Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

$5 Meal Challenge


ImportantElements
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, 

 

So after going through many topics here, and enjoying every single one of them, I want to add something unique here :) 

 

I would like to do an interesting event for you all. Or maybe even a regular thing. Since we are all big fans of food, and a lot of us love to cook, how about a small challenge ? 

 

$5 Meal Challenge  :o

 

Basically, all you have is Five Dollars to spend on all the ingredients. 

94MaqyA.jpg

 

Its okay to go over just a little bit, but no more than $0.50 cents 

 

Any store, any market, any place that legally sells food counts. 

 

I figured 4 main basic ingredients like 

Salt, Pepper, Oil and Vinegar - are free. Since you cant buy very little of them. 

 

The meal has to be prepared or cooked. You cant just buy a frozen pepperoni pizza for $3 and call it a day. I would love to see your creations :)

 

It wont be easy, but I think this will be super fun. Anyone can join and post here in this topic. 

 

Photos, and videos of course would be even better. 

  • Like 3

Food blogging zombie

My Instagram

My YouTube Channel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll start first. 

 

$5 Meal Challenge - Beefstroganoff 

 

So finding a beef under $5 is not very easy apparently. But I did it. 

 

I went to our local store called "Sprouts" and "Grocery Outlet" 

 

At the sprouts I found some good deal on the thin cut steak  ($2.63)

ibX1wlM.jpg

 

Very sweet price on the onions 2lbs for $1 ($0.26)

8n8K5gm.jpg

 

Got a large potato for ($0.69)

zPkotKb.jpg

 

A few mushrooms ($0.54)

 

Sour Cream ($0.79)

fTmQZpa.jpg

 

TOTAL: $4.91 

 

This was pretty challenging, but I did it. 

 

I managed to make a tasty beefstroganoff with all this

 

yS6cvzJ.jpg

6zqm72f.jpg

 

Video of this whole process is right here 

 

 

Feel free to join me guys, photos and videos are welcome. I'll be making this a regular thing. So at least 1 Challenge a week with a video guaranteed !!!  

  • Like 6

Food blogging zombie

My Instagram

My YouTube Channel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

$5?

That's not much of a challenge. ;)

Most of my meals are $5 or less—I'm literally dirt poor!

How about a $1 meal challenge? yes.gif

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 2

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 It only really works for American members.   I laugh at your costs. xDxDxD

  • Like 6
  • Haha 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As @Anna N says, your idea may be fine for members who are in the USA, but many of us aren't. $5 could buy me several meals here. I certainly made three meals yesterday for around $5 or less. Probably do most days.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 8

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

Let's see what you got! 9_9

 

Nearly every dish I have posted on the Dinner topic over years was way under $5. I can't find the challenge! I'm more challenged to come up with one that costs more.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 4
  • Haha 3

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made dinner for 4 last night - lentil soup, and spinach and feta crescent rolls. All stuff I had on hand, but half a bag of lentils - $0.50, a carrot, an onion, and a stick of celery - $0.25, maybe? Big ticket item a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls - $1.25. About half a cup of thawed frozen spinach - $0.25 2 oz. feta cheese $0.75, 2 oz. cream cheese $0.50. So $3.50 for a meal which was by no means fancy but kept body and soul together, and there's still a bowl of soup and 1 crescent roll left over for me to have for lunch.

  • Like 4

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

I've got a couple of posts in the meal challenge thread, with pictures.

 We’ve had a number of challenge threads which have been great fun but they’ve also been inclusive. I don’t find this challenge to be inclusive or acknowledging various cultural, dietary, religious etc. limitations of a very diverse group of members. Doesn’t even apply equally to all American members.  I suspect that making a meal for $5 in Alaska is considerably more difficult than doing the same elsewhere in the USA. 

I admire and applaud the enthusiasm of the poster and proposer of this challenge but I don’t see it as particularly plausible. By all means for those who want to take it up — good luck. 

  • Like 6

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think as a thing to do for fun it's okay. Constraints can lead to creativity.  Maybe the challenge should be what's the best meal you can make for $5 - or to make it more relevant to places with differing costs of living, how about the best meal you can make for the local price of a Big Mac?

