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.
Linguine with Crab Sauce Recipe - Frugal Fridays #1
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.
Hey not bad at all…I’m impressed. I agree, some chilli flakes would have been perfect here Jerry.
It really was quite good. Something I plan on doing again in the future. It would be nice to get somewhere closer to a coastline so that fresh seafood is a bit more available though.
I have to agree. I rarely buy “fresh” seafood in this part of Texas. (Catfish is the exception.) Frozen or canned is my method of choice here. (and even the lump crab meat is canned.. It’s just $9.99 per can!)
I like the recipe, however is there a better ingredient besides the parsley? I personally, would maybe add another ingredient like a basil.
Personally I think canned crabmeat is far superior to many “lump” crabmeats (so-called). Unless you are like me and live in “Crab Country,” canned is better.
Same principal with tomatoes.
Also, it’s good to see someone making use of the juice from the canned crab. The juice is very tasty and too often thrown down the drain.
Around these parts its used in Sunday Bloody Mary’s.
Love the recipe, except the wife does not do the canned crab
Sounds good to me .Husband wants this for Fathers Day.
Sounds like a good Father’s day meal to me!
This looks really good and easy. My only concern: It’s a family of five, and I have two teens and a teen-just-about, read “hefty eaters”. I might have to double this recipe and include a large salad to fill everyone.
By the way, even in south Texas seafood is pricey.
This is a delicious meal. My hubby loves making seafood
Tasty and simple. Hope you enjoy it!