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Very very limited amount for groceries...wwyd? - Page 3

post #41 of 49
I second the coupon clipping. It's not as hard as I thought it would be, and it has really stretched my food budget. I am actually living on $35 a week for two adults and a baby, so my situation is somewhat similar.

Because I use coupons, I get many foods for free or nearly free. Where do you live? I ask, because Southern Savers focuses on grocery stores in the south. They tell you what's on sale at local stores, and also tell you where to print corresponding coupons. It couldn't be easier!

Oh, and Centsible Sawyer does the same thing with Wal-Mart.

You also might want to check out Grocery Cart Challenge. She feeds her family of 6 on $60 a week. She shares lots of recipes and tips. This post show you how to find grocery outlet stores in your area.

Good luck. I know it's hard, but you can do it! Hang in there until things get better.
post #42 of 49
I'd also suggest angel food ministries. It is mostly meat, which lasts much longer than a week for us because I use it sparingly in dishes.
post #43 of 49
One of our best finds was a breadmaker that a friend no longer used and gave to us for free. I poked around online and found a PDF of the manual which included many recipes. We make about 2-3 loafs a week now for under $1 a loaf (and the loaves have no preservatives). I have heard of other people getting bread makers for practically nothing at GoodWills.

My new favorite on the cheap meal (and this last month has been on the cheap) is French Onion Soup. Slice up a whole onion and saute in 2 tablespoons of butter or cooking oil for 15 minutes on medium low heat. Add a tablespoon of Worcester sauce (which I almost always have in my fridge) and a 2 tablespoons of cooking sherry (my grocery store sells cheap cooking sherry that has practically no alcohol content about $1.50 a bottle which lasts a long time when you use only tablespoon at a time). Then add two 14 oz. cans of beef broth (lately I've been able to get two cans for $0.88, generic of course). You could also just add water and bullion. I serve it with a piece of toast (sometimes with a little cheese on top, if we are splurging), and a bean salad on the side (also cheap to make, just use whatever beans I happen to have, and throw on some oil, vinegar and spices). This meal is great because it feels a bit decadant even though it is super cheap to make.

Oh, also I didn't see that anyone had mentioned, buy the dried beans in the bags and cook them yourself. It is way cheaper this way than buying beans in cans.

In the summer times my DH and I grow a lot of our own veggies to save money. We are also considering getting 2 egg laying hens to save money on eggs as well.
post #44 of 49

Life is short: eat more soup! Good, cheap soup.

Did you know that you can make an incredibly tasty chicken broth by boiling the bones leftover from dinner with a tablespoon or so of vinegar which pulls the calcium and minerals into the broth, and salt? Just gather them up, cover them with water in a good sturdy pot, add the vinegar and salt, bring to a boil and simmer covered for a couple of hours. If the water gets low, just add more. Then you can strain it and make a great soup with it...either just add spices and flour or oats, or any other veggies you want. Our favorite is zucchini, and then we blend it to a velvety smoothness and spice it up with salt, pepper, cumin, and a touch of hot pepper. Even if we had a lavish food budget, we would never toss out our chicken bones without wringing the very last drop of goodness from them. My daughter-in-law even accumulates them in a zip-loc bag in the freezer till she has enough for a good potful. There's a south American proverb: "A good broth will resurrect the dead." visit: http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/broth.html for "Wise Traditions in food, farming, and the healing arts."
Then visit me! http://nuralqasas.wordpress.com/
post #45 of 49
My biggest suggestion would be rice. My DH and I buy a 50# bag at a time, and go through it in a month. Jasmine or Basmati has a nice flavor, and we have found that once you wash the rice thourally double the amount of water to the rice minus a half cup. So if you have 1 1/2 cups rice, it would be 2 1/2 cups water-- bring to a boil, turn to low and walk away for 20 minutes. It comes out perfect every time. (This is the amount we use for 2 adults and 1 child) We use very little meat, diced up small and stirfried with what ever veggies we have.. it's never the same twice. There is infinate ways to season and it's very filling with out the bloating feeling that you often get from pasta or bread.

Hope this helps!
post #46 of 49
Have you tried dumpster diving? Friends of ours (two adults) eat on only five dollars a week. They get all the rest of their food from dumpsters outside food markets. Poke around and see if you know someone who does it. They can show you the ropes. My husband is going to go for the first time this week because we can no longer afford as much food as we bought in the past. It makes me feel good to know that we are "rescuing" food from getting thrown away. It doesn't really gross me out. Our friends that do it are normal people who are really frugal. The husband is a Ph.D student and the wife is an elementary school teacher.
post #47 of 49

Budget Cooking

Don't forget to spend some money on flour, sugar and a little yeast-make some bread. It is fast, easier than you'd think and cheap. It will make cheap potato soup stick to your ribs, allow you to make sandwiches of your leftovers, and always taste good. I would definitely head to a local food pantry and try to get some staples. Don't be ashamed. We all donate to them (at least most everyone I know does) on occasion, so screw up the courage to go and get what you need. Pride goeth before the fall-don't be too proud. That whole chicken idea above is also excellent. I can make a large pot of soup, take the carcass out, pick off all the chicken by hand, and have tons of chicken for casseroles and sandwiches plus some back in the soup! Add rice to your soup and even just carrots or celery and my family can eat for at least three days. (Add bread to it and you'll be filled) Good luck!
post #48 of 49
We're in here too. I love the ideas at hillbillyhousewife.com the 'emergency' menu is actually alright, although we didn't eat the ramen (soy and dairy allergies) but rather just used rice or rice noodles. I love the tortilla recipe there, and we bake them instead of frying them and they are great that way! Just put them in the oven at 350 for up to 10 minutes. You can even wrap some refried beans and rice in the tortilla dough, roll them up, pinch the seam and bake for about 12 minutes. OMG they're so good!

Just make sure you buy your beans at a place where they are fresh (like a Mexican store) so you don't get too hard beans.

And don't forget nutritional yeast! It is loaded with protein and B vitamins. It makes a great cheese replacer (since we are dairy free).

And making your own bread is great. My dh and I do it in the evening, or I do it during the day. It really doesn't take that long and is super easy.
post #49 of 49
I have (at the most) $100 a month for 5 of us - 2 adults, 2 teen BOYS & 1 toddler. I found a local food pantry that sells "beat up" groceries, some out of date (but still good) & some donated food items.

To top it off, 2 of our family members must eat gluten free - not cheap! However, I can fill one of those big sized grocery carts with lots of GF stuff, canned & boxed items, frozen meat, produce & fresh milk for around $10 - YES, $10! All this is just from a local church that receives donations & they sell it for pennies just to cover some of their costs. (Transportation mostly - they have only volunteers that work)

So call around all your local churches & see if they have any kind of food pantry type ministry!

Also, I've been told about this:

I guess it's really high quality food that will feed 4 people for a week for $30. I don't even have that much to spend so I haven't tried it but I have friends who literally live off of it.
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