Money is really tight this week, need food ideas!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Money is really tight this week, need food ideas!
20
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!!

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Thanks for the great ideas, m--I get so stuck in my "usual ways" that I freak out about the lack of money and can't come up with any new ideas!! My mom used to make stuffed cabbage a lot when I was growing up. I'll have time to make it this weekend :smileyhappy:
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006

Soup is always good.  You can buy boullion cubes - both beef and chicken - and add them to boiling  water.  A bag of carrots, should be around $1.00.  Frozen peas, beans, corn - less than $2.00 a bag. One chicken breast should make soup for a meal. You can cook rice or pasta and toss it in.  Also, a can of stewed tomoatos is nice in soup

Stuffed peppers - a can of tomato paste, an onion, a cup of rice, a little bit of hamburg browned with the onion, one pepper for every adult, 1/2 of one for kids.  Cook the rice, par boil the peppers.  Mix the meat/onion with the rice and tomoato paste, stuff the peppers.  Bake at 350 for about a half hour. 

Fried potatoes and ham - cut up potatoes, fry with a little onions then add the ham.  You can buy a piece of ham at the deli in one piece - a quarter of a pound can go a long way.  Use some king of frozen vegetables.

Pasta and sauce, with a little ground beef.

At this time of year, apples are pretty cheap - you can eat them raw as snacks, or if you cut them up with a little butter, flour, cinnamon and sugar and make a nice apple crisp - bake for 350 for about 30 minutes(my defalt cook time!)

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006

Oh, and breakfast for dinner....Brown and Serve sausage is cheap...fried or scrambled eggs or omelets with whatever veggies you like.  I don't know if you have a substitute for milk that you can use in pancakes...you can make potato pancakes with mashed potatoes (3 cups), flour(1 cup), and an egg, and then shape them into patties and fry them...good with applesauce. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008

I was going to say breakfast as supper as well. Eggs are fairly inexpensive and good for breakfast too, hardboiled to take for work for lunches as well. Any kind of noodles you have with a bit of parm and butter salt and pepper is super cheap side dish or you can make a chicken caserole with the pasta. Use the meat as an ingredient  instead of the main focus and you can make it last a couple of meals.Quesidillas with the chicken or beef should go far(lunch or dinner). Find some bread on sale that doesn't conflict with your allergies and freeze it, take it out as you need it so it doesn't go bad. Rice with a can of soup and bit of burger or chicken with some vege works great too.  Lots of options. I need to use what I have as well! Good call! You will feel great when you accomplish this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2007

I was going to suggest quiche. I have found an easy "crustless quiche" recipe on allrecipe.com (or use a premade pie crust. Eggs can stretch. 

stuffed green peppers (since you already have rice & beef. You can make a bunch and freeze what you're not using for another day.

Since you have chicken breast (or you can buy a cheaper cut of chicken) boil it with some veggie (carrots, celery, onion). Use the broth for a soup base and take the chicken out and use it for something else (shredded chix tacos, chicken salad, chicken enchiladas). I have a huge pet peeve when people waste the broth from the chicken. Boiled chicken breast (1) makes a great broth (just add seasoning & noodles for soup), and (2) it is more tender than a fried chicken breast.

diane08
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Cook the chicken in the crock pot & save the broth. Add eggs noodles or the rice you already have. Purchase the store brand of cream of chicken & cream of mushroom soap and add to the broth w/ water and one chicken breast cut up. Season to taste, I use pepper some mixture of different spices that I like called Nature's Seasonings (garlic, onion, pepper, salt, etc.) This makes a lot of soap. If you get tired of it, freeze the left overs. I throw in carrots if I have them. Frozen mixed veggies taste good added to this also. Another cheap meal is bean burritos. I purchase the store brand of canned refried fat free beans. Spoon on some salsa or add a little beef or chicken season with chili powder or taco seasoning. The shells are cheap too. I usually splurge and get the wheat.

Norma


"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006

This thread made me think of my mother.  She had a system that was easy and cheap.  On Sundays, we always had a really nice roast for mid day dinner.  On Mondays, she made whatever she wanted.  On Tuesday, we had something made from leftovers fom Sunday dinner.  Wednesday was 'Prince Spaghetti Day'.  Thursday night was eggs.  Friday was fish (we weren't Catholic, but she figured you might as well eat fish once a week). This was usually either frozen fish sicks, tuna casserole, or fish cakes.  Saturday was hotdogs, beans, brown bread.  Maybe coleslaw is there was extra money.  If they went out on Saturday, we had a big treat - TV Dinners - the kind in those foil section trays.

It might have been boring, but I don't think we cared.  We are both healthy and varied eaters today...my dad still is disappointed if he doesn't get hotdogs and beans on Saturday night.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
I started to say a 5 or 10 lb. bag of potatoes goes a long ways.

Norma


"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:36pm
Yes, I love potatoes as cheap alternative.

Big bags of carrots are also cheap...

To the OP, how about making your own cookies/granola bars/etc? I find those things SO expensive and they aren't as healthy as homemade. I save lots of $ doing that.

Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Thanks, everyone, for your awesome food ideas! I knew you would all have some great suggestions. I generally do make everything from scratch, since we are dealing with so many allergies, and we have pretty much the same thing on a weekly rotation like one of you mentioned. But the specialty items like quinoa pasta are way more expensive than just wheat pasta. I needed help thinking outside the box.....so thank you! I am going shopping tomorrow :smileyhappy:

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