Not all of us have the luxury of being able to grow our food to feed our families. Not all of us know how, have the space or the time. That’s one reason I came up with the $10 dinner challenge. In this challenge I hope to have people get creative with grocery store food – meat, seafood and produce to create delicious, healthy and economical meals for their families without using pre-packaged boxed foods.
Anyone can open a jar of sauce, boil pasta and call that dinner. But what about creating a 2-3 course meal using NO prepared foods? This is where is it can get a little sticky. Can I use canned seasoned tomatoes but not pre-made spaghetti sauce? Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh because it’s not in season? The guidelines are really pretty simple. Take fresh food and make it into a 2-3 course meal for $10. If you have a garden – great! If you can your surplus- awesome! Then this might not be the challenge for you. I’m looking for people who like to cook but don’t grow all their own food, that don’t live on pasta and boxed dinners.
So, let’s break it down:
1. All the ingredients for the dinner should be $10 or under.
2. The ingredients should be fresh (or frozen) and not pre-made or pre-packaged with the exception of rice or pasta.
3. The meals should be 2-3 courses. Starter and entrée, entrée and dessert or all 3.
4. Everything should be bought from one store. Walk into the store with a $10 bill and just see what you can do.
5. Staples like spices, condiments, flour, sugar, eggs, bread milk etc DO NOT count in the $10 limit.
6. What was spent should be broken down into what did it cost and how much was each serving. For example: if potatoes are buy one get one free then calculate the price per pound then calculate the amount used and what it cost to make it accurate. Same for meat and seafood.
7. If you like you can have a break down of what was spent and what was on hand.
If this sounds easy and you do it every day for a lot less, then this isn’t the challenge for you. If you want to try to feed 4 or more people a delicious, fresh, healthy and creative meal for $10 or under then let’s do it!
The guidelines will be fluid. I’m sure you can take liberties especially with the pantry staples. But I hope you will be honest and give it a try. You can follow this challenge and post your menus, ideas, thoughts and blog posts @ #10dollardinnerchallenge