Join us as we share our creative crockpot recipes for large families – these selected entres are budget and health friendly options with taste.
This recipe is for what we call Columbo Gumbo because it is a taste mystery (like the great TV inspector Columbo) and the recipe doesn’t follow the rules.
Step 1 – Add veggies to taste, preference and nutrition goals, we chose:
(1) onion + $1
(1) zucchini + $.50 (subtotal = $1.50)
(1) bag of frozen mixed vegetables + $1 ($2.50)
Step 2 – add protein of choice, the most common proteins for gumbo include shrimp, sausage, chicken and/or fish, we chose:
(1) 1 bag of frozen shrimp +$4.50 ($7)
(1) 1 roll of pork chorizo + 1 ($8) good flavor
*we also had some tilapia fillets so we added those (inexpensive and mild flavored fish, $5 for a bag)
Step 3 – add seasoning of choice. There are great authentic recipes for gumbo and we experiment with various options on the weekends when we have more time, for this quick and easy crockpot recipe we opted to utilize a pre-packaged jambalaya mix which includes seasoning and grains
(1) family size box of jambalaya mix +$3.50 ($11.50)
(2) add water and oil per instructions on box
Slam all this in your handy-dandy crockpot, set on low before you leave for work and school in the morning and you will return home to the smell of Columbo Gumbo filling your nostrils.
We purchased the majority of our ingredients from Winco which provides quality food at excellent prices while also taking care of their people. We also purchased bulk items from Costco which has a stellar reputation for customer, employee and vendor care. This meal comes in at under $12 for a family of 6 which is an average of $2 per person. Twelve dollars times 7 meals a week is $84 per week or roughly $336 per month. If your family ate out for the minimum price of $5 per person you are spending $30 per dinner, $210 per week and $840 per month. Our patented crock pot meal strategy plan could save as much as $500 per month (that’s a car payment on a spiffed out minivan!). So just remember this, do you want another soggy fast food burger or do you want the deluxe package on your next soccer mom whip?
In a story covered by USA Today in 2013, according to the USDA calculations a family of four trying to be healthy and thrifty, which was their classification for the most economically savvy families, would spend an average of $146 a week. Again this is for a family of four which provides us some measures – $146 a week is just under $21 a day or $7 per meal if split evenly. By our calculations the distribution of food budget is probably more likely $10 a day for dinner budget, $5 each for lunches and breakfast and about $1 per day for snacks. According to these calculations our crock pot plan for a family of six is on track to meet or beat the USDA thrifty estimations.