Exasperated and unwilling to eat ramen noodles every other day, it’s time we track food costs for a transformative meal. Looking at how much an average American household spends according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, i.e., more than $6,600 per year on food.
We comprehend that food is one of the main domestic expenses for which prudent picks can make a huge transformation.
Eating inexpensive meals is easy. Given a $10 budget to prepare a sumptuous dinner, we need to start experimenting with new recipes, finding out about new foods, and discovering new ways to stay satisfied and enjoy splendid and luxurious-looking meals.
Oven Cooked Ratatouille for dinner
Take finely cut up vegetables, level them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, sufficient amount of herbs, and a cheesy topping – you get delicious and rich-looking Oven Cooked Ratatouille, a definitive and classical summer French stew.
Ratatouille is ideally packed with garden-fresh produce such as; tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper.
The dish is not only rich in taste but comforting and impeccable for soaking up with a piece of crusty artisan bread. All the ingredients, including vegetables, herbs, and cheese, will roughly cost between $6 – $10 for a serving size of 8.
Bake the ingredients in ideally a rectangular casserole dish, the size of the dish may vary according to the size of vegetables cut in. Preferably use a dish made of glass, ceramic, or metal for a more classy presentation of the meal.
One-Pan Garlicky Lemon Shrimp & Rice for dinner
The recipe of One-pan garlicky lemon shrimp and rice transforms all the ingredients present in the kitchen into a grand seafood dish, perfect for the next dinner party.
Scrumptious stir-fried shrimp cooked in an appetizing lemon garlic butter sauce is roughly ready in 20 – 30 minutes. A few simple ingredients from the kitchen make it much lighter than the garlic shrimp in most of the restaurants. All the ingredients will roughly cost between $7.53 – $10 for a serving size of 4.
To make this meal, a rice cooker or instant pot should work. Add all the ingredients except shrimps to a cooker; 1 fresh lemon, 4 cloves garlic, 2 Tbsp butter, 1.5 cups long-grain white rice, 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp seasoning, and 2 Tbsp chopped parsley and cook as you would cook regular rice.
After the rice has cooked, add the shrimp on top, close the lid, and keep it on, allowing the shrimp to steam for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup for dinner
There are few things that scream “ease” and “luxury” as much as a bowl of creamy tomato soup served with a crispy grilled melted cheese sandwich.
Making easy roasted tomato soup served with a simple, extra-cheesy grilled cheese sandwich is luxury food personified. Served with a swirl of cream and fresh basil, it makes the dish look elegant and rich.
Just take an onion and slice it into wedges. For cooking the soup, use a large pot, put it over medium heat, and melt down a whole stick of butter in there. As soon as the butter melts, add the chopped onions and cook it over medium heat for around 4 minutes.
Then, add the crushed tomatoes, raise heat to high until it’s boiling, then drop it to medium-low so that it’s just hardly boiling, and leave it to cook for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make sandwiches on a skillet. Simply, assemble cheese sandwiches with the butter side outwards, and cook them each over medium heat in a skillet, flipping halfway through when the bottom is crispy and golden.
The total cost of soup to serve four very generously – $3.19 and total cost of grilled cheese sandwiches to serve four – $2.18.
Cheesy Baked BBQ Chicken for dinner
The easiest, cheesiest and cheapest divine looking baked BBQ chicken is mainly tender cooked chicken breast covered in your favorite BBQ sauce and topped with melty cheddar cheese, chopped red onions, and pickled jalapeños.
Cheesy baked BBQ chicken roughly takes 30 – 40 minutes to prepare, making it ideal for family and friends’ weeknight dinners.
All we need to do is cover the chicken breasts with bar-b-q sauce and bake until chicken is properly cooked; typically it takes about 15-30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
When chicken is done, pour on more BBQ sauce, add bacon strips to cover the breasts, and cover with cheddar cheese; return to oven until cheese melts. Add sliced green onions and serve.
The total cost of this dish is between $8.9 – $10 for a serving size of 4.
Easy Chicken Alfredo for dinner
Italian food is all about comfort and class (hot steaming comfort bowls of pasta, buttery, roasted garlic bread, and casseroles of the most appetizing sauces: all in one meal). Bring the comfort of Italy into your very own kitchen and, well, right under $10.
Using angel-like hair pasta noodles makes cooking time faster. Moreover, using a jar of Alfredo sauce can save time and money, as heavy cream can also be costly. In an outsized pot, cook fettuccine or any pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Make sure you drain the pasta well after cooked.
In the meantime, in a large pot over medium-low heat, add cubed cooked chicken, mushrooms, Alfredo sauce, frozen vegetables, and milk. Cook until heated through. Serve warm Alfredo sauce overcooked the cook noodles. The total cost of this dish is between $7.5 – $10 for a serving size of 4.
Budget Meatloaf for dinner
Meatloaf is a standard meal on the weekly dinner menu for many American families, and even with lean ground beef priced high at this time of the year, at around $5.49 per pound, one can still prepare a great classical and lavish looking meatloaf dinner for less than $10. The recipe roughly takes only around 30 – 40 minutes to prepare the whole meal.
Combine all the nine ingredients in one large-sized bowl; ¹⁄3 cup chopped green onions, 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, ¹⁄8 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1-pound ground sirloin, and 1 large egg, lightly beaten.
Mix the entire beef mixture with hands just until united.
Shape and carve each beef mixture into a 9-by-4-inch loaf on a broiler pan glazed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 20 minutes.
Run-in top of meatloaf with remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup. Bake for 7 added minutes or until done. Slice loaf into equal pieces and serve. The total cost of this dish is between $8.5 – $10 for a serving size of 2.
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