$30 and 1 week. What would you do? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 09-24-2007, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I need to make this weeks food menu. We really only have $30 to spend and no pantry food except for canned crushed tomatoes and brown/white rice. No fresh veggies (last plant from my garden died last week) and loads of garlic and other spices.
We will need a couple lunches and breakfasts are covered with hot/cold cereal, toast and possibly waffles/pancakes. We do have some fresh fruit to last for the week as well and yummy health bars.
We are vegetarian and DS has a dairy and peanut allergy. We have started eating fish again. Help me make a dinner menu under $30
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#2 of 16 Old 09-25-2007, 12:30 AM
 
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I'd do one or even two different pasta dishes for dinner and allow enough for leftovers.

I'd also do a bean soup (I have a black bean soup recipe that makes enough for leftovers and is inexpensive) and/or lentils - try the honey baked lentils in the lentil thread. I serve both of those recipes with homemade cornbread and sauteed greens.

Maybe supplement that with baked/roasted some chicken legs/thighs.

When I was visiting my mom recently she made a pasta dish that was easy, inexpensive and fed a crowd. She called it 'Marzetti' but I'm not certain it is like a traditional marzetti. Anyway, she sauteed some chopped onion and then some ground beef (for mine she used buffalo, and you could also do ground turkey or chicken - I think any of those would be fine so whatever is least expensive or most desirable for you). She added a can of chopped tomatoes (you could use your crushed) and a can of tomato sauce. She served this elbow macaroni. I was suprised at how tasty it was and how far it stretched. If you have and like some bell peppers you could add some of that too.

Can you make a loaf or two of bread? If you already have the yeast and flour, that would save a bit.

If you made all of those things and were open to a couple of nights of leftovers, that would get you through a week. Rice could supplement the bean dishes.

My toddler needs me but I'll check back to see if you want the bean recipes.

Good luck!

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#3 of 16 Old 09-25-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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I would buy the following:

Potatoes
Carrots
Celery
Broccoli
Flour
Butter (Smart Balance Light is dairy free)
Milk (plain soy - or rice whatever you drink)
One or two cans of Tuna
Eggs

1. I would make the largest pot of cream of veggie soup you can (veggies, milk, butter, and spices. Once everything is nice and soft add a little flour to thicken the sauce - voila).
2. Next, I would freeze portions in bags so that each night you could take out just enough to feed everyone.
3. For lunches I would make loaded baked potatos and fruit as a side dish. Also, use any leftovers from the dinner before as a lunch buffet.
4. Make some home made noodles one night and add the cream of veggie soup to them as the sauce.
5. Make pie crust with flour, salt, and shortening (or the butter) and make a veggie pie. Using the same cream of veggie soup as the filling.
6. Make tuna noodle cassarole with the noodles that you made, using the veggie soup as your soup base.
7. Make another pie crust and turn your fruit into a delicious desert. No need to add sugar, just fruit, a bit of flour and some cinnamon.
8. Scrambled eggs are good any time of day!


If you want specific recipes let me know!
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#4 of 16 Old 09-25-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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$30 is about what I spend every week even when we're not on a tight budget. I'm also a vegetarian (though ovo-lacto, but I buy local free-range eggs for $2 a dozen and hardly consume any dairy at home).

Here's what I would probably do for a week:

Hypothetical grocery list:

1 bag pinto beans: $1.29
1 bag black beans: $1.59
1 large yellow onion: $.50
Fresh veggies from farmer's market or grocery (carrots, celery, peppers, etc.) $7
1 dozen eggs: $2.00
1 package extra-firm tofu: $1.59
1 package flour tortillas: $1.00
5 lb bag potatoes: $3.00
1 package cornbread mix $.50
1 package spaghetti: $1.00
1 can veggie broth: $1.50

Total cost: $20.97 (plenty of room for extras like flour, oil, margarine, etc. if you need them)


Meals 1 and 2: Beans! Buy a big bag of pintos, make a pot of beans with some chopped onion and salt.. serve with some cornbread with them and you've got a meal. Then use the leftovers to make bean burritos. You can make your own tortillas or buy store bought for only about $1. With the burritos you can grill some veggies or fry some rice mexican-style. There's two meals taken care of...

