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Old 01-29-2016, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Carmichael, CA
1,936 posts, read 2,729,615 times
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I always try to stay at least 10 days ahead on basics--soup, etc.--so if I run into--the weather is bad, my knee hurts, something's going on with the car, I just don't want to go anywhere--I know I'll be fine.

I have memories of hurting my back gardening a long time ago and planning to stay down for a couple of days and then realizing there was hardly any food and no toilet paper. Never again.
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
785 posts, read 770,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb73 View Post
I always try to stay at least 10 days ahead on basics--soup, etc.--so if I run into--the weather is bad, my knee hurts, something's going on with the car, I just don't want to go anywhere--I know I'll be fine.

I have memories of hurting my back gardening a long time ago and planning to stay down for a couple of days and then realizing there was hardly any food and no toilet paper. Never again.

I think I'm about there too. Like I said, I was tying to spark discussion not judgment or illicit advice. I was thinking of my poor early parenting days when feeding 6 and making it till payday was a big question mark.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:27 AM
 
1,815 posts, read 978,774 times
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I have no choice but to be frugal and plan well for an entire month, as I have no car and my company cut my work hours down to 28/week (I work from home), so once a month I borrow my mother's car and do all my shopping and any business I need to do. Once per month is just so I don't bother her too much, as I hate having to bother other people or relying on them.

I'll buy some cheap things to sustain me, like chicken strips, pot pies, store brand chicken nuggets, etc, to get through most days that I actually eat, which isn't daily, and I also buy something I can make a big meal out of about once a week or every two weeks (taco dinner, home made pizza, whole chicken, frozen ravioli, etc.).

One of my problems is snacks. I have to keep them to a minimum so I don't spend too much on them versus having enough meals for the month, but when the snacks run out I start to crave them a little.

Something I started making about a month ago that I had never made before is chili. It's a very simple recipe that I found online (that will eventually be improved upon), but it's a fairly cheap dinner. It takes a lot less ground beef than making tacos so I'm able to get several meals out of one 3.5 lb. package of ground beef. The other ingredients I've been using are cheap, like diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato sauce, kidney or pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and I haven't bothered to buy onions or garlic for it like the recipe calls for. Like I said, the recipe needs improving on, but it's a fairly cheap meal that fills me up, in fact I always end up with more than I really need. It's definitely more filling and better tasting than pot pies which I can barely stomach eating, or even the chicken nuggets which are barely edible.

A couple of cheap things that I have in the cupboard that I hardly ever eat is oatmeal and cream of wheat. I like both, but rarely eat them for some reason. Not something I'd want every day, but when food gets low they are there kind of as a last resort.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:11 AM
 
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There were times when we literally had to empty the piggy bank to buy food. We got paid monthly, and once or twice, not even then.

Thankful I am indeed that those days are in the past. But I still look for sales on basic items like beef, chicken, pork, grains, canned goods, etc.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:38 AM
 
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Just got two whole fryer chickens on sale for $4 each. I will roast them today, this should provide a few decent meals. The rest will go into soup. But I have a freezer full of cooked meals, we will last at least 2 weeks. We eat at home more often now, we need 3 meals a day at home so nothing will go to waste.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
785 posts, read 770,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioJB View Post
I have no choice but to be frugal and plan well for an entire month, as I have no car and my company cut my work hours down to 28/week (I work from home), so once a month I borrow my mother's car and do all my shopping and any business I need to do. Once per month is just so I don't bother her too much, as I hate having to bother other people or relying on them.

I'll buy some cheap things to sustain me, like chicken strips, pot pies, store brand chicken nuggets, etc, to get through most days that I actually eat, which isn't daily, and I also buy something I can make a big meal out of about once a week or every two weeks (taco dinner, home made pizza, whole chicken, frozen ravioli, etc.).

One of my problems is snacks. I have to keep them to a minimum so I don't spend too much on them versus having enough meals for the month, but when the snacks run out I start to crave them a little.

Something I started making about a month ago that I had never made before is chili. It's a very simple recipe that I found online (that will eventually be improved upon), but it's a fairly cheap dinner. It takes a lot less ground beef than making tacos so I'm able to get several meals out of one 3.5 lb. package of ground beef. The other ingredients I've been using are cheap, like diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato sauce, kidney or pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and I haven't bothered to buy onions or garlic for it like the recipe calls for. Like I said, the recipe needs improving on, but it's a fairly cheap meal that fills me up, in fact I always end up with more than I really need. It's definitely more filling and better tasting than pot pies which I can barely stomach eating, or even the chicken nuggets which are barely edible.

