Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Budget-Friendly Meals: Take the $5 Challenge

When you think “value meal” do you think of greasy foods served through a drive-thru window? Well, think again! Slow food – the opposite of fast food – is food that is good for you, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet. It’s all that and it doesn’t have to cost any more than fast food! Now that’s what I call a value meal! And that’s why on September 17th, Slow Food USA launches a Day of Action and encourages everyone to take their $5 Challenge and take back the value meal. According to Slow Food USA, all you have to do is pledge to cook a fresh and healthy meal for five dollars or less, or you can attend a local event. It could be your regularly nightly meal with your family, a dinner party with friends, a neighborhood potluck or a slow food meal event in your area. The only “rule” is that the meals should reflect slow food values and cost no more than five dollars per person. If you’re taking the challenge you can find out more and register your event and share your story at SlowFoodUSA.org/5challenge. Are you up for the challenge but not sure what to make? The Whole Deal value guide has got your back! Did you know that all of the recipes in The Whole Deal are always less than $5 per serving? Pick from over 180 budget-friendly recipes on our website or choose from these fall favorites featured in the September/October issue:

Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

Baked Coconut Lentils (91¢ per serving)

Learn to Cook: Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

(We do our best to estimate the cost of ingredients used in each recipe, but slight market variations are entirely possible.)

Why stop at one day? The Whole Deal daily dinner planner sets you up with a week’s worth of dinner ideas that feed four for under $5 per person.

MONDAY: Veggie Monday

Make a Halloween Spooky Supper by tossing Whole Foods Market™ Organic Farfalle (think bats!) with 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pasta Sauce (download the coupon).  Add some garlic bread to repel the vampires.

TUESDAY: Slow and Simple

Make Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches in the crock pot while you’re at work. Pick up coleslaw and frozen oven fries or “tots” on the way home and dinner is done.

WEDNESDAY: Soup-er Supper

Make the simple and tasty Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup with our house-made pork or chicken bratwurst. Grab a loaf of fresh-baked hearth bread to serve alongside.

THURSDAY: Chicken & Crunch

Buy our famous rotisserie chicken or make your own Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken and serve it with the Mediterranean Crunch Salad (download the coupon) from Prepared Foods. Pair it with Paso a Paso Tempranillo.

FRIDAY: Fish Friday

Make our Cornmeal Catfish Fingers and serve with braised collard greens and rice, couscous or quinoa.

WEEKEND: Oktoberfest (or whenever)

Cook and serve our house-made sausage with sautéed onions and apples atop a bed of sauerkraut. Add a loaf of rye or pumpernickel bread and don’t forget a six-pack of German beer!

I hope these tasty dishes have changed your perception of the value meal for the better. Take a look at The Whole Deal value guide online and in stores for coupons, deals, recipes and more tips for putting the value back in to your meals. Interested in learning more about the slow food movement? Visit the Slow Food USA website to find a local chapter near you. Do you plan on taking the $5 Challenge? What will you make?