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Value Meals at home.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I was inspired by another Spark member to create a meal today to share with family and friends at a cost of less than $5.00 per serving. When I first read her blog, I thought that would be fun and maybe a little challenging. So I decided all my ingredients would be readily accessible at any normal grocery store, no exotic ingredients, healthy, tasty and menu items I would serve and be happy to share.
I thought about what we like to eat, what I fix when the children and grand children all visit and I came up with 5 menus that easily met the criteria. They included pizza, a chicken dish, a beef dish, and 2 bean dishes, with a whole grain serving and a dessert. My cheapest meal was about $1.40 per person (chili with brown rice) to the pizza at $3.40 per person. Today was the challenge day, and I wanted something different, so I started planning. The result is
Chicken Pepper Pot with Potatoes. My whole grain is Corn Meal Muffins, not my recipe but one found here on Spark People (Low cal/Low Fat Corn Meal Muffins) The total cost was about $1.50 per person and the recipe serves 4 generously. We divided the pot into 4 equal bowls just to see what it looked like before we ate. Now DH has a quick dinner for next week and I have one terrific meal for a lunch.
In these times when so many people are without jobs, are losing jobs and have reduced earnings, this is a meal that would feed a family well and healthy. I did not count the electric used for 20 minutes on the stove top and 20 minutes in the oven for the muffins. That is not a long cooking time, I used only one burner and one pan.
So many people say it costs too much to eat healthy, but it all depends on what you buy. If I had to eat out, that $1.50 would not go far. This week I was on the road at lunch time, and I bought a grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun, with a thin slice of tomato, a single leaf of head lettuce, with a glass of unsweetened tea and a bag of fresh apple slices. It cost me $7.90. I was glad to have a healthy lunch, but $7.90 would have fed 4 adults 4 times or 16 total meals. This makes it difficult for me to justify eating out very often. I think I need to spend a lot more time cooking quick meals Thanks ASOBFALLS, for waking me up.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MOMKAT4310
    You can find this recipe by searching in Spark People recipes using the terms:
    Chicken Pepper Pot or Pepper Pot with Potatoes or similar combinations of Pepper Pot. I just tried a search using Chicken Pepper Pot and it came up with 3 or 4 others, but they say creamy or saucy. In the description of this recipe, it tells a little about a recipe for under $5 a serving. This is really good, but you could add more high fiber veggies and raise the fiber content. Look at the nutrition values, they are very good for anyone watching calories or carbs, I am diabetic, so I always design with carb content in mind. Happy eating.

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    2436 days ago
    Kat, Where is the pepper pot recipe? Chris
    2436 days ago
    Great reminder that cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out. We pay for convenience.

    I was at Costco the other day and bought my usual stash of Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal. I love it because it's whole grain, cooks in the microwave in less than 5 minutes, and is probably the cheapest breakfast in the world. A 10-POUND box contains more than 110 servings! And that box costs $7.68 - that calculates out to just over $0.06 per serving - yes that's 6 CENTS per serving. Compare that to most cereals, muffins, even eggs are more expensive. Instant oatmeal, which contains sugar & other fillers is a lot more expensive, and no more convenient.
    2437 days ago
  • ANNIE924
    Very good reminder, I am preparing my menus for next week and since I am off work right now while recovering from surgery, I need the boost your blog gave me. I can do this and still stay within a very limited budget. Thank you, emoticon
    2437 days ago
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