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Old 05-20-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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Here are some inexpensive, filling meals that we eat on a regular basis:

* Black bean soup w/ home-made cornbread (leftover cornbread can be mashed w/ milk & honey for a yummy breakfast)
* Oatmeal w/ fruit & milk
* Whole bean burritos
* Home-made veggie pizza
* Veggie soup w/ grilled cheese sandwiches on home-made ww bread (add shredded chicken & egg noodles to leftover soup for a little variety)
* Omelets or quiche w/ biscuits (pack w/ frozen chopped veggies for a nutritional boost)
* Lentil soup or casserole
* Polenta w/ tomato sauce
* Spaghetti w/ turkey meatballs (freeze the extra meatballs for sandwiches)
* Roast chicken w/ mashed potatoes (the remainder of the roast chicken can be worked into a variety of future meals and russet potatoes are the basis for foccacia, which is easy to bake at home and makes a great sandwich bread)
* Tuna salad sandwiches
* Three-bean chili (keeps well in the fridge and makes a wonderful lunch the next day)
* Pancakes (I make a huge batch on Sunday and put the leftovers in the fridge for quick week-day breakfasts

Last edited by formercalifornian; 05-20-2009 at 10:09 PM..
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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Here's another tip: If you've bought too many veggies, don't let them rot in your refrigerator's crisper drawer. Puree them in a food processor or blender with a little water, freeze the concoction in an ice cube tray, and add a cube or two to other foods for a nutritional boost next time you cook.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:29 PM
f_m
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post

In the summer I love having a big tomato sandwich.
Have you ever made a Caprese style sandwich? Big slices of tomato and mozzarella with basil and Italian flavor on some good sandwich bread. I occasionally like the thick layer of uncooked baby leaf spinach with tomato and choice of mayo and bread.

I'm pretty sure I would get by on $150 if I didn't buy anything pre-made, which I sometimes do for lunch. I make large portions so I can keep them and eat 3 or more meals. Buying bread and freezing it allows for making sandwiches almost any time.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:11 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof Woof! View Post
... I can spend $100 on groceries a month and eat pasta and Top Ramen every day.
I do the top ramen and an egg for $.25 / day, it is enough for 2 meals / day. (which is all I eat). I'm packing plenty of 'extra-reserve' and trying to get back to High School weight (circa 1970), just have 12 # to go.

So that is only $8.00 / month. I fast at least 1 day per week, (usually 2) so $100 would really be living in 'hog-heaven', tho I usually figure $90 / month
I do drop some veggies in 'Top Ramen' when I'm feeling healthy. $5.00 of steel cut oats from CUB / Winco lasts me over a month. Eggs are currently $1.50 for 18ct. (bought 3 dozen yesterday - Deviled eggs tomorrow!!)

I did buy $15 of fresh fruit and veggies yesterday. I try to stay with stuff under $.50 / # so I got 4 bags of stuff, it will last at least 2 weeks. I'm enjoying the 'fresh orange' season and prices below $.40/#. Cantaloupe and musk melon was $.29/# so I stocked up. I have a bunch of fruit, veggies, and fish in the freezer from last yr, best be clearing that out. Early apples will be coming in July, then I'm in luxury for 7 months, picking the last variety right before Thanksgiving. They will store till March.

I don't have to worry about tracking my spending. I stick $90 in my 'food envelope', and when it's gone, its gone (That includes all entertainment eating too, but I rarely spend the whole $90). I do give myself $10/week discretionary, and sometimes it goes for food (peanut M&M's, I get one package / month). I used to get one $.99 Wendy's item / week, but am on the 'austerity plan' (& weight loss) so no more till I'm down 12#.

I really miss the 1/month $4.99 rotisserie chicken. It was all I could do to keep the car from turning into Costco yesterday. (more fluff)
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:31 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
...I have a friend who is a single woman that claims she lives on a $150/month food budget. ...
I bet she is from MN. I was there last week and got the full dose of "Qwik Trip" $.39 Bananas, Potatoes & Onions. Every house I went to we had a little discussion about this market They also have enough other stuff to 'balance' your menu. (I took a hankering to those 'Cinnamon Rolls' whoops)
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:08 AM
 
