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$80 for groceries and 2 week to plan for

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
i just paid my bills and have about $80 for groceries until we get another paycheck which will be 3/15. any suggestions on meals for a family of four? i need ideas for cheap and easy recipes, and somewhat healthy would be a great bonus but i'm open to grandma's meat pie with croissant rolls too! i've got a website with good recipe ideas, but i'd love for others to chime in and give me some direction as well. thanks so much.
post #2 of 40
What's in your pantry?

Determine what you already have available to you, build a plan from there and by extras that will complement what you already have. Beans, whole grains and in-season veggies are great. Soups and stews can be filling and are pretty cheap. Avoid all convenience foods.
post #3 of 40
You've asked the right person! I'm in about the same boat as you, and this is what we're having for the next two weeks:

2/27 - scrambled eggs & toast w/ fruit preserves
2/28 - canned soup
3/1 - pancakes
3/2 - chili dogs & baked fries
3/3 - bean burritos
3/4 - english muffin pizzas (w/ pizza sauce, mozzarella, & veggies)
3/5 - scrambled egg sandwiches
3/6 - spaghetti, green beans, & bread
3/7 - hot dogs & baked potatoes
3/8 - bean burritos
3/9 - biscuits w/ maple syrup & bacon
3/10 - sloppy joes & baked fries
3/11 - canned soup
3/12 - ham sandwiches

I will probably only have to buy $20-30 in groceries for all that. Hope that helps!
post #4 of 40
homemade homefries are great and you can mix in a lot of stuff like peppers and onion or a cheap jar (or part of a jar) of salsa. Goes great of course with eggs for an inexpensive meal either for breakfast or dinner, even.

You can make a big batch of chili, beef stew, chicken noodle, beef and barley, lentil soup....whatever homemade soups your family love and live off that or a couple days.
post #5 of 40
I pasted in a couple recipes below that I really like and are super cheap-although with the baked beans, if I didn't already have maple syrup I would substitute some sweetner I do already have. I also like baked sweet potatoes with carmelized onions and sauteed veggies on top and maybe some shredded cheese.

(Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage)

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

This recipe for colcannon is thought to have come to the New World in the 1800s, carried by the great waves of Irish immigration.
1 1/4 pounds (about 2 large) russet (baking) potatoes
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan cover the potatoes with salted water and simmer them, covered, for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. While the potatoes are simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the cabbage for 5 minutes, or until it is tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander, force them through a ricer or the medium disk of a food mill into a bowl, and stir in the milk, the butter, the cabbage, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2.
April 1993

Fèves au Lard
These beans boast two staples of Montreal cuisine —sweet maple syrup and rich salt pork.
1 lb dried navy beans (2 1/4 cups)
1 (1/4-lb) piece salt pork (rind discarded)
4 1/2 cups water
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 tablespoon dry English mustard (preferably Colman's)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pick over and rinse 1 lb dried navy beans (2 1/4 cups). Soak in cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours. Alternatively, quick-soak beans (see cooks' note, below). Drain.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse and pat dry 1 (1/4-lb) piece salt pork (rind discarded), then cut into 3 pieces.

Put beans and pork in an ovenproof 3-quart heavy pot with a lid. Add 4 1/2 cups water, 1 large onion (finely chopped; about 2 cups), 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup, 1 tablespoon dry English mustard (preferably Colman's), and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine. Cover pot and bake until beans are just tender, 3 to 4 hours.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Remove lid. Bake beans, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed but beans are still saucy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more. Remove from oven. Stir in 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste.

Cooks' notes:
• To quick-soak, put beans in a 4- to 5-quart pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour before draining.
• Baked beans keep, covered and chilled, up to 5 days.

Makes 8 side-dish servings.
March 2006
post #6 of 40
Rice and beans (the 1 lb bag of dried beans of course. Red beans, black beans, navy beans, doesn't really matter just whatever you prefer)

eggs are cheap: scrambled eggs, quiche, etc.

