GTT: $10 Dinner Twofer (plus 1)

Okay, so once upon a time, P and I were young and broke, with no kids. Now, we’re older, less broke, and have two kids. Once upon a time, we survived on a food budget of $25 A WEEK. Yeah, we don’t do that anymore. But cheap and easy are my favorite things to do, so l have a top three favorites that all come in under $10, I think. Now, one of these presupposes that you have flour & yeast in your pantry, though even adding those to the bill won’t make it impossible. Or, you know, but a pizza dough ball, that too would keep it under $10.

Option 1: Pasta with Special Sauce

1 box of spaghetti (I’ve used angel hair, fettuccine, and linguine with equal success, but a short pasta struggles here).
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I use whatever is on sale, seriously).
Garlic powder
1 onion (a real one) (slice in half; cut one half into strips or half rings; save other half)
4 to 5 strips of bacon
hot sauce (for year’s it was Tabasco and only Tabasco, these days I like Frank’s Red Hot)

Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.

Cook the bacon in a pan. Remove when cooked to your preferred level of doneness. Remove from pan. Drain off some, but not all of the bacon grease.

Put onion into the bacon grease and cook until desired level of doneness is achieved. Add spaghetti sauce and garlic powder. Add hot sauce to taste.

Mix cooked pasta into sauce. You can either crumble the bacon at this point and mix it in, or as P prefers crumble your bacon over individual servings.

Option 2: Barbeque Bacon Pizza

Flour
Yeast
Salt
water
(or a dough ball if you have the cash)
Barbeque sauce
Mexican 4 cheese blend (the big package)
1/2 onion
4 to 5 strips of bacon

Make a pizza crust or get your dough ball out. I go with dough balls. I figure you have your own recipe for dough, so I’m not going to give you that part.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Press out your dough on a pizza pan (or if you’re fancy a pizza stone). Cook on both sides until golden brown spots are showing up.

Cook bacon. Drain off most of the bacon grease. Once cooled crumble bacon.

Chop onion. Cook in remaining bacon grease.

Spread barbeque sauce over the crust to desired level of thickness. I like a significant amount of barbeque sauce.

Sprinkle some cheese over the sauce (about a 1/2 cup). Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the cheese. Spread onions over bacon. Cover with remaining cheese.

Put in oven and cook until cheese is slightly golden and bubbly.

As an aside, both of these recipes work with turkey bacon or with vegetarian bacon. You’ll never know the difference :).

Option 3: 11 cent soup

1 potato
1 cup rice
1 onion
1 can chicken broth
olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (don’t sub powdered)

Peel and chop the potato. Chop the onion. Put onion and olive oil in a soup pan and cook until onion is translucent; and garlic, cook til golden. Add potato and cook in the oil for a couple of minutes. Add rice and chicken broth. Add water. Cook until the potatoes are done. Add water as necessary (or more chicken broth if you have it).

This is a take off on Dom Deluise’s Potato-Rice Soup that P and I called 11 cent soup because it was really that cheap.

So, there are my solutions. You can see other solutions at Girl Talk Thursdays. There are a lot of clever women out there, go meet a few :).

Edited to add: Crap. I left the clove of garlic out of the 11 cent soup. It’d be good without, but it’s better with. Really, it is. It’s been added in now.

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