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need hellp with meal plan!!!

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Okay ladies!!!! I have only 9 dollars to buy groceries this week!! :faint3:

 

Grocery prices are killing my budget!! I need some help planning my meals for the next week (just breakfast and dinner). I have a pantry with basic supplies, so that doesn't need to figured in. I also have potatoes and onions, so those are available as well.

 

I am dreading next month - it has 5 weeks!!

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come to think of it, I really just need help with dinner. Breakfast is pretty easy with pancakes, muffins, etc. that I can make from scratch (I am pretty sure I have all those ingredients)

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One meal that is really good and filling and makes a lot is lentil/rice taco mixture. One cup of dry lentils with some chopped up onion in 4 cups of water, cook for 45 minutes. While that is cooking, make 2 cups of rice (1 cup uncooked rice to 2 cups water). Once both are done, add the rice to the lentils and then add about 6 tsps taco seasoning. (Mine is homemade and is really cheap) This is really good with a little sour cream and hot sauce, or a little shredded cheese. Usually I add in some cooked hamburger for flavor, too, but it's not necessary. Serve like tacos or burritos on homemade tortillas. This makes a TON of food and I usually have to freeze half.

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http://ezinearticles.com/?Poverty-Cooking&id=248632

 

For the past several months, we have been on a really tight grocery budget and so I had to really be inventive to spread it as far as it would go. These are some recipes that worked out really well for us and we ended up eating rather well! Some of the veggies came from our garden, so they were free!

 

Spanish Rice

 

Rice

 

1 can crushed tomatoes

 

Mexican seasoning

 

1/2 - 1 lb. ground beef or turkey

 

Diced onion

 

Diced bell pepper

 

Beans (rinsed & drained)

 

Make the rice according to package directions for the amount you need, cook in chicken broth if you can afford. Brown the meat and drain. Add the cooked rice, onion, bell pepper and beans to the meat and stir-fry until everything is heated through.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

French Bread Spaghetti Bake

 

1 loaf French bread (get at day old bread store or clearance at Wal-Mart)

 

1 jar spaghetti sauce

 

Grated mozzarella cheese

 

Tear bread into bite size pieces. In a skillet, heat some oil and butter. Toast the bread until golden on all sides. Place bread into the bottom of a casserole dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over the bread. Heat in a 350° oven until heated through. Top with mozzarella and return to oven until cheese is melted.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Ground Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

 

1/2 - 1 lb. ground beef or turkey

 

Brown gravy mix (use as many as you need to spread)

 

Mashed potatoes (as much as you need)

 

Brown the meat and drain. Mix the gravy mix according to package directions. Add to the meat and heat through. Pour gravy over servings of mashed potatoes.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Chicken and Rice

 

1/2 - 1 lb. chicken drumsticks, boiled, deboned & shredded

 

Rice

 

Chicken broth

 

In a saucepan, add the dry rice, chicken and salt & pepper. Add enough water to the chicken broth to cook the rice according to package directions. Let cook until rice is done. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Budget Goulash

 

1 lb. macaroni

 

1/2 - 1 lb. ground beef or turkey

 

1 can green beans, drained

 

1 can cream of mushroom soup

 

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Brown the meat and drain off grease. Mix together the macaroni, meat, green beans and mushroom soup. Heat through.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Potatoes and Smoked Sausage

 

Potatoes

 

Onion

 

Smoked sausage

 

Cut the potatoes and onions into thin slices. Put in a large skillet with just enough water to barely cover. Season with salt and pepper. Cut sausage into small chunks and add to the potatoes. This will make it's own gravy.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Leftovers Soup

 

We have a big plastic tub in the freezer (from ice cream). Every time there's left over veggies (with left over juice), meat, or gravy we put it in there and freeze. When it's full, I put it into my soup pot and add water, tomato juice and things like onions or potatoes and maybe some noodles or rice. I know this sounds kind of gross, but it has always turned out REALLY good! I'll make cornbread, biscuits or bread to go with it. Makes a pretty good meal on cold winter days. I've also done it in my crock-pot.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Hobo Hash

