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Need to immediately and DRASTICALLY cut our food bills - Page 2

post #21 of 105
tuna
eggs
whole chickens - if you can find a big pot at goodwill you can boil the chicken and pull the meat and then you have broth for soup. I never thicken my soup. Then I add green beans. That's my soup *sigh*
water, water, water

Do you have a food bank or a church pantry you can go to? I know they probably don't have the foods *you* can eat but maybe for your dd.

In the spring (I know, doesn't help now) plant a garden. lettuce, cukes, snap peas, green beans, onions.

I'm trying to think what I eat because I eat the same way you do on a tight budget as well.
eggs for breakfast
lunch is a salad with some sort of leftover meat from the night before
dinner is usually some meat with green beans or other canned veggies.
post #22 of 105
Thread Starter 
I'll check Goodwill... the one near me usually sucks, but maybe I'll get lucky. I'd plant a garden but I kill all plant life ~laughs~ Not to mention the soil here is SO bad that I don't think I could afford to make it ready for planting... especially since we rent... if it was a house we owned it'd be different since I'd know we'd be here for a long time.

So, how do I make soup from a chicken carcass? I've never done that before. DO I just boil the chicken and there ya go???
post #23 of 105
Just a heads up, you can refuse everything at all WIC offices but the weigh in of your DD. Just so you know, they just want the kids to eat, so they wont refuse you if you dont want to do something. And even if you only breastfeed 1-2 times a day, you can get both the food and alot of formula.
post #24 of 105
Thread Starter 
That is VERY good to know. A weight check for DD doesn't bother me as much as checking her blood and stuff like that.
post #25 of 105
Boiling the chicken gets all the flavour out. Google chicken broth recipe.
post #26 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laprettygurl
Boiling the chicken gets all the flavour out. Google chicken broth recipe.
Aww, but what fun is googling it? ~laughs~
post #27 of 105
A cheap way to easily grow veggies is in a container. I would suggest tomatoes and lettuce because they are fairly easy to grow where you are as long as they get enough water!
post #28 of 105
I will tell you how to make soup from a chicken or turkey carcass. It is really easy, and VERY tasty--especially if the bird has been previously roasted.

I will roast a whole turkey or chicken (turkeys are also on sale this time of year--being that the holidays are over) and we eat whatever meat we want. The next day (or the day after) put the picked over carcass in a big pot. Cover the carcass with either water or chicken broth. I use generic chicken broth because it gives more protein and makes the broth more rich. Put in one onion and some celery if you have it. Bring it to a boil and then quickly reduce it simmer. Simmer over low heat for an hour (even two hours--especially for a turkey carcass). Turn stove off, take carcass out of pot and put on a plate. Take out the onion and celery and throw them away. After the carcass has totally cooled, pull off whatever meat you can get from it, and put it back in the broth. If you want you can either heat it up and eat it that way, or you can add more vegies to the broth.

I know you you don't use noodles or rice--but for anyone else reading this recipe you can add a cup of rice or a few cups of uncooked noodles to the broth with the chicken and let it simmer until they are tender. You can also make a big batch of mashed potatoes and serve the soup over a scoop of mashed potatoes--sooooo yummy and hearty!

I NEVER thicken my soups either--and soup is the perfect diet food. It is low in calories and can be made very high protein/low carb if necessary. It is filling and warm and will satisfy you when you are hungry. You can also make beef soups that are awesome--and adapt them to your dietary needs. Making a beef soup is easy, and it makes cheap cuts tender (from very long simmering times). The trick is to never over-boil your meats--let them come to a quick boil, then turn them down RIGHT away and simmer for ages.

Good luck,
Lisa
post #29 of 105
I also want to add that if you don't have a pot large enough for a whole turkey carcass, you can cut it in half, cook half into soup, and put the rest in the freezer. Later you take the other half out of the freezer and make more soup.

I also suggest that you contact food banks and try to appeal the Food Stamps decision. Good luck.
post #30 of 105
You could also make money by doing things like ebaying (ahem ... ) or childcare in your home, etc.
post #31 of 105
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recipe! Yum! I looked for a pot today at Goodwill... they have nothing!

I've already ebayed everything I had that I could a while back... the only things left are worth so little that I probably wouldn't get enough back to cover the ebay fees ~sighs~ I do not have the patience for childcare, I know from experience (used to work at a daycare). I barely have patience for my own 2. Besides, I can't bring in any income for 6 months... legal reasons.
post #32 of 105
We never thicken our soups either, and they're yummy.

Definitely more beans as a source of protein, if you can. You can make lots of yummy chile, dips, etc.

Does TVP have soy in it? If not, it's great in tomato sauces, veggie chiles, etc.
post #33 of 105
Thread Starter 
I've never heard of TVP, but I looked it up... looks like it's made from soybeans, so that's a no-no for me. Oh well... was a good idea.
post #34 of 105
Don't forget about freecycle: http://www.freecycle.org/
You may be able to get a pot, or request extra garden produce. It may even come in handy for other needs that arise.
post #35 of 105
: Looking for tips to cut our groceries...

