5 Meals Under $5.00

How many times have you gone to the grocery store in the past year and wondered how you could possibly afford to feed your family with the rising prices? I used to think that myself, but I’ve found a way to be a bargain shopper and still make filling meals for my family of four……on a budget. I’ve found it’s much cheaper to buy off-brands in most cases, including the store brand, ie. Kroger and Meijer. It might go against the grain at first, but you’ll be amazed to find that there is virtually no difference between the store and brand name foods. These recipes use chicken as the base ingredient, mainly because it’s cheaper, but also very healthy. I hope that you enjoy the simple and budget-friendly recipes below!

1. Chicken and broccoli casserole
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs split chicken breasts – they’re cheaper than boneless, skinless
2 cans cream of broccoli soup, mixed with 3/4 can of milk each – I use the Kroger brand
Season with salt, pepper, and garlic – to taste, if desired, but not necessary

Boil the chicken breasts, about 20 minutes. Cool in cold water, then remove the skin, and cut the breast from the bone. This is actually very easy, and well worth the money saved. Cube or shred the chicken and put in a casserole dish. Add the 2 cans of cream of broccoli, mixing in 3/4 can of milk with each. Add seasoning if desired. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

2. Bean and cheese quesadillas
Ingredients:
1 large can fat free refried beans – Kroger brand
1 package of tortillas – I buy the Kroger value tortillas
1 8oz bar of cheese, shredded – Kroger brand
Hot sauce – if desired

Spread a layer of refried beans on half of a tortilla. Add shredded cheese, and hot sauce if desired. Fold in half and grill on a flat griddle or a frying pan until browned on both sides.

3. Chicken lasagna
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs split chicken breasts – prepared like recipe 1 above
1 pkg lasagna noodles
1 large can of pasta sauce – I buy the Kroger value sauce and add garlic and onion powder
1 8oz bar of cheese, shredded
Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder, to taste

Prepare split chicken breasts as explained in the first recipe. Shred the chicken, mix in pasta sauce and seasonings, if desired. Boil pasta, about 10 minutes, drain and let cool. Place a layer of lasagna noodles in bottom of casserole dish, slightly overlapping. Add a layer of chicken/sauce, and then sprinkle shredded cheese over it. Place another layer of noodles over this, then repeat the filling. Add a final top layer of noodles, and place remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

4. Chicken and rice fajitas
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs split chicken breasts, shredded
2 cups cooked rice – Kroger boil-in-a-bag rice works perfect
1 pkg of tortillas
1 8oz bar of cheese, shredded
Sauce – can use salsa, soy, teriyaki – whatever suits you, and again, I use the Kroger brand for all of these

Prepare chicken, shred and place in a bowl. If using boil-in-a-bag rice, boil in large sauce-pan, drain and place in a bowl. Make these easy fajitas and enjoy! Each of the sauces listed above work great. If you want to add a little more spice, stir in a pack of Kroger taco seasoning to the shredded chicken.

5. Chicken and green bean casserole
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs split chicken breasts, cubed
2 cans green beans, water drained
1 can cream of potato soup, mixed with 3/4 can of milk
Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion, if desired

Prepare chicken, cube and place in casserole dish. Add the green beans. Stir in cream of potato soup and 3/4 can of milk. Stir in seasonings, if desired. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.