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Your worst enemy is convenience foods followed by fast food.
Your best friend is your freezer and your electric plastic bag vaccum sealer.
When I cook, items like pasta, sauces, soups, beans and rice I cook in family sized quantities. This cuts down on my utilities. It takes just as much power to cook a lb of rice as a 1/2 cup. I package everything in single servings and put it in the freezer.
I buy meat products in large packages when it is on sale and package it in single servings.
When I am feeding more than one, I just pull additional packages.
That leaves me with a grocery list of fresh/frozen vegetables, bread, and fruit.
I will occasionally purchase fast food. For instance, I can get a fresh baked 18" 12 slice pizza at Costco for $10.00. When it cools, I package it two slices at a time and freeze it. I sprinkle a little olive oil on the crust and re-heat it in the toaster oven. It tasts just like fresh baked.
It takes some money to set up a proper pantry with staples and lots of spices etc, but once you have established that it is easy to replenish within your budget.
What I have described is not a fixed 150/month. Sometimes it is more, mostly it is less.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Don't ignore seemingly expensive meats.
As mentioned already, one 'little' chicken can produce many meals.
Just got two full meals(for two), 2 sandwiches and a whole plate of dog food out of one $3.50 chicken and didn't go as far as I could have by using the "bones" for soup.
Do you know how much one ham can produce? $12/$15 , at first glance. looks like a budget buster but ends up like the loaves and fishes.
But do ignore those convenience packaged foods that appear to be cheap.
One 2 person box of prepared rice at 50 cents a box sounds OK but a full box of plain rice is less.
Don't wait until you need something......buy extra when on sale so you don't get caught having to pay full price.
Storage room for that extra and a big enough freezer is a big help.
One problem can be having enough money to stock up ahead on those 'bulk buy' sale items so you may have to do it little by little
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Here's another tip: If you've bought too many veggies, don't let them rot in your refrigerator's crisper drawer. Puree them in a food processor or blender with a little water, freeze the concoction in an ice cube tray, and add a cube or two to other foods for a nutritional boost next time you cook.
I do that all the time. It makes such a great natural seasoning for beans and such.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
This was a side topic from another thread. I have a friend who is a single woman that claims she lives on a $150/month food budget. Some people thought this was doable, but I couldn't see how.

So... this seems like a good topic for a thread. How do you guys do it? I'm open to the idea but I can't quite grasp how you eat three nutritious meals a day on $5 a day. Please give as many specifics as possible, and remember I'm talking about living on a budget like that all year long (this person is not fasting or trying to lose weight). A grocery list would be great.

5 boxes of special K, 31 bananas. If you look for decent sales, that can be had for under $20.

4 gallons of milk, about $12

4 cans of fruit juice concentrate $8

6 loafs of bread, about $8

1 jar of peanut butter, 1 jar of jelly $6

1 package of frozen lunch meat $2.50

2 lbs of tomatoes, $2

1 head of lettuce $1.50

31 packages of Ramen noodles $3.10

2 family size packages of frozen chicken (boned), $5

2 lbs of ground turkey or beef $3

2 boxes of spaghetti noodles $3

31 cans of vegetables about $15

1 5 lbag of potatoes $3.00

3 dozen eggs $3

Water can be had on tap, and its less then a penny a gallon.

That is $95.10 and should provide more then enough nutrition and even some limited choices for meals.

Obviously, that list could be pared down if you cut the choices out and ate the same exact thing every single day.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,749 posts, read 47,557,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie
This was a side topic from another thread. I have a friend who is a single woman that claims she lives on a $150/month food budget. Some people thought this was doable, but I couldn't see how.

So... this seems like a good topic for a thread. How do you guys do it? I'm open to the idea but I can't quite grasp how you eat three nutritious meals a day on $5 a day. Please give as many specifics as possible, and remember I'm talking about living on a budget like that all year long (this person is not fasting or trying to lose weight). A grocery list would be great.
When we had 5 children and a monthly food budget of $200.

My Dw clips coupons, memorizes what each store's prices are, and cooks from scratch.

We rarely eat out, maybe 3 or 4 times a year. One dinner out can easily wipe-out your month's food budget.

One day each week is vegetarian day, otherwise there is meat at every meal. Fish one day a week. We don't do red meat, my cholesterol is too high. But chicken or turkey, ground or parts.

Usually one Mexican dinner each week, one pasta dinner, one stir-fry, and on it goes.

We try for lots of variety.

She did a monthly menu for years, to keep our meal different and to help with shopping.

Having been career military we moved around a lot. We often have had [and still do] 5-gallon buckets of rice, flour, sugar, beans, pastas, dried tortellini, noodles, peas, lentils, powdered milk...

At one duty station, she started up a food coop. Our basement was full of 30-gallon and 50-gallon drums, lined with plastic bags and filled with dry goods.

Basically everything you can get dried in bulk. We stock in bulk.

Since my retirement, and a few months ago our last remaining child moved out. Now we are down to 2 adults, so our food budget has dropped a great deal.

Now we garden and raise livestock. And the past couple years we have been slowly modifying our diet to consume those things which we can produce here on our land.
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