Pulling together your taxes can be a stressful time, whether you're getting money back or not. But if you have the lovely task of writing the government a check, spending a load of cash on groceries isn't the most appealing prospect afterwards. Enjoy your meal (and the tiny price tag) with these affordable family dinners. Each serves four people and all come in under $3 per serving.
Cost: $2.96 per serving
This Jambalaya recipe is loaded with flavor thanks to a hit of Cajun seasoning and Andouille sausage. Andouille, a smoky, garlicky pork sausage, adds depth, but you can use any flavorful chicken or pork sausage. Pair this hearty recipe with crusty bread for dipping and you have a complete meal. For a bright punch of flavor, add a squeeze of lemon over your bowl or a hit of hot sauce just before serving.
Cost: $2.70 per serving
This speedy main feels restaurant-worthy, but it couldn’t be easier or more affordable. Stirring fresh herbs, garlic, or lemon rind into softened butter, called compound butter, is a brilliant topper for simply cooked meats or fish, a pile of steamed vegetables, or as a spread for crostini. Dollop the goat cheese mixture over the pork chops and cover the plate with foil so it will melt slightly while you cook the green beans.
Cost: $2.64 per serving
This easy skillet pasta bake is a surefire family hit. Pasta and meat sauce topped with mozzarella cheese will make everyone at the table happy, and the all-in-one-pot technique will have the cook smiling too. Cooking the pasta in the meat sauce not only lessens the amount of dishes you have to do and the time it takes to get dinner done, but the starches in the pasta thicken the sauce—without you having to do a single extra thing.