Buy flour and make pancakes, breads, etc.

potatoes are cheap, boiled, fried, baked.

broccoli is still in season, isn't it? So it should be at a good price.
post #7 of 40
Have you tried www.hillbillyhousewife.com ? There are meal plans there for $70 and I think one for $45 too that are pretty healthy. Check it out if you haven't.
Also there is a meals under $2 thread around here somewhere, if you can find that it would probably be good!
post #8 of 40
Originally Posted by wife&mommy View Post
Have you tried www.hillbillyhousewife.com ? There are meal plans there for $70 and I think one for $45 too that are pretty healthy. Check it out if you haven't.

You took the words right out of my mouth.
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
thank you all so much! what good ideas!! last night i made a super cheap soup with things i already had as suggested. i took
half a bag of frozen veggies
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 baking potato washed and cut up
1 cup of milk
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon tabasco
1 tablespoon beef bullion

i threw it in the crockpot on high for 3 hours and it was an AWESOME soup. just wanted to share since some of you may be walking in my boots too. if you think of more goodies...keep posting! i'm loving it!

thanks again mamas!!
post #10 of 40
Homemade pizza night is always good. I make my own dough and sauce and get creative with toppings-whatever veg, meat, and cheese I either already have or get on sale. My kids always felt like pizza was a big treat, so they didn't feel deprived even though we were eating on the cheap.
post #11 of 40
post #12 of 40
We like what we call 'the rubber chicken.' You get three meals out of one chicken.

Meal #1- Roast the chicken in the oven with root veggies. Have a small amount of meat with the roasted veggies and another veggie or grain side for dinner that night.

Meal #2- take the deboned meat remaining on the bird and use that to make a casserole, tacos, enchiladas, or other dish calling for chopped or cubed, cooked meat.

Meal #3- make stock with the carcass then throw in any remaining meat. Add cheap veggies and you've got instant chicken soup without having to buy broth.

You can get non-organic chickens here for 59 cents a pound, so even if you buy a big bird, it's a good deal to feed the family for three meals from one bird.
post #13 of 40
Have you been to pinchingyourpennies.com? I go there and learn how to save a ton of money on my groceries.
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
i just wanted to say thank you and give you a BIG hug for recommending hillbillyhousewife! that website is awesome and it's precisely what i needed! i printed out the $45 and $70 menu and i'm off to ALBI today for big savings....hopefully! ) we had pancakes last night with things i already had..as recommended! ) you all are so AWESOME! thank you! i'm going to check out the pennypinching website right now. )
post #15 of 40
you are welcome, I am SO glad it helped!
post #16 of 40
Here is a good article:
Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day

On page 4 it has a list of meals:
Detailing the Dollars: Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day

Day 1:

Breakfast: Tofu (47 cents), veggies ($1), brown rice (20 cents)

Lunch: Eggs (39 cents) and potatoes (30 cents)

Snack: Two dates (60 cents), 12 almonds (22 cents)

Dinner: Fryer chicken ($1), veggies ($1), brown rice (20 cents)

Day 2:

Breakfast: Oatmeal (20 cents), 12 nuts (22 cents), raisins (22 cents), milk (50 cents), protein powder (20 cents)

Lunch: eggs (39 cents) and veggies ($1)

Snack: One organic apple (25 cents), dollop of organic peanut butter (14 cents)

Dinner: Turkey chili ($1), lentils (22 cents), veggies ($1), stock from fryer chicken (50 cents), whole wheat berries (5 cents)

Day 3:

Breakfast: Cornmeal (14 cents), seeds ($1), nuts (22 cents), molasses (10 cents)

Lunch: Chili from last night

Snack: Veggies ($1), homemade hummus (90 cents)

Dinner: Salad (62 cents) with chicken from fryer ($1), veggies ($1), dressing from apple cider vinegar and olive oil ($1)

Day 4:

