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$10 Meals with Chelsea Review – The Recipe Book That Has Halved My Grocery Spend!

I’m not exaggerating when I say I have LOADS of recipe books. I love to cook, but I also love to just lie in the bath looking at recipes that are so complicated and require so many obscure ingredients that I know I’ll never make them. So, after I’ve thumbed lovingly through the pages a few times, imagining myself in an alternate universe whipping up these culinary masterpieces, the books usually go back on the shelf, sad, forgotten, and gathering dust.

But there is a new recipe book on the block at my place, and despite being in my possession for around a month, it hasn’t even caught sight of the bookshelf where recipe books go to die, because I’ve used it almost every day!

If you are a member of the Facebook group $10 Meals Australia, you’ll know all about the excitement surrounding the group creator Chelsea Goodwin’s book $10 Meals with Chelsea that is set for release on April 23rd 2024. If you’re not a member of the group – head over now – I promise you will not be disappointed!

Pork Noodle Stir Fry from Week 2 – were amazing! Thankfully I remembered to take the photograph before I finished the bowl!

As the mother of 3 teens, the cost-of-living pressures are never more obvious than when grocery shopping. EVERYTHING has gone up, and it’s not unusual for me to spend upward of $350 on a food shop for the four of us when hubby is working away – even more when he is home! So, when I received an email from Penguin about Chelsea’s forthcoming book, I was very keen to learn more and secure a review copy. (Yeah, I totally know I’m a lucky bitch and some of you are hating me right now!)

In my excitement after receiving the book, the kids and I picked out a few things to try without following the weekly plans. Let me tell you, if you’ve never tried Chelsea’s Buttermilk Chicken, it is going to rock your world!!! And I’ve never seen meatballs fly off the plate quite so fast as Chelsea’s Vietnamese meatballs!!!

How Much I’ve Saved Thanks to $10 Meals with Chelsea

Anyway, after a few random recipes, I flicked through the book, chose week 5, and decided to follow the plan and the grocery list.

Week 5’s meal plan looks like this:

Sunday: Beef Burrito Bowls

Monday: Chicken Paprikash

Tuesday: Black Pepper Beef

Wednesday: Beef ‘n’ Bean Nachos

Thursday: Veggie Tagine

Friday: Chicken Pad See Ew

Saturday: Veggie Tagine leftovers

As you can see, my grocery shop for the meals for the week came to $119.74. I could have reduced this amount, but I did opt to buy some extra meat so that I could make slightly larger meals – because I LOVE having leftovers that the kids can grab after they get home from school, work, or late-night sports. I also swapped the bone-on chicken pieces for breasts, as my family tends to prefer to be able to throw everything in their mouth and not worry about bones and things! Considering I also topped up a few spices in my rack in this shop, and had a few other pantry staples like oyster sauce, and white wine vinegar that I had to get, I was pleasantly surprised with that price.

Of course, I did also need to get other essentials for breakfast and lunch, like bread, milk, etc, but my entire shop came to around $185!

Welcome to 2024 when this is what $120 worth of groceries looks like!

I was sceptical when I looked at it all laid out like that whether it would be enough for the whole week and whether the portions would be big enough, etc, but I was looking forward to finding out.

Beef Burrito Bowls

The slow cooked beef was divine, had so much flavour, and there was loads left over for the Beef ‘n’ Bean Nachos later in the week – meaning cooking on Wednesday night was a breeze!

My family is a huge fan of burrito bowls because you can add in all the things you like, and easily leave out anything you don’t.

Oh yeah, I also cheated and bought guacamole dip instead of buying the avocados because 1. I didn’t trust the Coles shopper to pick good ones for me, since I can barely pick good ones for myself most of the time, and 2. I couldn’t bear the soul crushing disappointment of opening them up and discovering I’d bought $4 worth of rotten, brown mush.

Verdict: Unanimous 5 stars out of 5!

Chicken Paprikash

As I mentioned earlier, I used chicken breast making my shopping a bit more expensive than it could have been.

Verdict: I loved this one, but the kids only gave it 3.5 stars, even though not a scrap was left on their plate!

Black Pepper Beef

This is another meal that will be on high rotation. Instead of using some of the beef blade roast for this I bought beef chuck so that I could make a larger batch.

So much flavour, and the meat was so tender from the marinade.

Verdict: Easily 5 stars!

Beef ‘n’ Bean Nachos

The slow cooked Mexican beef tasted even better by Wednesday – if that’s possible! My family love this kind of meal – so I knew we were onto another winner. I give this one extra points for convenience. The hard work had already been done, (and by hard work I actually mean throwing the meat and spices and things into a slow cooker and letting it work its magic for about 8 hours!) so all I had to do was throw it all together. Voila!

Verdict: Kids tell me it’s so nice that they haven’t had to eat Spaghetti Bolognese at all this week yet and give the meal another 5 stars!

Veggie Tagine

I totally went rogue on this one and threw in some turkey mince that I had in the fridge and wanted to use up because 1. Hell, why not, and 2. One of my son’s tends to think it’s not a whole meal if it doesn’t include meat.

The flavours were so good, and cooking a double batch means that I don’t have to cook on Saturday. Thank you, Chelsea! Genius!

Verdict: I could eat this every day, but the kids gave it a solid 4 stars.

Chicken Pad See Ew

O.M.G! That’s all I’m going to say. You MUST try this recipe. It is insanely good, and so easy.

Verdict: Kids are in awe of my cooking skills, and still confused as to why I haven’t knocked out a half-arsed Bolognese this week just because everyone eats it and its quick and easy. They’d give it more than 5 stars if they could!

We’ve also successfully worked our way through Week 2, and each meal has been met with equal enthusiasm.

  • Vietnamese Meatballs with Asian Slaw
  • Zingy Chicken Tray Bake
  • Meatball Bahn Mi
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken (This one disappeared so quickly I didn’t even get a chance to photograph it!)
  • Vegetable Massaman Curry
  • Pork Noodle Stir-Fry (Another new family favourite!)
  • Vegetable Massaman Curry

That shop cost me only $98.15, as I didn’t need to buy quite so many pantry staples as I already had them. Winning!

I did substitute bone-on chicken thigh cutlets again for chicken breast and bought more pork mince so I’d have leftover Vietnamese meatballs, so it could have been even lower!

Anyway, that should give you a little insight into how this recipe book could be just what your family’s bellies and budget needs! The recipes are delicious, but not difficult to make. The ingredients are easy to find at your local supermarket, and many of the pantry items will be used again and again in other recipes, so it’s worth stocking up and seeing your grocery bill decrease each week!

One of the things that I find a drag is having to choose what to eat every day. It’s just another thing added to my mental load…which is probably why spaghetti Bolognese is on such high rotation! I love that all the meals are already planned out for me, all I have to do is follow Chelsea’s step-by-step instructions, and dinner is on the table in no time, and we are trying new, flavourful things.

Chelsea also includes alternative swaps for things, and the recipes are all super adaptable if you want to include or leave out anything to suit your family’s preferences.

I have been raving about this book to anyone and everyone I’ve seen this month, and I have no qualms about telling you that it is absolutely the best recipe book I own. I’ve used it more in the few weeks I’ve had it than I have used most of the others put together! If you are looking for ways to cut down the money you spend on groceries and learn how to make some new family favourites, $10 Meals with Chelsea is well worth the money!

 

Disclosure: I was gifted this book for the purpose of providing an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own! This article may contain affiliate. links. This means that if you make a purchase we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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Jolene

Jolene

Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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