 

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

 

2-3 diced tomatoes

 

1 diced onion

 

1 diced bell pepper

 

Cook the potatoes, onion and pepper in a little oil until potato is done. Add the meat and brown. Drain. Season to taste. This can spread pretty far by adding more potatoes.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Ground Meat Stir Fry

 

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

 

2 bell peppers, diced

 

1 onion diced

 

3-4 ribs of celery diced

 

1/4 cup soy sauce

 

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

 

Brown the meat until almost done, drain. Add the vegetables and stir-fry 2-3 minutes before adding the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to stir fry until vegetable are crisp-tender and meat if done. I've also done this with shredded cabbage and thinly sliced carrots.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Nanny's Tomato and Bacon Macaroni

 

2 lb. hot cooked Macaroni

 

1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained

 

1 lb. bacon

 

Vinegar

 

Cook the bacon crisp and break into small pieces. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of vinegar to taste.

 

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

 

Tuna Pie with Gravy

 

1 can tuna

 

1 egg

 

1 tuna can of milk

 

Parsley

 

2 pie crusts (one for the top and bottom)

 

1 can cream of mushroom soup

 

Mix together first 4 ingredients and cook in a saucepan for just a few minutes, stirring all the time. Place 1/2 the pie crust into the bottom of a pie plate. Pour in tuna filling and top with remaining piecrust. Cut slits into top piecrust. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the soup into a saucepan and add 1/3 can of milk or water. Heat, but don't allow to boil. Cut pie into wedges and serve with gravy poured over top.

 

~ Susan Godfrey is a Christian wife, mom and homemaker. She is also the owner of Homekeeper's Heart, http://www.freewebtown.com/homekeepersheart, a Titus 2 Ministry to encourage Christian women to be the wives, mothers and homemakers that God wants them to be! She has her own blog at http://www.susangodfrey.blogspot.com and also is the owner of the Homesteader's Heart Blog at http://www.homesteadersheart.blogspot.com where she shares homesteading, gardening and country living articles.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Godfrey

 

 

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Fullpantry - does your stocked pantry include rice and beans? If so, I would spend the $9.00 on low cost protein items and some frozen vegies if you can find them in your price range. For example, when we were really eating on a shoestring, I would buy a box of those frozen sausages - they can still be found for under a $1.00 for a box of 10. I would thaw out 3 of them at a time, chop them into tiny, tiny pieces, fry them up and then make a gravy out of them and serve the gravy over homemade bisquits. If I had fresh oranges or apricots from the yard, I would serve those along with them. But often, it was biscuits and gravy and nothing else. Not incredibly nutritious but certainly filling!

 

One pound of ground beef can also be stretched beyond belief. In addition to a gravy made out of 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of beef and served over rice, potatoes, or noodles, I've also used small amounts of browned ground beef in ramen stir-fry (1/4 lb beef, 2 packages cooked ramen noodles, 1/2 package frozen mixed vegetables, or onion, celery, and spinach from the garden). You can also use 1/3 lb browned ground beef and onions to flavor a pot of beans - be sure to include the grease (again not terribly nutritious but filling)

 

Other low cost protein sources:

eggs

sausage

chicken legs & thighs

cheese

 

The trick is to use meat as a flavoring and use rice, beans, and breads to fill up the corners! If your pantry has plenty of basics to ensure that you can make all of your breads, biscuits, tortillas, and rice and beans, you should be set! I would also always make some sort of homemade dessert a couple of times a week to make a dinner seem special. It may have only been jello or a bread pudding, but I think we appreciated those simple desserts more then than we do the 1/2 gallon of ice cream that is in the freezer right now.

 

 

Some great websites you might want to visit are:

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/

http://www.justpeace.org/better.htm

Edited by Andrea

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Chicken pot pie: Stir-fry some mixed canned vegetables, stir in a small can of chicken and some white sauce (or canned cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, cream of celery soup) over them, and bake in a pie crust.

