Cook out the flour taste and then add the milk to make the sauce.  Add some shredded cheese to make the sauce cheesy.  By now the pasta is probably done and you can drain it and add it to the cheese sauce.  Open a can or two of chicken and drain it.  Then flake the chicken into the mac and cheese for a cheap and satisfying meal your kids will request.
  2. Spaghetti and meat sauce: It doesn’t get any cheaper or easier than this.  A package of spaghetti is a dollar and a can of meat flavored spaghetti sauce is about a dollar.  Boil the spaghetti according to package directions and then heat up the sauce.  Add a little cheese to the sauce if you’d like to change things up.
  3. Sloppy Joes: This is a kid pleaser from way back.  This recipe is so easy and inexpensive it will please even the pickiest of eaters.  Brown a pound of either ground beef or ground turkey whichever you find cheaper.  Drain it and add 2 t. of prepared mustard, 2 T. of ketchup and a can of tomato soup.  Mix all of these ingredients together and heat through.  Serve on inexpensive hamburger buns or just bread.
  4. Homemade pizza: Make a simple dough using yeast, flour, sugar, oil and water.  Let the dough raise and then press it out or roll it out to the size crust you want.  You can then use an inexpensive barbeque sauce for the sauce and then sprinkle browned hamburger and cheese all over the crust and bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned.
  5. Bean soup: Buy a soup bone or take one leftover from a ham.  Buy a package of northern beans and soak them over night.  The next day drain off the soaking water and run fresh water into the beans.  It will take about 7 cups of water, but check the bean package to be sure.  Then add salt and pepper and the ham bone and let it simmer until the beans are cooked and it smells good.  This is a good place to use up leftovers.  You can add chopped onions, carrots, celery or ham to this soup and it would be that much better.  Nothing better on a cold day than some soup.
  6. Tacos: Brown some hamburger and drain off the fat.  Add a seasoning packet that runs about $ .39 at the store and some water.  Let the taco meat cook down a little.  Serve your taco meat in tortillas for soft shell tacos.  If you have some lettuce and tomatoes those would make great toppings for your tacos.  Then add some shredded cheese to complete the dish.
  7. Twice baked potatoes: Potatoes are pretty inexpensive especially if you buy them by the bag.  Scrub one potato for every person eating.  Bake the potatoes either in the oven or in the microwave.  When the potatoes are done take them out and cut off the top.  Scoop out most of the potato inside, but leave a layer of potato in the skin so that it holds up to being stuffed.  Add some steamed chopped broccoli that you can buy frozen for about a dollar, some bacon bits and some shredded cheese to the scooped out potato.  If you want you can add some sour cream or margarine to the mixture.  Then put the mixture back into the shells and put them back into the oven to heat through.  Kids love potatoes and cheese.
  8. Fried chicken: Chicken used to be a cheap meal, but thanks to everyone realizing how healthy chicken breasts are the price of chicken breasts have skyrocketed.  To get around that buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself or you can buy just legs and thighs when they go on sale.  Coat the chicken with a mixture of flour, salt and pepper and shallow fry it in some inexpensive vegetable oil.  Fried chicken is a kid favorite.
  9. Baked ziti: Boil a pound of ziti pasta for around a dollar.  Then add in half pound of browned ground beef that has been browned with some chopped onion and garlic.  Then add tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce to the mixture and shredded mozzarella cheese.  Mix everything together and press into a baking dish.  Sprinkle some extra cheese over the top and top with foil to bake.  In the last 10 minutes of baking take off the foil so that the cheese can melt and brown slightly.
  10. Chicken tenders: What kid doesn’t like these?  Use boneless skinless chicken thighs to save money over chicken breasts.  Cut them into strips and coat them in flour and then dip them in some beaten egg and then dip them into crushed corn flakes.  Put the chicken onto a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the chicken strips and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  You can serve them with a little homemade honey and mustard mixture.


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