  • Like 5

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

$5 is certainly a challenge here in Manhattan where everything is more expensive... Also, lots of dishes that I make use things like fish sauce or whatever which can't be bought in small quantities, except for Red Boat, which is extraordinarily expensive and I haven't had the nerve to pull the trigger on it yet.  But even still, my $3/liter of fish sauce works out to like $.001 per serving.  Also, many of the curries I make may cost $20 worth of ingredients (many of them have to come from who knows where, and there isn't a lot of competition for it) but that batch of curry is good for usually 4 meals for 2 people (so 8 servings) - I can't justify doing all work for 1 meal.

 

While I understand weinoo's philosophy, I looked at the OP as a challenge of how to eat well for very little money, not just to eat for sustenance. I would hardly compare beef stroganoff to rice and beans.  I was pretty impressed he could pull off a stroganoff for $5.

 

Exactly munchymom - I think that's a great idea!

Edited by KennethT (log)
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 13/04/2018 at 7:42 PM, munchymom said:

how about the best meal you can make for the local price of a Big Mac?

 

I know where you are coming from and want to agree, but McD's "food" is one of the more expensive options here. It isn't just a case of simple exchange rates.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KennethT said:

...Red Boat, which is extraordinarily expensive and I haven't had the nerve to pull the trigger on it yet

 

VitaCost is the cheapest source I've found.

They sometimes run a food sale, 20% off an order of $50 or more—with free shipping.

 

Red Boat salt is also useful.

It's expensive, but ships free.

A little goes a l—o—n—g way!

red-boat-fish-salt-8oz-inline.jpg

 

Squid brand is my 'everyday' fish sauce.

$2.00 for a 25 fl. oz. bottle at Wegmans.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Holy crud kids! - it is just a discussion idea; not a suggested lifestyle.  I think $5 is a bit artificial as food costs vary per posts above. Our food costs in the US are very artificially low in some aspects. My sister in Australia goes into shock every time she visits Los Angeles. That said, I have had some of my most enjoyable and inspired meals when challenged by my pantry. I keep a very minimal food supply which is stupid when you live in earthquake country but I love food shopping ;)    Last year I was housebound for a week and chose not to ask friends to deliver groceries or to use a delivery service. I foraged greens from the property which were abundant since we had a true rainy season for a change. I got in touch with simplicity and clean flavors. I pulled out Patience Gray's "Honey From a Weed". I brewed tea from the citrus blossoms. I used my citrus fruit for both flavor and acidity. I certainly spent less than $5/meal and I ate very well. Butter, oliv oil, beans, some pepperoni hidden in the freezer,  pasta, homemade bread, eggs, and other simple things lovingly prepared and eaten when hungry are soul satisfying. Admittedly I used the lone can of Cream of Mushroom soup my stepmother left behind....and I liked what it did to some dishes!

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Anna N said:

 We’ve had a number of challenge threads which have been great fun but they’ve also been inclusive. I don’t find this challenge to be inclusive or acknowledging various cultural, dietary, religious etc. limitations of a very diverse group of members. Doesn’t even apply equally to all American members.  I suspect that making a meal for $5 in Alaska is considerably more difficult than doing the same elsewhere in the USA. 

I admire and applaud the enthusiasm of the poster and proposer of this challenge but I don’t see it as particularly plausible. By all means for those who want to take it up — good luck. 

Well...having lived in Alaska...if you can include the contents of your freezer, which is most certainly full of moose, caribou, deer, salmon, halibut, grayling, etc., and, if it's summer, the contents of your garden, and the jars of preserves from your foraging, blueberries, blackberries, lowbush cranberries, etc, I'd say it's a snap. 

  • Like 5

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, heidih said:

Yup - Kim Severson in her memoir "Spoon Fed" describes salmon as the zucchini of Alaska ;) 

Funny, but boy is that the truth. Everyone has too much of it. Everyone is always trying to get rid of it. Do not even entertain the notion of going to a party and not doing your share of eating to help the cause. I really liked the home-canned smoked salmon versions the best and didn't mind hauling home cans of it as "party favors" when we left the party. 

