{CLOSED} I’m the Real Deal – Are You? (Tell Us Why and Be Entered to Win $100 Visa GC!)

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Winner is Katy P. Congrats!

I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to say those words. Because I’m not an arrogant person. I’d say I’m humble most of the time, with a healthy dose of confidence too…but it’s true. I’m the real deal.

(Said in the most confident, humble way.)

I’m the real deal because I’m working hard every night to make healthful and inexpensive meals for my guys.

I have one passion in life. Well, two really…rolled into one. My passion is to feed my family healthful meals each night, all while not burning too big ‘a hole in my wallet. And that passion then gets extended here on $5 Dinners. I love, love, love sharing these meals (successes and failures) with you. I love teaching you shortcuts, showing you how I make meals, where I find my deals and how it all works together to reduce your grocery budget.

I can’t help but feel giddy when I get emails and messages from you sharing how much you were able to save, or how you tried a new recipe or cooking method. I’m so fortunate and blessed to be able to help you on your journey to spending less money on groceries, and keeping healthy food on your dinner table.

Now it’s your turn, time to turn up the confidence and tell me why you’re the real deal. What are you passionate about? What are you proud of yourself for doing or becoming?

Everyone who answers the above question will be eligible to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!!!

Just leave your answer in the comments. Responses left before Friday, May 25th at 9 am EST will be eligible to win the $100 gift card.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for got milk?, another real deal. Say no to Imitations, learn more at scienceofimitationmilk.com.


  1. Andrea says

    I am the real deal. I stay at home to raise my daughter and I work 2 part time jobs. I am also a couponer who spends a lot of time trying to find deals and save our family money. We have a clean home, healthy meals and are happy.

  2. Carrie says

    Right now I believe I’m the real deal because I am passionate about repurposing things that people no longer want. Yesterday morning I went to only two subdivisions in our town and loaded up my car and trunk with items they were throwing out during the spring cleaning garbage pick-up day. I could have taken so much more, but I didn’t have a bigger vehicle to haul it in or enough storage at my home. I want to bring new life to unwanted items and do my part to reduce the amount of stuff going to the landfills.

  3. says

    This is harder than I thought! I’m the real deal because I am really dedicated to doing small things every day to make the world a better place. I’m a genuinely good person who loves to do kind deeds!

  4. Lillie's Mimi says

    I’m the real deal because I think family should come first. I went back to school with teenagers and did my homework and studying at 2am so I never missed out on what my kids were involved in. They now tell me that with my example they feel they can accomplish anything. That’s the greatest thing a parent can ever be told (right after I love you)

  5. says

    I believe I am the real deal because I do not pretend to be someone I am not. I am frugal and am constantly looking for ways to get the things we need without hurting our finances. I go without a lot so my kids don’t have to. I cook all of our meals from scratch – not boxes, in an effort to not only save money, but to hone my culinary skills and give my family nutritious meals.

  6. Cassandra says

    I am the real deal because not only am I raising 3 children, working 2 almost full time jobs but I also decided a year ago at the ripe old age of 42 to start classes at the local community college. I have taken a full load of classes each semester since then in addtion to my work and family duties and am down to needing 2 classes in order to complete my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. Wahoo!

  7. Samantha Bryant says

    I am the real deal because my life is harder than most women (not all) and I have to do it all each day with as much grace as i can. I am a stay at home mom , who also homeschools . My 2 kids ( have a third adult son) but the two I take care of each day make life worth living, they are both autistic, and have connective tissue disease(Ehlers Danlos ) to be exact, my daughter has seizures, has many more health issues ,and my son has many other health issues too. I have a wonderful hubby who takes care of everything out of the home so I can give them my best each day! My usual day consists of light cleaning, meals thru the day , medication schedules, physical therapy for my kids (with Ehlers Danlos) keep the body moving. My son is in a wheelchair , and my daughter will be in one soon since she has taken a turn for the worse. I am watching my kids’ health decline before my very eyes, and I will make it the best memories for all of us before they are finished on this earth! I also am a couponer, and a photographer (mostly of my kids). I don’t have one of those happy little lives where everything goes perfect, that would not be my life, or i might wonder what is wrong, LOL. But I figure if my kids can wake up with a smile each day even though they are in pain, and do not get the usual childhood of their friends or family, then i felt it was up to me to find something that works. We have our own way of how our family just connects! I am not sure that this makes me the ‘Real Deal’ but I feel it comes close. I have been so lucky to have these 2 kids who taught me that nothing really matters, but making each day special! Thanks for letting me share my day with you!

  8. says

    I’m the real deal because I’ve trying my darndest to grow a good veg garden this year, and because I strive to put as much local and organic food on the table as I can – within our budget!

