Today is the day I share my very long list of $5 dollar meal ideas. These are meals you can make that cost $5 dollars in total, or I will find out if that isn’t so. My husband and I have decided to tighten up our budget to increase savings. We had a nice savings account and then we took a grand vacation, my son got married, the AC broke and the car needed new tires. Plus, a few other unexpected medical-type things came up. So, our savings got depleted. We are going to try and limit our grocery budget to 50 dollars per week for 3 people. I will start Friday, but with Thanksgiving next week I am not sure I can stay on budget, but I am going to try.
But, before I get to the list I want to do the 4th day of my 14 Days of Gratitude Challenge. Today’s prompt is, what tradition are you grateful for? I am not really into traditions or rituals. I find when they can’t be followed anymore, for whatever reason, people are upset or hurt. But, one tradition I do try to stick to is decorating the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day. This has been a tradition in my family ever since I was a small child. We have had years we have altered it due to time constraints, it takes a very long time, but most of it gets decorated on Thanksgiving. For example, my husband for whatever reason insists on dragging the tree out of the garage and putting it up the day after Halloween. It is pre-lit so the lights are already on. I highly recommend pre-lit trees. Putting lights on is a nightmare. Anyway, it sits in my living room with just lights until Thanksgiving. Sometimes I start adding ornaments in small amounts just so it doesn’t look so naked, and like I said it takes such a long time to put it all together on Thanksgiving. This year, with Covid, Thanksgiving will be different for many families around the country. Maybe new traditions can be forged this year. Update 11/5/2021: My husband put the tree up the day after Halloween, this year, while I was at work. So, next year I told him to just put it up after Labor Day and I will decorate it for Halloween, lol.
Now for my large list of $5 dollar dinners. Each time we have one I will share the breakdown and recipe. I didn’t do the breakdown for our Ziti this weekend, because I hadn’t completed the list, but Ziti is definitely economical and it has fed us for 3 days. These can be modified as needed. If you have CKD the way the food is prepared plays a huge role in potassium and phosphorus levels.
1- Ravioli, sauce, bread, veggie
2- Hot dogs with mac n cheese, and a veggie
3- Pancakes with sausage or bacon, whichever is cheaper that week. You may be able to add fruit too.
4- French toast with bacon
5- Breakfast pizza
6- Homemade pizza
7- Spaghetti and meat sauce. Meatballs cost more to make your own, but if you can get sales on your ingredients they can be frozen for leftovers.
8- Chicken and gravy over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes. Shred your chicken to make it go further. Add a veggie of choice
9- Poor man’s stew or beef stew if stew meat is on sale
10- Vegetarian chili
11- Grilled cheese and tomato soup
12- Chicken caesar salad
13- Homemade sloppy joes with veggies. This is so easy to make and has way less sodium than buying the can or mix. Add a veggie side
14- Chicken pot pie Fettucine or just chicken pot pie
15- Chicken alfredo
16- Chicken or pork fried rice
17- Mexican beef and rice sometimes called Spanish rice
18- Shit on a shingle, otherwise known as chipped beef over toast
19- potato soup with or without kielbasa or other sausage meat
20- Taco burritos, or quesadillas with just cheese, add ham, beef, or chicken if affordable that week
21- Broccoli, rice, and sausage casserole
22- Rigatoni casserole, this is a meatless meal and is super cheap/ This is a favorite of my son
24- Sweet potato black bean casserole. My husband loves this and it is a meatless meal
25- Chicken and biscuits, add veggie of your choice
26- Tuna noodle casserole with peas or green beans
27- Baked potatoes with carrots, green beans, or broccoli. I eat a baked potato almost every day for lunch.
28- Noodles with butter and garlic, served with a veggie.
29- Chicken nuggets and fries. Make your own nuggets if you can.
30- Bagel pizzas or English muffin pizzas
31- Ham penne pasta with swiss cheese. This is one of my husband’s favorites
32- Italian mac n cheese
33- Pasta carbonara
34- Barbecue black-eyed peas, or black beans
35- Baked eggs in ham cups
36- Baked beans
37- Shepherds pie
38- Vegetable polenta casserole
39- Beef or mushroom stroganoff
40- Lemon chicken and pasta with a veggie of choice
41- Sweet and sour turkey, beef, chicken, or pork over rice
42- Fried rice with or without meat
43- Sesame chicken or pork over rice with a veggie
44- Chicken cacciatore
45- Chicken salad sandwiches, tuna salad, or egg salad are all affordable
47- Chicken, pork, or beef enchiladas with veggies. If meat is too expensive use cheese and beans
48- Chicken fajita casserole
49- Tacos, or taco salad use beans if meat is too expensive
50- Pasta salad with or without meat
51- Potato salad with egg
52- Macaroni salad with egg or tuna
53- Pulled pork or chicken sandwiches with a veggie side
54- Veggie and potato frittata
55- Vegetable oven fajita casserole.
That is a good long list to start pondering $5 dollar meals. There were many more, but I picked ones that my family would most likely eat.
Our Menu for the week ending on 11/20/20:
Monday: Today was supposed to be hot dogs with mac n cheese. However, we still have Ziti leftover, so that is what we will eat.
Tuesday: Tuesdays are crazy so I will move the hot dogs and mac n cheese to this day.
Wednesday: Sweet and sour pork with rice and a veggie
Thursday: leftovers from Wednesday
Friday: Homemade pizza rolls. This is shopping day. I will share what we bought for our 50 dollar week of groceries, and the recipe for the homemade pizza rolls, plus next week’s $5 dollar dinners menus.
You don’t see a whole lot of fruit or snacks in this post. I discourage snacking, but I always have at least one or two fruit options, crackers, cookies, or popcorn. Making your own snacks, rather than buying packaged, can save a lot of money and heave healthier ingredients. This may change with the budget, but there are budget-friendly snacks out there. Lunches are usually sandwiches, salad, or baked potatoes. We are not big breakfast eaters, but we always have bread, eggs, and usually cereal.
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