Tuesday, October 26, 2010

$10 Meals for UNDER $10 – It CAN be done

I was just reading this article - The Age - Shonkys, the award that no company wants where it says that Coles have falsely advertised meals for under $10 for a family (I assume 4 people)

I look at the ads and see fancy food, I see Curtis Stone (who from a publics’ point of view is the people’s chef) I see food that does take some time and effort to cook, purchase the ingredients, and would be JUST on the border of costing $10 to purchase even IF you had ingredients handy.

So, you can’t just walk into the supermarket with $10, pick up one of the cards and walk out with a meal ready to serve 4 for $10 because of the condiments (which add the flavor). Here is a list of ingredients (and costs) notice the ** Coles, Feed your Family - Chicken and Madras with Steamed Basmati Rice

So you have all of this in the cupboard, including coconut milk and 8 fresh curry leaves? I’d doubt it and that is where and why people get so upset.

Yet there are meals out there that can feed a family of 4 or even 6 for under $10, with basic ingredients, with taste, flavor, texture and it’s food that the kids will eat, without any fancy preparation, AND BONUS it’s healthy!

It’s not unrealistic to expect a meal for under to feed a family of 4. I do it constantly, sometimes has meat and sometimes doesn’t. I do predominantly buy all my meat on special, so even if I didn’t need it that week I’d still buy it and either cook with it and freeze the dish OR freeze the raw product for later use.

I’m all in support of Coles, even if Choice, the consumers watchdog aren’t. The biggest problem with the $10meal promotion is that Coles expect you have coconut milk and fresh curry leaves in the cupboard, the general public is not a supermarket and often working parents don’t have the time to go to the supermarket every day, especially with it taking 5 minutes to choose the ingredients and the 15min to get through the registers.

Hint:- Don’t forget also, freeze it once, raw, freeze it once cooked. Never reheat the whole dish unless you plan on eating on the whole dish, as once it’s been cooked and then re-heated to eat once, it’s not advisable to re-heat again.

Here are some recipes that are under $10 per meal
Perfect Fettuccine
Butternut Pumpkin Soup
Pasta with Bacon

There are many more recipes like this in the Marysville Cookbook - why not have a look Marysville Cookbook Don't forget that if you do decide to buy (not compulsory) that $10 from each sale goes back to Marysville, the township devastated by the Victorian Bushfires in February 2009


  1. I regularly use the "under $10" plan when cooking and I agree, Coles' ads are somewhat misleading, but also that it is possible.

    Generally when I make Pumpkin Soup (my own recipe), I can get 8 - 12 meals from the one batch (depending on pumpkin size, etc), it freezes well, and costs WAY less than $10 if you buy your pumpkin at the farm gate !!

    Hmmm.... I feel a Twitter-inspired recipe book forming..:-)

  2. Molder - I know exactly what you mean - I always cook more than needed and freeze the left-overs for a 'ron' meal (later on) works well - once every 2-3 week, we have a ron meal and everyone gets to choose what they want.

    I so agree about the $10 and pumpkin soup, and the beauty of pumpkin soup, it's healthy and doesn;t take much effort - I love no effort cooking, makes time for more important things ;)

    Thanks for the comments

  3. Did you notice the size of the meals in that ad. Tiny. Certainly nothing left to freeze.

  4. Andrew - I rarely make meals that require such individualised type servings like that. I much prefer quality and quantity over such menial serving sizes.

    I like to leave the table satisfied, not stuffed to the brim - but certainly with my appetite sated.

    But I agree - there would be little left over to freeze