Meal for 6 for $5 – by Gayle from Grocery Cart Challenge

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on December 22, 2008

Gayle’s blog, The Grocery Cart Challenge, was one of the first that I came across when I started paying more attention to couponing and grocery store savings this past summer. I kept thinking, “if she can do this for her family of 6 then I can do this for my family of 4!!!” She feeds her family on $60/week and shares her menus, shopping trips and other fantastic money saving tricks and tips on her blog! She will surely inspire you too!

When Erin asked me to guest post while she was away for the holidays, I thought it would be fun to follow in her footsteps and put together a $5 meal. Come to find out, this is no small feat. Its a ton of research, math skills, checking against my shopping receipts anda little bit addicting. I cant tell you what a fun game it was to break down one of our staple meals to find out if it fit into the $5 dinner category. And when I finally got to the end it was like finding out I won the lottery to know that it fit. So…Thank You Erin for all the hard work you put into this amazing blog. (You’re welcome!)

Crockpot Potato Chowder – serves 10-12

Adapted from

8 cups diced potatoes ($.80)
1/3 cup onion, chopped ($.18)
3 knorr bouillon cubes (these are two teaspoons in size $.10)
6 cups water
1 10 ounce can of condensed cream of chicken soup ($.59)
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese ($1.29)
lb bacon, cooked and crumbled ($.85)
Dried parsley or sliced green onions for garnish – optional

Combine potatoes, onion, water, bouillon, and chicken soup in the crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese to crockpot and blend.
Top with bacon and parsley or onions before serving

We serve this with Buttery Bread Machine Rolls – makes 24

Adapted from

1 cup warm water
cup powdered milk ($.20)
cup butter or margarine softened ($.22)
cup sugar ($.07)
2 eggs ($.25)
1 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour ($.10)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast ($.75)

Put all ingredients in bread machine pan in order listed.
Run on dough cycle.
When cycle is complete, divide dough into 24 pieces and shape into balls.
Place in greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Cover and let rise in warm place for 15 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Grand Total for both recipes $5.40

Now my family is larger than most with 6 people (2 teens), so this would feed all of us with only a little leftovers. If your family is an average size of four people this would be one meal for dinner and one meal for the freezer. If its two meals the grand total would be $2.70.

If youd like to see how I feed my family of 6 on $60 a week come visit me at The Grocery Cart Challenge.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy December 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Looks amazing! Yum, can’t wait to make it


gail December 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm

great guest post! both recipes look yummy. i use my bread machine alot for bread andpizza dough but have not made rolls. you make it look so easy, i’m gonna havta try.


Mrs. Querido December 22, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Yum…where was this soup when I had to use up a bunch of potatoes recently? Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing Gayle and Erin!


Diana December 22, 2008 at 10:07 pm

oh my, the soup looks tasty, but those rolls! I love bread and those look amazing soft and yummy! I must try those! :)


Tracy Stalding December 23, 2008 at 8:57 pm

This chowder is nothing short of amazing. I was in heaven! And, my oldest son and I had the leftovers for lunch today. Just put it in a saucepan to reheat! Mmmmm! Great during this insane snow we’re having!


Trish December 25, 2008 at 12:15 pm

These recipes sound really good, but I am not sure where the poster lives or gets her ingredients because some of the items are way off from what I would be able to get them off. Like flour it is .29 a cup, not .10 here. The butter is no way only .22 a stick , more like .50.

Anyway good recipes but wouln not fall into the 5 dollar category for me I am afraid.


Lisa December 26, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I made this delicious soup for dinner on Tuesday – SO GOOD!!! I didn’t have time to do it in the crockpot so ended up doing it on the stovetop and it turned out great! Froze half of it for another meal! Thanks for the great recipe!


Blissful Nikki December 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I found these rolls on Gayle’s website months ago and fell in love! I make them all the time! They are like Heaven hyped up on carbs!! A++!!!


Teeter December 29, 2008 at 11:24 am

I just found your site and tried this soup and the rolls last night. They turned out fantastic! My five kids loved them. We will definitely be making these again.

Thank you for all your hard work. I really appreciate it.


Nicole January 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I was concerned about how thick it would be even after I added the cream cheese so I took a ladle of the liquid and whisked it with a little flour until smooth and poured it back in the crockpot–it is nice and thick and bubbling away in there now! Thanks!


noahandlylasmommi January 2, 2009 at 2:03 am

cant wait to try the soup :0)


Erika January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Tonight we will be having this yummy chowder for the second time. It is scrumptious and every one in our family loves it. Our youngest daughter takes medication that makes it necessary for us to make a couple of changes to reduce the sodium content. We used half a can of soup (froze the rest for later), added a minced garlic clove in place of the boullion and crumbled 1/4 lb. bacon into the chowder at the end instead of the 1/2 lb. I have directed several friends to your blog, and they have really enjoyed this recipe too. Thanks!


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