here's my update of how the end of the month meals went. the cheese quesadilas went over well, but i noticed my husband scrounging around later mumbling something about protein. the salmon fettucine was good, tho i didnt' realize til too late that the salmon had bones in it! ugh. i didn't make hot dog buns, instead i made a pasta dish with the bratworst and that worked out fine. and on sunday i had forgotton that they were serving lunch for us at the membership class we attended.
since then i've been calculating an approximate of how much i'm spending on dinners, with a high of almost $8 for french dips i made at home, and a low of $4 on the taco salads i made the other night. i think keeping our dinners to $5 is a challenge i can do.
thanks for all you comments you left on what you do when you're looking for frugal meals. i have a feeling with this economy i'll be revisiting this subject often.