Mac ‘n Cheeze ‘n Tuna!

i’m thinking, i will share $5 meal ideas.  I know, anyone can eat a meal for under $5 (happy meal!) but I want to find ways to feed THREE people for under five dollars!  Crazy, I know.  Why three people?  Mostly because around here we’re often cooking for three (lokate, ani and brian. that’s me, my sis and her bf).  Also, i think three people is a good number of folks to cook for, cause you can invite over two friends (and it’s not awkward, like a date) or, if you’re super hungry, you can get really full all by yourself!

For my first $5 meal.  I proudly bring you my all time fave thrifty meal!  Mac ‘n Cheese ‘n Tuna!

This one’s super simple.  First you make one box of Mac ‘n Cheese.  Then while it’s all made and still in the pot, mix in exactly one li’l can of tuna!  This is one of those “you have to try it to believe it” kind of meals.  I watched in disgust as my roommate (thanks keighty!) ate this meal at least twice before i dared try it, and now i’m hooked.  If i could invite the whole world over to my apartment and make them this meal i would, because everyone needs to know how great this tastes.

A word about Mac ‘n Cheese quality.  Since learning this recipe from Keighty, i have become somewhat of an expert on MnC brands.  Happily, most store brands of MnC are totally decent!   While i’ll always grab a box of the good ol’ Kraft orig if it’s on sale (currently 49¢ at Lucky’s!), I usually get store brand.  So far i have found Safeway and Lucky’s to have good generic brands. Now, A WORD OF WARNING:  At Fred Meyer they carry FMV Mac ‘n Cheese, and it is usually 33¢ a box (so tempting, right?) but it is NOT GOOD.  Too bad, cause that’s quite a deal.  (i’d like to take a moment to say don’t turn your back completely on FMV brand.  If you have the privilege of living near a Fred Meyer, I totally recommend FMV Corn Flakes, 99¢ a box and so delish!)  I just cook the MnC following the box directions, but i usually don’t have milk to mix in and it’s usually NBD*.  Also, you can cut the amount of butter in half, to keep it healthier.  It’s pretty hard to mess up MnC.

Now, tuna talk.  Just open up the can, pour out the extra water and mix it right in.  I usually get chunk light tuna in water, 5oz., whatever brand is on sale.  My sister is big into albacore tuna, but for mixin’ into MnC, chunk light is cheaper and just as tasty!

So far:
Mac n’ Cheese $1 (and that’s for kraft orig not on sale!)
Chunk light tuna $1

We’re only at $2 and three people are pretty full.  So why not pick up some carrots for a side and three apples for dessert.

Carrots $1 (for one pound according to, these are not peeled, but honestly, you made mac ‘n cheese ‘n tuna for dinner, you can take the time to peel the carrots).
Apples $1.5 (fuji apples are 50¢ each on, i don’t get groceries online, i’m just using it to check prices.  Also note, if you cut the apples into slices for your friends or roommates, it makes having apples as dessert seem a lot more fancy!)

Grand Total $4.50

Three people fed and extremely happy.  Enjoy!

(do you have a personal fave MnC modification recipe? please leave a comment)

*does it seem like maybe some of these words aren’t in english… czech out my abbreve guide



Filed under $5 meals

6 responses to “Mac ‘n Cheeze ‘n Tuna!

  1. Ian

    You weren’t kidding about the serving size! I had to split up mine into two meals.

    Side-note: Leftover meal, i mixed in a couple splashes of Tapatio hot sauce, and my…it was delectable!

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  4. heather

    I totally used to make that all the time. Did Ani eat it? Because I feel like she wouldn’t at the time . . .

  5. I do the same MnC + tuna, but also throw in a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. This was a favorite family meal growing up. Yummm! (Toss in some baby peas for an extra treat)

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