At the last frugal living class I taught, I was asked the question, “How can I feed my family of 4 for under $10 a meal?” (she was referring to dinner, the ‘main’ meal.)
So…I decided I would post every dinner meal I make from yesterday on that is under $10. However, since my family of 4 consists of 2 adults and 2 fairly young children, I decided I needed some criteria:
-Every meal I make must be under $10 total for the family(obviously)
-Every meal must provide my family with leftovers, since I realize other families of 4 may have (gasp) TEENAGE kids eating. ( I realize those families will eat more, which is why the meals I make must have extra food after everyone is full)
-I must calculate the cost of the dinner so that everyone will know the exact cost of the meal.
Okay, so with that in mind, here’s the first dinner:
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Strawberries, and Applesauce for Dessert.
I bought a whole chicken on sale for $3.50 ($3.75 with tax), and the potatoes were $1.99 ($2.06 with tax) for a 5 lb bag. I used 1/6 of the bag, or 5 potatoes, for a total cost of $0.34. I sprinkled a little seasoning that I had on hand. If I remember correctly, I bought the seasoning for $0.88 about 4 years ago. Total for chicken and potatoes: $4.09
This was 2 lbs of strawberries cut up. The cost at the store for these was $1.99 ($2.13 with tax) Total cost of strawberries: $2.13
This applesauce was canned and bottled by me last year. I was extremely blessed and fortunate to receive free apples from many sources (family apple trees, neighbors, etc), so the only cost for this applesauce was the 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and 3 tsp of sugar. My guesstimate: $0.04 or so! Total applesauce cost: $0.04
Total for the entire dinner: $6.26
*We had about 1/4 of the chicken leftover, which will go into soup another night. No potatoes left over (I’m a potato pig!). 1/2 cup of strawberries leftover, and almost the entire quart of applesauce leftover. If you have a family with teenagers, I’d recommend throwing in a few more potatoes, and maybe 4-5 carrots as well. It’s delicious all cooked together. No oil needs to be added, just stick the chicken in a baking dish with the potatoes and carrots, if wanted. I cooked it at 375 degrees for about 3 hours, or until the chicken is done. Cover with tin foil for the first 2 1/2 hours, and take the foil off for the last 30 minutes.