The $7 Dinner Challenge, Version 2.0

| November 11, 2008 | 10 Comments

The $7 Dinner Challenge is now the $10 Dinner Challenge!

After reviewing the results of the recent survey we did on the $7 Dinner Challenge (thanks for joining in!), Cate and I decided to make a few modifications to the rules … to make it a little more user-friendly and hopefully encourage more participation.  Although we know the $7 challenge is definitely doable, we thought expanding the scope a bit might make it better for all. And, if you liked the recipes before, you are going to love what we come up with now with just a little more money.

The challenge will resume next Monday, but in the meantime, here’s the plan:

The Ground Rules:

  • You have $10 to create a complete dinner for four, to include the main course and a serving of vegetables for each person.
  • Cost of items (i.e., bread) can be prorated (total cost of loaf/slices used).
  • Salt, pepper, 1/4 cup oil and 1 tablespoon of herbs are free — no need to count these into the cost total. Every other ingredient must count toward your $10 total.
  • No frozen meals. You actually have to make something (however it can have premade components).
  • You must state where you get your pricing info from, and it must be current to the date posted (as in, if the sale is over, the current price is the one that counts).

I am already dreaming up new ideas for next week’s menu.  Hope to see you here!

Category: Budget Eating

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

Comments (10)

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  1. $10 Dinner Challenge : Kara Cooks - One Recipe at a Time | November 24, 2008
  1. maris says:

    LOL at version 2.0 – very clever! I like the new rules, I can’t wait to see some budget-friendly recipes!

  2. Tammy W says:

    I like your challenge. I feed seven to eight at every meal though. I bet some can still beat $10 meals though. I’ll have to pay some serious attention!

  3. Sarah Caron says:

    Tammy, one of the reasons we chose four as the number of diners is because that tends to make it easier to scale — so, for instance, Maris, who is single, can use the recipes without too much trouble just as easily as you, with 8 can. So glad that you like it! I am definitely going to continue to strive for the least $$ possible. But hopefully the adapted rules will get even more people to join in.

    Maris, I cannot take credit for that. It was all Cate’s idea! (Sorry to single you out in example above ;) )

  4. EB says:

    Oh yay! I’m glad you decided to continue it and I like the $10 figure. I think there’ll be a lot more flexibility while still being nice and cost effective. In the meanwhile I’m going to post my #2 effort tomorrow. :) I’m just a little behind.

  5. I like the changes, too. I’m all about some $10 challenge. Thanks for making it a bit easier on my brain. :)

  6. Amanda says:

    I have a feeling you all will have more creative recipes, but I’ve got some ideas that we’ve made work.

  7. kathryn says:

    Sarah and Cate well done with the new rules. I was happy with the $ total before – but calculating the olive oil and herbs did cause a slight brain explosion . . .

    I will be taking part again, although I’ll probably be a sporadic participant at best.

    But thanks for organising this event – it’s a goodie.

  8. Deb Smith says:

    I’m happy about the extra $3 bucks too. I may just give this a try now. My girlfriends and I are getting together on Sat to put together some make ahead meals for 3 families. I wonder what the cost will break down to?

  9. Carey says:

    Great idea – and I love the ideas I received from previous posts. Just wanted togive you a heads up that I have seen a similar event on Cooking by the Seat of my Pants (

    called Frugal Fridays that I visit weekly as well.

    thanks for helping us eat better on a budget.

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