Delicious meals for just $5

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Erin Chase, "The $5 Dinner Mom," shows us how to make delicious, well-rounded meals for the whole family for only around five bucks.

Grilled Pork Chops, Peaches and Red Onions

Yield - 4 servings

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 minutes


4 small pork chops ($2.25)

Garlic powder, sprinkles ($.01)

Onion powder, sprinkles ($.01)

Salt and pepper

3 large peaches, halved and seeded ($1.50) From our peach picking trip

1 medium to large red onion, cut into circle bunches ($.89)

Side of homemade rolls or store bought rolls/bread loaf ($.75)


Season the pork chops with garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Grill the pork chops for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Grilling time will vary depending on heat of the grill and thickness of the chop.

Halve the peaches and lay them flesh side down on the grill...ideally over indirect heat. Lay the red onion circles slices over indirect heat as well. Grill each for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the red onions once.

Prepare homemade or store bought bread.

Serve Grilled Pork Chops, Peaches and Red Onions with a side of bread.

Cost $5.41

Cheeseburger 'n Fries Kebabs

Prep Time - 15 minutes

Cook Time - 10-15 minutes on the grill


2 lb. bag of frozen potato wedges

1 lb. ground chuck

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 tsp Italian seasoning

3 dill pickle wedges, cut into chunks

1 onion, cut into chunks

3-4 slices of cheese, cut into 4 small pieces

Condiments - ketchup, mustard, spicy mustard, mayo, or other favorite

Optional - small dinner rolls for serving

Side dish - fresh fruit or baby carrots or small side salad


Defrost or thaw the potato wedges completely.

In a bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Toss in a little salt and pepper too. Make 12-16 small burger balls that you can skewer. Pack tightly, as they will loosen slightly as you grill them.

Cut the pickles, onions and break the cheese slices into 4 small pieces.

Skewer the burger balls, pickles, onions, and potato wedges. Grill for a few minutes on each side, until meatballs have cooked through. Then move to indirect heat or top rack on the grill and place the cheese slice on top. Close the lid and let cheese melt, 2-3 minutes.

Serve Cheeseburger ‘n Fries Kebabs immediately with side dish.

Grilled Eggplant Panini with Rosemary-Garlic Aioli


1 eggplant (from the garden)

Dashes of salt

1 loaf pugliese bread, sliced ($2.50) I would have used ciabatta, but the loaf at my store had milk, so I opted for the dairy free option!

1 large ripe heirloom tomato (from the garden)

1 zucchini, thinly sliced ($.64) a little less than a lb...on sale this week $.77/lb!

1/4 cup mayo ($.20)

2 Tbsp lemon juice ($.05)

1 tsp olive oil ($.05)

2 garlic cloves, crushed ($.05)

Palm full of fresh rosemary (from the garden)


4 slices of swiss cheese ($.75)

Handful basil leaves (from the garden)

2-3 tsp olive oil, for sauteing ($.10)

2-3 tsp olive oil, for brushing bread before grilling ($.10)

4 corn cobs ($.76) On an unadvertised sale for $.19 an ear!


Slice eggplant into 1/4 or smaller slices.

Lay them into a strainer and sprinkle both sides with a few dashes of salt. Place the strainer in the sink and let sit for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out the bitter juices and will give the eggplant a better flavor.

Meanwhile, slice bread into 1/4 inch slices. I thought these would be too thick after I cut them, but they really "smoosh" down!

Slice tomato into semi-thin slices.

Slice zucchini into semi-thin slices.

Prepare Rosemary-Garlic Aioli sauce. Whisk mayonaisse, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste. (I had some leftover which the kids used to dip their extra bread pieces!)

After 30 minutes, the eggplant will have produced beads and become softer. Pat dry and place in skillet with 1-2 tsp olive oil. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then flip and saute the other sides for 2-3 minutes. Once they have browned a bit, they'll be ready for the sandwiches. In the same skillet, add 1-2 more tsp olive oil and saute the slices of zucchini for 3-4 minutes, then flip and saute the other sides for 2-3 minutes.

On bread slices, add swiss cheese slice, basil leaves and the aioli sauce to the other bread.

Add sliced tomato, sauteed zucchini and sauteed eggplant.

Put sandwiches together. (I had some 1 piece of extra bread and extra eggplants, zucchini, and tomatoes, so I made an open faced panini with the following layers, from the bottom up: bread, aioli sauce, tomato, basil, zucchini, eggplant and piece of swiss cheese.)

Add about 2-3 tsp olive oil to a plate and then press both of the sides of the panini into the olive oil before placing on the grill. Place on the grill and carefully balance the brick on the top so that it won't slide off. Once the veggies and bread soften and come together, the panini will stick together.

Watch the panini get smooshed and the cheese ooze and melt! Be careful to use a hot pad when handling the brick! Flip the panini and grill both sides.

Boil corn in large saucepan for 4-5 minutes, or place in micrwavable dish with 1/4 cup of water and cover with plastic. Microwave for 2.5 minutes for each ear of corn!

Serve Grilled Eggplant Paninis with Rosemary-Garlic Aioli and Corn Cobs.

Cost $5.20

Cucumber Pineapple Salsa on Grilled Chicken

Yield - 4 servings

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 20 minutes grill time


1 large cucumber, about 2 cups (free from friend's garden)

1/2 pineapple, diced ($1.50) Half of $2.99 pineapple

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (free from my garden)

3 sprigs cilantro, (free from my garden)

1/4 cup lime juice ($.25)

Salt and pepper

Served with

Grilled chicken ($2.50)

Side salad (free from Kroger this week)

Dressing ($.20)


Dice the cucumber. Dice the fresh pineapple. Finely chop the jalapeno. (And wash hands well. And don't touch your eyes. or lip. or pick your nose! *burn*) Run your knife through the cilantro.

In a mixing bowl, toss together the cucumber, pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and some salt and pepper.

The salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated up to a day in advance.

Grill the chicken until cooked through. Spread the cucumber-pineapple salsa over the top.

Serve Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa and small side salad.

Cost $4.45

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