A couple of cheap things that I have in the cupboard that I hardly ever eat is oatmeal and cream of wheat. I like both, but rarely eat them for some reason. Not something I'd want every day, but when food gets low they are there kind of as a last resort.
I feel like that might be the case of a lot of people. Oatmeal and cream of wheat are very good examples of a very cheap food because it isn't processed. The cheapest foods are the unprocessed kinds. I like oatmeal. But I don't eat it all the time. It depends. Sometimes I eat it daily. When I was a child we ate it and I liked it.They had the instant stuff even back then and I liked it. We thought it was more exotic. I don't eat it now. I like the long cooking stuff. If I wasn't such a lousy baker, I'd make more oatmeal cookies because I love oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal is also good for putting into meatballs and meat loaves. And is yummy mixed with flour, brown sugar and butter on top of baked apples. Sometimes, I do or even back when there were children to feed....come across a good source of cheap apples and this was a great cheap dessert to make for a crowd back then. Nowadays apples aren't cheap, but sometimes there are local windfalls that can be gathered or overstock giveaways at local thrift stores, so that was always a way to extend the budget. My kids did not like hot cereals too much. I gave it to them all the time, but they never seemed to like them much and I don't see them eating them as adults.

For snacks, when it was kids and there just wasn't any money, it was plain popcorn cooked on the stove and also day old french bread loaves that I would cut in half and margarine and put garlic powder on and bake in the oven. And Ramen (I always stirred eggs into the Ramen). They weren't the healthiest snacks, but they fed the crowd. Or Spaghetti noodles with can of tomato sauce and spices. Or homemade cookies. We used to be able to buy those little cans of refrigerated biscuits for .25 cents a can or less. Home made Jo-Jo potatoes, baked in the oven. Hard boiled eggs. Unhealthy junk food, but I had hungry mouths and no money.
For the poor, healthy snacks can be the most expensive. Sometimes there were bags of apples for cheap, and that might last the week with a crowd. And carrot sticks. The cheapest are the whole carrots you skin and slice. I always had whole grain bread for sandwiches and peanut butter but couldn't afford real butter. When you are very low income with a lot to feed and the days to payday are literally being counted off, it can be hard.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
785 posts, read 770,365 times
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Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Just got two whole fryer chickens on sale for $4 each. I will roast them today, this should provide a few decent meals. The rest will go into soup. But I have a freezer full of cooked meals, we will last at least 2 weeks. We eat at home more often now, we need 3 meals a day at home so nothing will go to waste.
Back then I always bought a whole chicken and cut it up or roasted it and used it all up for things like casseroles and soups. Usually could get two nights of soup for a crowd. I'm spoiled now and really don't need all that, so I don't do that too much anymore. Fortunately, back then the kids liked home made split pea soup, lentil soup, so a couple of dollars could feed a crowd. Or potato soup or homemade pintos. I still make those occasionally.
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:02 PM
 
9,293 posts, read 4,739,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynach View Post
Back then I always bought a whole chicken and cut it up or roasted it and used it all up for things like casseroles and soups. Usually could get two nights of soup for a crowd. I'm spoiled now and really don't need all that, so I don't do that too much anymore. Fortunately, back then the kids liked home made split pea soup, lentil soup, so a couple of dollars could feed a crowd. Or potato soup or homemade pintos. I still make those occasionally.
That seems like a lot of work, cut them up. I just roast the whole chicken with herbs and butter, what don't eat go into a soup. You can't beat 77c a pound. Plus the heat from roasting heats the house up.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:20 PM
 
962 posts, read 921,985 times
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Originally Posted by Brynach View Post
Your frugal menu is very tasty looking.
Thanks, it pleases both my wife and I. We like to play a game of bidding what we would expect to pay for each meal we make had we have gone out to a restaurant. Then we play a game of estimating what the meal cost us in food cost, not including energy and labor. Breakfast typically costs us less than $1 a person and dinners around $3 (not including alcohol).
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:27 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 20,720,491 times
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Rice dishes are cheap and often healthy. I just used up the $1.88 ground beef I bought last week and my next dish will be a box of chicken flavored rice mix (store brand equivalent of rice-a-roni, 68 cents, will make 2-3 meals). Usually I include chicken in this meal but not on the heels of another meat dish.

Since I do not expect to buy food again until next week, I'll report this month's food spending at $133.75, all at home.
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