 

Black eyed peas and corn bread.

 

Canned chicken done up as chicken salad for sandwiches (with crackers if there's no bread)

 

Canned chicken with canned Chinese vegetables over fried rice. Fry onions into the rice.

 

Canned chicken and sauteed onions stirred up in the sauce for a box of macaroni and cheese.

 

A box of rotini or gemelli or other sort of chunky pasta with a third of a jar of sauce, a can of chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of Parmesan over the top. The chopped tomatoes feel meaty in the mouth, especially if there's plenty of Parmesan.

 

Rice-a-Roni: A packet of ramen noodles broken up and stir-fried into rice with salt and some meat jelly and lots and lots of well-fried onions. For extra protein, call it Pad Thai and stir in a dollop of peanut butter--especially if it's crunchy peanut butter--with a tiny bit of Worcestershire if you've got it, and about half as much jelly (apple and pepper seem best) as peanut butter.

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Andrea - I DO have some rice and beans. Thanks for the ideas and the websites!!! Found lots of good info there!

 

Grace - great idea! Sounds yummy!

 

I've just never been this desperate as far as budget money/food supply!! Not quite sure where my money has gone! I'm buying the same general amount of stuff, but it is costing a lot more! I really need to start thinking this way because I'm afraid its only going to get worse. You ladies are awesome!!!

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I've used hillbilly housewife to find cheap basic recipes for years although I can't say I'm very thrilled with the new owner. I went on there last night and it seems to be a blog style now? Ugh. Good recipes there though. You've gotten some good advice so far and I'm such a novice I'm taking notes over here and don't have much to contribute but...

 

Have you looked into angel food ministries? They have a menu each month offering boxes of food for pretty cheap prices. Anyone can purchase from them and you can even use food stamps to purchase if you have them. The only catch is there is an order deadline and a certain day for pickup so you'd have to plan for that. I actually just ordered my first box from them although I've known about it for a long time I just took the plunge. I ordered the $41 box from February's menu. I actually pick it up Saturday so I'll post back about the quality of the food once I get it. I'm not sure how many people you're feeding (can't remember your family size sorry!) but we have me, dh, and the two small kids and I think I can get that one $41 box to provide about 2 weeks worth of dinners for us! If the package looks good and my testing with the size of the box works out this month I think I'll be able to get us on MUCH lower monthly food budget. (I'm thinking maybe $200!!!) Just thought that might be something to look into for you. I personally didn't think the fruit and vegetable box was a good deal for us but they do have one available if you might be interested. You can see March's menu on the website now.

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Fullpantry, have you seen the thread called "Poverty Cooking"? It's in the sub-forum of this forum, called "Kitchen Recipes". Look at the top when you first click on the Kitchen forum, and it's up there in a clickable link.

 

You'll also find a great collection of mix recipes, called "Mare's collection of money-saving mixes". Homemade stuff you can mix yourself.

 

We have other money-saving meals scattered around. Do a search with a main ingredient you have, and you may find some good ideas.

 

If you can't get store fliers to find the sales from a newspaper, try looking them up online. Many stores now post their loss-leader items in a format just like what they put in newspapers, and you don't have any costs involved.

 

And yes, prices are going up. I'm seeing "sales" that are only marginally better than what the normal prices were a couple of months ago. When I look at what I now "save", I can see the now-normal price is much higher.

 

:(

 

 

Angel Food Ministries link: http://www.angelfoodministries.com/

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i used to run the angel food ministries program where we used to live--it would be a great money stretcher!!!

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I buy whole chicken when they are on sale for buy one get one free. Here, that's around .99/lb. That one chicken can really be stretched. I make roasted chicken for dinner. All the leftover meat gets pulled off. Depending on how much is left over, some of that I freeze for later. I put some in the fridge if I'm making soup. I dump the carcass, skin and all the liquid left in the bottom of the roaster into a large pan with an whole onion (leave the onion skin on and your stock gets a nicer yellow color), add water and simmer for a long time. I strain it and then put the pan in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I scrape the fat off the top. I either freeze the stock or make soup. Soup is inexpensive and lasts several days. It also freezes well.

