Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to feed 5 people for a week for under $50!

We bought a bone-in smoked ham at was the second ham we bought. It weighs around 6 pounds and cost $5 and expires in March. I should have bought another one. In any case, I figure we can make 3 meals for 5 people out of it...hmmm...that makes it about 35 cents per person per meal. The first meal might include some pineapple juice from a can of pineapple we'll use later in the week for my birthday cake -- a pineapple upside down cake. I would have thrown away the juice, so let's not even count the cost of that! Add some dijon mustard and a little bit of brown sugar for the glaze. That might have cost a nickel.

I think we'll have mashed potatoes with it -- it will probably take 2 pounds to feed us all. The potatoes are 50 cents a pound, or 10 cents per pound per person....that makes it about 20 cents per person. Now I'm up to 60 cents per person. Let's add a veggie. I got some frozen green beans on sale...99 cents for a pound, but I cannot imagine we'd eat that much. But let's figure the cost at around 20 cents per person anyhow, so now we are at 80 cents per person for this meal! Okay, maybe the milk and butter we add to the potatoes before we mash them costs a little, but certainly not 10 cents per person, but even if it did, that would make my meal 90 cents per person for 5 people and I'd say we just ate a very balanced and healthy meal!

Now for the leftovers...I think we'll make double baked ham and cheese potatoes. Each potato costs around 50 cents (we get the giant bakers) and each person can maybe eat half a potato. That makes the potato around 25 cents per person, add the ham...again that might be 35 cents per person, some cheese (a pound of cheddar is about $2 or 40 cents per person). Sure, I'll add a couple tablespoons of milk and some salt and pepper, but that won't even cost a nickel. We are now at 90 cents for this meal. Maybe I'll add a salad....I  bought a head of Romaine for around $1.00, making my salad around 20 cents per person...add some salad dressing, so let's say it is 25 cents just to be safe. I now made my second meal for around $1.15 per person (and I have a half potato leftover for one of those hungry monsters in my house). Two cost per person is now a whopping $2.05 per person!

Finally, a ham meal is not complete without some kind of ham soup -- afterall,, that bone make a great soup and I don't want to waste it. Beans cost $1.25 a pound (these were organic navy beans -- I probably could have paid that much for two pounds, but I didn't), so if I make a double portion (so I have leftovers for lunch), I'll make 2 pounds of beans, a soup bone, a little celery, onion, carrot and some spice (around 75 cents top for all of this). I figure that will cost no more than $5 to make the soup or $1 per person. I'll add some homemade cornbread which I figure won't even cost $2 (milk and eggs were on sale this might not even cost $1!), making my third meal a maximum of $1.45 per person....or $3.50 per person for 3 meals.

Yup -- that's a lot of ham to eat in a week, but if I keep this up, I will be able to make 7 meals this week for under $10 per person (for 5 people -- 3 adults, 1 teenage boy, and 1 tween boy). And who said you couldn't eat dinner for a week for $50?

We don't always eat like this, since I'm thinking we deserve a steak or maybe some fresh Alaskan salmon once in a while after that!

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