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Help me make a meal plan/grocery list with $30 for 5 people

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We have maybe $30 to spend this week on food. Luckily, we have some stuff in the freezer that we haven't used and don't know what to do with. I've got:

almost 3 pounds of beef chuck roast
1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat
1 pound beef shank bones
2 1/2 pounds of marrow beef bones
1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast
frozen hot wings
"sausage" patties

Then we have white rice, brown rice, canned garbanzo beans, refried beans, some carrots, celery, onions, frozen spinach, 1 1/2 doz eggs, "sausage" patties, pancake mix, couple cans of tuna, couple cans of ravioli, bag of ramen noodles, etc.

I need some good meal ideas. We also like to drink juice, lemonade, or sweet tea. We need bread. But I have some stuff to make bread, although I've not very experienced at making it. I guess we don't have to have cereal. We have less than half gallon of milk.

Can you help me come up with a meal plan /grocery list for this week? pretty please?
post #2 of 13
Hi! I've so been there - often.
First off buy oatmeal - it's great for breakfast, cookies, granola bars, you name it.
Buy a 10 pound sack of potatoes. I'd also get a few bags of $1 each frozen veggies and a few boxes of pasta.
Make bread - do you have yeast and flour? I'll post a quick and easy recipe if you need it. Do you have sugar or syrup?

Dinner #1
Make a good beef broth with the bones and onions - add celery, carrots and potatoes - instant veggie-beef soup. Saute the onions first in butter or olive oil.

Dinner #2
brown up your stew meat with some onion. add a cup or two of water and let simmer. make up your rice. take beef out of broth and put with rice, then make gravy.

Dinner #3
Tuna/pasta casserole

Dinner #4 Saute up frozen stir fry veggies and add to ramen noodles - use the flavor packets to make a nice stir fry sauce.

Dinner #5 Make a quiche or frittata - I can point you to recipes for this if you need them

Dinner #6 - Pancake night. We just did this last night for fun. Sliced apples in the batter or berries (we had some in the freezer) give you a "veggie."

Dinner #7 - Make up some flatbread if you can't afford tortillas and make refried bean and chicken (pull the meat off your hot wings) quesadillas. Any cheese will do. well, almost any. an 8 oz. block of cheddar should only be $3 to $4, though.

OK - so let's see what we have:
potatoes - $5
froz. veggies - $3
pasta - $3
oatmeal - $2
tortillas - $2-$3
cheese - $4

that should leave you with $10 for yeast for bread if you need it and a couple of gallons of milk for the week. Don't worry you can do it.:-)
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'd like the bread recipe please.
post #4 of 13

for the beef roast and stewing meat, you can put root veggies, or potatoes at the bottom of a pan, put the seasoned meat on top, and bake for a while. if you already in the house have spices to add, like onion soup mix or tomato sauce, go for it.

beef bones - soup! add a bag of soup vegetables and at the end put in a batch of noodles/pasta at the end

1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast - add mixed vegetables and rice, bake

frozen hot wings - do you have enough to feed all? Use whatever condiments you have already. Or serve as a snack, or before a more dessert-y meal. Or heck, make it for breakfast as a treat for the kids.

"sausage" patties - chop up and add to eggs one day with your onion and a diced pepper to make a western omelet type of thing - just don't use too many eggs in it!

You could also make tuna salad for lunches.

Instead of eating the eggs plain, add to rice and vegetables to make fried rice or fluffy rice. Or add to shaved potatoes and fry. You can serve that with the spinach. Round out the Ramen with vegetables and maybe little strips of meat.

If I were you, I would buy:

- A big bag of potatoes
- Whatever root veggies / soup veggies are cheap
- Butter; put some in the soup or add to the vegetables
- One or two bell peppers for omelet or ramen
- MAYBE a tiny portion of deli meat (like ham) to slice thinly and add to the omelet/ramen as well
- A bag of the cheapest apples you can get - add to the meat dishes, add slices to the side of dishes, or cube and bake and serve with jam, whipped cream, or ice cream (if you already have those in the house), or add to bread pudding
- If you're not experienced making bread I might get whatever bread is on sale, maybe a 2 for one deal or what's in the bargain bin. Otherwise you can try to make it yourself, but if it doesn't come out well you're stuck with it.

You can use some of the rest of your milk to make either bread pudding or rice pudding.