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If you have potatoes and onions our Spanish Exchange student used to make something delicious and it can stretch or be shrunk as needed.

 

Fry 4 potatoes sliced with an onion sliced in thin strips. Add seasoning to taste. When the mixture is done have 5 eggs beaten in a good sized bowl. Put the potato and onion mixture in the bowl and make sure all is coated. Dump back in the skillet, turn fire to medium low, cover and let the eggs cook. It's done and delicious. Serve some canned fruit if you have some on hand or can afford to buy one, or a piece of toast or buscuit w/jelly. It's really very good!

 

We've been where you are and know what you're going through. Some of us will be cooking like this again more than likely. Good luck and a big hug to you!

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Fullpantry - you are very welcome. I have walked in your shoes and I feel for you. (((HUGS))) But I know that by thinking outside the box and viewing this as a creative challenge instead of a hardship, you will get through this and your family will not go hungry. You can do this!

 

Dee - that recipe sounds delicious! I am going to make that this weekend. We often have breakfast for dinner, and that sounds perfect!

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Dee - Thank you! That sounds delicious and filling!!

 

Thanks for all your support, ladies!! I AM trying to see it as a challenge instead of a hardship. If I can learn to cook this way now, it will be easier on us in the future. Keep those great ideas coming!! We can all benefit from this type of thinking even if we aren't struggling with the food budget.

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If you have potatoes and onions our Spanish Exchange student used to make something delicious and it can stretch or be shrunk as needed.

 

Fry 4 potatoes sliced with an onion sliced in thin strips. Add seasoning to taste. When the mixture is done have 5 eggs beaten in a good sized bowl. Put the potato and onion mixture in the bowl and make sure all is coated. Dump back in the skillet, turn fire to medium low, cover and let the eggs cook. It's done and delicious. Serve some canned fruit if you have some on hand or can afford to buy one, or a piece of toast or buscuit w/jelly. It's really very good!

 

We've been where you are and know what you're going through. Some of us will be cooking like this again more than likely. Good luck and a big hug to you!

 

The original Tortilla.

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That tip from the Spanish Exchange student sounds good! I'm going to try that one. Bet dh would love it!

 

Back to report: I picked up my Angel Food package yesterday and it's great! The food is good quality. You can tell it was bulk packaged (like the veggies being in unlabeled bags) but it's good food. I was worried about the quality so I only ordered one box just in case. With our box and what we already had on had I shouldn't spend a lot of groceries this month - just stuff to make meals out of everything. I'm working on a menu plan and grocery list now. I think next month I should be able to get 2-3 boxes and the items needed and should be able to get our groceries for about $200 for the month (if not maybe a little less). I'm really excited!

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I'll have to check into Angel Food - I've seen flyers around town. My entire budget for the month is $200 for groceries. It used to be enough, often with some left over. Now it barely makes it to the third week.

Edited by Fullpantry

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I didn't realize that we had Angelfood Ministries in our area. The last time I checked, there wasn't one. Now there are a few within a 20 mile radius. I'm going to call and get some information. In looking at the various packages, I found that there were some things that we don't eat. I am wondering if they have a place at the pick up location where you can leave items that you don't eat and maybe pick up the discarded items of others.

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Full Pantry we are feeling the squeeze. I have been right where you are before and we had 3 small children.

 

mac& cheese, tuna and green peas are one of their favs - you cook the mac&cheese and stir in the tuna and peas.

 

Home made beanie weenies - this is always good at our house, I add hot dogs (well chicken franks) and a 1/4 pound of ground beef. I cook my dry navy beans and then make up bake beans add franks and browned ground beef and cook. I serve with pan fried taters or mac & cheese

 

Another good think is a breakfast bake, shredded potatoes, onions, cheese and eggs, I mix the potatoes, onions and cheese together in a 9x13 pan and then pour scrambled eggs over them and bake. This is also good if you add sausage or bacon (I use bacon bits)

 

Breakfast is good any time of the day.

