How a Budget-Conscious Mom Put Together 62 Dinners for Only $100

Think you can't feed a family of four dinners on a budget? Think again. Down in Hamilton, New Zealand, a mother who feeds a family of four decided to challenge herself and see if she could nourish her husband and children for $100(NZ) of ingredients. And she managed.

With an arsenal of groceries and a dash of determination, Kathrine Lynch came up with 62 single servings of balanced family food. Each serving cost $1.62 each in ingredients.

Cooking is COMPLETE. For $100 I cooked 62 single meals - that's $1.62 per serving. For our family, 2 adults and 2...

Posted by Busy Happy Kids NZ on Saturday, July 8, 2017

"With my family, two adults and two young children, that's three servings per dinner, so that's about three weeks for $100," she told Stuff. And if you compare that to picking up your dinner at McDonald's, the savings are enormous. 

"If we went to McDonald's and we all had a meal it would be about $30, which would be seven nights worth of dinners," Lynch said.

The List of Ingredients

Shopping list for you all as requested. Please remember that prices vary between different supermarkets and from week to...

Posted by Busy Happy Kids NZ on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

So what did this enterprising mom select to feed her family? Her 62 meals consisted of combinations of:

  • Four whole chickens

  • 600 grams of prime beef mince

  • 2kg of pre-cooked sausages

  • Rice 

  • Pasta 

  • Potato

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Various vegetables

The Preparation

I've been getting a lot of questions about how long it is ok to freeze the food for. I found this guide from Healthy Food Guide, cooked food containing meat is 2-3 months.

Posted by Busy Happy Kids NZ on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

As a stay-at-home mom, Lynch had the time to cook large batches of six different recipes. It took several days, but she persevered. Her dishes include chicken rice risotto, chicken and pasta bake, cottage pie, spaghetti bolognese, deviled sausages and roast chicken.

Once she had prepped everything, she packaged her single-portion sizes into reusable containers and froze them.

The Public Praise

Naturally, because she runs the blog Happy Busy Kids NZ , Lynch put her experiment on Facebook. She imagined that a handful of people would be interested in her cost saving technique, but instead, her challenge resonated with thousands. 

At last count there were 17,500 views. 

To explain her success, she told Stuff that it's because saving your pennies matters. It's just that people didn't realize how easy it is and "how little you have to spend to create a nutritious meal".

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