50 Under $5

In just under 6 weeks (40 days today to be exact) I’ll be getting married, and shortly thereafter, we’ll be headed off to school as a newly wed couple. I do not expect the economy to take a flying leap out of the water during or before that time and right itself, so it’ll be fairly likely that my then wife and I will be surviving on what might be called a limited income. This means Anna and I will both have some incentive to be a bit thrifty and creative. I am therefore starting a themed series of posts, though this may be as long (read: short) lived as some of my previous series. Nonetheless, I shall try, and as ESPN says, you loose 100% of the leagues you don’t sign up for (which means I’ve already lost thousands of leagues this year, despite the 10 I’m in…)
The Mission: Over the next year or so to make 50 dinners or weekend lunches, averaging $5 or less per person fed. Challenge Mode: $5 for the total dinner (assuming two diners).

My mother used to play a game with herself and the grocery bill; figure out how much she spent, per person, on the meal she was preparing, typically dinner. Then, at dinner, she’d ask us all what we thought. For the record, I have three younger brothers, all growing up to be giants among men (apparently I missed that gene) and so my mother had herself and five male stomachs to feed, no mean feat to be sure. And she would amaze us, time and again that this delicious meal (my mother is an amazing cook, and I thank God she passed some of that to me) was made for less than a fast food meal.

Now certainly, the more people you cook for, the easier it is to the get average down, because buying in bulk is a good thing. And yes, prices have risen dramatically over the past X number of years, making some of her feats truly difficult to match. But I’m going to try.Β  Or do, as Yoda would prefer, as there is no try not. The next year will show me highlighting here about one meal a week where I try especially hard to make it at under 10$ for a full meal, with parts of the food pyramid not composed entirely of fat and sugar, two of my favorites. I’ll try to have 3 colors at the least, and use as fresh foods as I can. I’ll recount my efforts, note the recipes I used (or scribe them down when I make them up myself) and break down the costs I encountered here.

And I’ll kick this recession and eat my cake too.

  1. #1 by amozito on April 30, 2012 - 17:15


    We totally make dinner on a regular basis for less than $5 total . . . it all depends on how much rice/beans you are willing to eat. Also, we aim to spend about $25 a week on groceries. Period. Don’t always make it, but it IS totally doable. So you’re shooting pretty high there. πŸ˜‰

    If you want some more thoughts on the matter, look me up sometime. We can share some of the wisdom . . . πŸ˜‰


  2. #2 by phoerix on April 30, 2012 - 23:30

    I was thinking about it, and I thought it would be pretty doable, but was going for alliteration, lol. I’d definitely love to compare notes with you. And maybe I’ll switch it to 3.50$

    But 25$ a week on groceries… wow.

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