"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Family Meals for Under $5 - Cheesy Potato and Ham Casserole

Family Meals for Under $5 - Cheesy Potato and Ham Casserole
Works For Me Wednesday

"...Weekly grocery circulars often read “feed a family of 4 for under $10!”. I’m sure most of you have laughed at this as I did. As a result, I began to wonder what does dinner really cost for my family of 8? So I set a challenge for myself and I figured if I kept it under $5, I was doing good..."

I came up with this weeks recipe one night when I was desperately trying to figure out what to make for dinner out of what I had in my house - ever been there? So instead of running to the store, I adapted a recipe I had for scalloped potatoes and ham with what I had and what my family likes. Here is the result.
Cheesy Potato and Ham Casserole
2c diced turkey ham - 1.42 lb for Festive brand @ Wal-Mart = .94
1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup = .50
8 potatoes, scrubbed and diced - .07 ea = .56
2 green onions, sliced - 39c pkg - .03ea = .06
½ c powdered cheese sauce from Provident Pantry = .88
Mixed w/ 1c warm water to make 1 c sauce
Mix soup and sauce in a 13 x 9 dish. Add potatoes, ham and onions. Stir to mix well. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 1 hr.
Serve with tossed green salad and steamed carrots
Tossed Green Salad
½ head Romaine lettuce = .75
1 carrot grated = .09
1 sm tomato on the vine @ .96 lb = .25
Steamed Carrots
10 carrots scrubbed and sliced = .90
Steam until tender
Total = $4.93

Alternative Options
I realize many who read this may not have powdered cheese sauce or know what it is. Think of it as the cheese sauce that comes in a box of cheap macaroni and cheese. I buy it in a #10 can to have in my food storage since my family LOVES cheese. More about food storage in later posts.
I’ve included a couple of alternatives to this, along with their prices and subsequent totals.
1 10.5 can cheddar cheese soup = $1.39
If you choose this option omit the steamed carrots to keep your total under $5
Option 2 Total = $4.54
2. 2 c grated cheddar cheese - $3.78 2lb loaf on sale - .34c = .68
¼ c milk = .03
Option 3 Total = $4.76

Hope you enjoy your meal...
Live less, live more

For more great ideas checkout Works For Me Wednesday


  1. Thanks for the post. It is really funny, but not too long ago someone gave our family a bag of the dry cheese you used, with absolutely no instructions on how to use it. Now I have a recipe to use it up with. Thank you for your help.

  2. I've never heard of the powdered cheese sauce. Do you know who carries it?

    I love ham and potato casseroles ...

  3. Jerralea,

    To answer your question, there are numerous stores available online that sell food storage or bulk food. Because of your question, we added a link on the side nav bar called "Food Storage Links". Hope that helps and we'll be adding more links soon.


  4. I haven't bought from Provident Pantry before--haven't even heard of them! I'll have to check them out. I bought cheese powder from Walton Feed.

    Sometimes we feed our family of 7 for as much as $5. My goal this last month has been to feed our family for $2 a meal. We've been doing really well at this!

    Tonight was more money, but it has leftovers, so it will take us into another meal for at least 2 more people.

    We had creamy chicken enchiladas with corn. We added artichokes and a green salad (lettuce only) from the garden. We had brownies for dessert, which ups the price a bit; the brownies were $1.25.

    This is a lot for us in one meal, though. We have been having lots of salads from the garden and homemade bread.

  5. I really enjoy the blog $5 Dinners, but one thing that I have noticed about her recipes is that they wouldn't feed my family. We only have 4, but my husband and 12 year old daughter eat a lot! Your recipe has a lot more bulk!