As the end of the $4.23 a day challenge draws to a close, I asked the people who participated to write down their thoughts. Since Ellen M and her family finished on Thursday (Sunday – Thursday), Ellen is up first, and attached is her pork chop recipe for the challenge (sorry for the delay in posting). Monday, I will share the “Teen’s” perspective

$4.23 per day final thoughts from EllenM

I’ll admit it. Over the past year or so we’d completely fallen into a
convenience food rut several times a week, sometimes only cooking real
food on Sundays.

When Meg issued her challenge on Twitter I thought it the perfect
project to take on for the five days to see if we could commit to and
swing 5 homecooked, healthy dinners out of the week and make healthier
breakfast and lunch options.

I expected my family to balk at the idea first, but to my pleasant
surprise everyone was 100% on board, so, the teen and I sat down to
start planning our menus for the week. The only skepticism I received
was from my husband who doubted I would actually cook for the 5 day

We armed ourselves with a strict grocery list and only purchased the
items on it, coming in just slightly under our budget for the week (by
$1.33). Then we set out on the adventure to see if we really stuck to
the plan. We did!

We are very used to making large meals and then eating leftovers the
next night in our house because of my full-time job, so we picked
dinners that would fit our lifestyle. I only actually cooked 3 nights
and it was mostly things which only required a small amount of prep work
before everything went into the oven or on the stove.

The teen started packing an actual sandwich that she made and a portion
of snack foods and veggies rather than grab an Uncrustables from the
freezer along with an individually packed bag of chips.

Breakfast only changed by making healthier options available rather than frozen waffles and pancakes.

All in all, I’d say our experiment was a huge success in that it really
made us rethink where our food money was actually going and that we were
impulse shopping in between our weekly grocery store trips where we
shouldn’t be. I’m not saying it’s not OK to deviate, but I think we will
be trying to plan ahead a little more in the future.

My many thanks to Meg, for posing the #423challenge and to her and
fellow participants Steve, Erica and Christina for all the support along the

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