If you haven’t heard, there was a foodie challenge this weekend. Slow Food USA challenged foodies to make a home-cooked meal that would cost $5/person or less. Over 30,000 people all over the country participated in this fabulous challenge. The premise is to show that you can make delicious, nutritious and healthy meals for your family without busting your budget. This project is pretty near and dear to me, because it’s part of my mission statement: To bring families back to the dinner table again.
My head was spinning with ideas. I have already showed you over a dozen different ways to cook a whole chicken, I have a few of them here. You can frequently find them on sale for as little as 69¢/lb. A 5-lb bird can easily feed a family of four. Paired with roasted vegetables like brussels sprouts, cauliflower and potatoes and maybe even a green salad, and you have a healthy delicious meal for roughly $3/person.
Seriously cheap and healthy eats.
For this challenge, I decided to splurge a little on my meat and make a meal that most average American families would make for their families on any given day of the week: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Nothing too fancy, nothing too fussy, although I’m also famous in my family for making Beef Bourguignon cheaply, too!
My grocery receipt looks like this:
Pork Butt Roast $10.28
French rolls 12 for $3.49
Frozen peas $1.99
Frozen corn $1.99
Cole slaw kit $1.99
BBQ sauce $1.79
Total cost = $4.40/person (for 6 adults)
We had plenty of food. This could have easily fed 8 people (bringing the cost down even more), as not everyone wanted two sandwiches. The rolls were on the small size. We served kid friendly peas & corn with cole slaw, and enjoyed fresh peaches for dessert.
I made homemade barbecue sauce and cole slaw dressing, but I didn’t want to break down the cost of the ingredients. But, by keeping staples stocked in your refrigerator and pantry (mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, spices, butter) you end up using only pennies worth per meal.
My tips for eating $5/meal or less?
1. Shop what’s on sale for meats and store what you don’t cook right away in the freezer.
2. Buy fresh or frozen vegetables, as they have the most nutrition. For fresh, buy what’s in season. Not only is it peak in flavor, but it typically is on sale.
3. Use coupons. And if you have a smart phone, look for digital coupons. They are the latest and greatest way to save at the grocery store.
4. If you can, don’t shop with kids. You buy things just to appease them so you can shop without noise. Don’t worry, I’ve been there, too.
5. And of course, don’t shop when you are hungry. We’ve all heard that one before! It’s so true!
Check out all the other delicious meals made for $5/person, from vegetarian to gluten-free, Americana to gourmet. And, thank you Slow Food USA for hosting this great challenge!