 

Bean burritos are good also. You can make your own refried beans using black beans or pinto beans. You can also make your own flour tortillas (I use the recipe on Hillbillyhousewife)

 

Potato/sausage bake - I have made this and omitted the sausage and served baked beans and corn muffins. Dice potatoes, onion and bell peppers. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and tarragon and bake until taters are tender. If you have some smoked sausage you can cut it up and add to the taters and onions. This is also one of my camping meals.

 

If you have noodles and tomato sauce you can make your own spaghetti sauce, onions, garlic, bell pepper mushroom, oregano, parsley, basal (or what ever you have in your pantry) and you have yummy sauce.

 

Red beans and rice is cook red bean, add onion and cajun seasoning and serve over rice.

 

Dirty rice is good and cheap - one container of chicken livers will do a HUGE pan. Celery, onions, diced chicken livers (or gizzards whichever is cheapest) If you have crab boil toss in 2 teaspoons. Or you can use cajun seasoning. I usually cook 4 cups rice and serve the whole family. I also toss in a can of tomato sauce.

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"Rubber Chicken" thread

http://mrssurvival.c...7&st=0&p=160597

 

"What's your cheapest dish for dinner?"

http://mrssurvival.c...3&st=0&p=177124

 

"bone weary food"

http://mrssurvival.c...5&st=0&p=121634

 

"Rice recipes"

http://mrssurvival.c...6&st=0&p=199154

 

"Bean Recipes"

http://mrssurvival.c...2&st=0&p=202207

 

"Top Ramen Noodles"

http://mrssurvival.c...4&st=0&p=252565

 

"Your Favorite Soup Recipe!"

http://mrssurvival.c...7&st=0&p=238774

 

"If you had $125 for groceries for the month.... what would you do?"

http://mrssurvival.c...5&st=0&p=278538

 

"Making Mundane Meals Magnificent"

http://mrssurvival.c...7&st=0&p=272626

 

"Mare's collection of money-saving mixes (repost)"

http://mrssurvival.c...showtopic=21482

 

"poverty cooking"

http://mrssurvival.c...showtopic=21484

 

"I am TRYING to eat dem beans!"

http://mrssurvival.c...showtopic=28577

 

 

Hope these help!

 

:bighug2:

 

Oh my. Looking at all those recipes is making me hungry...

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Okay, I know there's a bean thread around here somewhere but I can't seem to locate it!

I found a great website with thousands of bean recipes: www.justbeanrecipes.com I tried the following recipe last night and it's definitely filling and healthy. And oh, did I mention it's CHEAP?!? I made a crockpot full that will feed my family for 3 nights with a bit leftover for lunch for right around $2.00. Or, 20 cents a serving. And, if I made it in the early spring when my garden was producing potatoes and celery, it would cost under 10 cents a serving. Paired with corn and melon straight from the garden and dinner is done for pennies a plate!

 

Beans and Potatoes

 

2 cup dried pinto beans

3 large potatoes, chopped (original recipe called for them to be peeled. I left the peels on!)

2 stalks of celery, chopped

salt to taste (I used some chicken broth)

1 large sweet onion, chopped

 

Cook beans until tender - crockpot, pressure cooker, or canned if you're in a hurry.

 

Add potatoes and celery and cook until potatoes are tender. Salt to taste (I used chicken boullion). Saute onion until browned and stir into potatoes and beans. I also added some tobasco at this point.

 

DH and I are watching fat and calories so we ate the dish as is. I put grated cheese on top of my daughters dish and she scarfed it down. It would also be great with some ground meat or chopped ham mixed in. I kept ours vegetarian because I'm trying to make 2-3 meatless meals a week for both health and financial reasons. Probably not an ideal meal for diabetics although you could easily use jerusalem artichokes instead of potatoes and if served with a healthy side of fresh brocolli, it probably wouldn't cause a sugar spike.

**************************************************************

(recipe copied from this thread: http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40573 )

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