Cooking on a budget? 5 family size meals under $10

5 family size home cooked meals all under $10 dollars

As college students, we all know his expensive cooking at home can be, especially on a tight budget. Below you will find five family size home cooked meals for you and your housemates/apartment-mates all under $10.


1. Orange Picante Chicken

The main ingredient,  boneless chicken breast, costs an average of $3.50 per pound. If you want to make this recipe even cheaper, you can swap bone-in chicken legs, as they have an average cost of only $1.55 per pound. The recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook, for a total cook time of 30 minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Pace picante sauce
  • Orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup regular long-grain white rice, prepared according to package directions (about 3 cups)

Directions: Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic to the skillet, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir the picante sauce, orange juice, and brown sugar in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken and sauce with the rice.

2. Chili

This meal will cost you around $8 to make.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans
  • ¹⁄8 onion, diced
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 package chili seasoning

Directions: Brown the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Stir in chili powder, tomato sauce, and kidney beans. Pour into the crock pot. Add onions and tomato to taste. Cook in a crock pot on low for 4 to 6 hours. Serve plain, or with tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and/or sour cream.

3. Pasta alla carbonara


  • large eggs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the hot pasta to egg mixture; toss to coat. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, stir in the garlic. Stir the bacon mixture into the pasta, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten; season with salt and pepper.

4. Apple Harvest Salad


  • 1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • Blue cheese crumbles (to taste)
  • Walnuts (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cups salad greens, such as arugula, red leaf lettuce or Romaine lettuce

Directions: For the dressing, mix vinegar, honey and cinnamon in small bowl with wire whisk. Gradually add oil, whisking until well blended. When ready to serve, top lettuce with drained apple slices, blue cheese and walnuts. Serve with the dressing.

5. Mac and cheese

  • 1 lb macaroni
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup diced onion (or minced if you are hiding it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 ½ cups milk
  • 16 oz cheddar cheese (or any combo of what you have in the fridge
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin by cooking the macaroni according to package direction for al dante. Drain and let sit. Cook and stir butter, onion, salt, pepper over medium heat until onion is tender. Mix in flour & cook over medium heat. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add milk and whisk regularly until mixture is boiling – then allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add macaroni to ungreased casserole & then add cheese sauce and mix to combine. If adding any topping, do so now (I suggest ham or taco meat or veggies). Cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

If you’re interested, here are some other sites that will provide you with more recipes under $10:


Categories: Bet You Didn't Know - Spokane, Campus Life, Food, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

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