  9. says

    I’m the real deal because I can’t do it all. I have two little ones with one on the way. I am a blogger, a childbirthdoula, and a health food nut. I love to research and know as much as possible. I like to keep my house clean, but sometimes it is a mess. I love to encourage women on a regular basis to be all that they can be.

  10. Michele Hoffman says

    I am the real deal. My 13-month old son is almost constantly teething. My 4.9-year old daughter never stops talking. My husband seems to always be busy with work, friends, projects at church, etc. So, I am the Mother. I have to be the sane one who cares for the kids, washes laundry, fixes healthy meals, kisses boo-boos, rescues the younger one from the older one, etc, etc, etc… My job description never seems to end. Just when I think I’ve got this role covered, the kids up and change on me. :) It keeps me on my toes for sure. I could use this $100. Not sure where, but I’m sure it will go toward something nice from Costco. Or…it will turn into food. Healthy food.

  11. april z says

    I’m the real deal because I stay home to provide care for my MIL who is a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. I work hard to provide three nutritious meals and three healthy snacks a day for my retired partner who has taken a child care job, my MIL and myself (I’m trying to lose 50 pounds). This is becoming more difficult as my MIL’s food preferences are changing practically on a daily basis. I am accomplishing this on our tight budget.

  12. Beth says

    I’m am the real deal. I am a stay at home mother to 4 amazing kids ages 9, 6, 4, and 6 months. I see my job as finding was to save my family $ and to make every dollar stretch until it cries for mercy! :-) We follow a budget in our house and when the money is gone for that month we don’t buy. I menu plan our meals and try my hardest to be a good nutritional gatekeeper for my growing family while also following a gluten free diet. Recently I have found the joys and cost cutting advantages of making my own household items. I now make my own hand soap, laundry detergent, body soap, shampoo, toothpaste, yogurt and household cleaner to name just a few. In the summer months we grow our own garden and I can and freeze our own fruits and veggies plus other local produce for the long winter. What can I say, I am the real deal because I like to know the things I eat and clean with are also “real”.

  13. Eileen says

    I am a mother of four. I grow as much of our food as I can in our backyard, I make most of our food from scratch. I do not try to outdo the `jone`s`. I care for my family the best I can, with what I have or can find. I stay home and work very hard here. I am the real deal, because I AM REAL. I am a simple, hardworking, humble human being trying to live life the way God intended. I am thankful and I am blessed!

  14. Macheal Summers says

    I’m the real deal because I am a single mom that is supporting her kids and soon, a grandchild. I work a ton of hours each week and still manage to enjoy cooking meals for my growing family. I also took in my daughter’s boyfriend when his mother moved away. This blended family is working. I feed all of us and I always cook healthy meals and make them stretch. I coupon, shop online and stick to my list when I hit the stores.

  15. Kaye says

    I’m the real deal, at least to my family. My kids are my joy. My husband is my best friend. And everything I do is about them. I’m a stay at home mom. Summer is going to be great with our many adventures in “momma-camp”. My daughters actually want to do my summer camp (at home) rather than go to the one offered at school. How cool!

  16. says

    I am the real deal because my family has survived a move this year…a big move. I’ve learned to start over…with kids, without sleep, and on a shoestring budget. I am able to connect, and grow and love, with other mommas…and find a balance in it all. I am the real deal.

  17. jennifer taylor says

    I will try to condense my “real deal” story as much as I can. I was married for 18yrs. During my marriage I believed strongly in staying home with my kids. Money was beyond tight. I found pride in myself that whatever money I had for groceries, clothes, etc was put to good use. I cooked every meal because especially back then it was so much cheaper to feed our family with homecooked meals. I shopped for bargains before there was internet and coupon advice readily at hand and I did a great job. My husband left us 4yrs ago for another woman and I realized that my years as a stay at home mom had not prepared me to support a family, But, my years of being frugal and making the most of what we had were a great lesson. Now, I am in school and my youngest is 11. I am still cooking most of our meals at home and I find so much worth in myself when I give my kids a good, healthy meal I made for them with love and that I have provided for them. I am thankful for the ideas and advice I find on this site in saving money for my family. I am also proud to say that I am the “real deal”.

  18. Karen says

    I am the real deal kind of mom. I love feeding my family wholesome and nutritious food while maintaining a healthy budget. We don’t buy lots of cans and boxes, but instead make our own from scratch!

  19. Mary says

    I don’t know if I’m the real deal…somedays I think I am. In my former life (pre-mommyhood) I thought I was the real deal because I was a lawyer for abused and neglected kids. Every day I was fighting the good fight. Now, I have occasional days where I feel like the real deal because I gave up the good fight to raise my 2 year old daughter and one year old twins. My husband is a public defender, and while we could both be working crazy lawyer jobs and having more stuff, we choose to live a simpler life based on our values and beliefs. I think that puts in line with striving to be the real deal. Since having kids, I decided I want my family to eat preservative free, low sugar, mostly organic food so I have adopted the motto “you either have time or money. I don’t have lots of money but I have lots of time.” So we bake almost everything from scratch. I have taught my husband to bake whole wheat bread (he is so proud) we just started making our own yogurt, my daugther associates snack time with baking muffins and my one year old picky eater will eat spinach! (okay…the spinach is hidden in a smoothie!) And now we are growing our own veggies. Am I the real deal? Probably not. But with my family, all in this crazy life together, yeah…WE are the real deal!

