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: 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.
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:

 

Ingredients
  • 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
316 CALORIES
9g TOTAL FAT
18g PROTEIN
Serving Size: 6 servings (1-1/3 cups each)
 
View Complete Nutrition Information >
Directions
  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.
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:
Serenity
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.

Serenity
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:

http://healthycrush.com/quinoa-stuffed-acorn-squash/

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:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/10/apples-and-cinnamon-breakfast-quinoa.html
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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:
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: 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: 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
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


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