Breakfast: One egg (39 cents), whole grain toast (20 cents), piece of fruit (25 cents)

Lunch: Beans (30 cents), rice (20 cents), veggies ($1)

Snack: Carrots,($50) cheese piece (50 cents)

Dinner: Half can sardines (89 cents), pasta (49 cents), tomato sauce (16 cents)

Day 5:

Breakfast: Veggies (90 cents), brown rice (20 cents), sliced cashews (22 cents), sprinkle of cheese (50 cents)

Lunch: Hummus (90 cents), whole wheat bread (20 cents), lettuce leaf (30 cents)

Snack: Banana (50 cents) and peanut butter (14 cents)

Dinner: Whole wheat pasta (49 cents), veggies ($1), beans (30 cents), nuts (22 cents), brewer’s yeast (20 cents)

Day 6:

Breakfast: Brown rice (20 cents), red beans (30 cents), miso (15 cents), greens ($1)

Lunch: Lettuce and veggies ($1), second half of sardine can (89 cents)

Snack: Sliced pears and apples (50 cents), cheese (50 cents)

Dinner: Brown rice (20 cents), veggies ($1), tofu (47 cents), sesame seeds (50 cents)

Day 7:

Breakfast: Plain yogurt (60 cents), sliced apple (25 cents), coconut, sunflower seeds or ground flax seeds ($1)

Lunch: Kale ($1), chard, ($1) rice (20 cents), onions (5 cents)

Snack: Roasted yam (30 cents) with 12 cashews (22 cents)

Dinner: Soup from chicken stock ($1), lentils (22 cents) veggies ($1), grains (20 cents), one slice whole wheat bread (20 cents)
post #17 of 40

yeah, this really does cost that little..and its balanced

What about:

Week 1
Roast pork with leek
Cranberry pork steaks
Chicken cheese bake
Salmon patties (or tuna patties)
Corn fritters
Tomato salad
Cheesy potatoes and sausages
Fried fish
Salmon kedgeree

Week 2
Roast chicken, roast potatoes, onion gravy, peas
BBQ chicken
black eyed peas
Pork steak, garlic potatoes, green beans
Lemon chicken
mushroomed rice
Cottage pie with carrots
Sausage and apple pie

Add whatever veggies you already have, or can buy cheap (tinned or frozen). Also for the recipes asking for hamburger meat, half the hamburger, cook some red lentils in beef stock, and add to the hamburger meat.

Lunch can be leftovers, omelettes, simple sandwiches, or rice with eggies.breakfast things like homemade muffins, oatmeal (not instant or favoured, the kind you cook yourself and add raisins or whatever to), or eggs and toast, pancakes (homemade), fruit.
post #18 of 40
Originally Posted by wipersnaz View Post
Here is a good article:
Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day

On page 4 it has a list of meals:
Detailing the Dollars: Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day

That's a great link. This is pretty much exactly how I eat. Very simple meals but high quality stuff.

Frankly, I don't get the love of the hillbillyhousewife site. There's absolutely no need to eat margarine, powdered milk, powdered potatoes, canned fruit, bologna, cheap hotdogs, etc. I don't see how they can claim their diet to be "healthy" with all that stuff as the basis of it. I don't spend over $70 a week and I don't have to resort to any of that processed stuff. That would be a waste of money, there's no nutrition in it.
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
mz libbie - i would absolutely love you forever if you would tell me what i should buy to feed my family and stay within my budget for groceries. i would love to eat more healthy, but i need something like the hillbillyhousewife website..."this is what you buy, this is what you make for the week, here are the recipes". i live by meal planning and it seems most things i can make that my family really enjoys and find filling are cheaper meals, etc. so, i'm open to suggestions. haha, i agree that powdered milk is gross...but last night i made the "magic milkshakes" (full of powdered milk and sugar i know) but they were SO darn good!
post #20 of 40
Eliza, iI have an ebook that does that very thing. if you want a copy (free), PM me.
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