MOM, what's for dinner??

If my son could talk... other than his constant 16 month old babble and few signs he knows... he would ask me the moment he wakes up "Mama, what's for dinner?!" We are major foodies in this house and enjoy eating a variety of meals, new or old or pinterest inspired. So one day we were looking through the Sunday paper we purchased in Hagerstown before driving back to Philadelphia, when I came across the Walmart sales flyer. I was confused for a moment when I flipped to the food section and saw recipes. Confused, and yet hopeful they would actually be good! So, I invite you to flip through the Walmart flyer next Sunday and see what might work for your family. In the meantime here are two recipes that I thought I would share. (Remember if you get stumped on dinners for the week to check out Pinterest or Jen's monthly meal plan she posts!)

½ of 1lb box of Penne Pasta, cooked and drained
1 jar Prego Alfredo Sauce Flavored with Bacon
½ of 1 oz envelope ranch salad dressing mix
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Heat Oven to 350. Stir the penne, sauce, dressing mix and half the cheese in a large bowl. Spoon the mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling!

This serves 4. How easy?! Now let's look really quick at the cost.

1 lb box of Penne Pasta. Typically on sale for $1 or less.
1 jar of Prego Alfredo Sauce. Wal-mart sells for $1.88.
1 envelope ranch salad mix. Ranges from $1-$2 depending on store.
½ cup Monterey Jack Cheese. Bags usually cost around $3 and holds 2 cups.

So if you double the recipe (for lunch leftovers the next day) you would spend a total of around $8 without coupons for the entire meal OR $1 per bowl of pasta. Add on some home made garlic bread and a side salad and I bet you wouldn't go over $1.50 per plate. This meal is amazing for group gatherings and a quick and somewhat healthy meal on a weeknight!

Here is one more recipe for a nice warm soup on a cold winter night:

2lbs ground Turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2Tbsp Chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
3 ½ cups of V8 100% Juice
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Cook the turkey, onion, chili powder and cumin in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat until the turkey is cooked through, stirring often. Add vegetable juice, pepper and beans to the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

This 6 serving soup may cost a little more to make since it has a meat component. However, when looking at the cost it is still under what you would spend going out to eat. Plus it is SO healthy and quick to make! Add some cornbread and Ta-DA a weeknight meal in 30 minutes or less!

Do you have some favorite week night dinners that are wallet friendly? Please share!

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