Pizza Hut charges $12 for a large 1-topping pizza.

Here’s what you spend if you buy the ingredients and cook it yourself with only name brand ingredients:
-2.50 for a 5lb bag of Gold Medal flour
-6.00 for a 32oz bag of Kraft cheese
-2.50 for a 24oz can of Bertolli pizza sauce
-2.50 for 3oz of McCormick garlic powder
-6.00 for a 16oz Bertolli peperoni log
-3.50 for a can of Pam no-stick spray

I understand that you’re looking at 22.50 for your pizza, and that you have to take the time to buy the groceries and then cook the pizza, which takes some time.
Still, think of things this way. At 22.50, your grocery purchases surpass the price of that pizza by about 10 dollars. Now you want to make another pizza, so you go to the bag of flour you’ve already bought, the bag of cheese you already have in the fridge, the can of pizza sauce that you hopefully used less than half of—I think you get the picture. You just saved 2 dollars on that second pizza.
By the time you get to the third pizza, you are only saving money.

There are plenty of foods that you can make with cheap ingredients.
If you’re willing to learn new recipes, you can take a serious bite out of your budget. Look at the prices of these foods.

-9.00 for 20lb of rice
-2.50 for 10lb of potatoes
-4.00 for 5 dozen eggs
-0.90 for a can of Nalley chili (that means that 10 cans of chili is less than ten dollars)
-2.50 for 5lb of flour (make homemade bread!)
-1.00 or less for most soups

And here are some simple and inexpensive recipes that I’ve been cooking up for a while.
-Mac n’ Cheese
-Cream of Mushroom with sautéed sausage over rice
-homemade pizza
-Mac n’ cheese with a can of chili
-grilled cheese with tomato soup
-fried egg on top of noodles and tomato sauce
-homemade quesadillas
-anything-you-have omlette
-poached eggs and toast
-black beans and rice
-oatmeal (a little bit of cinnamon and honey go a long way)
-can of chili + hot dogs = chili dogs for cheap
-nachos (homemade tortilla chips aren’t that hard either)
-egg salad sandwiches
-baked potatoes
-twice baked potatoes
-hash browns
-potatoes au gratin
-peanut butter and jelly
-any soup with rice in it tastes better
-Ramen with frozen peas added becomes “healthy”?
-Beef stew over noodles
-Biscuits and gravy (homemade is fantastic)
-chicken roll-ups

I think I’ve made my point.

The challenge:

Try to go just one week without eating out at a restaurant at all or heating up a microwave dinner. That’s it! (Leftovers are exempt from this challenge if you cooked them at home.)
To complete this challenge you will have to go grocery shopping and maybe even plan what kind of meals you want to enjoy throughout the week (and believe me, you will enjoy them). Next time you go to spend 12 bucks on a pizza, remember that those dollars could buy you almost 50 pounds of potatoes or get you homemade baked potatoes with fixin’s and chili dogs for an entire week.