My $10 (and Under!) Meal Plan: How I Feed My Family on a Budget

family mealBurnt out by the cost (not to mention the effort) of putting food on the table each day?

Join the club. The USDA estimates that a week’s worth of food runs $238 for the average family of four, which breaks down to about $34 a day. And that’s assuming that what’s being served isn’t organic, free-range, fine cuisine.

But take heart: It is possible to curb your grocery bill, while whipping up delectable meals for your family. Just ask these six moms, who agreed to share their favorite cheap, tasty eats that cost between just $2 and $10 to make. Note: That’s per meal, not per serving!

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  • Kiley

    Half a dozen eggs is wayy too much if you’re economising a frittata! I’d do a 2-egg Japanese omelette per person and serve the veggies hash-style instead.

    • Mic

      If you were feeding a family of 3 and giving each person a 2 egg omelet, wouldn’t that add up to half a dozen eggs? Plus, eggs are cheap.

    • Aimee

      If you’re feeding a family of four, you’ve just taken a 6 egg recipe and made it 8 eggs…but a half dozen is wayy too much?? That doesn’t make sense.

  • Julianna

    Wow, bell peppers for $.50? They’re $2.00 each in my town… But thanks for the recipes!

    • Marie

      $2.99 where I live (not organic or from Whole Foods, either)…$0.50 would be amazing.

      • Lisa

        Go to an non-American market. Produce is cheaper. I live in LA and just go to the spanish or asian markets for produce and get things like bell peppers for 0.50 or cucumbers 7 for a dollar.

  • Aleks

    I would skip that cheese on that frittata. You really don’t need that extra calories there.

  • Aleks

    It would be much tastier, less expensive and less fat if you toast the bread first, than cut open a glove of garlic and rub it on each of the bread. Instead of mayo use whole grain mustard (it’s only $1.79 per nice jar at Traders Joe’s , that not only taste better, but it saves tons!!! of calories.

  • visitor

    Good recipes, but you can’t find those prices in a city like NY. Also, there’s ton of sodium in most of these… Not a great way to save money if it goes against your health.

  • dr.bosslady

    I think it’s hilarious that people are critiquing these recipes instead of saying ‘great ideas. here are some things i do.’ are we so bent on one-upping and competing with each other?

  • ProfessionalLush

    Love the idea of this post, but a big block of text is about the worst way to read a recipe. I don’t need photos, but bullet points or something would be better.

  • janie

    I see pizza, pasta, pepperoni and cheese. where are the nutrients in this diet?

  • pamb

    I find it hard to believe that a family of four, with two teenage boys, is just eating a medium pizza for dinner. I’m thinking two larges, if not extra larges, is more like it. Not that the cost is much more, but even with a salad, I think that’s not enough food!

  • val

    The six cups of vegetable stock is not even figured into the price of the red and green lentil recipe. The recipe does sound cost effective, but it’s definitely more than $10 to make.

  • Miso

    Does Carly (Veggie – Beef Stew recipe) feed it to her child? She adds wine to it. That wasn’t clear.