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Topic: Five-Dollar-Dinner Cookalong?  (Read 30272 times)
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« on: December 29, 2010 05:24:05 PM »

I hope this is allowed on this board - there are no cooking craftalongs that I can find.

So now that I'm not working, I have more time than money for the first time in YEARS.  I will trade money for time any day of the week.  Of course, now all those convenience foods (that aren't very good for you anyway) stay at the supermarket.  I have to actually cook dinner now, and I am trying to keep each dinner under $5.  Sometimes I fail, like my $7 potato/broccoli/cheese soup.  Today I made tuna noodle casserole.

Tuna - .60 x 2 = 1.20
noodles - .50
peas - .40
sauce (old country gravy that needed to be used) - .30
milk - .10
spices (dried onion, pepper, garlic salt) - .30

I actually don't know yet if it's going to qualify.  Calculator time...  $2.80.  Wow, pretty cheap.

So who's with me? 


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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010 06:14:03 PM »

I'll play.  I have been at this for a few years now.  However, I usually plan my meals out for a week, so I can use leftover veggies or gravy or meat in a next day meal.  My goal is to keep the weekly bill under $35 for a 7 day dinner week.  I usually come out to less than $40 total for 2 adults, a pre-teen sports playing bottomless pit son and a 6 year old prima-dona daughter.  We splurge about once every 6 weeks for order in pizza or go to a fast food or eat out meal ... it will all depend on how much I have saved over the past 6ish weeks.

Last night we had spaghetti and garlic toast

2 jars sauce @ .99 each = 1.98
can mushrooms .45
noodles .75
bread .50
butter .10
1 lb ground turkey 1.58
spices .10

total is 5.48 with leftovers for lunch and dinner tonight

Tonight we had pizza bread and garlic bread.

baguette 1.15
leftover spaghetti sauce from dinner last night so let's say that is NC
cheese .75
2 heads of garlic .66 (we get these from the school at the end of the season, so I have a box full, but paid about 3 for $1)
butter .10

the total is 2.66 .....

now let's add the 2 nights together and we have 8.14 and still more spaghetti sauce to split into single serving containers for 6-8 more lunches or fast healthly dinners on the go ... we like it over ramen noodles for a quick and easy and cheap meal anyone can make.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010 06:16:12 PM by Shadeweaver » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010 06:24:03 PM »

Oh I want in. Not to sure how many of my meals are under $5 but it would be a good challenge for me. Hmm tonight was chicken stuffing bake lets see...

Stuffing $1
Diced tomatoes (canned) $0.80
2 Chicken breast ~$2
Mozzerella cheese $1 (we use a LOT of cheese)
Italian seasoning $0.20

Total = $5

Yay I did it!

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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010 06:49:12 PM »

Love the idea! (Hurl at the mere mention of tuna noodle casserole....  Wink)

Tonight I had my only convenience food vice, which still comes out to less than most meals, potato gnocchi and vodka sauce from Trader Joe's.

potato gnocchi: 1.99 package (3 servings)
vodka sauce: 2.99 jar (4 servings)

4.98 for the love of convenience food and the chance to eat ten minutes after starting to "cook", I think YES!

Tomorrow: pinto beans and cornbread?

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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010 06:58:03 PM »

     As a New Years Resolution I'm trying to stick to a cheap and healthy way of cooking. There are two of us and we spend about $70 a week Huh  Shocked ! I also use coupons when I can and try to buy what's on sale. We do get bottled water (tap taste like chlorine/ $6.25 a week) and  sometimes we get a bag of peanuts a couple times a month; to feed our chipmunks and squirrel outside (around $8 a month). We don't eat much meat and do eat veggie burgers and Quorn.

     Tonight I made Cheesy Chili Mac:      Annie's Mac and Cheese  $1.10
      (rounding off for things we had)       1/4c Skim Milk              $  .15
                                                        Med. Onion                  $  .30
                                                        Red Pepper Flakes 1Tb.  Free (bought at $1 store .05?)
                                                        1/2lb Ground Beef          $1.40 (80% lean)
                                                        1Tb. Olive Oil                $  .10
                                                        1/8c Mustard                $  .10
                                                        1/4c Ketchup                $  .15
                                                        Sour Cream(Light)          $  .25
                                                                               Total:  $ 3.60 for 2 people  Cheesy

« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2010 07:26:44 PM »

      Breakfast can be for Dinner! Oatmeal is great hot or cold and it's cheap (i got a BOGO for a large containers of store brand reg oats ) There is a great tute if your new to oatmeal  http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/05/09/making-your-own-homemade-oatmeal-packets-a-visual-guide-and-cost-analysis/ 

      There are some Really good ideas here http://www.livingonadime.com/category/recipes/
      Pancakes are really cheap to make from scratch or boxed. They are a great way to use over ripe fruit. I also freeze over ripe fruit and make jellies and jams when i have enough. Same goes for eggs, for those pesky wilted veggies. This morning i used some wilted kale (i do this with spinach too) that i froze and crumbled it in with my eggs. Yummy!

                       Kale Eggs:  2 Eggs                        $ .32
                                       Kale                           $ .10 (organic $1 a lb.)
                                       1 tsp. Country Crock     $ .05 (?)
                                       1 Slice WW Toast         $ .20
                                       2 tb. Kiwi Jam              $ .10 (Homemade)
                                       8oz. Milk                     $ .35
                                                                        $ 1.12

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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2010 07:44:53 PM »

We do breakfast for dinner too!  There is a store near me that I can get a 30 pack (yes 30) of large eggs for .98!!!  When you can get an egg for around .03, you learn to LOVE them ...lol.

I am one of the weird ladies that will shop 4-5 stores with coupons if it is gonna save me more money than the gas is gonna cost ... and if it is not gonna take me too much extra time (time is money to a certain extent).  I also have a notebook that I write the best deals in and put receipts there for future reference.  I got 15 boxes of cereal free a couple months ago.  They were on sale 5 boxes for $5 and I had a stack .50 coupons that got doubled.  I got coke and pepsi products for $1 per 12 pack last week, the store had a sale, store coupons and I had company coupons.  I have 24 of those 12 packs sitting in my basement right now.  That is enough for us for over a year (if the husband's family does not come for a visit).  I have bent and dent stores near me, bag your own store, bulk discount store, several different dollar stores, and other closeout type stores .... so I take advantage and get what I can.  I am just lucky enough to have a large basement and house to store stuff in.

In this economy we do what we gotta do, I am looking forward to more dinners on the cheap ideas.

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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2010 08:13:58 PM »

 Soooo jealous! I live which feels like the middle of no where sometimes. There are a lot of local farms by me, but it costs the same or some times more than the grocery store. I been considering getting milk from a local dairy that does not use chemical or hormones and use recyclable glass bottles. The Giant PA doubles coupons up to a $1 and only one coupon of the same type can be doubled at time of purchase. (They won't let you reenter the line to do separate transactions) Wegmans is a store i get speciality items maybe once a month, but there's never much to make me go bananas in there. There is a natural food store too, where i also do once a month or two shopping for Good Real honey, fresh local produce that's on sale and some bulk grains.(popcorn, barely, loose tea, and choc covered coffee beans)

« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010 11:28:48 PM »

This is such a cool idea... good luck to you all-- there is no way i could do this at my house-- I have 4 adults to feed and a very very picky toddler!!

Also, nothing around here is cheap/discount.... and I have so many food allergies it could kill me... LOL Wink
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010 11:30:03 PM by Vampira_666 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010 05:45:28 AM »

I do live in the middle of nowhere - we have one grocery in town, the IGA, and they do not double coupons and it's really teeny and expensive.  my husband is a huge carnivore and expects meat - although I can slide in the occasional soup and cheese sandwich dinner.  I made chili the other night with half of a left over roast and he insisted that I put more of the meat chunks in his bowl.  lol.

I dunno if the chili I made was under $5, lets see

half a cheap roast - 2.50
giant can of kidney beans my friend brought over on thanksgiving - free
  (seriously, i was very confused by her gift, but i aint complaining)
can of chili beans, used mostly for flavor - .50
old onion, 1/4 - .20
can of black beans - .70
spices - .40  (chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, oregano, paprika)
  I have three bottles of chili powder - no idea where they came from.
can of tomato sauce - .25
tomato sauce I made from my homegrown tomatoes that has been sitting in the freezer - .10 (for spices)

total: $4.65.

It  came out pretty good, seeing it was a "throw things in a pot" meal.

Visit http://ghilie.wordpress.com/ for the poppet pattern.

"I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
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