If you watch any TV at all, you’ve probably seen one of Wal Mart’s recent ads that feature a mom bragging about how she can feed her family on food from Wal Mart on less than $2 a serving. One of the ads is at breakfast time, and the products featured are a sugary yogurt targeted at kids, toaster pastry, and some soy milk (I’m guessing that has added sugar as well). The other ad takes place at dinnertime and the meal consists of frozen garlic bread, bagged salad, bottled Wal Mart brand salad dressing and what looks like frozen lasagna.
Every time I see these ads I get so riled up because I think to myself “I could easily make a meal for less than $2 a serving using food from the farmers’ market!!” I decided that instead of getting mad, I would get even, so I’m hosting an anti-Wal Mart protest challenge to all food bloggers to make the point that eating healthy delicious unprocessed food does not have to be expensive or a luxury!
I’m calling all bloggers to participate- now through Dec. 31, do a blog post using the guidelines below, and email me the link at mlle.noelle(at)gmail(dot)com. Non-bloggers can use Google Docs– just click “save as web page” and it will give you a url that I can use as the link. Please include a linkback to this post so people know where to go if they want to participate. I’ll update this post regularly with a running list of your contributions. Please spread the word via your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. The more participation the better!
Unfortunately, there are those who cannot even afford $2.00 for a meal. So, to make it more interesting, for every qualifying link submitted, I will personally donate $2.00 to Gleaners Food Bank. [Update: I just found out my contribution will be doubled- yay!] Please feel free to do some sort of charity-related incentive of your own on your individual posts, although it is not required.
Here are the guidelines:
- “$2.00 per serving” means $2 a person for a whole meal, not $2 per individual dish. A “meal” would preferably have a few components, for example, “chili and cornbread” or, like in the commercial, “lasagna, salad and bread”.
- No processed ingredients allowed. Frozen or canned vegetables are allowed, but no boxed mixes, canned soup, jarred sauces or the like. I’m fine with things like dried pasta, bread from a bakery, etc, as long as there are no trans fats, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup or other nasties.
- Try as best you can to estimate the cost of all ingredients used, and provide a per-serving cost for each menu item. If you make something that will have leftovers, just factor that in; we’re just going for the per-serving cost of each item for a particular meal, when added up, to be under $2. For example, “Lasagna @ $1.10/serving + salad & dressing @ 45¢/serving + bread @ 40¢/serving=<$2 per serving for a meal”
- Try to stay away from anything too “exotic”, and stick to ingredients and equipment that the average person would have on hand. The idea is to make the point that “working families” like the one pictured in the commercial can make affordable food without resorting to processed crap!
- Most people are drawn to processed foods because of the “convenience factor”, so try to make a meal that could be prepared in under an hour and which would not require trips to multiple stores.
- BONUS LOCAVORE CHALLENGE: Use all or mostly local ingredients.
I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! Several of my fellow Michigan Lady Food Bloggers have already agreed to participate, and I know they will come up with some great contributions. The more the merrier, so please spread the word, I’d love to get lots of participation on this, both to make a point and because hey, we can all use a few more budget friendly recipes!
Less than $2 a serving… take that, Wal Mart! (Crock Pot spaghetti sauce, homemade garlic bread & salad) Kudos to Mother’s Kitchen for being the first to submit!
Local Food Challenge: Crock Pot Collards & Cornbread also from Mother’s Kitchen
$1.00 Local Meal: Sweet Potato and Lentil with Feta courtesy of Chef Brian
Dinner on Less than $2 a Serving (homemade multigrain bread & minestrone soup) from Patti, posting on our MI Lady Food Bloggers blog
The Anti Wal-Mart Challenge (vegan chili & cornbread) from Kate at So Far from Interesting
$2 menus: a “greatest hits” collection a list of several of my under-$2 recipes
U.P.-style Pasties from Mother’s Kitchen
Stir-Fry Beef & Spinach from Mother’s Kitchen
2 meals for $2 or less (pork and beans; mac and cheese) from Lacey at Things I Do to Save Money
Garlic Shrimp Pasta (my own contribution)