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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, now that I've got your attention <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I've got little of it (money). I've got a family of four and about $600 a month for everything outside of bills and rent; gas, food, doctors, diapers, etc. I always seem to come up short, especially for food (we live in CA, gas is $2.20 a gal!). Any suggested shopping lists to make it through the month?
 

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I don't know what prices are in your neighborhood, but when we are short of money, here are some things we eat alot of..<br><br>
Potatoes, mashed, baked, fried, etc...<br>
Pasta. YOu can make a red sauce from canned crushed tomatoes, and canned tomato sauce (1 of each same size) some garlic and mushrooms.<br>
Oatmeal (the kind you cook) A big can is like 2.00.<br>
Rice, the long grain stuff is cheap and goes a long way. You can make a rice side dish by just adding mushroom soup. Or mix in some salsa and cheese and make a spanish rice.<br>
Eggs are usually not too expensive, breakfast or hard boiled.<br>
IF you eat meat... you can get Tuna and make tuna salad. You can also make potato salad.<br>
You can also make tuna casserole, just tuna, pasta, peas, mushrooms and cheese.<br>
Bananas are usually cheap too, for snack and breakfast.<br><br>
Hmmm...thats lots of carbs! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lets see.. Head lettuce is usually not very expensive and you can have salad.<br>
Along the meat lines... if you keep an eye out you can usually find chicken.<br><br>
Hope this helps.
 

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We mostly buy unprocessed food and stay away from the aisles (sp?). We don't use a lot of condements and don't buy crackers/cookies/puddings etc. Just mainly fruits/veggies/grains/beans/milk/cheese. We get our meats organically and locally and not through the grocery stores.
 

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One word for you - BEANS.<br><br>
When I was single and poor I would have a can of refried beans with melted cheese, salsa and lettuce mixed together in a bowl. It cover all of the food groups, was filling and cheap.<br><br>
Now that I am married and know how to make my own beans we have that about once a month. I buy a 10 lb bag of pinto beans ($2.90), a 10 lb bag of rice ($2.00) and keep it handy. 5 cups of dried beans and 4 cups uncooked rice will feed us for a whole week.<br><br>
Also pasta is cheap. If you can make your own, even better and healthier.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks ladies! I think I spend too much on prepared food because it's so easy. Guess I've got to be more disciplined.
 

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I was also going to suggest dried beans. Once you get into the habit, they're so easy. I make a TON at once and freeze them in portions for my recipes. I take them out in the morning and then they're as easy as canned. And much cheaper. Esp. for organic.<br><br>
Can you tend a garden? That would help with produce in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again. So what do I do with all these beans? And what can I grow in an apartment?
 

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My Favorite Uses for Beans:<br>
nachos, tacos, burritos, enchiladas - anything "mexican"<br>
soups (esp. black bean) and stews (esp. lentil)<br>
chili<br>
with Green Chile Cheese Grits<br>
hummus (garbanzo beans)<br><br>
That's all I can come up with right now! Basically I have a ton of different bean soups and stews and lots of burrito, enchi recipes. Variations on the themes...
 

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One more hint if you eat meat. When making hamburgers, meatloaf, meatloaf, etc. add rice or oatmeal to make the meat go further. You can also buy a higher fat content, it will be cheaper meat but not as healthy.
 
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