"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Family Meals for Under $5 - Oriental Oven Baked Chicken

Family Meals for Under $5 - Oriental Oven Baked Chicken

"...Weekly grocery circulars often 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? So I set a challenge for myself and I figured if I kept it under $5, I was doing good..."

For this week's recipe, I found it probably 17 years ago off the back of a Campbell's soup can. I always liked it because not only was it good, it was quick and easy. You've heard that before, I know. I hope you enjoy it too. I always serve it with rice and a vegetable. This time it was steamed broccoli.

Oriental Oven Baked Chicken = $3.63
Rice = .50c
Steamed Broccoli = .87c

Total = $5.00

Oriental Oven Baked Chicken
4lb chicken pieces (quarters were .79c lb at Fred Meyer) = 3.24
1 10.75 oz can condensed tomato soup .25c @ Fred Meyer = .25
3T white vinegar = .02
2T soy sauce = .10
2T brown sugar = .02
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 min. Meanwhile mix all other ingredients together. Pour over rice and bake, covered an additional 30 min or till no longer pink.

After adding sauce to chicken, start your rice and water in steamer for broccoli. When steamer water is ready add broccoli and cook to desired tenderness. The rice and broccoli should be done at the same time as chicken.

1 lb of long grain white rice = .50

3 broccoli crowns @ .58c lb = .87c

Remember when the garden is in the broccoli is even cheaper, so make sure you plant a garden. For great gardening tips checkout our raised bed gardening blog.

NOTE: When I saw the soup on sale I tried to stock up. I had to use the coupon from the weekly circular and it had a limit of 8. Luckily I was able to get 2 coupons.

This brings up a key point on frugal living and probably a future series of posts on food storage and bulk buying, when you see something you use on a regular basis, stock up on that item as much as you can. This helps drive the cost of you dinners down.

Having a well stocked pantry is important. When you stock up on items that are on sale you reduce your grocery budget. In addition you're also saving up for a "rainy day".

We had a few days this winter when everything was closed down due to heavy snowfall. Later that month our local Wal-Mart was closed for about 4 days to clean off all that snow from their roof. I kept thinking "what if this lasts for a week or more? Would people have the basic necessities to get them by?"

These days there are many reasons we may not be able to go to the store from weather to natural disasters to unemployment. You can start out slow and just get a couple of things you use all the time when you see them on sale and can afford it. No going into debt here. Just having that little bit can be of great comfort to your family in tough times.

Remember Noah didn't start building the ark when it was raining...

Live less, live more

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