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Guest Post: Dinner for Four for $4.55!

Guest Post by Erin from 5DollarDinners  

For a long
time, I thought it would be more expensive to make meals that used all
natural and “raw” ingredients, as opposed to cooking with just processed
“box” foods and canned goods. However, earlier this year,
I challenged myself to try and feed our family of four for $5 or less every night. I decided I might as well try and prove to myself and others that it is possible to make frugal and wholesome meals! And I’ve learned it’s very possible; in fact, it’s become a fun challenge that I’m chronicling every night on my blog, 5DollarDinners

Here is a sample dinner
that I recently made for less than $5:


Pork and Apples
with Asparagus

1 lb. Pork Roast–$1.90 (Click here to see the deal I got on this
Water or broth
2-3 apples, peeled and sliced ($0.75–apples will be inexpensive throughout
the fall!)

1 tsp. cinnamon–$0.05
2 Tbsp. brown sugar–$0.05
2 Tbsp. lemon juice–$0.10
1/2 onion, chopped–$0.20
1/2 bunch asparagus–$1
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil–$0.20
1 cup rice–$0.30

1. Place 1/2-inch water or broth in base of crock pot. Place roast into
crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add onions around the roast.

2. In bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Toss
well. Pour over roast in crock pot. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

3. Snap ends off asparagus. In another bowl, drizzle olive oil over asparagus.
Let sit 30 minutes or so. Then saute for 5-7 minutes until tender, yet

4. In saucepan, boil 2 cups water. Add rice. Bring to boil, then cover
and simmer 20 minutes.


Serve pork and apples over rice with asparagus on the side. Delicious!

Cost $4.55

After the meal, I decided
to strain the pork broth to use in my Sweet Potato and Apple
Soup recipe. I have never saved pork broth, but I thought this sweet and cinnamon-y
broth would be perfect for that soup!


Saving your broth not only
saves you money, but it’s also free of preservatives and you know
how much salt you used! I’ll take free broth any day!

While you might not be able to get exactly the same prices I did on everything or you might have a larger family or different food preferences, I hope this meal inspires you to think of ways you can make the most of what you have. And perhaps you’ll even join me in setting a dollar amount for your family’s dinners every night?

Visit Erin over at her blog,, to see what she’s cooking up for $5 or less for dinners this week!

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  • laura says:

    It has turned into a bit of a game at supper, where we figure out what the meal cost. Often, it is even less than $5, plus there are leftovers for the next day’s lunch for all of us!

    We grow a lot of our own groceries. Today, I put up 8 pints of chicken soup. We raised the chicken (a spare rooster with an attitude – not free, but mine mostly free range, so probably about $2 worth of feed) as well as the potatoes, carrots, onions and thyme. The only thing in the jars that wasn’t home grown was the celery (20cents) salt and pepper. Not bad for 8 jars of soup!

  • I’ve gotta give these recipe props! I made it minus the onions b/c DH hates & used a different side dish because of what we had on hand. My husband, who is VERY picky, said this is the BEST crockpot recipe I’ve ever made! YAY!

    Oh and I didn’t peel the apples. Too lazy and you couldn’t even tell the difference!

    The kids enjoyed this one too! It has just the right amount of sweetness in it!!!

    Erin Rocks!

  • Donna says:

    Yummy! I wish my family would eat pork. It is one of my favorite meals from childhood. I will have to try this. Do you think this would freeze well? Maybe I could freeze it in individual portions for lunch. Off to bookmark this recipe! Erin, thank you for sharing!

  • Katy says:

    Wow, that looks delicious and so easy! I’ve never attempted a pork roast in the crock pot, but after reading everyone’s recipes on the crock pot post (and now this one), I’ve GOT to try it!

    Thanks for the post!

  • TommieJo says:

    I like that idea! Might try it myself.

  • LANA says:

    We try to get more than one meal out of a large meal as well. For instance, when we make a roast, we save some of the juice (before it becomes gravy) and put it aside. The next night, we have beef sandwiches au jus with the rest of the beef and the broth…very yummy and it keeps things easy and new!

  • Megan says:

    Hi, I just found your blog and I think you are remarkable! I think it is great how you have so many ideas and use coupons and other ideas. Money is tight right now for everyone, I know, I am just trying to learn some ideas to at least help my family. I have never used coupons and dont really know all the tricks of the trade or how it works. I am currently trying some crafts that I love and try to sell them for extra cash but it is very difficult. If you could give me some insight on how you do it with everything I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

  • Phoebe says:

    Thanks so much for this post. Looking forward to trying several of these out.

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