Friday, September 16, 2011

Frugal Friday: I’m doing the Slow Food USA $5 Challenge for the Natural Network Blog Hop!

This Saturday, September 17, Slow Food USA is inviting you to be a part of their $5 Challenge, and the Natural Network Blog Hop wants to kick it off and invite you to join us!

The challenge is to take back the 'value meal' by getting together with family, friends or neighbors to enjoy a meal that costs no more than $5 per person (the cost of the average fast food meal). Slow Food USA says that slow food shouldn't have to cost more than fast food, and they're right!

If you want to join in, you can sign up for the challenge over at
Slow Food USA. If you're a blogger, join us by sharing your favorite slow food meal ideas and linking up with to our Natural Network Blog Hop at the bottom of this post!

When I first read about this challenge here, I thought, ok, $5 for a healthy, whole foods,  family meal, it will take some finagling but I can do it -- after all, I’ve done it before! 
Then I read further and realized -- the challenge is $5 per person.  Really? That’s a piece of cake. That’s $20 whole dollars for my family of four. The point is, taking back the “value meal” isn’t as hard as it sounds. It does take some planning, and sometimes, even some ingenuity.
The recipe I’ve chosen to share today requires neither! It is easy, healthy, and filling. I do use organic canned tomatoes, which technically aren’t a whole food. However, you could easily use fresh tomatoes from the garden and achieve the same results.
Simple Natural Goulash (For a family of 4, with leftovers)
1 lb 93% lean Organic, Grass-Fed Beef -- $4.19 using a coupon
1 pound organic pasta elbows -- $2.79
1 28-oz can, Muir Glen Crushed Tomatoes -- $2.99
1 organic onion -- $1
1 organic bell pepper -- $1
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
Brown the meat in a large stock pot. Add the onions and saute 5 minutes
Add 2 1/2 cups water, the tomatoes, and all spices. Put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the elbow macaroni, stir, return lid, and simmer on med-low for 20 minutes
Turn off heat, and let goulash sit for 15-30 minutes before serving. 
Final Cost= $11.97 per recipe, or $2.99 per person 
(I didn’t include the seasonings in the cost analysis because they are assumed to be pantry ingredients)

Mindfully Frugal Mom

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