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Are you trying to save money on groceries? According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the average American consumer spends just over $6,000 on food every year. This handy cheap meal plan will walk you through a week’s worth of family dinners, all under $10. So if you’re a budget-conscious cook, print this baby out start saving today.


Turkey Chili: Estimated Cost: $6.75-$7.75

Serves 4

1 pound of ground turkey
1 can of chili beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1, 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder


  1. Brown ground turkey in a skillet and drain.
  2. In a large pot, combine black beans, chili beans, diced tomatoes (do not drain) and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Add in the cooked ground turkey. Stir in chili powder. Let simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Serve with crackers or a slice of whole wheat bread.


Dirty Rice Casserole: Estimated Cost: $6.00

Serves 4

1 pound of ground turkey or beef
1 box of Zatarain's reduced sodium dirty rice
1 small green pepper (chopped)
1 small red onion (chopped)


  1. Cook rice according to package. In a medium-sized skillet, brown the ground turkey or beef. Add in onions and peppers.
  2. Once the rice is finished and the meat is drained, combine together in a large pot.
    Serve with hot sauce or teriyaki sauce if desired.


Italian Meatball Soup: Estimated Cost: $6.50-$7.50

Serves 4

8 ounces refrigerated or frozen meatballs
1 15-ounce can sweet peas
1, 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1, 14-ounce can beef broth


  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered,
    about 10 minutes or until meatballs are heated through. Garnish with basil if desired.


Baked Ziti: Estimated Cost: $6.75-$7.50

Serves 4

1 box of whole penne pasta
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 pound of ground turkey
1 cup of reduced fat mozzarella cheese


  1. Boil pasta according to package.
  2. Brown the meat in large skillet and drain. Add in jar of spaghetti sauce
  3. Drain pasta and combine with meat and sauce mixture. Pour pasta
    into a lasagna pan and sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of reduced fat mozzarella cheese. Heat in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.


Meatball Subs: Estimated Cost: $7.50-$8.50

Serves 4

8 ounce package of turkey meatballs
1 bag of sub rolls
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup of reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Heat meatballs in a saucepan with spaghetti sauce.
  2. Place meatballs on sub rolls, and sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.


Veggie Wrap: Estimated Cost: $7.00-$8.00

Serves 4

10-inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese
½ cup of cut up vegetables
1 tablespoon bottled ranch dressing


  1. Layer cheese and vegetables on tortilla
  2. Top with ranch salad dressing and roll up


*Note that the prices listed will vary based on brand, store and location.






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Comments on "A week's worth of $10 dinners"

CC June 02, 2010 | 6:46 AM

That's not a very healthy week. Four out of the seven dinners use ground turkey. What about chicken, fish, lean beef, pork,... you can be healthy AND frugal by portioning out servings and freezing them for leftovers. Also, pasta is the cheapest and easier dinner to dress up- toss with olive oil, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan for a light summer dinner or drizzle with a reduction of butter, cream and white wine for a luscious take on alfredo.

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