CLOSED! Facebook – Live Lunch Chat with The $5 Dinner Mom (and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!)

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 29, 2010

Our Live Lunch Chat was a great success and fun, too!  Thanks to everyone who joined us and be sure to make plans to chat again next Thursday from 1 – 1:30 pm EST!  And the winner of the $50 Amazon Gift card is…

Jennifer A. who said, “I’d love to use my crockpot for something that isn’t a pot roast! Any favorite recipes or sites? Any plans to help manage costs during the holidays? And finally, how do you entertain frugally?”

Join Erin Chase, The $5 Dinner Mom, for a live lunch chat on Facebookevery Thursday from 1 – 1:30 pm EST.  We will all be discussing everything frugal, food and kitchen related!

Not sure how to cook something, or if a particular price on produce or meat is a great deal, or where to find coupons…now’s the time to ask!!!

While it’s difficult to find a time when we can all be together on the computer, this hour time slot will hopefully work out with most people’s schedules…And if you can’t join us the whole time, just stop by for a few minutes to say hi…you never know who you might meet…or what you might learn!

For the inaugural Facebook Live Lunch Chat, Erin will be giving away 1 $50 Amazon gift card to one person who RSVPs (and shows up) to the chat!

To RSVP (and be entered to win the $50 Amazon gift card), simply leave a comment here with your name (first name and last initial is fine) and a discussion topic or question you might have for Erin.  RSVPs (and this giveaway will remain open from now until the start of the chat on Thursday.) Giveaway winner must have participated in the live chat by either asking a question, responding to another person’s question, and/or engaging in the chat.

On the day of the chat, Erin will leave instructions on Facebook on how the chat will be conducted and she will be posting several questions throughout the time to keep the conversation rolling.

Bring an old friend, and be ready to make new friends.  All you need is your computer, your plate, your bowl, your lunchbag…whatever…and join Erin every Thursday for her live lunch chat on Facebook!

See y’all then!

{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelly Tevington September 29, 2010 at 8:44 am

Question: How do you get the boys to try vegetables? I have a 22-month-old and a husband who aren’t too interested in vegetable side dishes. I need some seasoning tricks, I think.


Kim C. September 29, 2010 at 8:52 am

RSVping! My question is :

How do you find more coupons and good deals on staples like meat, fresh veggies, and staples? So many coupons seem to be only for processed foods.


Carey S September 29, 2010 at 8:52 am

I have a question about gardening. I tried to garden this year and my plants kept getting eaten by bugs and I read online several ways to try to keep bugs away organically but none of them seemed to work. What do you find to be the best way to keep away bugs? Also, do you have any special tips on how to get tomato plants to flourish? Mine died after only producing 3 little tomatoes.


Tracy T September 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

I need help making a dinner menu/plan for the week. I just don’t know where to start. Right now I just wing it every day and it’s not doing my food budget or sanity any favors. lol


Holly C September 29, 2010 at 9:07 am

How do you get a 3 year old to eat veggies? She at them as a baby, but now even though I keep offering them, she won’t eat them.


Rachel G. September 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

What is your favorite coupon system? why?


Amanda S September 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

I’m pregnant with my second child and I’m considering some batch cooking to load up my freezer before the new bambino. Any suggestions on what to put in?


Cassie September 29, 2010 at 9:31 am

Because of the tough economic times my husband, son, and I all live with my mom, step-dad, and two teenage sisters. With a house full of so many people, my problem with making meals is less a problem of budget than the fact that no one eats the food I make except my husband and I. It’s to the point that one of my sisters is practically anorexic because she won’t eat at home and hardly ever makes herself a lunch for school. How do you deal with so many people that complain about everything and won’t eat what is served?


eunice b September 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

We just moved to southern Maine, and I’m having a hard time paying $1.75 for the Sunday paper just for the coupons…I was spoiled and had an older neighbor lady and friends save theirs for me…now I’m in a new community, and don’t have those same connections. Thanks! :-)

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com


Kirsten K September 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

My question is how do I keep my grocery budget as low as possible when our income fluctuates from one month to the next and my husband is resistent to me trying new recipes?


Holly T. September 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

I am following suit with the veggies questions…my kids won’t touch them! Would love any insight or ideas you have on tasty, kid-friendly, affordable veggie side dishes.


Erma K September 29, 2010 at 10:46 am

I understand this thoroughly. My husband would never eat anything new-that he had not eat before. Crazy.


Kathryn J. September 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

Question for chat:

I have never had a garden before and would love to know more about gardening. What would you recommend I try first? Tomatoes? Herbs? I would love to have a big garden with all kinds of veggies and herbs but I think I should start out small and see how it goes. I don’t know what is best to use to keep the bugs away.


Vitamin M September 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

What are your comfort foods? In other words, if money were no object, and someone else is cooking, what do you enjoy eating?


Julie W September 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

I have a very picky husband and 4 year old and I’m running out of ideas on how to feed them, yet keep me and the veggie loving toddler happy too. Any suggestions would be welcome.


