14 days of Gratitude: Day 4 and 5 Dollar Meal Ideas

Today is the day I share my very long list of $5 dollar meal ideas. These are meals you can make that cost $5 dollars in total, or I will find out if that isn’t so. My husband and I have decided to tighten up our budget to increase savings. We had a nice savings account and then we took a grand vacation, my son got married, the AC broke and the car needed new tires. Plus, a few other unexpected medical type things came up. So, our savings got depleted. We are going to try and limit our grocery budget to 50 dollars per week for 3 people. I will start Friday, but with Thanksgiving next week I am not sure I can stay on budget, but I am going to try.

But, before I get to the list I want to do the 4th day of my 14 Days of Gratitude Challenge. Today’s prompt is, what tradition are you grateful for? I am not really into traditions, or rituals. I find when they can’t be followed anymore, for whatever reason, people are upset or hurt. But, one tradition I do try to stick to is decorating the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day. This has been a tradition in my family ever since I was a small child. We have had years we have altered it due to time constraints, it takes a very long time, but most of it gets decorated on Thanksgiving. For example, my husband for whatever reason insists on dragging the tree out of the garage and putting it up the day after Halloween. It is pre-lit so the lights are already on. I highly recommend pre-lit trees. Putting lights on is a nightmare. Anyway, it sits in my living room with just lights until Thanksgiving. Sometimes I start adding ornaments in small amounts just so it doesn’t look so naked, and like I said it takes such a long time to put it all together on Thanksgiving. This year, with Covid, Thanksgiving will be different for many families around the country. Maybe new traditions can be forged this year.

Now for my large list of $5 dollar dinners. Each time we have one I will share the breakdown and recipe. I didn’t do the breakdown for our Ziti this weekend, because I hadn’t completed the list, but Ziti is definitely economical and it has fed us for 3 days. These can be modified as needed. If you have CKD the way the food is prepared plays a huge role in potassium and phosphorus levels.

1- Ravioli, sauce, bread, veggie

2- Hot dogs with mac n cheese, and a veggie

3- Pancakes with sausage or bacon, whichever is cheaper that week. You may be able to add fruit too.

4- French toast with bacon

5- Breakfast pizza

6- Homemade pizza

7- Spaghetti and meat sauce. Meatballs cost more to make your own, but if you can get sales on your ingredients they can be frozen for leftovers.

8- Chicken and gravy over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes. Shred your chicken to make it go further. Add a veggie of choice

9- Poor mans stew or beef stew if stew meat is on sale

10- Vegetarian chili

11- Grilled cheese and tomato soup

12- Chicken ceasar salad

13- Homemade sloppy joes with veggies. This is so easy to make and has way less sodium than buying the can or mix. Add a veggie side

14- Chicken pot pie fettucine or just chicken pot pie

15- Chicken alfredo

16- Chicken or pork fried rice

17- Mexican beef and rice sometimes called spanish rice

18- Shit on a shingle, other wise known as chipped beef over toast

19- potato soup with or without kielbasa or other sausage meat

20- Taco burritos, or quesadillas with just cheese, add ham, beef, or chicken if affordable that week

21- Broccoli, rice and sausage casserole

22- Rigatoni casserole, this is a meatless meal and is super cheap/ This is a favorite of my son

23- Ziti

24- Sweet potato black bean casserole. My husband loves this and it is a meatless meal

25- Chicken and biscuits, add a veggie of your choice

26- Tuna noodle casserole with peas or green beans

27- Baked potatoes with carrots, green beans or broccoli. I eat a baked potato almost every day for lunch.

28- Noodles with butter and garlic, served with a veggie.

29- Chicken nuggets and fries. Make your own nuggets if you can.

30- Bagel pizzas or english muffin pizzas

31- Ham penne pasta with swiss cheese. This is one of my husband’s favorites

32- Italian mac n cheese

33- Pasta carbonara

34- Barbecue black eyed peas, or black beans

35- Baked eggs in ham cups

36- Baked beans

37- Shepherds pie

38- Vegetable polenta casserole

39- Beef or mushroom stroganoff

40- Lemon chicken and pasta with a veggie of choice

41- Sweet and sour turkey, beef, chicken or pork over rice

42- Fried rice with or without meat

43- Sesame chicken or pork over rice with a veggie

44- Chicken cacciatore

45- Chicken salad sandwiches, tuna salad, or egg salad are all affordable

46- BLT

47- Chicken, pork or beef enchiladas with veggies. If meat is too expensive use cheese and beans

48- Chicken fajita casserole

49- Tacos, or taco salad use beans if meat is too expensive

50- Pasta salad with or without meat

51- Potato salad with egg

52- Macaroni salad with egg or tuna

53- Pulled pork or chicken sandwiches with a veggie side

54- Veggie and potato frittata

55- Vegetable oven fajita casserole.

That is a good long list to start pondering $5 dollar meals. There were many more, but I picked ones that my family would most likely eat.

Our Menu for the week ending on 11/20/20:

Monday: Today was supposed to be hot dogs with mac n cheese. However, we still have Ziti leftover, so that is what we will eat.

Tuesday: Tuesday’s are crazy so I will move the hot dogs and mac n cheese to this day.

Wednesday: Sweet and sour pork with rice and a veggie

Thursday: leftovers from Wednesday

Friday: Homemade pizza rolls. This is shopping day. I will share what we bought for our 50 dollar week of groceries, and the recipe for the homemade pizza rolls, plus next week’s $5 dollar dinners menus.

You don’t see a whole lot of fruit or snacks in this post. I discourage snacking, but I always have at least one or two fruit options, crackers, cookies or popcorn. This may change with the budget, but there are budget friendly snacks out there. Lunches are usually sandwiches, salad, or baked potatoes. We are not big breakfast eaters, but we always have bread, eggs, and usually a cereal.

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My name is Melissa. I am a certified Health Coach, Holistic Coach, Kidney Coach, LPN, can coach in Herbalism, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery, am level 2 Reiki certified, and I want to be your Health and Wellness Coach. I am continually learning and taking classes to expand my knowledge base.

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