Everyday Mom's Meals: $50 Dollar Challenge Month #1 {Indiana Family of Farmers}

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

$50 Dollar Challenge Month #1 {Indiana Family of Farmers}

I am super excited to bring you this new series from my great friends over at Indiana Family of Farmers. Each month, for the next 4, we are going to explore exactly how many meals we can make for $50. I will share my meal plan, the inspiration behind each one, and a new recipe too! Plus, I want to hear from you and what you can do in the kitchen with $50. Here are the rules (don't worry, there are only 2!) 

1. The meals can be breakfast, lunch, dinner or a combo of all three.

2. Each one must include one meat protein. 

That's it! Easy, right? Well, maybe not so much for some of you, but that's why we are doing this. To learn, to share and to make our hard earned dollars stretch farther. So, without further adieu, let's get to it.

For April, my meal plan is based on one thing. Leftovers. More specifically, Easter Leftovers. See, this is how my brain works. Whenever I know there is a big holiday coming, I buy too much, I make too much, but in the back of my mind, I don't worry about it because I know one way or the other it will all get used. Rather I simply serve the same dishes later in the week, transform them into something new, or use extra ingredients I bought to make new things, in the end it all works out. Plus, I can make my weekly grocery budget stretch if I'm combining the holiday meal with my weekly menu. 

Here is my menu, and my thought process behind each meal.

Meal #1
Double Cheese Mac n Cheese
Fresh Pineapple

** Even though I normally make the sandwiches with deli ham, there is no doubt they would taste even better with some leftover Easter ham! Oh, and the pineapple? It always goes on sale around this time because so many use it with their ham, so it's a great time to use it as a fresh side too! 

Meal #2
Dinner Rolls

**This soup is a great way to use up extra produce you have laying in the crisper drawer. Let's face it, what holiday is complete without a veggie tray? And the extras can easily be turned into a soup the next day. And even though the original recipe doesn't call for meat, you could easily add leftover ham for a delicious new flavor! Dinner rolls are always something we have leftover after a holiday too! 

Meal #3

** Can't figure out where the leftovers come into play here? EGGS! I always buy extra for dying and then making deviled eggs too. So when I have an extra dozen...or two...laying around, breakfast for supper is always on the menu! 

Meal #4
Egg and Olive potato salad*
Baked Beans

** This a great time to explain one big way I keep my grocery bill down. We have freezer beef on hands at all times. Sure, the initial cost is a little pricey, but then it saves us $$$ every single week. The potato salad is actually a new recipe (see below) and just like the soup, it's based on those extra veggies I'm going to have laying around. Not to mention the extra potatoes too! Oh, and baked beans? Those will simply be a reheated leftover from the holiday! 

So there you have it. My first $50 challenge! I get such a thrill when I'm able to save money; and when I can feed my family at the same time, well that's just icing on the cake!

Don't forget to comment with how YOU would feed your family for $50. How many meals can you make? Have any great tips? Share them, please!!!

Egg and Olive Potato Salad
4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
1 (5.75 oz.) jar green olives, chopped
1 1/4 c. mayo
1 TBS white vinegar
1 heaping TBS yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Place potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water. Add some salt. Bring to a boil and cook until just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Allow to cool. In a large bowl combine potatoes, olives, and celery. Toss to combine. In a medium bowl combine mayo, mustard, vinegar, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour over potato mixture. Stir to combine. Chill until serving. Sprinkle with paprika.

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