Shelly B September 29, 2010 at 12:15 pm

How do you get coupons for fresh produce? You’ve mentioned a few times about coupons you get in the mail from Krogers that sometimes include produce, how does one sign up to get those?


Charlotte A September 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Here’s my RSVP.

My question is: Do you have a seperate deep freezer or just a good size freezer/refrigerator?


Teresa B September 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I have a ton of spaghetti squash—I would love any new ideas on how to prepare it.


karen hiebert September 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I am trying to get hubby to eat veggies on his own AND when we eat together, but he doesn’t like the veggies I like and I’d like him to be healthier. He never eats breakfast or has a super light dinner. He’s losing weight while I’m putting it on. HELP!


AllieZirkle September 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

RSVP :) Talk to us about how to follow your many journeys (blog here for recipes & FB or Twit for event follow ups or?) For example, you recently went to NY for Subway. I didn’t see that Subway was updating their site about the event. Soooo, are deets on Twitter or FB?


Kristia L September 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I have 2 eggplants sitting in my fridge. I need some inspiration. What is your favorite eggplant recipe?


Elizabeth F. September 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm


How do you roast a pumpkin to make pumpkin soup and for how long and do you add spices to it while it is roasting?


Jenna O September 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm

My question is what are your number one tips to helping your garden grow. I planted so many seeds and almost all were duds :(


Amanda W September 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

How do you save money and still eat healthy?


Lauren G September 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm

What are your favorite fall soups? I would love some recipes that my meat and potatoes husband would try.


Tina F. September 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

RSVPing for the FB chat… 2 questions..

1 – love your recipes!! Do you have any great ones for a white cheese dip (mexican kind)… I can only find it at some stores and it is expensive… I know it cant be hard to make it, but not sure what kind of white cheese product to use…it’s great to make quesadillas with.

2 – I don’t see as many coupons for healthy foods – what is the best places to find those.

Thanks for all you do!!!


Jennifer Allen September 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I’d love to use my crockpot for something that isn’t a pot roast! Any favorite recipes or sites?

Any plans to help manage costs during the holidays?

And finally, how do you entertain frugally?


Jennifer Allen September 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm

And RSVPing!!


Jennifer H September 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I’ve been a fan of your site for some time now, but how do I get more calcium down my kids when they won’t drink milk and it’s hard to get them to try new things. They do like yogurt, but they only eat a little of it.


Magali G. September 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

RSVPing for the lunch chat!
Question: How can I come up with a weekly dinner plan? It seems like I am always cooking the same things because I take it a day at a time. I’d like to have a weekly dinner plan so I can have all the groceries needed on hand AND so I don’t spend so much time thinking each day, “what do I cook today?”


Cindy M September 29, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I also would like to know where to find coupons for produce and healthy foods vs all the processed stuff.


Stephanie K. September 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm

RSVP! Trying to think of a question…we are trying to curb the urge of eating out, getting delivery, etc. Are there any tricks that keep your ideas fresh? We usually go by our mood, which is our downfall. Also, have some picky eaters….won’t eat veggies, don’t like new things, etc. Help!


Torey September 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I think you recently mentioned that one of your children has food allergies. My daughter has celiac and I find it extremely hard to save money on food because of what she can/cannot eat. Most of the coupons in the paper are for wheat products (bread/cereal/pasta). . .and normally cheap products like pasta cost 3X ($3 for a pound of rice pasta) for a gluten-free version. Any suggestions for saving money with food allergies while also having a decent variety of meals. . . I find myself making the same things over and over again.


Jenn Price September 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I love eggplants. You can chop them up with some other veggies (carrots, potatoes, peppers), drizzle it all with olive oil, throw on some salt and roast it in the oven then east as it or put on top of rice, salad, or add to a soup. Or you could saute them (by theirselves or with other veggies) and eat with eggs or rice. Or you can grill them with some zucchini and make an open face sandwich with some cream cheese and crusty bread. Yummy!!


Megan p September 29, 2010 at 10:58 pm

How do you save money on freezer bags when cooking in bulk an d freezing? I don’t feel like my food stays feesh unless I wrap in foil and double ziploc. Tips to keep thing fresh in the freezer and space efficiency would also be great.


Vikki F September 30, 2010 at 1:44 am

Hi, and thank you for doing this. It’s nice to have a way to ask questions and know the blogger you asking is interested in what we readers are thinking.

My questions might be a little different. You see I live in a house with 5 adults. We are all family. Its a long story, but suffice it to say, after all being here to help out with our mom/grandmother before she passed last Dec, finances made it necessary to all live together. We’ve made it work, but feeding us all on a budget and making food everyone will eat can be very difficult.
My questions are:
What are some of your go to meals when feeding a crowd?
Any suggestions to get adults to eat veggies? I love vegetables but all we seem to ever eat around here are green beans and broccoli with or without cauliflower. So any tips for dressing up squash ( I love squash), brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, greens of any kind, cabbage, okra any of the non starchy vegetable.
Thanks again and I can’t wait to find out how you answer our questions. I’m sure you won’t be able to get to them all but made there are future blogs topics among them.
Have a wondeful day, hug your children, tell your family you love them often and thank God for all the little miracles in your life.


