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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
worth of food. This is breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I have never done it before and we are on a very limited budget. To make it really bad. I only have access to an oven/stove 1-2 times a week. Im tires of the processed crap we are surviving on. I dont want my son to grow up eating like this. Can anyone help? My hope is to cook/prepare a weeks worth of food one day a week. We cant have milk (yogurt and cheese doesn't seem to effect him). I do have a crock pot.
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UPDATE: Here is what I have so far. What do you think? Blue are the baby's food, red are mine, black is what we both will eat.

http://imageshack.ushttp://img123.imageshack.us/img123/3...inishedvz8.jpg
 

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I think that tons of things that you can make in an oven can be prepared in a crockpot. Do you eat meat? Do you have burners to cook or heat pots on?
An electric skillet? A rice cooker?

I love the http://www.allrecipes.com website. When I have just a few things in the fridge/pantry, I will go there and do an ingredients search, saying that I have flour, eggs, cheese but no yeast, for instance, and up come some recipes. Perhaps that would help for inspiration in using any odd items in your pantry.

I love the Frugality & Finances forum for this kind of stuff. There are threads when people describe how their family of four can eat for $150 or $250 a month, including menus and hints and tips.

This website has plenty of inspiration, tips, menus and recipes: http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/ You might not want to eat everything that they do, but perhaps it will help give you some inspiration, filler menus, etc.

One thing that we frequently do is hard-boil a dozen of eggs and save them in the fridge for quick and easy snacks or breakfasts in the morning. We will also make triple amounts of any meals, stews, baked pasta, breaded chicken, and freeze the extra meals for other days. Soups are a frugal way to use up bits of all of your extra veggies and help fill everyone up at the beginning of a meal, if your family enjoys soup. Even if the meal itself is very bland, adding a soup as a beginning course can spice it up and make it more interesting.

As always breakfast as dinner is a great frugal way to spread the money and still fill those tummies. We like to make from scratch pancakes and waffles (we add frozen blueberries to the mix), spinach & cheese scrambled eggs with fresh fruit. We always make more pancakes or waffles than we need, then we freeze the extras and pop them in the toaster or oven (or microwave, as my DH does) to heat them up when we're ready to eat them.

Good luck! HTH
 

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I just realized that I'm not sure I answered your question very well. I now realize that you don't have a stove top to use. Perhaps if you check out Goodwill or request on Freecycle, you could get a two burner hot plate for cheap or free to help you with this?

Besides a crockpot, what other cooking appliances do you have? A toaster? Toaster oven?

How much do you have to spend for the next month on food?

I did a quick search and found these links for crockpot recipes:

http://southernfood.about.com/library/crock/blcpidx.htm

http://crockpot.betterrecipes.com/ They say they can show you how to cook anything from meat to soup in a crockpot. People make oatmeal, roast whole chickens, dessert, heat things up, etc. in crockpots, so conceivably you really should be able to do it with some planning, and you can heat up the leftovers the next day in the crockpot as well.

http://crockpot.cdkitchen.com/

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/c...ot-coll-2.html

http://www.tastycrockpotrecipes.com/

http://www.geocities.com/webcipes/crock.html

I assume you have a fridge with a freezer, right?
 

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I do this every month. (I only cook dinners in the crockpot) What I do, is get 15 recipies together for dinners (eating each meal twice a month) (I have TONS of crockpot recipies if you need them) then I grocery shop. When I get home, I chop all the veggies & stuff up & put them in labled zip lock baggies. Then in the morning, I dump the baggies & other ingredients in the crock and turn it on.

For breakfasts, we buy 60 flour tortillas 2 dozen eggs, 2 lbs ground sausage & two large jars of salsa. Cook it all together, put it on the tortillas, wrap & freeze. Each evening I pull one out for each DH and I, and put them in the fridge to thaw, and warm them up in the morning.

For lunches we eat leftovers from dinner.

I usually spend around $100-$150 for a whole month of groceries.

PM me with your email if you want some of my recipies. I substitute some heathier things in some of the recipies, and use organic when I can.
 

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Check out this thread, too. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=477577
It has tons of great ideas for eating frugally in a tight situation. I would think you could adapt those ideas for use in a crockpot.

Eating raw is always something to consider. We eat tons of veggies and fruits, ourselves and we all eat sandwiches for lunch at least 4 or 5 times a week.

