Three Square Meals + Some on $5 a day, The Fin-ally

In the September, October and November 09 issues of Single! Young Christian Woman, I gave you three of four parts of a 16-day program I’ve worked out so that you can eat healthy on $5 a day. This here is the last part. Just like before, I’m gonna give you four day’s worth of menu and shopping list, as well as the shopping list for a starter kit of ingredients that’ll last you for at least three months, in most cases. Now I know $55 for a starter kit sounds a little outrageous, but it will average out to be less than a dollar a day because of how long the ingredients last. Add it to the $4-a-day menu and yur eatin’ for $5 a day.

 Some things on this menu are made with items leftover from previous four-day shopping lists. If you are seeing this for the first time, what ya really otta do is go back to the first four-day menu and start there. Then follow links to the second and third menus until you work yur way back to this one. But if yur hard-headed, go ahead and start with the last part (you wouldn’t read a book that way though, would ya?).

Now, let’s review the ground rules.

1. Shop smart. No fancy schmancy markets – you need a Kroger or a Wal-mart or some other low-priced store and even then, you need to buy the store brand when you can to make this work. I don’t list a size on these products, so just get as large a container as you can without going over the allotted price. For the spices, if you have a Wal-Mart Superstore, look for their large spice bottles for $.50 each instead of paying for name brands. If not, go to the local dollar store to buy yur spices. And a disclaimer: prices vary so much from store to store and then when you take into account different regions of the country, well, this iddn’t no exact science. I’m ballparkin’ figures here and I believe you can get mighty close to the total amount regardless of where you live, as long as you shop smart.

 2. Surely you notice a little repetition in these menus and that there aren’t too many fancy foods on them. Newsflash: You can’t eat fancy foods on $5 a day. And if yur just feeding yurself, well, you’ve got to have a little repetition to use all the food that was in the package. Again, budget food does not usually come in single servings.

3. As always, I’m learnin’ ya how to cook healthy. Give it a try – I just know you can learn to love what’s good for ya.

 $50 starter kit

Salt                  $2

Pepper                        $1

Ginger             $2

Chili Powder   $1

Cinnamon      $1

Basil                $1

Oregano          $1

Cumin             $1

Brown sugar   $2

Molasses        $2

Baking powder  $2.50

Baking soda   $1

Whole wheat flour $3

Vanilla                        $2

Mayonnaise    $2

Pesto               $3

Bullion Cubes (chicken and beef)    $2 each

Lemon juice               $2

Jalapeno peppers       $2

Olive oil                      $5

Balsamic vinegar       $3

Soy sauce                   $3

Worcestershire sauce $2

Apple cider vinegar   $1

Canola Oil                   $3

Cooking spray                        $3

BBQ sauce                  $1

If any money left over, buy parmesan cheese ($2.50), a box of crackers ($2.50)

 Should have some left over from the Second 4-day Menu

Peanut butter             $2

Cereal                         $3       

Raisins                                    $1.50

Should have some left over from the Third 4-day Menu

Eggs                            $1.20

Bread                          $2

8 oz Cheddar cheese block   $2

Syrup                          $1.50

Fresh Garlic               $.25

Shopping list #4

Milk                             $2

Whole chicken                       $4

Potatoes                      $3

Carrots                        $1

Seasonal fruit (strawberries, grapes, tangerines, pears, peaches)           $2

Lentils             $.75

Apple sauce    $1

Fettuccini       $1.50

Tomato           $.50

Spinach           $.50

 4-Day Menu

 Day 13

Breakfast – French toast

Lunch – fettuccini w/ pesto and fresh tomato

Snack – raisins

Dinner – chicken with potatoes and carrots

Desert – peanut butter cookies (use a favorite recipe, subbin’ in brown for white sugar and whole wheat for white flour to make it healthier)


Day 14

Breakfast – cereal

Lunch – leftover chicken sandwich with cheddar cheese

Snack – seasonal fruit

Dinner – lentil stew (potatoes and carrots)

Desert – peanut butter cookies


Day 15

Breakfast – oatmeal w/ raisins

Lunch – BBQ wings (or other chicken) and homemade French fries

Snack – seasonal fruit

Dinner – chicken Florentine fettuccini

Desert – peanut butter cookies


Day 16

Breakfast – eggs and toast

Lunch – lentil stew leftover

Snack – cheddar cheese

Dinner – leftover chicken with potatoes (mashed or fried)

Desert – seasonal fruit crepe


Chicken Florentine Fettuccini

Place ½ cup chopped, leftover chicken and one pressed clove of garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté in a small skillet over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Add thawed, dry spinach and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Cook fettuccini according to package directions. Top fettuccini with chicken/spinach mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Seasonal Fruit Crepe

Chop ½ cup of seasonal fruit into small cubes, removing seeds and peels as needed.  In a small saucepan, bring to boil with one tablespoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Simmer over low heat for five minutes or until it forms a compote. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 egg, ¼ cup milk, 1 tablespoon canola oil, ¼ cup water and a dash of salt.  Over medium heat, pour a ¼-cup scoop of batter into a lightly oiled nonstick skillet in good condition, tilting the skillet like the Alpine ride at the carnival so the batter goes all over the pan. Cook for about two minutes and ever-so-carefully flip it over and cook a minute more on the other side. Slide off on to a plate, spoon in a few tablespoons of fruit filling and roll it up, seam side down. Repeat until the batter’s all gone. Drizzle a little syrup or molasses over the crepes.

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