  20. Courtney says

    I’m passionate about finding the perfect balance between cost, nutrition and taste, to maximize each of them when feeding my family. All three are important, and none is enough on its own. I try to learn how to make as much as I possibly can from scratch. Things almost always taste better, cost significantly less, and are much more nutritious. I get a rush when I have a successful attempt at trying something new that hits a home run in all three areas. I’m also passionate about not wasting things, from food to household items to furniture to paper, etc. I try to reuse things, even if they might not be in the latest decor trends, and always go for function and reliability over style. I try to think about what my grandma and great-grandma would have done, and I feel like I’m honoring them and carrying on their legacy by being frugal and resourceful, and passing this on to my children. I try to make the most of my husband’s hard-earned money that makes it possible for me to be a stay at home mom of two teenage daughters.

  21. Janelle says

    I am the real deal because even though I am pregnant with my third (with extreme morning sickness), I still find a way to chase my other two kiddos around and make their day more enjoyable!

  22. Andrea C. says

    I am the real deal. I used to be shy and quiet never speaking up for myself. I was not bullied but I was not seen and that made me feel worthless. Now I know my self worth and I hold my head up high. I say what needs to be said and stand up for my myself and my family. Being a mom did that for me. I was no longer just a girl, I was a woman and I was a Mother. My choices are everything to my 2 boys so they better be good ones. I am the real deal and I will never forget it.

  23. Linze says

    I am the real deal because I will go out of my way to find a good bargain. I will be the first to buy up sunday newspaper ad inserts, search the internet high and low, and drive all over town to save money on groceries, clothing, and electronics. With the economy the way it is. This has become a way of life. Never will I pay full price for anything! I have cut my bills in half by being a betty bargain shopper. And I am happy to tell others that you too can be a Bargain Betty.

  24. Mary Snow says

    “Real Deal” that’s a hard title to claim! I began my frugal lifestyle adventures way back in the late 80s early 90s when my husband & I decided we were spending out of control. At that time we had no kids; both working several jobs because we were stupid & had credit card debt; That was all resolved (debt wise) by 95; but then btwn job changes etc I was very thankful I had began embracing the tightwad books and lifestyle. I was also beginning freezer cooking or batch cooking; which was very helpful during bad times of unemployment, etc. Now 2012 we have one 14yo but feed 6; I have couponed for about 5 yrs, it goes in shifts of when available cash to stock up. I had to learn that a great bargain isnt a bargain if I cant pay cash for it!

    I still try to keep it real – food is simple; healthy; filling; I cook at home – we try not to do fast food. I am always trying to get more fruits & vegi’s into our meals. I’ve been very creative in using rather than wasting food. Like a variety of pancakes or muffins with mixins- fruit yogurt, juice anything that is not getting eaten gets mixed into the next recipe!

    “Real Deal” I dont know I’m just doing the best we can!

  25. Jo says

    I’m the real deal because I’m putting on a happy face and making the best of a adverse situation for my 3 children ages 14, 11, and 9. Their daddy was diagnosed with testicular cancer and we were uninsured. A little over a year has passed and he is now getting clean scans, thank God, however we were forced to file bankruptcy and are losing our home. We have found a new place thanks to prayer and chance. We are trying to fix it up enough to be livable and I am doing my best to make everything we’re doing a adventure for the kids! I want to instill that as long as we are healthy and together we can make the best of anything life throws at us. In a way I’m sort of grateful this happened to us, as crazy as that sounds, because we are learning that living a simple life can be a wonderful thing!

  26. Erin G says

    I am the real deal because of the things I do for my family. I work part time, volunteer at my kids’ schools, plus run the household. I do what I feel is best for my family – just like all moms!

  27. sarah w says

    I’m the real deal because I work hard to interact with children of all ages – in my neighborhood, at church, at the local school (volunteering) AND I’m hoping to adopt. My husband and I got approved a couple months ago – now just to find “our” child.

  28. Cheryl says

    I’m learning to become the real deal, it is hard but I’m learning. Growing up I was told to be seen & not heard & always be the good girl, I was told my feelings didn’t matter and my parents wants were more important than my own (verbally, Christmas was always a blow out) and I was constantly reminded we were poor & ‘ghetto’ for others. It is very difficult for me to have genuine pride & I never, ever boast. Now I have 2 children (7 & 4) praying for a third (crazy, right?) Growing up thinking a woman could & should do it all set me up for a lot of pitfalls the first few years. But now I am staying home & learning how to be a more supportive and present wife & mom. I try every day to teach my kids something, especially that their feelings matter and they are part of this family. I want them to be able to make choices as part of the family.

