"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Family Meals for Under $5 - Chicken and Vegetable Stew

Family Meals for Under $5 - Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Lately I’ve noticed sections in my weekly grocery circulars that read “feed a family of 4 for under $10!”. I’m sure most of you have laughed at this as I did. As a result, I began to wonder what does dinner really cost for my family of 8? I figured if I kept it under $5, I was doing good.
My challenge became what meals I could come up with that were both healthy and tasty (my family does not like beans) and cost me $5 or less. This includes everything, main dish and side dishes.
We’ll see how I do. Here’s my first post in this series:
Chicken and Vegetable Stew
¼ c butter - On sale for .99c a Lb = .25c
3 potatoes - .68c for a 10 Lb bag = .09c
3 carrots - $1.24 for a 2 Lb bag = .18c
3 stalks celery - on sale for .88c a bunch = .24c
1 small onion - on sale for .99c for a 5 Lb bag = .02c
4 c chicken stock = .52c
1 can diced tomatoes = .54c
3 c cooked chicken - whole chicken on sale for .58c a Lb = $1.50
1 clove garlic = .05c

*Melt butter in pot add vegetables one at a time and saute until slightly tender. Add stock, tomatoes and chicken. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 min.
Serve with tossed green salad (Romaine lettuce on sale for 50c ea = .25c), rolls = .25c and milk = $1.00.
After doing all of my calculations I figured this meal cost just under $5. I included milk in the cost since it was needed to make this a well balanced meal. I probably couldn’t do it so cheap without some really good deals on the chicken, butter, lettuce and potatoes. And, this doesn't even take into consideration gardening, where we grow our own food, instead of buying it. Still, it just goes to show that it is possible to feed your family a healthy meal for under $5.

Thanks Aunt Pat for this great recipe.
Less is more,


  1. Thanks for your carnival submission. It is now ready to be read here

  2. Great tip! It also makes me laugh at the Early Show's "Chef on a Shoestring." They try to feed a family of 4 under $40.00. I just don't have that kind of budget.

  3. 68 cents for a 10-lb bag of potatoes?? That's great... if you can do it! I live in a rural area, no major stores for price-comparison. And apparently I haven't yet mastered the art of coupon-clipping, because even with coupons and sales, the generic or store-brand items most often are still cheaper, so it seems a real waste of time to try to acquire all the coupons. Can you tell me how you managed to get the inexpensive potatoes?

  4. Annon
    I got the potatoes at a grand opening sale for a new Winco that was opening in our area. I usually don't find them for this cheap but I have gotten them for 99 cents/10lb bag quite often.
    Stores in my area have 12 hour sales about 1X a month. These are usually pretty good sales to shop.
    Are you close to a major metro area that you could shop 1X a month?
    I've only dabbled with coupons a little. I do know to make it worthwhile you need to use the coupon on a sale item. If there are doubler coupons or double coupon days the savings are even better. There are some great couponing blogs out there that are really good at teaching you what to do. A couple that I follow are frugalchicliving.org and fabulesslyfrugal.com

    Another thing to think about is a garden. You could grow a bunch and save them to use through out the rest of the year.

    Good luck

  5. What a great meal for such an affordable price! We will definately be trying this one. Thanks for sharing.