For breakfast, you can put on a crockpot full of granola the night before and have it ready and warm, with raisins and cinnamon in it, for the next morning. Extremely frugal, healthful and oatmeal always give me such a happy cozy feeling. Eat all the oatmeal or save some in the fridge, wash out the pot and put on supper immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right now I have no kitchen, or kitchen counter. My kitchen still needs to be finished so we have a microwave and a fridge at the moment. monthly budget is 200.00 for me and my 15 month old son.I have a hot plate, but no electrical outlet that is safe out of chubb's reach.
I have to go low carb (insulin resistant). This feels really hard ACK. How long with frozen prepared meals last?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Daisie125
I usually spend around $100-$150 for a whole month of groceries.
.
Wow, that's amazing! What a system you have! Very cool! Perhaps you could post a few of your favorite recipes on this thread, I'm sure many people would love to have a look.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mooandme
How long with frozen prepared meals last?
We aim to eat our frozen meals within a month since they are in the freezer above our fridge. We don't seem to have any trouble doing this, because frankly, otherwise we'd run out of freezer space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
can someone tell me about dried beans? I want to use black beans. How do you prepare them? For the beans and rice recipe I want a hearty recipe that has a sauce. How long can soaked/cooked beans last in the fridge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you all for the help!! Im coming along. I have 1/2 of the first week complete. Im just going to make a 2 week menu to rotate. I'll see how it goes.
 

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You said that you don't have a safe outlet to plug things into. What about using one in another room, like say a bathroom, where you could close the door? If that is an option, then you would have a place to use a crockpot, toaster oven, electric griddle or skillet, rice cooker, etc.

I second the raw idea. There are lots of fruits and veggies that go well in fruit salads, veggie dips, sandwiches, pitas, wraps, salads, etc. that don't need cooking.

Could you place a gate around your outlet to prevent your little one from accessing whatever is plugged into it?

I'm sorry I don't have more to add!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Daisie125
I usually spend around $100-$150 for a whole month of groceries.

HOW???
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by valeria_vi

HOW???
No doubt. I would love to see Daisie's meal plan for 2 weeks.
And to find out how she doesn't go stircrazy eating the same breakfast every day.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RiverSky
No doubt. I would love to see Daisie's meal plan for 2 weeks.
And to find out how she doesn't go stircrazy eating the same breakfast every day.

I think we should also remember that prices are very different depending on where you live. I wonder if that is a part of the difference.
 

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I don't ALWAYS eat that for breakfast
(DH does, though... he's a creature of habit) Sometimes I'll have a bowl of cereal (free WIC) or a hardboiled egg. (This morning I had homemade salsa and wheat tortilla chips LOL

I also cannot afford to eat much orgainc (so that could have something to do with the prices) we just DO NOT have the funds for that on DH's very small income, but we try to eat as healthy as possible.

I'm going to get next month's menu together here soon (I shop the weekend after the 5th) I'll post it since there is interest.
 

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Since someone asked about the book of freezer menus, I thought I would mention the "Mega Menu Mailer" at www.savingdinner.com . You do have to pay $8.95, but that gets you the shopping list, plans, recipes and whatnot for 22 meals of 6 servings each. It's a new option for her, so I don't know if she is going to come out with more versions or if that is it.

I know this may not be an option for many people since you have to pay for it, but I thought it might be an idea for some. She kind of did it in answer to all those places popping up that want you to come in and use their facilities and food to prepare a weeks worth of frozen dinners. This is much cheaper than that option, you can use organic foods or substitute what's in your CSA for the week, and if you do it like me, you can have a fun couple of hours with a friend at the same time. We're going to try it next week. We'll split the shopping, send the kids off with DH, and do everything at my house.

Sorry, I know of the book, but don't know the title. I'm sure it is at the library though, so that would certainly be a good idea to look up.

Krista
 

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NAYY, but the website for Frozen Assets is here: http://hometown.aol.com/OAMCLoop/index.html

A lot of OAMC (once a month cooking) is very mainstream, calling for processed ingredients and so on. Of course you can do it with more natural ingredients and whole foods -- the best way is to experiment with freezing the dishes you already make -- but just FYI, so you don't get discouraged if you start looking into OAMC on the web and see all this cream-of soup and stuffing mix. You can take/use the principles behind it and adapt them to your own healthier kitchen.


HTH.
 
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