A couple weeks ago, I blogged about how irritating it is to me when people talk about how cheap fast food is. Fast food is not cheap. Fast food is fast. But homemade food can be too.
For each member of our family to order two things off of the dollar menu equals $12 (plus tax in Indiana). Below are several butt-kicking meals that can be made in 5 minutes. They each serve about 6 people (well, 6 of our people, which is 2 leanish adults and 4 youngish children, so take that for what it's worth--we're not feeding teenagers, although 2 dollar menu items isn't going to feed teenagers either). These meals are not gourmet meals and they are not necessarily entirely made from scratch or whole food ingredients (we're comparing them to fast food chains, people, so come on), though most can be adapted to homemade/whole food if you have 15-20 more minutes. Also, some require no or very little cooking time, but others are crock pot meals, which means you have to think of them in the morning (yeah, I don't always manage that either), but they still only take five minutes of your day to prepare.
1. Shrimp (pre-cooked, yes) with cocktail sauce, bagged Caesar salad, and garlic bread.
Thaw the shrimp, toss the bagged salad, add butter and garlic to the bread and broil for a few minutes.
shrimp: 7.00/lb, cocktail: 1.50, bagged salad (which includes dressing): 2.00, bread: 1.00
2. Sub sandwiches with fruit.
Put out the toppings, cut the fruit.
deli meat: 4.00, buns: 1.50, pickles: .50, cheese: .75, toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, mustard): .75, apples: 1.00, oranges: .50, pears: .50
3. Scrambled eggs and toast
Scramble your eggs with veggies like broccoli, spinach, or canned tomatoes (drained) and maybe some cheese if you'd like. Make toast. Eat.
6 eggs: .60, can tomatoes: 1.00, cup spinach: .40, cheese: .50, half a loaf of bread: 1.00
4. Dorito Salad
Kip loves this stuff and he is not a huge salad guy. Even my kids will eat it if they get plenty of Doritos to buy them off. Chop lettuce, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheddar cheese. Add a can of chicken (drained). Toss. Add crumbled Doritos and serve with Ranch dressing.
head romaine: .75, can olives: 1.00, cucumber: .50, tomatoes: .50, cheese: .75, canned chicken: 2.00, half bag of Doritoes: 1.50, dressing: 1.00
5. Crock Pot Ranch Chili.
Toss it all in the crock pot and turn the crock on.
Cost: $5.50 for 6-8 servings
chicken: 1.50, tomatoes: 1.00, beans: .50, corn: .50, ranch powder: .50-1.00, cream cheese: 1.00
6. Ranch Roast with potatoes and carrots.
Toss it all in the crock, cover it in Ranch powder, turn the crock on.
roast: $8.00, potatoes: .50, carrots: .50, ranch powder:1.00-2.00
7. Crock Pot Italian Chicken with Instant Rice.
Toss in crock and turn it on. Make the rice when it's ready. With a few extra minutes, this can be whole-fooded.
chicken: 4.00, cream cheese: 1.00, soup: 1.00, seasoning: .75, rice: (truth be told I have no idea on the instant, so I'm putting a normal rice price): .25
8. Crock Pot Rosemary Chicken
Throw a frozen bird in the crock with seasonings and turn the crock on.
chicken: 6.00, seasonings: .50, potatoes: .50, carrots: .50
9. ...And then there's always angel hair. I know I mention it too much, but it's one of our super quick stand-bys.
pasta: 1.00, sauce: 2.00