Meal 3: Soup is always good and fairly cheap. You said you already have canned tomatoes, so just buy a can of veg broth and throw in one large chopped carrot, one celery stalk, one large chopped potato, some seasonings, maybe some rice or pasta, and you're done.

Meal 4: Make a rice stiry-fry with whatever veggies you've got on hand, or whatever's on sale at the grocery store of FM. Tofu is also fairly cheap, so that could be used for a meal or two.

Meal 5: Breakfast for dinner is a great idea. Homemade pancakes or waffles, french toast, breakfast burritos, omelettes (dunno if you are vegan), etc.

Meal 6: Black bean burger patties with corn on the cob and home-made oven-baked fries

Meal 7: Spaghetti with homemade sauce (use your canned tomatoes and spices for this!)

For lunches we nearly always do leftovers. I'd skip the fish this week since it can be pricy.
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#5 of 16 Old 10-01-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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Definitely lentils and beans! Lentil soup and bean chili are cheap and tasty and can last for several meals.

I make lentil tamale pie that's really cheap and tasty, too. I use this recipe for lentil taco filling, add extra finely diced veggies (carrots, celery, and corn are favorites), and put it on top of cooked polenta. I put cheese on it and bake til the cheese melts, but if your DH can't have dairy, you'll probably want to skip that part.

Do any of your neighbors have fruit trees with extra fruit? We've been picking apples, oranges, lemons, and limes from neighbors trees (with permission of course) and you could easily save quite a bit on that.


Canned salmon is pretty inexpensive. Here's a yummy salmon cake recipe:

Moroccan Salmon Cakes with Garlic Mayonnaise
Serves 4 (2 cakes each)

INGREDIENTS
GARLIC MAYONNAISE:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used plain fat free yogurt instead)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 teaspoon paprika

SALMON CAKES:
1/2 cup couscous
2/3 cup orange juice
1 (14.75 ounce) can red salmon, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained and squeezed dry
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS
In a small stainless steel or glass bowl, stir together mayonnaise, garlic, and paprika. Set aside.

Prepare couscous according to package directions using the 2/3 cup of orange juice in place of water.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked couscous, red salmon, drained spinach, egg yolks, garlic, cumin, black pepper, and salt. Form into 8 patties. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and fry patties until golden brown turning once, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with garlic mayonnaise.


Egg Curry is another staple cheap meal at our house, and really yummy.

Egg Curry
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 large onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. paprika
1 1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. salt
1 t. Garam masala
1 1/2 c. diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
6 hard boiled eggs

Directions
Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add spices and fry together for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover and simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Add 6 hard cooked eggs, cut in half. Simmer five minutes. Serve with brown rice or bulgur.
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#6 of 16 Old 10-02-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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These are great ideas ladies!
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#7 of 16 Old 10-02-2007, 04:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beansricerevolt View Post
I need to make this weeks food menu. We really only have $30 to spend and no pantry food except for canned crushed tomatoes and brown/white rice. No fresh veggies (last plant from my garden died last week) and loads of garlic and other spices.
We will need a couple lunches and breakfasts are covered with hot/cold cereal, toast and possibly waffles/pancakes. We do have some fresh fruit to last for the week as well and yummy health bars.
We are vegetarian and DS has a dairy and peanut allergy. We have started eating fish again. Help me make a dinner menu under $30

I'd start here http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm

I've done the $30 for a week thing and those are the weeks we eat lots of beans. Dried beans from scratch to make chili, taco's, refried beans, soup, fresh tortilla's from the mexican market (50 for $2) and rice. Usually manage to get enough stuff for salsa for $3 or less as long as no one pigs out it will last a couple meals. I'd honestly hit the 99cent store for either flour and eggs or pankcake/waffle mix, loaf of bread and lunch meat or PB&J.

Seriously?
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#8 of 16 Old 10-02-2007, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh my gosh, you guys are amazing!!!!