I would NOT buy any drinks this week. Drink water. Or tea, if you already have tea bags. Make it a bit weaker than normal to stretch. I use one tea bag per large pitcher.
post #5 of 13
IDK where you live, but I do know that at Safeway 2 gallons of reg. milk are 3.98 and OG apples are $1 a lb right now(both club card savings). 1lb bags of baby carrots are $1, plus they have some coupons floating around for $1 off any Eating Right items(which the carrots are-could get them free, I did the other day). I think they also had regualr bread for .99 a loaf-not the good stuff, but it would suffice(also day old bread from the bakery is another option).

I second the suggestions of root veggies(carrots, potatoes).

I do a roast with root veggies, make some beef stock to turn roast into soup or stew, chicken and rice, "sausage" frittata or omlette type thing.

Do you have any veggies? I know that my local store had a great sale on frozen veggies(stirfry and veggie medleys), if your store had some mixes like that on sale that could be another option. Then you could do a chicken stirfry.

Many times people recommend Hillbilly Housewife in times like these-she does have some great ideas. I personally stretch milk when we are broke-I buy milk and do a 50-50 mix with powdered, or use powdered for cooking. Mixing it does work well. If you have tea bags make some tea, otherwise you'll just have to deal with drinking water this week-if lemons are cheap, you could do lemon water. Sometimes my store has a bag of lemons for .99 this time of year and they last a really long time.
post #6 of 13
Do you have sugar? If so, you could buy a bunch of those little fifty cent lemon juices that they have in the produce section, and use that and sugar and water to make lemonade.

I find teabags at the dollar store and Big Lots pretty often- sometimes as cheap as a box of 20 for 3 for $1.

For milk, if you don't have powdered to mix the real stuff with, you could just water down whole milk. I know people who prefer watered down whole to whole/dry mixed.

Or, if you have soybeans available to you, you could make soymilk. Again, you'll need some sugar- not much, about 1 cup to 3 gallons of soymilk. Where I live, I can get organic dry soybeans for $1.60 per pound. One pound = one gallon soymilk. If this would work for you, I can tell you how to make soymilk. Also, there are all kinds of recipes and tutorials online.

If you don't have pancake syrup, you can make that, too, and it's super easy. 2 cups sugar to 1 cup water, 1 Tb molasses (or use brown sugar if you don't have molasses), 3 tsp vanilla flavoring, and, if you have it, a tsp of maple flavor and/or butter flavor. The maple and butter are yummy, but it will fine without them. Mix everything together in a saucepan, bring to a boil, whisk, remove from heat, done.

WalMart has a 3# bag of tortilla mix for about $2. It makes dozens of tortillas, and it's super easy, all you do is add water, refrigerate the dough for about an hour, then roll out and quickly cook the tortillas on a skillet. Much yummier than the premade ones, too.

Also, I second checking out Hillbilly Housewife.

Oh, and don't buy any meat. It's expensive, and you already have plenty.

Good Luck!
post #7 of 13
Simple hearth bread:
1 tsp yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
5-6 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
OR 2-3 cups all-purpose/2-3 cups whole wheat

Let yeast dissolve in one cup of the warm water. Add two cups of flour and mix with a wooden spoon until well "slurried." Then add salt (not before), and mix rest of the flour in with your hands. Err on the side of the dough being too wet - too much flour and it will get heavy.

After dough is in a good, well-mixed ball (no breaks, etc) place it on a board. You can flour the board a little - but a very little unless the dough is still very wet. I like to spray my board with a little spritz of neutral veggie oil (canola or corn). Knead until the dough is soft and not sticky.

Turn into a well greased (butter is best) large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place (I like the top of the dryer or the woodstove room!).

After the dough has doubled, knead again quickly (you don't want to overwork the dough) and form into either two nice torpedos - or place in a couple of loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise again for an hour or two. Preheat oven to 450. Slash the tops and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Loaves should sound hollow when you thunk the tops.

Alternatively, if you have butter or powdered milk, you can add a cup of either to the dough and bake in loaf pans for a good sandwich bread.

Good Luck!
post #8 of 13
Oh, by the way - with a dash of evoo, the hearth bread makes an awesome pizza crust, foccaccia or bread sticks!
post #9 of 13
post #10 of 13
great thread!
post #11 of 13
Here's a video on how to make dinner rolls:


I made them and they are sooo simple and yummy. Seeing that you have chicken breasts and sausage patties, you can make sandwiches with these rolls. I made them and ate them with butter along with my dinner, but my husband would love for me to make them as burger buns.

As for cereal, you can make oatmeal. If it's cold where you are, a hot bowl of oatmeal would probably hit the spot in the morning. Here, it's too hot usually to have hot cereals.
post #12 of 13
How's your week going LilMamaBelle? Are you getting through OK?
post #13 of 13
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