Friday, January 21, 2011

Dinner for 8 for $1!

Many of you aren't convinced that couponing works. Shows on TV and some of the blogs show hoarders worthy stockpiles of toilet paper, razors, deodorant, and toothpaste. I don't coupon to hoard massive quantities of food and assorted goods. Sure, I admit I have hoarding tendencies, but I try to limit it to crafting supplies.

I coupon in order to feed my family and achieve our goal of getting out of debt. My favorite financial guru suggests a diet of rice and beans and beans and rice. That gets boring after about two minutes. Couponing and careful meal planning really go a long way to eating well for less. I'm not getting organic and free range, but I am able to provide nutritious and well balanced meals.

This is what I was able to get for just $20 this week!

5 bags of Kraft Homestyle Mac n Cheese
6 dole fruit bowls
3 yoplus
6 yoplait
4 boxes instant oatmeal
first aid kit
2 ragu
2 minute maid OJ
country crock
canola oil
garlic infused red wine vinegar

I'm not a huge user of convenience meals like the Kraft Mac n Cheese. With my family size, I usually have to use 2-3 of them to feed everyone. They are good, however, for those days when there aren't enough leftovers and D needs some lunch. This week, I changed up my menu plan for Wednesday night. I made dinner for just $1! That's not $1 per plate...that's $1 for EIGHT people total!

The Kraft dinners were 30 cents each. I used two. Several weeks ago, I purchased some chicken sausages for 74 cents a pack. I sliced up two of those sausages and added some caramelized onions into the Kraft dinners. It was delicious and the addition of the meat really stretched the meal out.

It's these kinds of additions of beans, rice, and fresh vegetables (and in this case a meat) that can really stretch a meal for not a lot of money. Another quick tip: Check to see if your grocery store sells it's imperfect produce. Mine does at crazy low prices. Last week. 1.5 lbs of cherries for 98 cents! And this week, I picked up assorted peppers (anaheim, banana, jalapeno, ets) for $1!

Tonight's dinner was also around $1, thanks to a bit of generosity of a friend. Pasta is almost always free or darn close to it. We had spaghetti and one of the 80 cent jars of Ragu. Our generous friend gave us some venison we mixed in...creating Bambi-ghetti. We don't usually add meat to our spaghetti, so this was a nice treat.

There's really no sense in couponing and stockpiling for the sake of HAVING it. It needs to be used. And you can absolutely plan delicious meals for very little money using the foods that go on sale.


  1. Thank goodness my kids love rice and beans!!! I may have two picky boys, but it's a lot less stressful when their favorite meal is cheap.

  2. That all looks perfectly delicious! Congrats on some great deals.

  3. Ok, how on Earth do you get a $3 jar of Ragu for 80c?

  4. JaamE: They were BOGO, plus I had $1 off store coupon. Makes it really cheap that way!

  5. That's pretty cool! My problem is having to choose between calorie counting and being budget conscious. I'm so determined to lose weight I have lately neglected caring about the cost of the recipe I've picked. But February will extremely suck in the pocketbook range as I only get half a check on the 1st to last me the whole month (at least it's 2 days shorter than most months!) so if you have any tips on how to do both, I'm all ears....

  6. we only get paid once a month, too. its tough

  7. Dinner for 8 for $1 is impressive!!


Thanks and have a great day!