$80 for groceries and 2 week to plan for - Mothering Forums
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Meal Planning > $80 for groceries and 2 week to plan for
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 03:38 PM 02-26-2007
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.

snowbunny's Avatar snowbunny 04:14 PM 02-26-2007
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.
becoming's Avatar becoming 07:00 PM 02-26-2007
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!
fishface's Avatar fishface 07:13 PM 02-26-2007
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.
maryeliz's Avatar maryeliz 07:28 PM 02-26-2007
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.


COLCANNON
(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.
Gourmet
April 1993

BAKED BEANS
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.
Gourmet
March 2006
Benji'sMom's Avatar Benji'sMom 07:50 PM 02-26-2007
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.
wife&mommy's Avatar wife&mommy 01:57 AM 02-27-2007
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!
JenLove's Avatar JenLove 02:00 AM 02-27-2007
Quote:
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.
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 07:22 PM 02-27-2007
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!!
maryeliz's Avatar maryeliz 08:02 PM 02-27-2007
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.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 08:04 PM 02-27-2007
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krankedyann's Avatar krankedyann 11:44 PM 02-27-2007
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.
wipersnaz's Avatar wipersnaz 04:28 AM 02-28-2007
Have you been to pinchingyourpennies.com? I go there and learn how to save a ton of money on my groceries.
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 11:29 AM 02-28-2007
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. )
wife&mommy's Avatar wife&mommy 10:36 PM 02-28-2007
you are welcome, I am SO glad it helped!
wipersnaz's Avatar wipersnaz 01:49 AM 03-01-2007
Here is a good article:
Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day
http://health.msn.com/dietfitness/ar...ntid=100153740

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)
Just Me's Avatar Just Me 07:39 AM 03-01-2007
What about:

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

Week 2
Sunday
Roast chicken, roast potatoes, onion gravy, peas
Monday
Meatloaf
Tuesday
BBQ chicken
black eyed peas
Wednesday
Pork steak, garlic potatoes, green beans
Thursday
Lemon chicken
mushroomed rice
Friday
Cottage pie with carrots
Saturday
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.
mz_libbie22's Avatar mz_libbie22 12:10 PM 03-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by wipersnaz View Post
Here is a good article:
Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day
http://health.msn.com/dietfitness/ar...ntid=100153740

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.
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 05:38 PM 03-01-2007
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!
Just Me's Avatar Just Me 06:24 PM 03-01-2007
Eliza, iI have an ebook that does that very thing. if you want a copy (free), PM me.
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 07:53 PM 03-01-2007
justme, i just private messaged you with my email addy. thank you so much for sharing! i can't wait to get it. big hugs to you!!
mz_libbie22's Avatar mz_libbie22 11:45 PM 03-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
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!

Well, so much depends on what's available in your area, but I will say that wipersnaz's menu is the way to go, those foods can all be found in large grocery stores. The hillbillyhousewife menus could be greatly improved by emphasizing cheap AND healthy foods like lentils, dried peas, beans, rice, etc. Add some bags of onions, celery, and carrots to the list and there are endless recipe possibilities. Fresh produce like potatoes, cabbage, apples, squash, and bananas are already low price and will give you a greater # of servings and nutrition than processed/canned versions of them. To save the most money you need to pretty much eliminate anything from your shopping list that is snacky or has low nutritional value. Then, make simple meals built around whole grains and veggies while adding small amounts of good quality animals products. If you do this you should be able to eat a organic or partly organic, whole foods diet on a budget. But, again an exact list of what to buy depends on what's available and the prices in your area. If you were in SE Minnesota I could just take you shopping with me
~*~tinkerbell~*~'s Avatar ~*~tinkerbell~*~ 04:56 AM 03-02-2007
My favorite is hamburger. I buy family packs, and say out of one family pack I will make meatballs, hamburger patties, and a meatloaf! When they are on sale, I will grab 3! It is so versatile. I love these tips. Keep them coming. I love the Rubber chicken one
Just Me's Avatar Just Me 07:34 AM 03-02-2007
When making meat loaf, you can actually reduce the amount of hamburger by about 1/3 without losing taste quality or protein. Simply replace with the same amount of red lentils cooked in beef broth, and mix into the loaf mixture. You can do this for burgers and meat balls too. The texture ends up the same too. So if you did that with 3 packages, you end up with the equivalent of 4 packages for just the extra cost of a few lentils
Aguazul's Avatar Aguazul 07:46 PM 02-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by wipersnaz View Post
Here is a good article:
Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day
http://health.msn.com/dietfitness/ar...ntid=100153740

