$10 buck dinners!

Well balanced meals for a family of 4. $10 or less!

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Jalapeno Cheddar Sliders and twice cooked fries

Keep an eye out at the butcher or your local grocery store for manager specials. Some stores have bins and some just have these items mixed in with the other meats. At my local store, the butcher routinely does some premixed and seasoned meat and sausages. If they don’t all sell, they reduce the price in half and run a “manager” special. I love these sales! It’s a chance to taste someone else’s ideas and saves me some work. Shoot, why not!?

Jalapeno Cheddar Sliders:

2 lbs (2 packages, 2 patties each of pre-packaged burgers from the butcher) – $2.09 and $2.31 (Manager’s Special)
1 package of dinner rolls (10-12 count) – $1.99
10 slices of cheddar or other cheese – $1.25
1/4 head lettuce, cleaned and prepped – $.25
2 roma tomatoes, sliced – $.40

COST: $8.29

I simply broke down the prepackaged patties I got on sale from the butcher. If you don’t have this option, you can use my Serrano Cheddar burger recipe and accomplish the same thing.

Using the premixed burgers, separate meat mixture into 12 equal balls. Now form balls into small patties no more than one inch thick and place on hot grill or griddle with a spatula. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or to your preferred temp. Once cooked, place slices of cheese on each burger and shut grill or cover with lid for 30 seconds.

Serve with whatever condiments you desire and lettuce and tomato.  And don’t forget the twice-cooked fries!

Twice-Cooked Fries

6-8 red or white potatoes – $1.57
1 Tbsp Paprika – pantry
1 tsp Garlic Powder – pantry
2 Tbsps canola or olive oil – pantry
1 tsp Sea Salt – pantry
1 tsp Pepper, fresh ground if possible – pantry

COST: $1.57

Clean and pierce potatoes with knife. Microwave or bake till near done, not complete. Let cool.

Mix garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and set aside.

When potatoes are cool, peel skin and slice. Season with 1/2 your dry mix and fry in a non stick pan. Make sure your oil is heated to medium hot before placing potatoes in. Let cook till brown and crisp on one side, then flip. Once fries done, remove and place on paper towel to drain. Dust with remaining seasoning mixture and serve.

GRAND TOTAL: $9.86


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10 bean soup with bone-in ham

Wow! Talk about an affordable, healthy and delicious meal. For just over $5 bucks, you get a beautiful dish with wonderful flavors and textures and most definitely, leftovers. Because really; this meal can feed 6, easy! Oh, and jalapeno cheddar is the bomb! Such the perfect addition to this simple summer salad. Between the salad and the soup, your family will never ask to go Souplantation again!

10 Bean Soup with Ham:

1 1/2 lbs bulk 10 bean soup (dry) – $1.71
Leftover Ham and Bone (never throw these out after Sunday dinner or Easter. Freeze it! If you have to buy a large slice of bone-in ham, expect to pay $3.50 or so for a slab) – Freezer
1 Tbsp Canola Oil – pantry
1 medium yellow onion, diced – $.45
2 tsps Soul seasoning or salt – pantry
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper – pantry
2 bay leaves – pantry
1/2 tsp thyme – pantry
6 cups water (I add a few Tbsps of chicken bouillon, for flavor) – pantry

COST: $2.26

Before you start, you can cut some pieces off the ham bone and cube them. Just make sure and keep the bone. It all gets cooked up and the bone itself is where you get all your flavor!

Now, heat oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add onion, 1/2 of your Soul Seasoning or salt and saute for 5 to 10 minutes.

Once onions are cooked, add ham and ham bone. Stir and add broth or water, bay leaves, thyme, rest of salt or soul seasoning and pepper. Stir again, until all ingredients are combined, add beans and cover. Bring to strong boil, reduce to simmer and cook (covered) for 3-4 hours.

Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving and add some finely diced green onion or jalapeno as garnish, if you choose. We leave them on the side since we have kids. A little habanero hot sauce is great too, if you like it really spicy!

Speaking of spicy, check out this salad…

Spicy Summer Salad

Spicy Summer Salad:

Mixed greens, whatever’s on sale – $.99
2 Large Roma Tomato, sliced or diced – $.30
1 green Pepper, sliced or diced – $.44
1 cup Jalapeno Cheddar, cubed – $1.50
1/2 onion, thinly sliced- $.25
Salt and Pepper to taste – pantry

COST: $3.48

GRAND TOTAL: $5.74


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