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Can you all teach me to grocery shop? Long - Page 2

post #21 of 33

My husband is a bottomless pit and this is one meal that stops him in his tracks and fills his tummy - http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_chili_beans/


You could scale back the meat and up the beans to save money.  It is also one of those things that actually tastes better warmed up and makes a great leftover.  I make a lot of rice when doing this meal and the "chili" part of it can stretch over many meals.  I also try to time this meal for when I have cheese to use up, I let it melt on top.   

post #22 of 33

We started using this recipe for bread... OMG, it works SO well! I can make a big bowl of dough and just throw a large handful in the oven for 30 min. and DONE! Bread each day almost as soon as we need it!


Now, if I can just get DH to not try to double up the dough (the loaf will fall apart or be mushy inside), and actually MAKE the dough (it takes like 5 minutes).

post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 

Wow!  You ladies have given me a lot of great food for thought (biglaugh.gifpun intended).  I am going to put a bunch of these to play for meals and snacks as well as have a sit down with him to see how we can best fill his needs.  He is very conscious of what he eats and is looking for high protein snacks before/after working out.  To make matters even more complicated, he is lactose intolerance and allergic to sesame seeds and a few nuts, a lot of things that are in my normal meals.  We are huge cheese eaters.  I was so proud of myself tonight for making a huge pan of scalloped potatoes, which I have never tried before, and then he very nicely subtly asked me if it was made with milk duh.gif.


We will get there and I am more than willing to take on the challenge.  Thank you all so much for the great ideas and recipes.  You have helped a tremendous amount.


post #24 of 33
Originally Posted by MyLifeInColor View Post

To make matters even more complicated, he is lactose intolerance and allergic to sesame seeds and a few nuts, a lot of things that are in my normal meals.  We are huge cheese eaters.  I was so proud of myself tonight for making a huge pan of scalloped potatoes, which I have never tried before, and then he very nicely subtly asked me if it was made with milk duh.gif.


You'll very quickly get used to the dairy free thing. One of my kiddos is dairy free. Here is my diary free potato soup recipe. It's my own invention and very cheap to make. It doesn't have any protein, so it's a meal mate, not a meal. And since I invented it and eye ball everything, there aren't real measurements:


Potatoes, pealed and cut into bite sized pieces

One or two onions (depending both on how many potatoes you use and how big the onions are) chopped

Chicken broth



That's it. Cook the whole thing together until the potatoes are soft. Use the back side of a soup to mash a few of the potatoes to the side of the pot, and then stir to make the broth thicker.


Very easy, very yummy. Those who like cheese can top their bowl with cheese. Green onions look pretty on top. My family loves this.



post #25 of 33

You've got a ton of great suggestions here.  The only thing I would add, is to buy bulk oatmeal (rolled oats or steel-cut) and try and make that for breakfast at least 2 mornings a week, it's super cheap and very filling.  My DD likes mashed bananas and peanut butter in hers (sometimes Nutella for a special treat).  We generally put in whatever fruit we happen to have on hand (peaches have been a big hit this week). 


Also, for dairy free, coconut oil works as a great substitute for butter in baking and even on things like popcorn and in oatmeal.  For popcorn, we also add nutritional yeast as a tasty add on, it takes some getting used to but it especially makes popcorn with coconut oil taste good.


Good luck!

post #26 of 33

I feel like you should be teaching us all how to shop!  I am amazed that you were feeding a family of 4 on $200 and a freezer full of meat.


We have pregnant me, DH and DD and I am amazed when we spend less than $500/month.  We eat an enormous amount of fresh fruits and veggies though so I think that's why I have a hard time bringing it down.


I like the idea of pushing things like eggs and oatmeal and popcorn.  I bake a lot of muffins and make a lot of baked oatmeal.  They're super delicious and really filling and cheap.  I load both up with fruit and nuts. 

post #27 of 33

Another thing you might want to consider.  Do any of the grocery stores in your area have an in house dietitian?  Ours does and she is great.  Ours is really good at helping people plan meals around specific needs (special diets, allergies, athletes) an find frugal ways to meet those needs.  Its worth a shot.

post #28 of 33

Lots of good ideas in this thread. But isn't there child support money that either your DH used to be paying or that the child's mother is now paying? Money that could get added into the food budget?

post #29 of 33

I would like to add that it might help if the rest of the family ate breakfast too. It's cheaper (oatmeal, peanut butter toast, eggs, homemade multigrain pancakes) to buy breakfast foods than fill up on a big supper, and it's healthier for bodies and brain brains. Especially your teenage daughter!

Recent studies have shown that eating breakfast reduces the amount of total fat and calories you consume in a day. I think you'll find that if you start the day with some lean protein and whole grains, like eggs and toast or 12-grain pancakes with fruit yogurt, that your whole family will eat less and have more energy during the day.

Also, snacking is expensive, so if the rest of you family starts eating breakfast and lunch, that should help bring the bill down.

