Sunday, July 20, 2008

$10 Meal challenge to myself

A mom on an email list I am active on mentioned last week that she makes dinner for her family of 6 for $5 a night. I was intrigued. I had to ask what she made and she mentioned a few meals )s[aghetti with meat sauce and roasts) and some shopping tips. I figured if she could do it, so could I, so I challenged myself to make meals for our family of 11 for $10 a night, can't say that I am doing all that well.....

Dinner#1: Pot Roast, Veggies and Bread
Meal Total: $12.79
Pot Roast: 4 lb of meat on Manager's Special $7
5 lb Potatoes: $ 3
Carrots: left over from veggie tray at Emily's party
Onion: left over from Emily's party
Celery: left over from Emily's party
Box onion soup mix: $0.79
2 loaves french bread: $2

Dinner #2: Cincinnati Style Chili with spaghetti
Meal Total: $14.48
3 lb ground Chuck on Manager's Special $3.59
2 packages Chili Mix: $2.38
2 cans tomato paste: $0.44
2 boxes Barilla pasta sauce: $2.50
Cheese: $3.49
Crackers: $1.39
Onion: $0.69
I had enough chili to feed 2 extra teens and enough left over for dinner tomorrow night CONEYS! Of course we went through all the cheese, so that will be another expense for tomorrow.

Her advise was to use ground turkey and pasta for most meals, in season fruits and veggies too. If I ever get this mastered, I will be sure to share my tips.

Anyone out there have any recipes or tips for cutting the food budget?


ShangriLewis said...

Mix your meat with dry TVP, lentils or beans. Figure out a few meals that you will eat weekly. That way you can stock up when the ingredients are on sale.

I make a huge batch of beans a few times a week in my crockpot. If you have a new crockpot they can cook on high in around 6 hours.

I like to add beans to pasta, rice or regular salads.

Chickpeas for hummus, falafal, salads, and roasted chickpea nuts.

Black Beans for Burritos, taco salads, and chili.

I use red, black and pintos when I make chili.

My mom got me a kitchen Aid mixer when we were first married. It can make gigantic batches of stuff. I make a huge batch of bread dough (about 4 loaves worth). I might make a roll of plain and a roll of cinnamon the first day. Then I cover the rest and put in the fridge. Take it out the following morning. Once it rises I roll it out like for cinnamon rolls and cover one loaf with pesto and the other with leftover red sauce. You can add cheese or other toppings, too. Roll up and put in a load pan or cut like cinnamon rolls if you want.

In the winter I try to make a crockpot of soup everyday. It's mostly bits of leftovers. I never used canned broth. I might use bulk bought powder or tamari sauce to give it some extra flavor.

Melissa said...

I'm going to start blogging Thrifty Thursdays...why don't you join along? Post a menu that's $10 or less...I'm going to be posting cheap menus as well as updating my weekly grocery bills.