Taking the kids to the grocery store usually ends with a frustrated mom and bored kids until now.
I am very blessed that most times I don’t have to bring the kids to the grocery store with me, but on the rare occasions I do someone always winds up grumpy by the end of the trip and usually it’s me. I can’t say my kids misbehave in the store but they are at the age where getting a quarter for the toy machine at the end of the trip doesn’t excite them anymore. I also noticed that my budget also gets blown away if the kids go with me. I lose track of my totals or they want to get stuff not on the list which can add up quickly. I started to think about how to make the trip more fun for all of us and reached out to my friends for some guidance. That is where the $10 dollar dinner challenge evolved. (Thank you Rebekah for inspiring my family to do this challenge.)
What is the $10 dollar dinner challenge?
Doing some research I learned that the average family of 4 can potentially feed their family on $10 dollars a meal. This price did not include items already on hand at home. I have a family of 6 living at home, 3 adults and 3 children, ages 8-13. Could we do this challenge? I wasn’t sure but I was determined to try. When I was telling the kids what I wanted to try I had suggested for me to try to do a meal on $10 and for them to come up with a meal that would cost $10 dollars, but they wanted more! The kids were determined that we would do FIFTEEN $10 meals. With sales flyer in hand we broke up into teams, I took my 8-year-old and my oldest daughter took the 11-year-old and 13-year-old. We had $150 dollars budgeted and were going to come up with dinners that didn’t leave us doomed to Ramen Noodles and macaroni and cheese. Did we do it? I will let you know shortly. First, I want to give you some tips for you to do your own $10 dollar dinner challenge.
Tips for creating $10 meals
- Plan ahead! Do not walk in the store blind like we did. We spent 2 and a half hours at the grocery store because we were not sure of what was on sale and didn’t plan our meals out ahead of time
- Make a list of items you already have on hand so you don’t double buy things.
- Don’t forget your coupons and check your stores double coupon policies, you would be surprised by how much you can save on one meal.
- If possible go to a local farmers market or stand for your produce, buying at the store that day cut into our totals more than expected, which had us changing our meals around.
- We set a rule up that no matter how odd the food may sound if the kids came up with it we would try it as long as it wasn’t something crazy like fruit loop and hot dog casserole. (I should have put spaghetti taco’s in the crazy category also.)
- Have fun with your challenge, you don’t need to do 15 days like we did. Set an amount of days that works for your family, load up the car and get ready for a case of giggles that you would never expect to hear at the food store.
So how did we do? Will we be eating ramen and mac & cheese for fifteen days?
We did quite well. We had pretty good meals most nights. There were a few kid friendly favorites that happened to be on sale and easy for them to help prepare. The best of the meals in my opinion were taco salads and pepper stir fry, if you ask the kids it was the aforementioned spaghetti taco’s. I do not recommend trying those no matter how much your adorable 13-year-old tells you that the crew of I-Carly loves them and you should try them.
The meals we had:
- Breakfast for dinner-Eggs, toast, pancakes, fruit
- Italian Chicken over rice-Chicken sautéed in Kraft italian cream cheese
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Mac and Cheese
- Stir-fry with peppers,onions and beef over rice
- Homemade Turkey Helper-A mix of elbow noodles, ground turkey and melted cheese
- Hot dogs and Mac and Cheese
- Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Taco Salad
- Spaghetti Taco’s (Never again!! lol)
- Corn Dogs and french fries
- Creamy Chicken over rice
- Steak, veggies and taters
- Beef Stroganoff over taters
- Chicken Quesadilla
Are you up for the challenge? Share your $10 dinner challenge ideas and stories with us.