Money is really tight this week, need food ideas!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Money is really tight this week, need food ideas!
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 2:41pm

Hi all,

My budget is really tight this week, but I am determined NOT to use a CC to bridge the gap.  After all of our bills are paid this cycle, I only have $100 for groceries.  I know that may seem like a lot to many of you....I am counting on your frugal grocery habits to help me out.  So for $100, what should I buy to get my family through this week?  We cannot have wheat, soy, milk, any nuts or any fish due to allergies.  (BTW, I usually spend $150-200 per week for our food/household items).  I have ground beef and boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, brown rice, brown rice pasta, and quinoa pasta in the pantry......and not much else.

Thanks in advance for your great ideas!!



Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 11:47am
Just popping in since I saw this thread and you mentioned quinoa, we've been experimenting with it at our house more lately and someone posted this recently on my FB board, and since it has acorn squash which is in season and cheaper right now, a grea recipe:

And this is a great breakfast item that i am trying on the kids this weekend, you can omit the pecans and I use coconut milk usually:
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
A little late to the party, but wanted to chime in.

The other suggestions are very creative! Mine is pretty simplistic.

It was already mentioned to use meat as an ingredient and not the focus of the meal. I have stretched our meat out by using just a little bit less in a recipie. I also like to brown 1/2 pound hamburger and put in mac and cheese.

Sometimes one idea may not be the cheapest, but largely about using what you already have.

Fresh veggies are better, but sometimes it is better to get frozen if you are concerned it may spoil.

Having a man in the house makes it hard sometimes. My SO eats as much as me and DD combined. Some of the ideas here would not fly at my house.

Lastly, when money is tight, I will get only enough for a couple of days, not the entire week. Less chance of something spoiling and it also allows me to be flexible and not "stuck" with what we have. Hope that makes sense.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
p.s. I don't like the feeling that my grocery money is "gone" for the week. I like to have a few dollars to be able to run up and grab something I need.

That is just me though. :smileyhappy:
Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 12:59pm


Instead of cabbage rolls, I make unstuffed cabbage. It's basically all the same ingredients, but you make it in a casserole, so it's a lot easier and less time consuming. You chop up the cabbage so it doesn't matter what size the leaves are, and it's just as tasty. I find it easier to eat too. There are lots of recipes to be found by Googling it or looking on Pinterest (I wonder when Pinterest will become a verb?). Here's one from Hunts:


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
  • 1 can (14 oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground chuck beef (80% lean)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Stewed Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz each) Hunt's® Tomato Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Nutrition Information
Serving Size: 6 servings (1-1/3 cups each)
View Complete Nutrition Information >
  1. Place rice and broth in 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stir. Place cabbage on top; do NOT stir. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes or until rice and cabbage is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until beef is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain.
  3. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and pepper to meat. Break up tomatoes with spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer about 10 minutes. When rice mixture is done, add to skillet; toss together.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
I made a stew in my crock pot tonight that turned out great. I used a boullion cube, a couple of jalapeno chicken sausages that I pre-cooked and sliced, black beans, brown rice, some canned roasted peppers, dried minced onion, cilantro, a diced carrot, and some cauliflower florets. I'm sure you could use chicken breast, and sub in other vegetables. It tookabout foir hours to cook on the high setting.