  29. Selene M. says

    I’m the real deal because I’ve raised five children, was a stay-at home mom most of the time, and now enjoy life traveling with my husband in an RV. We’re down-to-earth people with no big desires other than to enjoy life by being together as much as we can.

  30. Carol W says

    I am working on becoming the real deal by making sure my son eats a nutritionally balanced dinner … almost every night. He goes from school to soccer to a semi home cooked meal. I try to vary the menu from week to week so he doesn’t get bored of any one dish

  31. says

    I’m the real deal because instead of being down and out about not being able to find a job, and about my Gramma passing away recently after a short stint with cancer (which was beyond rough!), I didn’t give up on trying to eat healthfully, and now I’m going back to school instead of wallowing in self-pity about how my life hasn’t gone how I want. While I’m not a Mom, yet, I’m laying groundwork in MY lifestyle and life to make sure I can bring my kids up in the best environment possible. :)

  32. sue killgore says

    Real Deal to me means sincere and compassionate, not pretending to be something you’re not, and above all being true to yourself and to others. In this way I am the real deal. I raised 7 children who are productive citizens and genuinely nice people. I went to college and got my Masters degree when I was 49. I feel that was the impetus for my children to go to college and most of them have done just that. It makes me very proud and humble to know that I had a part in making the world a better place. I have been using coupons since the 80’s to ensure that my family was taken care of and had healthy meals. My life has been full and rich, with very little money to make it so.

  33. Darci says

    I am the real deal because my number one goal is to give my children a loving, healthy home and a childhood filled with fond and happy memories.

  34. Janice says

    I’m trying to be the real deal for 3 growing boys and a husband with a hearty (unhealthy) appetite. The boys will eat or at least try anything I put in front of them, their dad is the pickiest eater of them all. Trying to convert him from fried foods to healthier cooking and more fruits and veggies (not in dessert or covered in gravy or cheese) is a challenge.

  35. Jaime says

    I believe that I’m the real deal because of my focus and organization. Having a plan and being organized has helped me in multiple areas in my life. Two examples: 1. Couponing – staying current on cutting and filing my coupons helps me to be ready to shop and save at the stores; 2. Clothing – knowing what the kids have, pulling out the items they have outgrown and taking them to the consignment shop have all helped me to save money on their clothing needs.

  36. Deborah says

    What are you passionate about? I am passionate about raising my children to be responsible, respectful and friendly adults. I don’t want them growing up thinking the world owes them anything like what seems to be happening with the young adults now a days. No one takes responsibility for their own actions and tries to put the blame on someone or something else. What are you proud of yourself for doing or becoming? I am proud of becoming a Mother and homemaker. I think I am giving my kids the best I can and even though we made some sacrifices so I could stay home I think they are worth it. I look forward to seeing my kids grow up and hopefully have great memories of their childhood.

  37. Leslie says

    What can be more real than a mom that loves her country, raising five kids to be good citizens, teaching over 200 students music and piano for 17years, teaching children to love and serve God and their fellow man. I do this every day, 24 hours by 365.

  38. Emily P says

    I am the real deal because I strive to be the best mom I can be…not the mom everyone else thinks I should be. I quit my job to stay home with my boys and now have the priviledge of babysitting a friends’ daughter, too. I love to spend time with all of them as well as make sure the are happy, healthy and know they are loved!

  39. SamanthaR says

    I am the real deal for being the best mom I can be – I stay home with my 3.5 and 1.5 year olds even though I have a Master’s Degree (I am a Registered Dietitian), grow a huge garden, bottle and freeze the produce from that garden so we can enjoy it all year, I try to find ways to save money, volunteer in my Church with 3-11yr olds, and volunteer in our state Dietetic association.

  40. Cathy says

    I’m the real deal because I don’t just talk about being responsible with money, I actually am (and I try to show my friends how to be too!). Thank you for the giveaway!

  41. Tammy says

    I am passionate about my family. Before I became a stay at home mom last year, my career was dedicated to creating positive experiences for kids and families, which I loved! Now I can take all those things and use them to strengthen my own family. I love offering my kids opportunities to explore nature, try new things, build their confidence, learn how to grow our own food, become part of a community, and live a healthy lifestyle. I may not be the real deal to everyone, but I know I am to my family, and that means everything to me!

  42. Stephanie O. says

    I am the real deal because at 18 years old I took care of the house, meals, my younger brother AND maintained a 4.0 gpa in college while my Mom was on active duty for Operation Desert Storm. Now as a Mom myself, my two girls are healthy, happy, and smart as whips! I’m so, so proud of them!

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