$10 buck dinners!

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

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BBQ Chicken and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

It’s summer time and that means BBQ. Which also means mac salad. Which always reminds me of Kauai. And where am I going with this? Ha! If you’ve ever had a plate lunch, you know what I mean. That creamy goodness that just blends perfectly with BBQ or Kalua Pig or Masubi. Melt in your mouth goodness. Yum! I bet you’re getting hungry just reading this post, aren’t you? Well hook it up!! See for yourself. Make your own plate lunch and enjoy.

BBQ’d Chicken Thighs:

4-6 Chicken thighs, bone in or boneless (leave on skin)- $4.56
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing – $.20
2 tsps salt – pantry
2 tsps paprika – pantry
1 tsp garlic powder – pantry
1 Tbsp onion powder – pantry
1 tsp pepper – pantry

COST: $4.76

Combine all ingredients for marinade. Place thighs in a ziptop bag or glass bowl with cover. Pour marinade over top, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

After 3 to 4 hours, preheat grill to medium heat. Place chicken thighs on preheated grill and cook for about 20 minutes turning occasionally. Remember, chicken is done when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You can usually tell because the juices are clear and watery, but if in doubt, use a meat thermometer.

Hawaiian Mac Salad:

1 pkg elbow macaroni (cooked till tender and fat) – $.89
1 3/4 to 2 cups mayo (best foods is choice, but not necessary) – $.75
1/4 cup grated onion (not minced, grated) – $.20
1 carrot grated – $.15
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste – pantry

COST: $1.99

Place cooked pasta in large bowl and stir in grated onion. Not minced or chopped, but grated. This is key!

Next, add the mayo. Start with 1 3/4 cups and see how you like it. You can add a little milk too, if it feels too thick. If you feel it’s too dry, add 1/4 cup more mayo. It’s really to your taste. Experiment.

Last, add grated carrot, salt and pepper to taste. Stir again, top with paprika and refrigerate till ready to serve.

For an easy and healthy veggie side, steamed broccoli (3 spears) $1.97 is perfect. Just add a 1/2 cup water in a pan, cleaned and cut broccoli spears, salt and bring to boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook till desired tenderness.


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Couscous and Grilled Ahi Salad

If you haven’t tried couscous, you must! Especially if your household is a rice loving kind like ours. Even though it’s technically a pasta, it’s affordable like rice and cooks up even easier. It’s bland when cooked alone, but because of that, you can make it special with your own additions. Everything from raisins to nuts or just broth. Couscous is that versatile! And the kids gobble it up.

Of course being summer and all, the grill is always ready to go. So when I spotted Ahi for $5.99 a lb, I jumped on it! Made into a salad, it goes a lot further. Add some biscuits and no one will go hungry.


1 1/2 cup couscous – (buy in bulk. Super cheap)$.87
2 3/4 cups chicken broth (water with 1 Tbsp bouillon works too) – pantry
Herbs and Seasonings of your choice to enhance flavor (sauted veggies are great too)

COST: $.87

In a saucepan with a good, tight lid, bring broth (or water) to a boil. Add bouillon to water and stir. Add couscous, stir and remove from heat. Immediately cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve. Couscous should be light and fluffy, not gummy.

Grilled Ahi Salad:

2 Ahi Steaks (about a 1 pound, so catch a sale) – $6.19
1/2 head lettuce of your choice – $.49
1 Large Roma Tomato – $.15
1 red Pepper – $.88
2 Tbsps Soul or Cajun Seasoning – pantry
1 Tbsp Canola Oil – pantry

COST: $7.71

Coat Ahi steak in seasoning. Heat grill to medium high heat. Before placing tuna on grill, drizzle with oil. Cook for 4-5 mins on each side. You can grill on higher heat and just sear, or cook through. Your choice. When done to your taste, remove from grill and let rest.

Prepare simple salad and plate fish over salad. We serve with just lemon wedges because the flavor is so fresh and delicious.

Mimi’s Biscuits:

This is a very simple biscuit recipe and super delicious! Believe it or not, I got it from a book and NOT a cook book. I read it in Shem Creek, by Dorthea Benton Frank. I sometimes modify mine with lard. Today, I went straight butter. I have to say, butter does make these special. Not only perfect for the roast, but great in the morning with jelly and a nice cup of coffee.

2 cups all purpose flour – .50
1 Tbsp baking powder – Pantry
1/2 tsp salt – Pantry
1/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard (or even butter) – .20
3/4 cup milk – .25

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in lard and butter. Stir in milk. Lightly flour a large cutting board or countertop. Place dough in center. Knead lightly, 10 times or so. Lightly roll out to 1/2 inch thick and cut with floured metal cutter or I used a small glass, or in my case, I just formed oval shapes.

Bake 10-12 min. Serve hot and enjoy! Makes about 10-12 biscuits.

COST: $.95


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