Mum creates 62 dinners from $100 worth of groceries

The meals lined up for freezing. Kathrine Lynch thinks they will last around three weeks.
Kathrine Lynch

The meals lined up for freezing. Kathrine Lynch thinks they will last around three weeks.

Think feeding your family is too expensive?

This Hamilton mother challenged herself to see how many good dinners she could make out of just $100-worth of groceries.

Kathrine Lynch came up with 62 single servings of balanced family food - which cost her $1.62 each in ingredients.

Hamilton mum Kathrine Lynch wanted to find out how many good meals she could cook from $100.
Kathrine Lynch

Hamilton mum Kathrine Lynch wanted to find out how many good meals she could cook from $100.

"I just wanted to show young families that you can make a lot of good meals with lots of nutrition in them and you can make them go a long way with very little amount of money," she said. 

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"With my family, two adults and two young children, that's three servings per dinner, so that's about three weeks for $100.

"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 shopped at Pak 'N Save Mill Street. The meat consisted of four whole chickens, 600 grams of prime beef mince and 2kg of pre-cooked sausages.

Kathrine Lynch cooked 62 dinners from $100 worth of groceries.
Kathrine Lynch

Kathrine Lynch cooked 62 dinners from $100 worth of groceries.

Every serving has meat. Lynch says she included an amount about the size of the size of a palm, as the Heart Foundation recommends.

She followed foundation guidelines on servings and all meals also have rice, pasta, potato or kumara, and at least two vegetables. 

Lynch is a stay-at-home mum with two young children. She runs a blog Happy Busy Kids NZ to encourage children to be active and this project was a look at the nutrition side of things. 

This chicken and rice risotto cost $1.62 per serving.
Kathrine Lynch

This chicken and rice risotto cost $1.62 per serving.

Lynch used six different recipes, ones she cooks anyway. They are chicken rice risotto, chicken and pasta bake, cottage pie, spaghetti bolognaise, devilled sausages and roast chicken.

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Cooking the meals took a couple of days and she cooked regular meals at the same time.

They went into containers and are now in her freezer.

When she put the experiment on her Facebook page she thought a few hundred people might be interested, but the challenge struck a big nerve. At last count there were 17,500 views. 

She thinks saving money is a big thing, but also people hadn't realised "how little you have to spend to create a nutritious meal".

"We haven't started eating them yet. My husband's waiting saying, 'when can we eat them'."

 - Stuff

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