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Mac & Cheese w/Ham & Peas – Cheap Food Ideas

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #1DollarDeals #CollectiveBias #cbias

As you probably know, I have 3 boys. Who all really, really like to eat. {Who am I kidding, we all like to eat.} Plus, they’re all involved in various activities, which all happen on different nights each week. So finding quick, easy and inexpensive recipes and snack ideas can be a bit of a challenge.

Then the other day, the boys and I were at Walmart and started noticing a bunch of Kraft Foods products that were only $1 each.

Mac & Cheese Bake with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

I decided to challenge myself to see if I could make an entire dinner for my family of 5 — including drinks and dessert — for under $10. 

The boys were totally on board. They had so much fun trying to add everything up and see what we had to switch out. It was like a little scavenger hunt; they loved it.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

So we came up with Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas {they were also all about the rhyming name!} made from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, with Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Bursts to drink and Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding for dessert.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

I couldn’t believe we did it!

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese {I bought 2}: $.98 each
Kool-Aid Bursts: $1
Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding: $1.18
Kraft Velveeta Shreds: $2.18
Ham steak: $2.50
Bag of frozen peas: $1
TOTAL: $9.82!

I love Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. It was always such a treat when I was growing up, and it’s a treat now too. We use it sometimes as a side dish, but it’s great for a meal, too. There are so many way to fancy-up a box of mac & cheese, but this one is one of my favorites.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

Plus, it’s a great way to “sneak” some vegetables into a meal for your kids! David and Connor are pretty good about eating veggies, but Mason, not so much. Toss them into some macaroni and cheese, though, and that’s a different story.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

{When D found out I was going to include a picture of Mason in this post, he got seriously annoyed and insisted that I take a picture of him as well. And of course he had to act like a monkey.}

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

Please note how we color-coordinated their plates with their outfits. That’s how we roll in this house. {Not really. I just noticed that as I was looking back at the photos. I think we might start though, because it looks awesome.}

Anyway. Back to the food.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

All you have to do is prepare two boxes of macaroni & cheese according to the directions, except you’ll add in the frozen peas {no need to thaw!} in the last 1:30 of cooking. Add in the ham and shredded cheese with the milk, butter and cheese packets and heat until everything’s nice a cheesy and melted.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

For dessert, I just served the pudding in little dishes with a little something extra.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

Because, well… I mean. Sprinkles. They make everything better.

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas -- make a dinner for 5 {including drinks and dessert!} for under $10! #1DollarDeals #shop #cbias

 

Mac & Cheese with Ham & Peas
Serves 6
An easy-to-make, delicious dinner for 5 -- under $10!
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 boxes Kraft Original Flavor Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
  2. 1 10-oz bag frozen peas
  3. 7 T butter, cut into pieces
  4. 2/3 cup milk
  5. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  6. 1-2 cups ham cubes
Instructions
  1. 1. Bring 10 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add macaroni, cook for 6 minutes. Add in frozen peas, continue to cook for an addition 1-2 minutes. Drain {do not rinse} and return to pan.
  2. 2. Add butter, milk and cheese sauce mix and combine well. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and ham cubes, and heat until cheese is melted and ham is heated through.
Notes
  1. Serve with Kool-Aid Bursts and Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding!
Endlessly Inspired http://endlesslyinspired.com/
Have you challenged yourself to create an inexpensive dinner for your family? What are your favorite cheap food ideas?

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. Among others, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Samantha K
    June 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

    This is a great idea for a frugal meal. I have three boys and I can totally relate! They would eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese every day if I let them. #client

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