Extreme Budget Challenge! $10, 3 meals a day for 1 week, for TWO people!

Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/19UIXwNhKpEhttps://youtu.be/19UIXwNhKpE

This is our first attempt at doing an extreme budget challenge. When Jenn, our VP on the board of directors, challenged Nichol, the president & founder, we thought it would be a great idea to film the process and put the video on our youtube channel. For this challenge Nichol has to turn $10 into a week’s worth of meals for two people. We’d love to know what recipes you would try with this challenge. Let us know in the comments!

Here’s the transcript of the video. Hi, bosses, it’s Nichol with HBIC HQ. And this morning, Jenn challenged me to the extreme budget challenge, right, I’ve got to take $10 and turn it into a week’s worth of meals for two people. So let’s see how I do.Food insecurity affects millions of Americans every year. And this is especially true depending on your location. So with that in mind, I’m going to focus on two national chains for better accessibility and also to limit stops. But if you are blessed with your own transportation, you can shop around and give some business to your local mom and pops. But that said, I’m going to focus on Walmart and Dollar Tree. HBIC HQ is a nonprofit for women identified individuals. Our mission is to empower independence and entrepreneurship.

Alright, so we just pulled up to Walmart. So let’s hop inside and see what we can find. Starting here first because they have things less than $1 and then you go to the dollar store after I also suggest looking at the very bottom for the best deals. And sure enough, good old Jiffy cornbread mix is coming home with us. I also found a can of chicken and I am not too proud for store brands. Definitely cannot beat a bag of mixed vegetables for less than $1. This is pretty much everything that I got at Walmart, I completely forgot to fill myself getting the tomato sauce, but there it is. And now onward to Dollar Tree. The first thing I did was head to the dairy case to find real cheese. And we’re going to get this big old box of pasta, some pinto beans, and I found beef patties with cheese in them. And this is everything I got at both stores. I forgot to fill myself buying the rice but I also got that at Dollar Tree as well. Here are the receipts at Dollar Tree we spent $5 and at Walmart we spent 420. Nice.

First thing to do is sort and soak the beans and then get those boiled down. I’m also boiling the pasta as well as the rice. And my little women friends are enjoying their little steam bath and I’m saving that pasta water. Well, here’s everything ready to go. We’ve got our cooked rice, pasta, the beans, frozen vegetables, beef patties, two cans of being a sausages, the cheddar cheese can have chicken tomato sauce, Jiffy, and then back there is the pasta water that we saved. We’re going to be using that to thicken up sauces and put in a little bit of flavor. Speaking of flavor, these are the spices that I pulled out of my cabinet. And I’m keeping them super basic for this video. But I do believe all of these came from the Dollar Tree as well. That said you can use any spices, your little heart desires or whatever you happen to have. Well alright, let’s get cooking.

First, I’m going to save about half of this cheese and then shred the other half because we’ll be using it to create a cheese sauce. To begin we’re going to use some pasta water that we’re going to boil with some Jiffy cornbread mix and thicken that up. Once it’s nice and boiled then you throw in your shredded cheese and melted all together to create a thick cheesy sauce. And don’t forget to season it and next we are just going to chop up the sausages from one can. As you can see here the sausage is getting nice and thick and it’s ready to go. So we are going to add the rice and the sausages get that all stirred up and now you have dish number one cheesy hotdogs and rice which will give us two dinner servings.

And now to get into this beef, chop up half of Patty and salty with veggies and add some pasta water. Add some pasta sauce. Add some pasta seasoning to taste and dish number two is possible in a vase with veggies for two dinner servings. For our third dish we’re making yet another sauce starting with pasta water, season that heavily with lots of pepper and garlic and then we’re going to thicken it up with some more of the cornbread mix. Essentially we are creating a butter list dairy free reaux and that’s all ready to go. So to this we’re going to add our beans and then our rice and dish number three is beans and rice with eight lunch servings.

What I’ve done is boiled some of our rice in just water to make this rice slurry And then I drained off the water from that to make this sort of rice milk as a milk substitute for our cornbread mix because that definitely was not in the budget. I’m also going to add some of the rice slurry into the mix as well to volumize it and also to give it more of a lighter texture. So pour out the rest of your cornbread mix and add to that your rice milk and a few tablespoons of the rice slurry. I have split it up into two equal parts because I’m making a savory and a sweet. For the sweet. We’re doing cinnamon sugar breakfast bars. And for the savory we’re doing mini muffins with sausages stuffed in them. Pop them in the oven and have a cup of tea.

