I'm sure we've all seen those cookbooks that promise to provide hundreds of recipes or even entire meals that can be prepared for under $10. I don't know about you guys, but I've always been rather disappointed in them. They only calculate the price of one chicken breast and ignore the fact that they only come in packages of three or four, or they assume that you've got a well-stocked pantry with spices and the usual staple items. Well, I just graduated from college and moved 300 miles across the state so let's just say that my pantry does not fit whatever assumptions these recipe writers have.
So without further rambling, here's my buffalo chicken pizza for about $12. Everything that goes into this pizza was bought in one trip, so there's nothing you need to have on hand to make this work.
This is a very inexact recipe here. Quantities can be changed according to personal tastes as can exact flavors of ingredients, but here's an idea of what you'll need.
1 Pre-made pizza crust
1/2 c. prepared wing sauce
2 c. (8oz) shredded cheese--mozzarella, pizza blend, whatever
6oz cooked chicken, cut-up into bite size pieces or shredded (About 1 to 2 chicken breasts or a couple of handfuls of cut-up pieces. Just eyeball it and put on what looks good to you.)
Preheat your oven according to package directions on your crust.
Spread wing sauce over the pizza crust. (Just treat it like tomato sauce.) Top with cheese and chicken and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is hot.
I followed up the baking with a few minutes under the broiler just to get some more color on the cheese, but that part is entirely up to you.
For those of you who aren't lucky enough to have access to an oven (I only had a microwave during my undergrad days), I'm sure this would be just as good on rounds of pita bread. All together, the ingredients for this cost me $11.34 with a few things being on sale. If everything had been full price, it would have been $12.66 at my local Kroger's (which does tend to be one of the more expensive grocery stores.)
I have the remainder of the wing sauce in my fridge and could easily get another pizza out of it. I like things kind of spicy though so if you want a little less heat or just don't like much sauce on your pizza, you could probably get three pizzas out of one bottle.
This isn't the most economical dinner option, but it's better than ordering delivery. This was enough for dinner for my fiance and I and I've got a slice leftover for lunch tomorrow. We probably could have stretched it farther with pita rounds for about the same price. Either way, I think it's worth experimenting with to see just how cheaply you can do it.
Pre-made pizza crust $3.99 (Frozen pizza dough might be cheaper, but obviously, will take more time to prep. Pizza dough mixes can also be bought in the aisle with the cake and cookie mixes. The mix will be cheaper, but again, it'll take more time and, depending on your mix, might require additional ingredients like eggs or oil.)
Shredded cheese $1.67 on sale, regularly $2.49 (Block cheese is often cheaper than pre-shredded, but if you want mozzerella, it can be nearly impossible to shred at home, on your own.)
Pre-cooked, cut-up chicken strips $3.49 on sale, regularly $3.99 (Look for these next to the lunch meats. In retrospect, this was probably the most expensive option I could have chosen, but if you're making this for one person and/or you don't have the means or desire to cook your own chicken, it works pretty well.)
Prepared wing sauce $2.19 (I did some recipe browsing and apparently you can make your own wing sauce by mixing equal parts hot pepper sauce (Tabasco) and melted butter or margarine. That might prove to be a cheaper option depending on what you already have at home and how cheaply you can find Tabasco.)