Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Cooking Challenge



Cooking with Anne and Lots of Kids have teamed up to bring you a brand new family-friendly monthly cooking challenge! Check it out HERE and join in!

April's challenge is to come up with a complete meal for 5 people for $5 or less, and I'm up to it. Because I just learned about this first challenge, which ends April 30, my plan of attack is to combine some of the recipes I've already posted into a complete meal.

Steamed Dumplings with Chicken Gravy
Herbed Green Beans with Tomatoes
Garden Salad with Croutons

To see the recipes, photos and credits, click on the links. There is no recipe for the salad, because, well, it's just a typical side salad.

My pricing breakdown for 5 people is as follows and are based either on the average prices I pay (at Aldi, Sam's Club or regular grocery stores) or prices listed in this weeks grocery ads. Prices do not include sales tax.


Garden Salad with Croutons - Makes 5 servings

Iceberg Lettuce - 3/4 head used at 1.00/head = .75
Roma Tomatoes - 2 used at 1.30/9 ct. carton = .29
Cucumber - 1/2 used at .50/each = .25
Bottled Salad Dressing - 8 oz. used at 1.50/16 oz. bottle = .75

Total Cost for 5 servings = $2.04

Herbed Green Beans and Tomatoes - Makes 6 servings


Fresh Green Beans - 1 lb. used at .89/lb. = .89
Roma Tomatoes - 2 used at 1.30/9 ct. carton = .29
Green Onions - 2 used at .50/bunch of 8 = .13
Minced Garlic - 2 teaspoons used at 4.08/48 oz. jar = .03 (est.)
Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon at 17.00/101 oz. bottle = .08
Dried Basil - always on hand - do not have to calculate cost
Dried Oregano - always on hand - do not have to calculate cost

Total Cost: 1.42 / 6 servings = .24 per serving x 5 servings = $1.18

Steamed Dumplings with Creamy Chicken Gravy = Makes 12 servings

Chicken - 1/3 of meat from 6 lb. chicken (precooked weight) at .69/lb. = 1.38
Chicken Broth - made from simmering chicken bones in water - no cost
Chicken Base (or bouillon) - 1/2 ounce used at 3.16/16 oz. jar = .10
Carrots - 2 used at .50/8 ct. bag = .13
Celery - 2 stalks used at .80/head (about 10 stalks) = .16
Evaporated Milk - 8 ounces used at .50/12 oz. can = .33
Butter - 1/4 lb used at 7.03/4 lb - .44
Flour (for homemade Bisquick) - 4 cups (1 lb.) used at .90/5 lb. bag = .18
Baking Powder - 1 Tablespoon used - always on hand - est. cost = .10
Butter (for homemade Bisquick) - 1/4 lb used at 7.03/4 lb. - .44
Salt (for homemade Bisquick) - always on hand - do not have to calculate cost
Eggs - 2 used at 1.19/dozen = .20
Chicken Base - .5 ounce used at 3.16/16 oz. jar = .10
Curry Powder - always on hand - do not have to calculate cost
White Pepper - always on hand - do not have to calculate cost
Dried Parsley Flakes - always on hand - do not have to calculate cost
Milk - 4 oz evaporated milk (rest of can above diluted with 8 oz. water) at .50/12 oz. can = .33

Total Cost for 12 servings = 3.89/12 servings = .32 per serving x 5 servings = $1.62

Total Cost of Meal for 5 People = $4.84

This meal is very filling; no one will leave the table hungry. The meal could be simplified by using bagged salad, commercial-prepared Bisquick and broth made from bouillon. It is still not likely to go over the $6 mark, provided you took the time to cook the whole chicken and pick the meat from it.

6 comments:

Anne said...

Awesome!

Annie Jones said...

Anne: I'm looking forward to seeing the other entries!

Lisa said...

Oh this will be fun. I will work on my $5/5 meal.

Annie Jones said...

Lisa: Oh, good! I think that they will post links to everyone who participates at the end of the challenge. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Donna said...

Boy, chicken & dumplingssounds good about now!!lol...Have a fun time!!hughugs

Lisa said...

annie I have my entry posted.