$10 cheese – Living The High Life While Blowing The Grocery Budget

by Debt Destroyer on April 20, 2009

A few months ago I shared some tips on how shave a little off your grocery bill.

Today  I will share some tips on how to totally mess up your grocery budget:

  • Visit friends who are great cooks.
  • Become motivated by friends to be more adventurous with your cooking.
  • Find some tasty looking recipes.
  • Buy a $10 block of cheese.

Before you now it, your grocery budget is gone!

Ok, so maybe it’s not a great idea to follow these steps exactly, but if you’re lucky the results can be quite scrumptious.

Allow me to explain…

Mrs. DD has a good friend who routinely invites us over for dinner.  I look forward to these calls, because she is a wonderful cook.  The joy of eating must’ve rubbed off on my wife, because she has gotten the bug for trying new recipes(she gets them from Real Simple). And the best part is that most of them have been very good.

And they haven’t been all that expensive either. But then she came cross one for Baked Spinach and Gruyere . Neither of us had heard of Gruyere before.  So we had no clue…

No clue that our local grocer sold it for $18.50/pound.


I thought for half a second about giving this meal the ax, but I knew my wife was excited to try it (you can only eat so much mac & cheese).  So instead I got the smallest package of it that I could find, but it still came to $10.76.

On 99-cent McNugget night, we routinely feed our family of four for less than I just paid for the cheese.  Heck, this chunk of cheese cost more than my entire Spring Break did.

This cheese better be good...

So now that I shared a budget busting recipe, how about we get some of you Happy Rock readers to share some of of your favorite “budget friendly” recipes.  My taste buds and my wallet thank you in advance.

Until next time,




The cheese was VERY GOOD, but the dish was not.  We both thought it would make a nice dip, but it didn’t do it for us as an entree.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jimmy April 21, 2009 at 6:12 am

Good for you for breaking down and giving the expensive cheese / meal a shot! I’m just as frugal as the next cheapskate, but in my opinion, you can’t always be a penny-pinching miser and deny yourself of every pleasure that may cost a few extra bucks. At least, not if you want to live a balanced life.

When I sit down with my fiancee and a nice bottle of wine, I often think to myself, “This is why I work and save as hard as I do – this is what I really enjoy doing with my time and money.”

As long as you’re on target to meet all of your other financial goals and obligations, I’m all for the occasional splurge. Hell, it’s one of the few things that keeps me sane so I can almost consider it an investment in my well-being!


Money Beagle April 21, 2009 at 7:34 am

There’s no such thing as too much mac and cheese!


Matt Jabs April 21, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Ha ha!

How interesting I should find this post here. Just this past weekend I had a bag of shredded Parmesan cheese on my shopping list only to discover it was $3.79 for a 8oz. bag!

I frugally & stoically returned said bag-o-cheese to its rightful place on the grocery rack to sit until a sale came its way!

I love saving money!


MB April 22, 2009 at 9:19 am

OH, how I love Gruyere cheese! It’s super yummy in quiche. I will be posting a super easy quiche recipe later and comment on how next time I’m going to use Gruyere cheese. Some splurges are just worth it!


Kristy @ Master Your Card April 22, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I would have bought the cheese on just so I wouldn’t have to eat mac and cheese…yuck! There’s a story there, though.

I think that as long as you don’t buy this $10 block of cheese (or similar budget busting food) every trip, splurging on occasion is fine. I’m glad you gave it a try, though I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as you would have liked it!

My frugal recipe to share has no specific name. It’s something I made up with the ingredients I had in the house, though I’m sure someone has a similar recipe with an actual name. But, here it is:

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken (reg size is fine)
1 tablespoon of Season-All
Spaghetti noodles
garlic salt

First, you boil the chicken with salt and pepper until they’re just about done. This reduces overall cooking time and keeps the meat tender.

Transfer the chicken to a crock pot and cover with cream of chicken and about half a can of water. Add the Season-All and stir. Let simmer for about 25 minutes (less if you’re cooking on high…just make sure the chicken is completely done).

While the chicken is cooking, boil water for the spaghetti noodles. I’ve found that if you add a cap full of olive oil, it enhances the flavor of the noodles, so I recommend it, but it’s not necessary. Once the noodles are cooked, strain them and put them back in the pan. Add butter and garlic salt to taste.

Put noodles on a plate. Cut up chicken over the noodles. Ladle the cream of chicken sauce over the chicken and noodles.



'Drea April 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Just looking at the fat grams in the Baked Spinach recipe was anxiety provoking. I recently tried this Healthy Veggie Quiche at http://tiny.cc/Nzw6n and it was tasty, frugal (depending on where you buy the spinach) and less anxiety provoking AND the parmesan cheese was quite satisfying.


mfd April 26, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Never fret about expensive cheese. I find that you can make room for it in the budget if you shrink the meal sizes.


MB April 26, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I just bought some Gruyere at Trader Joe’s last night for 8.99/lb. They had about four different ones at different price points. Might want to check it out if you have a TJ’s near you. I love that store.


Debt Destroyer April 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Thanks for all comments!

@ Jimmy – I agree an occasional splurge is OK, as long as it isnt’ too outlandish.

@ Money Beagle – I totally agree, but everyone else here gets tired of it.

@ Matt – Way to be strong!

@ MB – That quiche recipe you posted does sound good. And good for you on the Trader Joe Gruyere find. Sadly there are none are here(I’m in the boonies…where we trick ourselves on how cheap it is to live).

@ Kristy – Thanks for listing that chicken recipe. Sounds tasty, I think I’ll whip that up next time it’s my turn to cook.

@ ‘Drea – Usually cooking at home is more healthy for you…usually.

@ mfd – “Never fret about expensive cheese.” I like the sound of that. It should be a rule.


SavingDiva May 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I always think it’s a great idea to splurge and try out a new recipe. It’s a lot cheaper than take out :) Plus, you always have leftovers…and I like the activity of cooking with someone. It’s an activity and a meal!


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