 

But always on the hors d'oeuvres, snack, cocktail, buffet tables there were big platters of salmon. And halibut. I remember telling my husband that I felt like I was being entertained as though I were someone's large house cat. ☺

Edited by Jaymes (log)
  • Like 4
  • Haha 5

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK. I'll offer this as an official eGullet challenge (insofar as I have any authority to offer anything official on behalf of eGullet, which I don't).

 

Cook a meal for one for $5.  You may exclude from the $5, but must specify its source:

  • Pantry staples (flour, sugar, oil, spices, etc.) (If you bought an item (say a spice) you don't normally use, specifically for this dish, it doesn't count as a "staple." )
  • Refrigerator staples (butter, milk, any cheese you keep on hand as a matter of course, refrigerated condiments you keep on hand as a matter of course)
  • Foraged foods (hunted game, wild-caught fish, foraged greens and fruits, etc., no matter what you spent on that trip to Alaska to catch that salmon or shoot that moose)
  • Self-gardened or self-raised foods (vegetables, fruit, chickens, eggs, livestock, no matter what that chicken cost you to feed or that ear of corn cost you to raise)
  • Self-preserved foods (canned, frozen, otherwise preserved from self-foraged, self-raised or self-gardened stuff only.

Recycled leftovers should be presented as a cost factor based on what the original element cost (a third of that steak I cooked last night and didn't finish).

 

Again, all the above must be specified as to the source of the excluded item. We can all impute at least a ballpark figure to the cost of the moose you shot in Alaska, if we're interested.

 

Yes, the playing field will not be level. It ain't a contest. It's an exercise, or I think it will become so, in what we go to when money's tight, or what we look toward when we're lacking either inspiration or the motivation to go to the market. I will guarantee you I will eat more asparagus once my beds start producing, for instance; the size of the asparagus bed will be an indicator of how much I love the stuff. If it's nasty and you just don't want to get out, you're going to cook from what you have on hand.

 

If we're lucky, it'll become a resource for "Oooohhh, if I kept THAT around the house, I could do THAT with it when I wanted to." Which is one of the wonderful things about eGullet, and the reason my pantry and fridge are so damn crowded. 

 

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what y'all come up with.

 

  • Like 3

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, kayb said:

Cook a meal for one for $5.  You may exclude from the $5, but must specify its source:

  • Pantry staples (flour, sugar, oil, spices, etc.) (If you bought an item (say a spice) you don't normally use, specifically for this dish, it doesn't count as a "staple." )
  • Refrigerator staples (butter, milk, any cheese you keep on hand as a matter of course, refrigerated condiments you keep on hand as a matter of course)
  • Foraged foods (hunted game, wild-caught fish, foraged greens and fruits, etc., no matter what you spent on that trip to Alaska to catch that salmon or shoot that moose)
  • Self-gardened or self-raised foods (vegetables, fruit, chickens, eggs, livestock, no matter what that chicken cost you to feed or that ear of corn cost you to raise)
  • Self-preserved foods (canned, frozen, otherwise preserved from self-foraged, self-raised or self-gardened stuff only.

 

 

In that case 99% (or more) of my meals are less than $5.

And, we all define the term 'meal' differently.

I eat more than my 90 some year old, 90 some pound, vegetarian, semi-pescatarian, British friend Mary.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

To where?

 

What constitutes a good eGullet food challenge?

  • Like 1

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted this already on the Dinner topic, but thought I'd stick in here as an example.

Fresh stir fried ramen noodles with pork, shiitake, cordycep militaris (the orange things), green chilli, red chilli, garlic ginger, Chinese chives, coriander leaf, Shaoxing wine and soy sauce.

 

n1.thumb.jpg.451805fd891f33afb93e390c4597e8d9.jpg

 

Cost (excluding cupboard staples such as oil, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine etc.): $1.60 to serve 2.

  • Like 8

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...