Need some quick meal planning help, anyone got a few minutes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-04-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Due to some unexpected costs I have only $50 left in my grocery jar for the next 10 days. We are seriously committed to our budget and our debt repayment so unless we are in danger of going without food there will not be any more money added to the jar until the 15th.

Our family is: Myself, DH, 14 yo DS, 4 yo DS and 14 month old DD who is still nursing. Due to allergies we cannot eat many processed or convenience foods and the wee one can't have dairy.

I have lots of baking supplies so I can make bread, muffins, cookies etc. We have pasta, 2 jars of sauce, a couple pounds of stew beef, a pound of ground beef, veggie burgers, chicken burgers, a bag of peas and eggs on hand.

Other stuff on hand:
A few pounds each of oranges and pears
Rice (white and brown)
Cans of tuna
1 pound of cheese
some frozen blueberries
little frozen tarts shells

I'm not used to shopping on a budget and I'm a bit embarrased to say that up until recently I would spend $1200 - $1300 (or more) every month on groceries and other household consumables like cleaners and diapers.

Any thoughts for the next 10 days? I have tonight covered.

Just wanted to add that we live in a very high COL area. A dozen eggs here is $4-6 and a gallon of milk is $4.50
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#2 of 6 Old 04-04-2010, 05:18 PM
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Do you have any vegetables? If so, I'd make a stew.

veggie burgers
tuna casserole with the peas
chicken burgers, baked fries
fried rice with any leftover meat
mini quiches with the tarts and eggs and any meat and veggie in the fridge, blueberries on the side
tuna cakes
baked potatoes

I'd probably buy some potatoes and a few cheap veggies you can put in everything.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-05-2010, 10:08 AM
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Wow...I am in awe of how easily Alyantavid seemed to spool off all those great ideas!

I can't add a lot, but oats+ground beef and some seasonings=meatloaf, and a big sack of carrots is super-cheap and turns into all sorts of things: additions to soup and the fried rice, roasted carrots with herbs and whatever oil you have and prefer, carrot sticks...

My personal favorite carrot dish is an Indian salad--grate a few carrots, stir in some salt. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil on high on the stove and drop in a tablespoon of black mustard seeds...stir for a few seconds until they start popping, and then pour them straight over the carrots and stir it in. Finish it off with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice.

Unless of course you don't have the mustard seeds, because spices are pricey when you specifically have a tight budget now. I'd totally get them when you can, because with the right spice cupboard you could basically have rice every night and enjoy it! And don't get them at the grocery store, get them bulk at the health food store or through Penzey's online or something--cheaper and better.

Good luck! You can do it. At least you have a bunch of meat. Parcel it out in soups and casseroles and such and you'll feel like you're eating more meat than you are and won't feel skimpy.
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#4 of 6 Old 04-05-2010, 12:38 PM
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I have a few to add: You have everything to make a simple cheese pizza, maybe pick up some frozen spinach to add on top. I second the idea of getting some veggies for some soup or stew. I would serve it with rice or pasta to stretch it more. You could pick up some dry beans (black) to use with some rice and ground beef (or veggie burger/chicken burger), if you have the seasoning to make a taco bowl. If you have olive oil (or any type of oil) I would pick up either white beans or chick peas to make white bean spread/hummus. Add some homemade bread to dip and a bag of carrots and you'll have a good wholesome snack. You can flavor with whatever spices you have on hand. You could make spanish rice with sauce, meet and rice or goulash. I would use the oats and fruit for breakfast. Make the blueberries into a dessert for a treat, using the tart shells or could make a crumble with some oats on top. Cold tuna salad with pasta, and beans and whatever veggies you have or can get.

Here is a link to a good foccacia bread recipe that I've been using. I use a bit of sugar to feed the yeast because I don't have honey. It is a nice alternative to bread, and if you double the recipe it makes nice bread for a sandwich.

That's all I have, hope it gives you some ideas.

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#5 of 6 Old 04-05-2010, 01:34 PM
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Definitely get some dried beans & make a big pot of bean soup. Cook some rice to serve the soup on top of, and make some cornbread or other homemade bread, and this can stretch for at least 2-3 meals.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-05-2010, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I found some Sole fillets and a container of homemade mini meatloaves in the freezer this morning (YAY!). With all your helpful suggestions I think we'll be just fine for the next 10 days.
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