Erin from Long Island September 30, 2010 at 4:00 am

RSVPing! Erin Neu on facebook

Have you had any issues with vine borers in your zucchini? I have literally tried everything and my plants are always dead by August!


Kam Aures September 30, 2010 at 7:09 am

RSVP’ing! Sounds like fun!

Would love some tricks on sneaking in veggies to my youngest son’s food- even the sight of a little green speck and he won’t touch his meal!


patti K. September 30, 2010 at 7:27 am

RSVP. I have been playing the coupon vs. sale items game, and its paid off! My fridge and freezers are so full of stuff that was free or very low cost due to this game. I almost always cut my grocery bill in half no matter how much it is! ( thanks to awsome sales and dbl coupons from Meijer and Kroger!) But, i guess my question is any tips on how to possibly cut it even further! I’ve seen talk shows and things where they save so much more than half!. I to am a stay at home mom. I try to do the very best I can to save wherever possible. Lets me spend all that saved money elsewhere like treat the kids to something fun once in a while:-)


Mayra R-C September 30, 2010 at 7:43 am

Hi! I want to plant my own garden next year, but since I moved recently to NY from a beautiful island in the Caribbean I don’t know when is the right moment to start planting the vegetables in this part of the world. Remember that in a tropic weather you can plant vegetables all year around and we don’t have drastic changes during the seasons.


Alicia September 30, 2010 at 8:22 am

My questions are a little silly (yes, there are such things).

1. How do you stay motivated to plan ahead and keep things fresh? It seems that we are always running every which way, and although I love it when I have a menu plan, I just can’t seem to make myself sit down and do it. Of course, because my husband is picky but doesn’t like to make decisions is a problem. He’d rather just grab something out of a drive through.

2. My husband eats like a horse because he struggles to gain weight. I, on the other hand, have put on about 20 lbs in the past couple of years. The hubby likes his food deep fried, covered in butter, etc. I like it that way, too, but don’t need it. Any tips on how to cook for both of us without preparing extra meals or spending more time in the kitchen?


Kristyn S September 30, 2010 at 8:24 am

RSVPing! Sounds interesting…I’m always up for getting tips from others!

My husband thinks you need to have meat with every meal. I could take it or leave it. I’d love to show him that meals can be “meaty” and filling with no meat. What are some meal suggestions you have?


Elaine September 30, 2010 at 8:38 am

I will be there. Hopefully my blackberry will process it quickly enough since Facebook is blocked at work.

My question is similar to one posted early about getting, coupons and deals for meats and fresh fruits and vegetables but also on organic products. They are so darn expensive.


Betty D. September 30, 2010 at 8:45 am

Do you have any ideas on how to be a bit more creative making dishes with beans? Thanks, look forward to the chat!


Linda S. September 30, 2010 at 9:30 am

I know I need to make a dinner plan. But, finding the time to do so always hangs me up. I have piles and piles of recipes torn from magazines (and then all the ones I find on-line)! Yet, I always fall back on the same 10 – 12 meals. Ugh! So boring!!!


Megan E. September 30, 2010 at 9:33 am


What foods, if any, do you stockpile?


amanda September 30, 2010 at 10:10 am


My question is how to be thrift AND plan in advance for meals. Its easy to be thrifty to cook meals with what leftovers you already have on hand but how do you plan a WEEK of thrifty mealsz?

I love your site and am constantly using your recipes, even thought I am subscribed to Emealz. Sometimes I do your recipes several days in a row if I have things on hand. I would be willing to pay a subscription fee, if you were able to make your plans flow through several days. Im not really spending 19cents on a half an onion if i buy the whole thing and then dont use the other half or spending only XX amount of cents on the 3 tablespoons of coconut milk in the recipe your posting if I have to buy the whole can and then dont know what else to do with it.

Please note- these are not complaints, Im just trying to describe the situation I am in with examples. I Truly and Honestly LOVE 5$ mealz. Just look at my Facebook feed. !!!


Monette C. September 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

Any favorite crock pot recipes besides roast or bean soup?


Kimberly E September 30, 2010 at 10:47 am


I live in the same general area as you, and doing a price-to-price comparison on most things, I find Meijer to be cheaper than Kroger, so I wondered why you shop at Kroger?


ThisCountryLife September 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

RSVPing here! My question is… we are gone almost every night of the week (kids’ sports, etc..) and get home around 8pm. With 4 kids ages ranging from 12-3, what are some great dinner ideas besides the usual “soup in the crock pot”? I do love to cook, and we don’t eat a lot of meat, maybe once or twice a week. Need to get dinner on the table without a ton of time and money. :) Thanks!


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