OK - so it isn't Monday - my bad.
And, also technically it isn't a $5 dinner for four - it's really $10 for two dinners for four - I'm going to include it here anyway ... since it does meet the basic requirement... feeding a family of four for less.
First Dinner - Roasted Chicken & Cheesy Potatoes & Peas
Whole chickens were on sale for $.88/lb (I bought 2 so I can freeze one for future meals).... $4.32 for the chicken in my crockpot as I type this.
Generic Augraten Potatoes - $.88
Chunk of Velveeta to turn the generic potatoes into yumminess - ($4.5 for the bar/ divide into 6)... $.75
Frozen peas (bag for $1 - five meals in a bag) $.20
Various seasonings added to water in crock pot - $.50 (garlic powder, onion salt, chicken bouilon, etc).
Spent so far - $6.65 - first meal
- pick off meat from bones from leftovers from chicken & toss in fridge
- boil chicken bones, skin with leftover veggies, or past-their-prime veggies, & some veggies from freezer ($.40) with lots of water for a couple of hours - drain and voila - chicken broth; If I'm not making this on the weekend, I throw it in the fridge & cook the soup the following evening; but, if it's Saturday or Sunday, I make the soup same-day.
Spent so far $7.05
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Combine Chicken from leftovers with chicken broth,
plus 2 cans diced Tomatoes $.59 each
1 can Tomato sauce $.49
2 TBSP Salsa (jar $4 - maybe almost a tenth used) $.40
1/2 cup of Enchillada seasoning (I'm making my own now, though I used to use packets from the store)... about $.50 worth of seasoning and far less sodium than the packets
with 3-4 cups of water
Spent so far $9.62
Good part of this is that it makes enough soup that I have LOTS of leftovers. I freeze them up in individual containers and usually get 5 or 6 lunches out of it.
So, two dinners plus five lunches for under $10? Not too bad.
I can't take all the credit for this - the concept is "Rubber Chicken" and I picked it up & ran with it. Honestly? Anything containing Chicken Broth & bits of chicken could probably take the place of the second meal... but I'm like addicted to Chicken Tortilla Soup ever since I started making it... and even though I eat it again almost every other day at work? When I run out??? I get a little anxious & want to make it again right away. And for the money? It's not a bad option to stretch the budget & eat well.