We did it with $7, including a dessert or appetizer. And somehow, that seemed not too bad. Yes, it was challenging. But it wasn’t so challenging that I ever worried that I might not have made the limit. But this week, with a slightly larger $10 budget and without the added stress of an app or dessert, I got worried.
It’s like space: the more you have, the more you use. So with the bigger budget, I went bigger on this week’s meal. I bought the much more expensive beef chuck, cut into stir-fry strips, which consumed more than half of the budget. I added lots of veggies, and rice for a carb. There is some cheese, but just enough for the taste of it. (Sorry! No dousing in cheese this time!)
I was worried when I was getting ready to add this up. Would I make it? Would I exceed the limit?
Well, I came very close. Too close for comfort. But I still passed, however barely.
So, what did I come up with?
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, cut into thin slices
- 1 green pepper, cut into slices
- 1 red pepper, cut into slices
- 1 lb beef stir fry
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 3 pinches of chipotle pepper powder
- In a large skillet (with a cover) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the yellow onion, green pepper and red pepper.
- Meanwhile, place the beef on a lipped plate and pour lime juice over. Let marinate.
- Cook the onion and peppers, covered, until softened and beginning to caramelize, stirring occasionally.
- Remove onions and peppers from the skillet and immediately add beef and lime juice. Cook, covered but stirring occasionally, until brown all around. Drain off juices. Continue cooking over medium heat until beef is slightly browned.
- Remove beef from heat.
- Serve beef and veggies with yellow rice, cheddar cheese and salsa.
- Carolina Yellow Rice – $0.89 + $0.09 (butter) = $0.98
- Sargento Shredded Cheddar Cheese (3/4 cup) – $0.75
- Beef round stir fry – $5.44
- 2 tbsp lime juice (from a bottle in my fridge – $2 for the bottle) – $0.10
- 1 green pepper – $1.01
- 2 red pepper – $1.11
- 1 yellow onion – $0.45
- salsa – $0.15
All Items Purchased at Caraluzzi’s.
Where to Skimp:
For a big cost savings, without impacting quality, choose a less expensive meat. I chose to go with the convenience of pre-cut beef strips. However, cutting a London broil into strips would have also done the trick and it would have saved some cash as well.
Where to Spend:
If you save on the meat, you can use the few dollars leftover to add some sour cream and guacamole to round out the meal. Or, add a few flour tortillas into the mix.
Interested in the $10 Dinner Challenge? Check out the rules here. If you are interested in participating in next week’s event, simply leave a link in the comments next Monday.
The $10 Dinner Challenge is a joint-venture between Sarah’s Cucina Bella and Sweetnicks.