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Old 01-29-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

Any meal ideas? I'm looking for vegetarian meals aswell to keep it cheap. and yes I've checked out the 5$ meal thread. Still browsing through it

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Old 01-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

What kinds of things do you buy? More processed or more fresh produce, etc?

When we are running low on money, we only buy frozen juice cans rather than bottles of juice, water it down 50% (always) for the kids, stay away from expensive produce, use a lot of rice and potatoes to fill us up at dinner time.

I've also been couponing and watching the local sales. I try not to get snack foods- but sometimes I break down and buy $1 Nasbisco Sponge Bob cheese crackers or a box of the off brand pop tarts.

No expensive dairy- like ricotta cheese or Deli Deluxe sliced cheese, which means we eat more shredded (same price here as a block) sharp cheddar and not as many sandwiches and casseroles (I like D.D. best in those).

Figure out which is cheaper for the week- canned, frozen, or fresh veggies. Buy bananas for fruit. Sometimes apples and clementines are on sale here too, so I get those to last a week.

If you normally get expensive whole wheat bread, buy the cheapest white bread you can for this one week.....honestly....I like the cheapie stuff *blushes*.

Meats: we eat almost no red meat anymore because the price is rising too high for us. We do a lot of chicken burgers (2.22 a lb here), drumsticks, wings (if the price is low enough), ground turkey, pork chops, pork ribs, and tilapia. Chicken breasts only if it's super cheap.

Meal ideas now:

Chicken burgers (we never put them on bread). I use Mrs. Dash original seasoning and cook on George Foreman. Super super fast and tasty. I like to top with sharp cheddar cheese. Eat with- homemade fries, fried potatoes sliced thin, or cut into small squares, douse with olive oil, mix in some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and minced onions if you don't have Lipton Onion soup mix on hand. Then whatever veggie is on hand.

Casseroles- We do a lot of chicken, rice, and cream of mushroom/chicken/celery soups because I can find those around 50 cents a can. Or I'll do a potato casserole with those.

Lately I've been making potato soup. Delicious and SUPER filling! If you search through the threads I've started, I have one where a ton of people listed their favorite recipes.

Chili- we do one large can of diced tomatoes, one small can of tomato sauce, two cans of kidney beans, 1 lb ground turkey, and 1 packet chili seasoning. This lasts about 3 days between my mom, sis, and I. And it tastes even better the second and third day!

Vegetable soup is another idea or beef vegetable soup (use a cheap cut of meat and cook it from that morning in the crock pot).

Shepherd's Pie should be relatively cheap too. We do ground beef, mashed potatoes, and corn, but I know some people use a different veggie.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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I would go through your pantry and then base meals off of that and your freezer. We are having roast and potatoes with broccoli (all in pantry/freezer) meatless lasagna (all from pantry ), calzones with pepporini and cheese (made from pizza dough ). Thats all i have so far but we have no grocery budget until Tuesday so we are eating strictly out of our pantry/freezer
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by EveryDayIsANewDay
What kinds of things do you buy? More processed or more fresh produce, etc?

When we are running low on money, we only buy frozen juice cans rather than bottles of juice, water it down 50% (always) for the kids, stay away from expensive produce, use a lot of rice and potatoes to fill us up at dinner time.

I've also been couponing and watching the local sales. I try not to get snack foods- but sometimes I break down and buy $1 Nasbisco Sponge Bob cheese crackers or a box of the off brand pop tarts.

No expensive dairy- like ricotta cheese or Deli Deluxe sliced cheese, which means we eat more shredded (same price here as a block) sharp cheddar and not as many sandwiches and casseroles (I like D.D. best in those).

Figure out which is cheaper for the week- canned, frozen, or fresh veggies. Buy bananas for fruit. Sometimes apples and clementines are on sale here too, so I get those to last a week.

If you normally get expensive whole wheat bread, buy the cheapest white bread you can for this one week.....honestly....I like the cheapie stuff *blushes*.

Meats: we eat almost no red meat anymore because the price is rising too high for us. We do a lot of chicken burgers (2.22 a lb here), drumsticks, wings (if the price is low enough), ground turkey, pork chops, pork ribs, and tilapia. Chicken breasts only if it's super cheap.

Meal ideas now:

Chicken burgers (we never put them on bread). I use Mrs. Dash original seasoning and cook on George Foreman. Super super fast and tasty. I like to top with sharp cheddar cheese. Eat with- homemade fries, fried potatoes sliced thin, or cut into small squares, douse with olive oil, mix in some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and minced onions if you don't have Lipton Onion soup mix on hand. Then whatever veggie is on hand.

Casseroles- We do a lot of chicken, rice, and cream of mushroom/chicken/celery soups because I can find those around 50 cents a can. Or I'll do a potato casserole with those.

Lately I've been making potato soup. Delicious and SUPER filling! If you search through the threads I've started, I have one where a ton of people listed their favorite recipes.

Chili- we do one large can of diced tomatoes, one small can of tomato sauce, two cans of kidney beans, 1 lb ground turkey, and 1 packet chili seasoning. This lasts about 3 days between my mom, sis, and I. And it tastes even better the second and third day!

Vegetable soup is another idea or beef vegetable soup (use a cheap cut of meat and cook it from that morning in the crock pot).

Shepherd's Pie should be relatively cheap too. We do ground beef, mashed potatoes, and corn, but I know some people use a different veggie.
I don't buy much prepackaged processed foods, because I can't have gluten or msg.
We also don't drink juice at all.
I can eat potatoes and rice so a lot of recipes are centered around that.
The only cheese I buy is blocks of cheddar because DD and the daycare toddler love cheese.
I do buy bread on sale for the kids. I can't eat it and gf bread is 6 dollars a loaf so I don't buy it.
I have made potato soup....yum! Made chili last week too. Will be making it again.
Shepherds pie is a great idea. Thanks
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

Do you do beans? I'd to a big pot of 15 bean soup (with or without ham if you have it in the freezer)... I made a pot this past week and OMG - it could feed us for a long time! The recipe on the back of the bag doesn't mention adding salt, but it needed quite a bit and then it was pretty yummy - for leftover night, I put the beans in the bottom of a casserole dish and made cornbread over it - baked it up in the oven like that and it was SO yummy with the cornbread - got that idea from a mama on here

We also love split pea soup - with or without ham depending on what you have.

There is an idea for lentil/rice taco filling somewhere around here too... if you haven't seen that one I could find it for you...
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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Re: Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

I use allrecipes.com to get recipe ideas for what I already have on hand and then fill in the blanks if I'm missing ingredients. I try to pick recipes for which I already have most of the ingredients.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

What is in the pantry right now? Maybe we can help you plan around what you already have.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:22 AM   #8
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Re: Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

We love these black bean enchiladas (w/ corn tortilla). It makes enough for 2 nights!

http://www.keepitsimplefoods.com/veg...am-enchiladas/

You could roast a whole chicken as well and stretch it 2 nights. (Turn it into chicken & rice soup the 2nd night if you don't have enough meat to just eat.)

Breakfast for dinner is a weekly staple in our house.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: Need to cut next weeks grocery budget

Maybe try looking for a CO-OP in your area where you can get fresh fruits and veggies cheaper! I use bountiful baskets and get a basket full of food for only $15.
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