Amy...I have no suggestions : you are able to figure this out
post #36 of 105
Freecycle is a great idea. You can take the smaller items you said aren't worth putting up on ebay and post them on freecycle -- that would count as your first "offer" so that you can then posted your "wanteds." Cooking pots, extra seeds, gardening containers, and soil would be entirely reasonable requests for a freecycle list and starting around this time of year, gardeners really start to get going and you're more likely to find someone with extras. I know you said you haven't had a lot of luck with gardening in the past, but container gardens are much easier than ground gardens and, quite frankly, if you're down to that little money for groceries and your child's wellbeing is on the line, you can learn.

Maybe I'm offbase, but it seems like you responded to a lot of the suggestions here by saying it wasn't something you had the patience, stomach, or interest for, but if you're in a desperate situation, there's no better time to weigh your priorities, figure out what's a strong principle of yours (blood draws on your daughter, for example) and what's something that could really make a difference to your family's ability to survive (you or your husband learning to hunt, maybe).

Anyway, in terms of gardening, it's a slower return on your time and energy than going to the store, but we've found that it's a very worthwhile investment and we've cut hundreds off our food bills during the growing season this way. If you have the indoor space, you can save year round, and container gardens move with you when you're renting. Focus on veggies that produce in abundance and veggies that tend to be expensive to buy locally -- for example, living in New England, we plant a lot of tomatoes (abundant), cucumbers and squash (abundant), eggplants (expensive), and bell peppers (expensive). The local library should have some good beginner's books, and I've found some fantastic advice for all types of soil and weather zones in the Diggin' in the Earth forum here. If this is something you do decide to pursue, I'd be happy to mail you some seeds to get started; I have plenty left from last year that should be used this year and since I'm pregnant, I don't expect to be doing quite as much gardening as usual. PM me your address (and any herbs/veggies you can't/won't eat) if you're interested. Cheers~
post #37 of 105
Rice, veggies, beans. You can get all varieties of these items at an Asian food market for a great price. There are many, many kinds of beans out there and each has its own flavor or taste. Buy some different spice powders in the Indian food section. Warm up some oil, add a chopped onion, add the spices to the oil. Then stir-fry the veggies and cook the beans separately to add later. Or add eggs instead if you like. In many Indian vegetarian families they eat a variation of this every day and are healthy and satisfied. You just have to use different spices to feel like you are not eating the same thing every day. :-)

Sambar:
sambar powder
1 onion
1 can whole tomatoes, diced with juice
1.5 cups toor dal (rinsed several times)
1 bunch of green veggies (spinach, collard greens, etc) finely chopped
3 chopped carrots
whatever other veggies you want to add, chopped

Cook toor dal beans separately until very soft (these cook like lentils)
Chop veggies, cover with water and boil until well cooked and very soft. Include the can of tomatoes and juice.
Fry the onion and spices as described above and pour into the finished stew. Salt to taste.
Serve over rice.

Makes a huge pot and will last for at least 2 days.

When I was more frugal and we just had dd1 I could get by on spending $25/week on groceries! No kidding. For formula, you can buy the generic brand. It's just as good as the expensive brand. Trust me, I had to ff two kids due to breastfeeding and other health problems.
post #38 of 105
Garage sales and pawn shops are great places to pick up cooking pots and crock pots. Do you have a friend or relative that has a crock pot they aren't using that you could borrow? Crock pots are often an item that people have shoved into the back of the cupboard collecting dust, so someone may be happy to pass one onto you.
post #39 of 105
Wow, I was just looking at info about protein sources on line and you're supposed to have a LOT!! They say in general the RDA for women is about 40g/day. Frankly, having to get that much would probably bankrupt me, and we're not living on the edge at the moment. I'd definitely lay my cards on the table with the dr if I were you and see if there is some give and take available.

Some protein info:

2 oz peanuts: 13 g

2 oz dry lentils - 12 g

8 oz baked potato - 9 g

large egg - 7 g

cup canned chick peas - 11.88 g

cup cooked lentils - 17.86 g

cup brussel sprouts - 5.64 g

cup raisins - 4.67 g

1 oz pumpkin seeds or squash seeds - 9.35g

3 oz cooked haddock - 20.6 g

1 cup cooked green peas - 8.24 g

Have you looked at vegetable protein shakes? There are soy-free ones available.

I'd say if there are any requirements at all you can safely relax, do it - that would be one pricey diet.
post #40 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369

Maybe I'm offbase, but it seems like you responded to a lot of the suggestions here by saying it wasn't something you had the patience, stomach, or interest for, but if you're in a desperate situation, there's no better time to weigh your priorities, figure out what's a strong principle of yours (blood draws on your daughter, for example) and what's something that could really make a difference to your family's ability to survive (you or your husband learning to hunt, maybe).
I was kinda thinking this too
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