Author Topic: Budget Meals  (Read 2300 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 09:55:51 AM »
Are you including everything you buy at the grocery store in your food budget, or just food? (For example, we spent $62 at the grocery store yesterday, but it included conditioner, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a 3-pack of white T-shirts, so only $48 on food.) What about meals out? We generally spend around $50 on groceries for 2 unless we splurge on wine or bulk nuts, but we typically eat out 1-2 times a week on top of it.
Our typical grocery list is:
Heavy on fresh fruit and vegetables that are the lowest-priced that week; frozen when we know we'll cook them anyway
Light on dairy, no meat
Tofu, beans and peanut butter for protein (organic, pasture-raised eggs and frozen veggie burgers are splurges)
Cereal, bread, pasta, rice, tortillas and plain oats that we both like (we only buy foods we both like, which helps a lot)
Versatile condiments (soy sauce, salsa, vinegar, oil, miso, herbs, lemon juice) bought only as needed
Baking aisl products bought in large quantities to save money on volume (no brand names!)
Tea and coffee bought sparingly (no pop or water)
Splurges: nuts, dried fruit, orange juice, nicer crackers, beer and wine

We pass on sweets and anything that is marked up higher than we are used to, and keep the focus on the "outside edges" of the market to avoid expensive, processed stuff.

Nikko-chan

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2013, 06:21:42 AM »
jmarvellous, I am just including food in this budget. Mom buys stuff like toothpaste and everything like that in bulk too, once a year.

dawbs

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 09:10:12 AM »
We do something like this, minus the soup--with your 'rules' the cost would be about $2 to make about 6 servings (and it makes an excellent lunch w/ leftovers--cold or hot):
http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1726,129177-254196,00.html

Get about a pound of ground meat.  Brown it a bit (but under-done, rather than over).

Get a loaf of 'bakery' bread--something that's a kinda fat loaf that's crispy-crusted.  Vienna bread at Meijer works well.  And from the discount rack of 'day old' is fine.

Cut the loaf i half.  Hollow out the bread, so you have a 'shell' of bread.

Crumble the bread you pulled out w/ the ground meat.  Add spices, 'sauces' (ranch dressing.  BBQ sauce.  Ketchup.  Cheese.  Whatever suits your fancy) and whatever veggies you have on hand (canned is fine--canned corn is the default if nothing else--just drain them)

Stuff the bread/meat/veggie/spice mixer back into the hollowed out loaf of bread.  Toothpick the loaf back together.  wrap in foil.  Throw in the oven for 1/2 an hour-ish.

Slice.  Eat

lady_disdain

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 09:15:21 AM »
http://budgetbytes.blogspot.ca/

This is my go to food blog. I love it. I have made many recipes off this site for both myself and friend, all of been tasty. She breaks down a meal in dollar value. As well she also says if the meal is good for freezing or not.

That blog immediately came to my mind as well. It is great!

MOM21SON

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 04:34:11 PM »
I just put a stuffed cabbage casserole in the oven.  Very cheap and enough for an army.  I will let you know, (if you want) how it comes out.

Nikko-chan

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 06:19:47 PM »
I just put a stuffed cabbage casserole in the oven.  Very cheap and enough for an army.  I will let you know, (if you want) how it comes out.

Oooh stuffed cabbage! That gave me another meal idea. I haven't had that in ages! Stuffed peppers would work too! And the day after? Spanish rice! And yes, could you please post the recipe if it comes out okay?

Also: I just wanted to thank you all for the fantastic recipes and ideas. You guys are awesome!!!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 06:55:57 PM »
I use a lots of Cooking Light recipes. Here's a grouping of some budget meals.

Ones I've tried and liked
Pork tenderloin with mushroom
Black eyed peas and greens
Pasta puttenesca
Veggie Pizza
Spring vegetable Carbonara
BLT bread salad





http://www.cookinglight.com/food/everyday-menus/healthy-budget-recipes-00400000056656/page106.html

jmarvellous

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 09:51:10 PM »
Stuffed cabbage might be cheap, but a stuffed pepper dinner party was one of my most expensive entertaining ventures. Maybe it depends on the stuffing, and whether peppers are in season.

blarg314

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 11:30:24 PM »
I just put a stuffed cabbage casserole in the oven.  Very cheap and enough for an army.  I will let you know, (if you want) how it comes out.

Oooh stuffed cabbage! That gave me another meal idea. I haven't had that in ages! Stuffed peppers would work too! And the day after? Spanish rice! And yes, could you please post the recipe if it comes out okay?


Stuffed cabbage casserole is easier than cabbage rolls. I blanch the cabbage and prepare the rice/meat/onion mixture. Then it's a layer of cabbage, a layer of the stuffing, a layer of cabbage, and pour tomato sauce on top, then put the whole thing in the oven - no wrapping necessary.