Another thing.... soup! it's such a cheap way to feed alot of people. Think dried beans, root vegetables, leftover chicken or roast bones, and grains like barley, rice, and cornmeal. And what ever is left over can be lunch or snacks the next day, or frozen for later!

post #30 of 33

I have kids attacking me and only read the first half but have to comment.  DH and I are weight lifting junkies and I was competitively for a long time.  We eat a LOT of protein and are always on the quest for lean muscle.  I will try and get this out before kids get me.....

1) I totally agree on finding out if he is trying to get certain amounts of protein and carbs.  For starters, he likely will find it cool that you care to help him meet his goals.  Also, it can help you plan.

2) We combine our more expensive proteins with cheaper things.  So take tuna...I mix a couple cans of tuna with old fashioned oats I grind up like bread crumbs, mix in egg and spices and make tuna patties.  Ketchup and the kids even eat em.  So the tuna is more costly, but eggs are cheaper and the oats are too and the expand to fill more space.  And they are a great carb for muscle recovery. ;)   Buy bulk vanilla whey protein.  Best protein for muscle building...most bang for his buck.  We cook oats (cheap) and mix in milk and vanilla whey (add banana, apple, nuts, whatever).  We buy boneless skinless chicken on sale in bulk when it hits $1.49 or $1.99/lb.  This is the meat we do not buy a lot of hormone free.  Other meats we do.  I also combine things like : 6 egg whits, 1c oats, 2 scoops of whey, 1-2 ripe bananas, 1/2c cottage cheese...blend and you can cook them into bodybuilder pancakes. :)


I think one convo to have, if the protein and such is important, is that to get those things down, he may have to sacrifice.  Not everything will taste good.  The price of being ripped!  You will help him get what he needs, but if he has to gut down some peanut butter for his good fat, well, he can do it.  He cant 6 meals and 200 g a day of marinated all natural chicken breast. ;)


In my years I spent personal training I put lots of cheap recipes plans together.  If you want to message me after you talk to him, I can email you some of my recipes I have scattered on my computer that may help you and he get some ideas.  I spent years putting them together and would love someone to get some use, lol.  Protein shakes too....scoop of whey, milk, cottage cheese, honey, oats, blend, toss in something flavored/sweet. 


PM me if you would like some ideas....I love helping teens that are working out.  Just because it was so good for me at that age and well, I just think it is cool. :)  And you are a Rock Star mom for caring enough to work on helping pull it together with him.

post #31 of 33

We eat a lot of beans and rice here in different fashion (eating a bowl of it now! NOM). Here's a recipe your son might like:


Crockpot Black Bean and Brown Rice Burrito Filling


4 cans black beans and their liquid

1.5 cups brown rice

3 cans diced tomatoes (I like at least one can to be the tomatoes w/green chilies)

2 t onion powder

1 t garlic powder

2 t oregano


(You know, I don't even think I add the seasonings, come to think about it).


Toss it all in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-ish hours. 


This is SO good and SO SO SO filling. I can usually only eat two burritos before I'm full to bursting. And when I make this, we have leftovers for at least three days (me, my marathon-running, weight-lifting husband, and my eats-us-out-of-house-and-home 9 year old ds). You could use beans that you cooked at home if you added the proper amount of water for the brown rice. If your dss wanted even more protein, he could scramble an egg to add to the burrito, or add some tofu. Anyway, give it a whirl, it's a favorite around here. :) Good luck!

post #32 of 33

Similar the tune patty idea, here is my bean burger recipe:


1 can of beans rinsed and drained

1 cup quick oats

1 egg

3 tbsp sauce (bbq, salsa, or anything you want)

minced onions, garlic, and spice as desired


mix it up, let it sit for 10-30 min to soak up, then form into patties and pan fry or bake



i find that red or white kidney beans make the best regular burgers, black beans are really good with a bit of cumin mixed in and topped with salsa, avacado, and cheese, and chickpeas make a good mediterranean burger with bruchetta and feta cheese on pita. 

post #33 of 33

I can think of a few options

- tuna patties (use oatmeal or coconut flour instead of bread crumbs if he wants to avoid carbs) coconut flour is not cheap, but lasts a long time and you can use 2 tbsp at a time, very fibrous and has some protein as well.

- home made nut milk. soak almonds in water with sea salt, rinse and blend with 4 times water. store in fridge. can flavor with vanilla or chocolate powder, cinnamon, cardomom etc

- if you filter the almond milk, use the remaining meal in bean patties or tuna / salmon patties..

- make energy bars with peanut butter, oats, coconut etc.. very filling.

- boiled eggs can sub nicely for breakfast

- I have recently started making this bread http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-bread/ which is very high in protein and this makes about 20 slices... I eat one slice at a time and is very filling.

- you can add spinach or grated zucchini or carrots in omelettes to make it more filling. You can make quiches or breakfast caseroles, cut in individual portions and freeze it. he can heat it up when he is hungry. the same quiches can be cooked in muffin tins for individual portions..

- black bean soup is extremely filling and is super cheap to make. use a hand blender to partially blend the stuff.

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