Are Rachel Cruze’s 4 Dinners for Under $45 Possible?

Italian pasta with tomato, meat.
Malkovstock /

When it comes to saving money, one of the easiest ways to cut costs is by cutting out restaurants and eating at home. Dave Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze shocked people when she posted on social media that it was possible to make four meals for under $45 instead of spending $41 dollars on her family to eat at Chick-fil-A once. After posting a detailed list of what people could buy and the price, people started criticizing and saying the prices she posted were incorrect and that four meals for under $45 were impossible.

At GOBankingRates, we wanted to know if it could be done. We did some investigating and found out she was right. At Walmart, you can do four meals for $43.08 using Rachel’s meal plan suggestions and even include some extra items that Rachel’s didn’t. Take a look at the grocery cost breakdown.

Italian Spaghetti Night

  • Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce, Made with Olive Oil, Perfect for Italian Style Meals at Home, 24-ounce: $2.12
  • 85% Lean/15% Fat Ground Beef Roll, 1-pound (Frozen): $4.74, $2.37 for half the pack
  • Great Value Spaghetti, 16-ounce: $1.12

Mexican Night (Tacos and Cheese Quesadillas) 

  • Kraft Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend Shredded Cheese, 8-ounce bag: $3.13
  • 85% Lean/15% Fat Ground Beef Roll, 1-pound (Frozen): $4.74, $2.37 for half the pack
  • Fresh Roma Tomato, Each: 94 cents/pound, final cost by weight 28 cents
  • 16-ounce On The Border Mild Salsa: $2.58 (0ptional)
  • Fresh Iceberg Lettuce: $1.68
  • Great Value Soft Taco Flour Tortillas, 10 Count: $2.12
  • Great Value Black Beans, 15-ounce Can: 82 cents

Greek Night

  • Great Value Long Grain Enriched Rice, 16-ounce: 88 cents
  • Stonefire Original Mini Naan, 7.05-ounce, 4 Count: $3
  • Fresh Cravings Classic Hummus, 10-ounce: $3.47
  • Fresh Roma Tomato, Each: 94 cents/pound, final cost by weight 28 cents
  • Fresh Green Onions Bunch: 48 cents  
  • Great Value Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 3-pounds (Frozen): $9.74
Make Your Money Work for You

Home Made Pizza Night

  • Mama Mary’s Original Pizza Crusts, 12-ounce, 3 Count: $2.78
  • Great Value Finely Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, 8-ounce: $2.22
  • Ragu Homemade Style Pizza Sauce, Perfect for Quick and Easy Italian Pizza at Home, 14-ounce: $1.64

Total before taxes: $43.08

Trying to save money in today’s environment isn’t easy, but a person can do it with a bit of discipline. Make a plan and stick to it. Eating out is always more fun and convenient, but when you’re trying to save money, remember what Cruze said, “99% percent of the time, eating out is going to be more expensive than eating at home.” Take time to shop around, find coupons and plan your meals. Ultimately, it might surprise you how much money a person can save.

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Prices are accurate as of March 23, 2023, and are subject to change.


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