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And now to take these out of the oven and dish number four corndog bites for 14 Lunch serving. I wish you guys could smell the cinnamon It is lovely dish five breakfast bars for seven servings.

Now to just saute up the rest of the vegetables in some pasta water. I’m saving one half for a recipe and I’ll be using the rest and others drain off the liquid from the can of chicken and then dump that right into a soft pan to flavor up yet another sauce, stirring in some more pasta water. Make sure that you season it heavily. And then we’re going to pour this sauce into our pasta. Add in our chicken toss in veggies and there you go a beautiful pasta chicken salad for dish number six at six lunch servings.

This is the second half of the burger with some beans, bean juice, tomato sauce and rice. And we’ve got an easy Italian fried rice for dish number seven at for dinner servings. Using the last of the rice water. We’re going to stir in some shredded cheese to make a cheese sauce. And we’re also going to thicken up the last bit of that pasta water and add in some tomato sauce as well and get that boiling down. Take about half your leftover pasta and make a bottom crust with your hands or another loaf pan if you have it. To this we’re going to pour in some of the tomato sauce that we created and we’re going to layer in some of the cheese sauce. Then on top of that, sprinkle in some of the vegetables and add some of the leftover beans. Drizzle on some more of the tomato sauce and layer on some more cheese sauce. Finally, add the last remaining bits of your pasta and some more tomato sauce. Cover that up with the last of the cheese sauce and season it with lots of Italian seasoning and garlic and it’s ready to go into the oven.

Now salted the remaining hamburger patty and add in some leftover beans, some leftover rice and the last of the veggies. Pour that into a pie pan and then using the remaining of the rice slurry we’re going to add a crust to the top I had a sliver of the cheddar cheese so I just shredded it on top and season it heavily pop both in the oven at the same time so you’re not wasting energy. And Don’t those look amazing even group is excited. And with that we’ve got dish number eight a shepherd’s pie for for dinner servings. And dish number nine a pasta bake for two heaping dinner servings.

 Okay y’all. Let’s eat! Since only one of us does breakfast instead of doing mini muffins I made the larger bars and that is seven breakfasts done. Beans and Rice and a mini corn dog bites are going to be our lunches for four days and chicken pasta salad with corn dog bites are going to be lunches for three days. And that takes us through the entire week of lunches. For dinner number one we’re having half of the shepherd’s pie dinner to pasta bolognese with veggies. Dinner three cheesy hotdogs and rice dinner for Italian fried rice. Dinner five is that delicious pasta bake. Dinner six leftover Italian fried rice and the last of the shepherd’s pie for dinner seven.

Let’s see how we did. I took into account the cost per serving and here’s the tally sheet the hotdogs and rice were $1.23 Pasta Bolognese with veggies $1.12 Beans and Rice 74 cents corndog bytes 97 cents, breakfast bars 47 cents, chicken pasta salad $1.21 Italian fried rice 81 cents, shepherd’s pie $1.51 and the pasta bake $1.14 And all together that totals $9.20 Which is exactly what we spent today. And so I think we did pretty well this week. What do you think? Let us know in the comments what you would make with this budget.

Nichol Lachen, CDE
Author: Nichol Lachen, CDE

Certified Diversity Executive, Nichol Lachen is Founder and Executive Chair for HBIC HQ, a non-profit startup incubator for women, promoting growth in women-owned businesses. She strengthened their mission of empowering women with education and support by creating a Mentorship Program and HBIC Women Circles. Nichol also holds an Advisory Chair for TuathaMuse, a personal and professional development community for people who live on the road or work on the road. A project management professional, business consultant, and co-founder of an experiential marketing firm, she brings tenacity and leadership. As an early activist, Nichol got her start by helping produce the Women's Health Day Annual Health Fair and Fundraiser for 2 years before joining the SC Centers for Equal Justice as Executive Secretary and the Carolina Office of Rural Health as Secretary to the Board; these organizations provide pro-bono legal services and access to healthcare, respectively. Nichol was subsequently inducted into the Women Who Rock Hall of Fame by the Charlotte Observer. Fast forward to today where she has moved cross-country to the West Coast and now holds advisory positions for boards which align with her mission of growing women's entrepreneurship and leadership.

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