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Easy Meal Ideas

Updated on October 13, 2016

Dinner Ideas Under $10

Here are seven meal ideas to make for dinner that will save you time and money.

You just may find you are spending way more at the drive thru than you thought. And be sure to read all the way to the end as I've also included appetizer, soup and dessert recipes that are all afforable to make and delicious to enjoy.

All meals here feed 5-6 people depending on your portion sizes and typically run under $10 for ingredients from the local grocery store (unless otherwise noted).

MONDAY: $5.00

Spaghetti and Cheese Bread

To pick up at the store: Spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, bag of shredded cheese and one loaf of bread.

What to make: Spaghetti smothered in spaghetti sauce lightly garnished with shredded cheese. Skip paying for expensive garlic bread ... butter sliced bread, bake for 2 minutes and sprinkle with some of the shredded cheese.

TUESDAY: $10 or less

Frito Pies

To pick up at the store: Bag of corn chips, large can of chili and use leftover shredded cheese from spaghetti night.

What to make: Frito pies are always a quick and easy hit and require only these three ingredients.


Baked Potatoes

To pick up at the store: Russell potatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese, and bacon bits.

What to make: Loaded baked potatoes garnished with all the fixings you like!

THURSDAY: $10 or less

Jailhouse Spread

To pick up at the store: Ramen noodles, tuna fish and cheese.

What to make: Ramen noodle tuna spread. Make the Ramen noodles like usual (use 1 package per person), add tuna and cheese. Stir together and serve with tortilla chips. My kids like to crumble the tortilla chips right into the spread.


Grilled Hame and Cheese Sandwich and Soup

To pick up at the store: Bread, ham lunch meat, slice cheese and your choice of soup.

What to make: Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches served with a bowl of soup.


Chili Dogs

To pick up at the store: Hot dog buns, package of hot dogs, can of chili and onion.

What to make: Chili dogs garnished with ketchup, mustard, relish, cheese and onion.


Sweet-n-Sour Chicken with Rice

To pick up at the store: Pack of chicken legs, box of Minute Rice, jar of chili sauce, jar of grape jelly.

What to make: Baked sweet-n-sour chicken with rice. Mix the chili sauce and grape jelly together and marinade the chicken legs for an hour then bake. When the chicken is almost done make the rice. Serve the chicken on top of the rice and cover with sauce from the baking dish.


I am a huge fan of rolls, any kind of break and cornbread so here's a Quick Roll Recipe you may like too.

How to Make Flour Tortillas from Scratch because there are many things you can do with a simple tortilla.

A Seven Layer Dip would go great with the flour tortillas or stick with the traditional corn tortilla chips.

If you'd prefer to make the dip and chip all in one then try this recipe for Oven Baked Nachos.

Deviled Eggs make great appetizers OR sides to any meal.

An easy to make recipe is Hot Water Cornbread and can be eaten alone or with a meal.


For inexpensive ideas that are sure to go quite a way try these soups here:

Taco Soup, Potato Soup, or make a steaming pot of Yankee Chili.

I hope you enjoy all of these recipes and feel free to leave your own in a comment!

Dessert Ideas and Recipes

A great dessert idea and a great way to make sure nothing goes to waste is my hub What to Do With Cake Scraps. Having a cake baker for a mom gave me this great idea and my kids simply love them!

Here are more dessert recipe hubs:

Oven Fried Chicken
Oven Fried Chicken | Source

More Dinner Ideas

One of my favorite down home recipes is Oven Fried Chicken. It is less greasy than your typical fried chicken.

Quick Question for You

Which idea was your favorite?

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Jailhouse Cooking: The Poor Man's Guide To Cooking
Jailhouse Cooking: The Poor Man's Guide To Cooking

Jailhouse Cooking is a creative collection of recipes for the "poor man"


Do you have any dinner ideas?

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    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      Thanks for the comment las81071

    • las81071 profile image

      las81071 4 years ago

      You have some great ideas.