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I have a confession to make. I quit my job. I know, I know. It’s sudden, and I sort of leaped without thinking about where I would land. While I know I will do great things on my new journey (wherever that may take me), I will have to adjust my spending. No longer can I shop just because, purchase cute shoes, or have too many cocktails at a fancy restaurant. I have to be a bit more strategic with my spending and my budget, and the first area of my life that needs an overhaul is my grocery budget. It’s too easy to get caught up in the BOGOs, the coupons, and the sales…and then your cart is overstocked and you have way too many things that you don’t need! I still want to live a fabulous life without sacrificing taste or style, so I just will have to start looking for cheap food ideas. My first creation? An easy mac and cheese bar inspired by the flavors of Kraft!
Setting up a colorful and crafty party doesn’t have to involve a big budget. There are several ways to throw a budget-friendly shindig that is still fun and tasty. I’m going to show you how to create a custom mac and cheese bar for $10 or less! Yes, seriously.
I first stopped at Walmart to browse the Kraft Mac and Cheese varieties. I picked up a few cups of Easy Mac just because, but I was most interested in the Mac and Cheese dinner boxes.
I decided to get three different flavors, two I had never seen before!
And, as a fun summer drink, I got a pack of Koolaid Bursts. I knew my son would like them, and they were only $1!
For the mac and cheese bar, I used the Kraft dinner boxes which were 1.25 each. The Koolaid was was just $1. So, my total was $4.75! I bought a bag of frozen broccoli for $1, a can of chicken for $2, shredded cheese for $2, and I used a few ingredients I had on hand. Your mac and cheese bar may look nothing like mine, but I wanted to provide a few easy suggestions and recipes to spice it up!
I prepared three different Mac and Cheese flavors: thick and creamy, three cheese jalapeno, and garlic and herb alfredo. The original is a family favorite, but I had yet to try the other flavors. I was looking forward to mixing and matching at the mac and cheese bar to create three unique combinations.
First up, a quick run down on the extras. I used bacon bits, mozzarella, buffalo sauce, broccoli, and shredded chicken.
I prepared all three packages of mac and cheese at the same time and steamed broccoli in the microwave. Everything was “done” in 15 minutes or less. So, yes, you can have a budget friendly party quickly! I loved how everything came out, and it was so simple.
My first creation was a buffalo mozzarella mac and cheese bowl. Want the recipe? Keep reading!
- Kraft Thick and Creamy Mac and Cheese Dinner
- bacon bits
- buffalo sauce (try Frank's brand)
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- Add 2 tsp of buffalo sauce to one cup of prepared mac and cheese.
- Top with bacon bits and mozzarella.
Another creation we made at the mac and cheese bar was this garlic and cheese delight.
I used one cup of the prepared garlic and herb Alfredo Kraft mac and cheese and topped with broccoli and bacon bits.
My last creation included shredded chicken, the three cheese jalapeno Kraft mac and cheese dinner, and I topped it with shredded mozzarella.
Other mac and cheese bar essentials are small serving bowls (I had paper ones from Target that were about $2), plenty of plastic forks, milk and margarine (to prepare the mac and cheese), and plenty of cool drinks like the Koolaid Bursts.
And, I do have to admit, my family enjoyed this setup. My toddler loves the soft, cheesy texture of the Kraft mac and cheese, and he enjoyed trying broccoli along with it!