On page 4 it has a list of meals:
Detailing the Dollars: Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day
They've reorganized the site, here is the update link
http://health.msn.com/fitness/articl...ntid=100153740
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 02:21 PM 02-07-2008
I just spent $87 yesterday for 2 weeks of groceries. I plan for Wednesday-Wednesday

On my plan is:
W-baked tilapia, pasta, roasted potatoes and onions
T- dinner at my dad's
F- paninis, veggie
S- hearty skillet supper
S-fajitas, rice, beans
M-dinner at my mom's
T- pork stir fry
W-fish, rice, veggie
T-dinner at my dad's
F-pepperbelly's, veggie
S-Clam chowder, bread
S-Steak, baked potatoes, pasta
M-quesadillas
T- chili dogs, veggie
W-soup and sandwiches

Now I eat with my parents 2 nights a week, I rarely buy meat because we butcher our own beef and I stock up on chicken, fish and pork when its on sale so I didn't have to buy any of those things at the store. Veggies, I either use frozen that I've bought on sale or I buy whatever is fresh on sale for the week.
my2girlz's Avatar my2girlz 04:39 PM 02-09-2008
What do you currently have in the house?

Some of our cheap meals are

pancakes
vegetable soup
goulash (elbow noodles, hamburger, and tomato soup)
rice and veggies
grilled cheese and tomato soup
waffles
any kind of pasta

I try to make some kind of cheap treats (cookies or muffins) so it doesn't feel so lean.
nicolelynn 08:46 PM 02-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguazul View Post
They've reorganized the site, here is the update link
http://health.msn.com/fitness/articl...ntid=100153740
That website is pretty good, but I'd like to point out that I eat plenty of meat on $7 day ($400/mo for dh and I). I also may pay $10 for 1/3 lb of sashimi grade fish once per week, but it balances out because most of our breakfasts are under $1, not $2 as the website allows. Also, I don't buy many bread products and those are expensive. I just get plain old sprouted grain bread is $2.50 at TJ, rather than getting tortillas, bagels and hamburger buns as well and spending $9 more on bread that week- I put that money toward quality organic meat and eggs.
I find that nutrient dense foods like meat and eggs are more satiating than grains. I've always heard oatmeal is one of the most satiating foods, but days where I have just one egg for breakfast I feel more satiated until lunch than if I had a bowlful of oatmeal (I still do eat oatmeal, but I eat lots of eggs).
We do eat mostly ground beef as is it is cheapest, but free-range ground beef is so much tastier than factory farmed meat, let alone more nutritious and humane.
JennaW's Avatar JennaW 09:34 PM 02-24-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
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.
I would love to have your $70 a week meal plan I looked at the Hillbilly Housewife site and while I think its great that she has this for family's that just need to feed their family, the idea of eating some of that stuff just grosses me out. Especially the powdered milk.

Are there any other websites that have information like this $50, $100 week menu spreads that tell you exactly what to make and how much to buy with recipies that don't use as many processed foods? (I can deal with some, like maybe hot dogs one night but I can't do margarine, powdered milk, powdered potatoes). Also, I am looking to feed two adults currently (me and my DH) but I'm pregnant in the second tri so I need plentiful meals and snacks.
Aguazul's Avatar Aguazul 09:37 PM 02-24-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennaW View Post
I would love to have your $70 a week meal plan I looked at the Hillbilly Housewife site and while I think its great that she has this for family's that just need to feed their family, the idea of eating some of that stuff just grosses me out. Especially the powdered milk.

Are there any other websites that have information like this $50, $100 week menu spreads that tell you exactly what to make and how much to buy with recipies that don't use as many processed foods? (I can deal with some, like maybe hot dogs one night but I can't do margarine, powdered milk, powdered potatoes). Also, I am looking to feed two adults currently (me and my DH) but I'm pregnant in the second tri so I need plentiful meals and snacks.
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