Dinner on a flash with a shoestring

Cheap eats are all the rage these days, which is probably a less-than-thrilling indicator about the real state of the American economy.  Most of the slick magazines’ versions has a dinner for 4 costing $10 and call that cheap.

I’m sorry, but for someone on a really tight budget, a $10 dinner isn’t all that cheap.

Here’s a really cheap meal that is satisfying and easy too.  It’s the infamous chili mac!

Chili Mac

1 can chili beans (about $1)

1 can chili (about $1)

1 lb. radiatori macaroni (about $1)

2 c. shredded Mexican style cheese (about $2)

1 tsp. salt (a penny?)


This is a very easy recipe.  Cook the pasta, using the salt, as the package directions tell you.  Drain the pasta, stir in the chili and chili beans, then the cheese.  It can be served immediately, or put into a casserole dish and baked in microwave or oven.

This makes a very generous four servings and can serve as many as eight more modestly. total cost? About $5 for four (or more) servings, or $1.25 per person.  As an even cheaper alternative, freezing homemade chili in 2 cup portions can be substituted for the chili and chili beans in this recipe.  Just heat the chili up in a saucepan while the pasta is cooking, then combine the pasta and chili together and stir in the cheese and voila! You will have dinner.


About giascott

Writer, blogger, cook, grandmother, mother, wife, radio personality, outdoor enthusiast, dog enthusiast, crafter, artist, and part-time nut~~I've earned a lot of t-shirts in my day! I'm one of those crazy independent women who can cut down a tree, build you a shed, sew you a dress, cook your dinner, make some soap, pitch a tent, build a fire, catch some fish, dig in the garden, chase a kid or two, write you a poem, paint you a picture, and a dozen other things...just don't ask me to sing! I'm also embarking on a relatively new portion of my life, one of being disabled. I'm learning some lessons along the way about a lot of things too.
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