San Antonio budget author Erin Chase turns website into cookbook

'The $5 Dinner Mom: One-Dish Dinners' cookbook available online

SAN ANTONIO - Erin Chase has been blogging out her budgeting tips to turn a $5 bill into a dinner for four adults for years now. 

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Now the San Antonio mom has taken it to the next step, which could become a must-read for anyone on a budget. 

Chase’s latest creation is called “The $5 Dinner Mom: One-Dish Dinners Cookbook."

The premise is that you can feed your family for $5, dirtying just one dish in the process, and creating a meal that is more delicious and nutritious than a more expensive meal using box dinners or canned products.

“It’s fresh ingredients,” said Chase, who is an advocate of chopping up vegetables in advance to make the chore of cooking faster and tastier than many might think.

Chase is also a fan of buying the sale items in the grocery store circular to hit your budget target. 

“You can go to the store and pick up either butternut squash, or maybe mangos that are on sale -- whatever is on sale. Then look in the cookbook and see what you can make with those ingredients that's going to be all in one dish,” she suggested.

The cookbook also includes frugal tips and suggestions on how to feed your family correctly, avoiding pitfalls such as something she calls “portion distortion.”

“So many people are confused about how much protein you should get. A family of four doesn't need more than a pound of proteins," explained Chase as to why you should only buy one pound of chicken, beef or fish for any particular meal.

The cookbook costs $17.99 and has only been on the market for a couple weeks.

Chase says the response from her website's fans was immediate, but she’s hoping it becomes a staple in kitchens around the country, too.

There are more than 150 recipes, such as “Bowtie Pasta with Bacon, Corn and Parmesean” and “Santa Fe Chicken and Rice Cassarole."

Her websites include www.5dollardinners.com and www.onedishdinners.com

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