Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dinner on the Cheap-Tuna Noodle Casserole

So awhile back I decided that I was going to attempt to make some reasonable priced meals.  I am one of those people who tends to go to the grocery store 4 times a week and just buy whatever I feel like at the time.  I'm not great at planning out a week of meals in advance or even one dinner.  I have walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store for long periods of time before just looking for something to make for dinner.  So anyways, I have decided that I probably waste a lot of money doing that.  So I will be doing a series on cheap meals.  Apparently this is a popular topic.  There are at least 2 shows on the Food Network about saving money on meals (Money Saving Meals and $10 Dinners) and I also noticed a food magazine featuring 5 meals for 4 for under $10 each while standing in line the other day.  So I can totally do this too.  Right?

Sometimes I get annoyed at these low price meal shows.  Awhile back there was one that I used to watch and the guy would make supposedly affordable meals but he would say well this spice doesn't count because you already have that in the pantry.  Or he would buy some weird cheese that would be super expensive at my grocery store.  Stuff like that.  I will try not to do that.

Onward.  When I think of cheap dinners, I think of casseroles.  And when I think of cheap meat, I think of canned tuna (which is pretty much the only canned meat I will eat).  So I was thinking of making a classic...Tuna Noodle Casserole.  That can't be too expensive, right? 

Ok, here is my breakdown....
So essentially this meal cost $7.50 to make but buying all the ingredients new cost $14.25.  However, I have used those remaining ingredients for other stuff.  The remaining cheddar cheese was used in a soup I made last night.  The Parmesan cheese (which you could probably leave out anyways) was used in a pasta salad I made for the baby shower.  The milk was used in my cereal.  The bread crumbs were already half used on something else anyways. 

(Oh and if you want to make this just cook the noodles and mix it with the next few ingredients, then top with a little melted butter, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  Then bake it at 350 for 30 minutes.)

So there you go.  I think this meal was actually cheap to make.  Some people might not be a big fan of tuna noodle casserole though so next time I will try to make something with fresh meat or vegetarian.  I know you can't wait.


Jenni said...

Not the biggest fan of tuna but my granny did trick me to eating it once when it was in a casserole and I must say that was much better than straight from the can. $7.50 is good for a dinner...that was a lot of math.

Salt said...

I am a fan of tuna and especially pasta in the shape of shells! Oh and also things that are cheap. Basically this sounds like it's the perfect dinner for me.

Hutch said...

I do like tuna and pasta, but casseroles remind me too much of yucky childhood concoctions all thrown together. That being said on a cold winter day this could probably be very good.

bmellisen said...

This casserole tasted delicious. I am not the best judge though because I dont think you have made very many things that werent good. But I do look forward to my fresh meat casserole.

Mo Young said...

I think I'm the opposite of Hutch - as I love casserole concoctions! I will def try this receipe out ... plus it's cheap. And I look forward to reading about the fresh meat casserole ... um, that's meatloaf right?