Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cheap Meals

Taking the long weekend off left me with a lot of time. Well, not really, because with children the time is constantly filled with something. But it felt like I had a lot of time!

So since I posted a couple of weeks ago about how our small grocery budget, I've been trying to research and come up with a similar menu to what we had 6 years ago. Food has gotten more expensive and so has my palette, so it was hard to think about what we actually ate. No fresh vegetables, a lot of processed or canned foods and lots of rice and beans. That diet is not for everyone. But I thought I would give it to you anyways. You do what you've got to do to make it through!

So here it goes. Keep in mind, this is bare bones budget meals, but a half step above ramen noodles every night. We had rice & beans at least 2 nights a week.

Meal list:
Macaroni & Cheese w/ vegetable (3 boxes for $1, Frozen broccoli 2lb bag $2)
Fried Egg Sandwich (Loaf of bread from $ Tree $1, Dozen eggs $1)
Rice and Beans (Bag of Black Beans $1, Bag of Rice $1)
Chili (Pound of Meat $2, Can Chili Beans $.60, Can Crushed Tomatoes $1, Onion $1)
Spaghetti (Box of 8 servings $1, Sauce $1, Frozen Green Beans $1)
Soup and Grilled Cheese (Can Soup $.50, Cheese $2)
Bean Burrito (Can Pinto Beans $.60, Tortilla $1)

Now we arrange the meals into 14 evenings of meals:
Night 1- Mac & Cheese     Night 8- Bean Burrito
Night 2- Rice & Beans       Night 9- Mac & Cheese
Night 3- Fried Egg Sand    Night 10- Rice & Beans
Night 4- Chili                    Night 11- Fried Egg Sand
Night 5- Spaghetti             Night 12- Spaghetti
Night 6- Rice & Beans      Night 13- Soup & Gr Cheese
Night 7- Soup & Gr Chs    Night 14- Rice & Beans

Next we make our grocery list according to our 2 lists above. You may need to go to different places. Because Wal Mart is raising the prices on their canned foods, Dollar Tree becomes the best place to buy a large can of crushed tomatoes, tortillas and even bread. Also keep in mind a dried bag of beans and rice lasts my family of 5(equal to 3 adults) for 4 dinners.

$.66 2 boxes of mac & cheese
$.75 Margarine                         
$2.00 Milk                               
$1.00 Bag of black beans            
$1.00 Bag of rice                
$.99  Dozen eggs                       
$1.00 Loaf of bread                  
$2.00 Pound of meat                 
$1.00 Can crushed tomatoes      
$1.00 Onion                             
$.60 Chili beans                        
$1.00 Box of pasta                    
$1.00 Can of spaghetti sauce      
$1.00 Bag of frozen green beans 
$2.00 Bag of frozen broccoli       
$1.00 2 cans condensed soup      
$2.00 Cheese                             
$.60 Can pinto beans                 

Total                                 $20.60

That leaves a little less than $5 for anything else you want for those of you that don't pay tax on food. For us here in OK, about 10% goes to tax leaving about $2 leftover. But that, my friends, is how it is done. Repeat the 14 days for nearly an entire month of eating on $50 for 2 people. If you would like, throw in a couple of nights of Ramen noodles. $1.98 for 12 at Wal-Mart!

What's your cheap go to meal? I need to expand!

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