I don't use a recipe, but it's about a small head of cabbage, sliced, blanched and drained. A package of ground pork sauted with a small onion. (beef would work too) and a cup to a cup and a half of long grained rice, parboiled but not quite done, salt and pepper to taste, mixed with the meat.  Two small cans of diced tomatoes, pureed, with about half a cup of it mixed with the meat mixture, and the rest poured over top. Bake until bubbly.

That serves about 4-5 for a main course, depending on appetites and side dishes.

I also like creamed cabbage with noodles, for a comforting winter dish.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2013, 01:50:33 AM »
The keyword for budget cooking is: RICE.  Rice comes in ten to twenty pound bags and if you get yourself a rice cooker (about $20 for a dollar store rice cooker), it's effortless.  And rice is good for you, and so many stews, soups, and sauces go great over rice.  Teryiaki sauce?  Throw in some ground beef and serve it over rice.  Or brown gravy, ground beef, and rice.  Sloppy Joe over rice (better than buns, trust me.)  Chili over rice.  Beef stew over rice.  It's a versatile, cheap, and effortless way to stretch a food budget.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 12:55:59 PM by Diane AKA Traska »
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MOM21SON

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2013, 12:39:08 PM »
It was very good!

1 lb browned ground beef
1 head of cabbage, raw and chopped
1 onion
1/2 cup raw rice
29 oz can tomato sauce

mix all together in a huge bowl, then put in a huge pan and pour a 14 oz can of beef broth over it and cover and bake for 1 hour at 350.  Then remove cover and bake for 1/2 hour more.

blarg314

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2013, 08:56:25 PM »
The keyword for budget cooking is: RICE.  Rice comes in ten to twenty pound bags and if you get yourself a rice cooker (about $20 for a dollar store rice cooker), it's effortless.  And rice is good for you, and so many stews, soups, and sauces go great over rice.  Teryiaki sauce?  Throw in some ground beef and serve it over rice.  Or brown gravy, ground beef, and rice.  Sloppy Joe over rice (better than buns, trust me.)  Chili over rice.  Beef stew over rice.  It's a versatile, cheap, and effortless way to stretch a food budget.

And brown rice in particular is even more nutritious (and filling!) than white. We use brown short grain rice a lot - it takes a bit more water in the rice cooker, and a bit more time, but is very good.

I also like dried beans/chickpeas/lentils. It takes a bit of preparation (or freezer space), but they're cheap, filling and nutritious. If you combine rice and beans, you get a complete protein, and don't need meat for that meal.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 09:39:53 PM »
I find that I save a lot of money by cooking in bulk and freezing everything in my own TV dinners.

Yesterday, I made baked beans, pea soup and turkey soup.  I still have to make my lazy cabbage rolls, which sound very similar to MOM21SON's cabbage casserole.

I belong to a community share agriculture program.  It costs me $55/month and I pick up the veggies every two weeks.  I get enough veggies that I don't buy anything else, veggie wise, except for special meals.  I do have to buy fruit.  I'll cook up all my veggies and put them in the freezer.  Then I buy large cuts of meat on sale and cook them up and add to the veggies.  And if one of the things I buy is a spiral ham or a turkey, I have the bones to make soup.   :D

I always grew up with chili over rice.  Nobody else I knew had that.  But then, we were pretty poor for a couple of years when I was 5 or so.  We often had rice when we had meatballs with brown gravy.  If you have lots of ground beef in the freezer, how about meatloaf?  You can do leftovers of the same meal or you can slice it thin the next day when it is cold and make meatloaf sandwiches.  Mmmmmm...  Haven't had one of those in years!
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Budget Meals
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2013, 10:03:44 PM »
I find that I save a lot of money by cooking in bulk and freezing everything in my own TV dinners.

Yesterday, I made baked beans, pea soup and turkey soup.  I still have to make my lazy cabbage rolls, which sound very similar to MOM21SON's cabbage casserole.

I belong to a community share agriculture program.  It costs me $55/month and I pick up the veggies every two weeks.  I get enough veggies that I don't buy anything else, veggie wise, except for special meals.  I do have to buy fruit.  I'll cook up all my veggies and put them in the freezer.  Then I buy large cuts of meat on sale and cook them up and add to the veggies.  And if one of the things I buy is a spiral ham or a turkey, I have the bones to make soup.   :D

I always grew up with chili over rice.  Nobody else I knew had that.  But then, we were pretty poor for a couple of years when I was 5 or so.  We often had rice when we had meatballs with brown gravy.  If you have lots of ground beef in the freezer, how about meatloaf?  You can do leftovers of the same meal or you can slice it thin the next day when it is cold and make meatloaf sandwiches.  Mmmmmm...  Haven't had one of those in years!

Chili over rice is AMAZING. Add some cheese, and it's a great casserole.  Or, sloppy joe (with meat, of course, no cheese.
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