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Easy and Cheap Dinner Ideas

Sydney Spence enjoys trying to new recipes and sharing her own family recipes with others.


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 affordable 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: Spaghetti Dinner

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: Frito Pies

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.


Wednesday: Baked Potatoes

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: Ramen Spread

Ramen Spread

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

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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.


Friday: Grilled Sandwiches and Soup

Grilled Ham 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.


Saturday: Chili Dogs

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.


Sunday: Sweet-N-Sour Chicken and Rice

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 bread so, here's my favorite 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!



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:

Chocolate Oatmeal Balls

  • Chocolate Oatmeal Balls
    Calling all chocolate lovers! Try this quick to make recipe the next time your chocolate craving hits.

Microwave Caramel Corn

Try My Oven Fried Chicken Recipe

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

Quick Question for You

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Sydney Spence

Do you have any dinner ideas?

Sydney Spence (author) from Texas on May 27, 2013:

Thanks for the comment las81071

las81071 on May 27, 2013:

You have some great ideas.

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