Macaroni and Cheese for $5.49

It’s a childhood favorite known for its place in southern cuisine, but the appeal is universal. This grown up, made-from-scratch recipe puts instant macaroni to shame, but it’s almost just as easy to make! Feel free to take creative liberty with the recipe, and add seasoning to make it suit your cravings. This will pair well with almost any meat (barbecue, anyone?), but works as a standalone too. This recipe came out to a total of $5.49

This recipe is part of our “Feed a Family for $5.55” series. The price of this recipe does not include items from our list of pantry basics.

Macaroni and Cheese

Prep. Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 50 Minutes

A lightly spicy and heavily cheesy macaroni, with room for flavor customization to taste.


  • 1/2 box elbow macaroni ($.50) (half pound)
  • ¼ c butter or margerine
  • ½ onion, diced ($.25)
  • 3 tbsp flour – Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups milk ($1.00)
  • Dash of Tabasco (optional)
  • 2 cups cheese blend ($2.19)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs ($.35)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 c broccoli ($1.20)


Preheat oven to 350F. Boil macaroni in pot of salted water until just tender (5 minutes). In a separate pot, heat butter on medium-low heat, then add onion and sauté until translucent. Add flour and cook (stirring constantly) for about three minutes. Whisk in milk and cook on low until it begins to thicken. Stir in Tabasco, if using, and cheese. In a large bowl, toss macaroni with milk/cheese mixture and salt and pepper. Pour into oven-proof casserole sprayed with Pam. Mix bread crumbs with melted butter and spread over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve with steamed broccoli.

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