Same issue these next 2 weeks but am feeling more confident, thanks to all :
I'd really like to cut our grocery bill down. Right now its pretty high, $100 a week for 4-6 people. Mostly because we had a tiny container garden this year and can't seem to sacrifice from eating mostly organic. Its so hard to eat organic on a budget, without a Trader Joes nearby.

Jeanie, what is your recipe for your cream of veggie soup? Im going to do your menu next week. It sounds so delicious!
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#9 of 16 Old 10-02-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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You can stock up on herbs and spices at a bulk store for a dollar or two - I go to the Bulk Barn regularly.

This fall I have been making a lot of creamed soups. My favourite consists of an onion, a couple of parsnips, several carrots, a couple of potatoes, a pear or an apple and some curry spices. After it simmers until everything is soft, I put it through the blender and it is great!

You can use potates in soups to make them creamy if you prefer not to use any milk.
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#10 of 16 Old 10-07-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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We do ham and beans - you could totally leave the ham off. If you have a slowcooker, put 1.25 lb pintos in 8 c water, add one chopped oniion, garlic, chili powder, salt & pepper and cook on low for 8ish hours (I soak it all together overnight). Make spoonbread - (Jiffy cornbread mix + can creamed corn, mix, sprinkle w/ sugar and cook as directed on package) and put the beans over the top. Yummy! It makes about 8 servings of beans, but only two servings of cornbread - my normal size serving, and the rest of the pan for dh
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#11 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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When we were first married I bought the same groceries over and over because I could come up with quite a few cheap meals.

Bread
Eggs
Milk
Cheese
Pancake Mix
Frozen Juice Concentrate
Rice
Syrup
Jelly
Whatever Meat is on sale

You can do:
Grilled cheese
french toast
pancakes
eggs/ toast
rice/ meat... lots of combinations
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#12 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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I really like Cassifrass's list... This is what I would do (and usually do):

Bag of Potatoes
Bag of Carrots
Celery Stalks
2 onions
one green pepper
Bag of Black Beans
bag of split peas or lentils
flour
margarine
plain soy or rice milk
pasta noodles
one package of tortillas (or make your own)

Menu:

Monday- Cook all the black beans, make chili with 1/2 black beans, canned tomatoes, onion, celery, garlic, chili powder. Biscuits on the side for bread.

Tuesday- Black Bean and rice burritos

Wedsnesday- Veggie pot pie: 6-7 potatoes, 3 s. celery, 3 carrots, 1/2 onion, garlic, soymilk, flour, parsley. - Biscuit dough for crust. Save leftover pie filling.

Thursday- Potato Soup, this was leftover pie filling from the night before, heated up.

Friday- Spaghetti with tomato sauce

Saturday- Lentil soup- cook the bag , use 3 cups. lentils, 2 potatoes, 2 carrots, 2 celery, 1/2 onion, garlic, parsley. (Save the leftover lentils)

Sunday- Shepards Pie, This is where you use all your leftover veggies: Mashed Potatoes (5-6 potatoes, soymilk, margarine), cooked lentils, steamed carrots, saute's onions, pepper, celery and whatever other veggie you have onhand. Just layer them in a casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes and bake.

Check out my blog, I have better directions for most of these in there. http://veganmother.blogspot.com/

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#13 of 16 Old 10-19-2007, 09:56 PM
 
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Just waiting for TheDivineMissE's cream of vegie soup recipe...
:
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#14 of 16 Old 10-20-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViolinCuddles View Post
Just waiting for TheDivineMissE's cream of vegie soup recipe...
:


It's super easy. I just dump a WHOLE bunch of veggies in a pot to boil until they are soft. Any veggies work but I usually use onions, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, celery.

Once the veggies are soft, drain the water, saving about half of it. Throw everything including the water back in the pot, add butter or margerine, and milk. Add basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Boil again until the soup is the consistancy you like. That's it!

It is sooooo yummy!!
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#15 of 16 Old 10-20-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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wow what great ideas ladies! YUMMY!

Jennie: SAHM to 3, student, and wife of almost 9 years.
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http://purehomemaking.com/
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#16 of 16 Old 10-21-2007, 01:23 AM
 
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Wow - that does sound simple AND delicious! Thanks for sharing it !
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