$5 meals: Can it be done?

$5 meals: Can it be done? (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Feeding a family for $5 or less per meal may seem like a daunting task, but one Ohio mother visited the Mid-State to prove that it can be done, and be healthy and tasty at the same time.

Erin Chase just released her second cookbook full of $5 meals.

She visited Middle Tennessee to lend her expertise to local mother Cameron Tucker.

Chase said, “Cameron and I are going to go through Kroger and try and find a few ingredients on sale, and we're going to go home and make something for $5 or less.”

Chase said she always checks the store ads to make that happen.

Once she finds items on sale and compares it to her coupons, then she decides what she'll cook for the week.

During the Kroger shopping trip, Chase decided on a fruit salad and egg casserole for dinner, so Tucker bought a pineapple, day-old bread, eggs, bananas, a mango and nutmeg.

“What we're getting today might cost a little more than $5, but we're not going to use it all,” she said.

Even though Tucker spent $8.21 at the grocery store, after she went back home to prepare the meal, she had leftover pineapple, bananas, bread and nutmeg, meaning the meal was on budget.

“My family, they're going to love it. I can just tell,” Tucker said.

Like most moms, Chase started looking at ways to cut back on the family's budget when the economy started declining.

She began shopping for sales, using coupons and detailing her finds on a blog she started, 5DollarDinners.com.

The blog was such a success, Chase wrote The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook, followed by a breakfast and lunch cookbook that she just released in January.

Many of the recipes in the book that are under $5 only require a few ingredients.

The corn and black bean quesadillas recipe calls for salsa, black beans, corn, tortillas and shredded cheese.

For the coconut rice and beans recipe, pineapple, coconut milk, pinto beans and brown rice are needed.

The pepperoni calzones are made of pizza crust, pizza sauce, pepperoni and shredded cheese.

Even without the cookbook, Chase told Nashville's News 2 all families can eat for under $5.

“It's being resourceful,” Chase said, “paying attention to the ingredients you have, being creative in the kitchen.”

To view Chase's blog and find recipes for meals under $5, visit 5DollarDinners.com.

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