Welcome to the very first installment of Frugal Fridays, where I (and hopefully other bloggers) aim to prove that you can eat very well and still manage to keep a few dollars in your pocket book for good measure. The Challenge of Frugal Fridays is to create a meal that will feed a family of four for $10.00 or less. While I’m not expecting gourmet fare for this amount, I know that if anyone can whip up a meal on a budget that still tastes phenomenal, it’s a bunch of food bloggers.
This dish was a flash of inspiration from a conversation I had with my wife a few days ago. She mentioned that her favorite seafood was crab and I had an immediate burst of inspiration on what to make. The dish itself is simple, promised great flavor and was planned to make my wife smile. What I didn’t know was if I could do it for under $10.00. It sounded like the perfect Frugal Friday challenge.
My first thought was to use lump crab meat. Unfortunately, in this part of Texas a pound of decent looking lump crab would have used up my entire $10.00 budget. I was stuck with using the best canned crab I could find. Don’t get me wrong, I would have preferred the lump crab meat, but we’re going for a filling meal here, and I didn’t think 2 oz. of crab would do it.
The rest of the ingredients were straightforward and very inexpensive, including the shallot which I admit took me by surprise. As I’ve said, for a $10.00 the assumption has to be made that there are some basic cooking ingredients available, such as oil, butter, salt, spices, etc. so that’s the premise I ran on. In the end I came in well under budget and made a remarkably tasty dish that would easily feed 4 to 6 people to the point of comfortably full.
Just to prove that this came in under budget, here’s the complete list of what was purchased:
- Linguine – $1.09
- Crab Meat: – $4.17
- Mini French Loaf – $0.75
- Lemon – $0.59
- Shallot – $0.51
- Garlic – $0.30
- Parsley – $0.49
- Store Surcharge – $0.40
- Grand Total – $8.30
Not too bad for a seafood dinner for four with bread, eh? I could have sprung for a salad, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1180mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 31g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
If I’m not going for budget fare, I’ll spring for lump crab meat, or perhaps add in some shrimp, just to get a bit more texture. Some red pepper flakes might be a nice addition as well, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
A note to everyone. I haven’t gotten the Frugal Fridays site up and running as I’d hoped this week due to life getting in the way. If you decided to participate, please leave a comment here for the moment.
Thanks! I look forward to seeing what other bloggers can come up with.