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JESSIE299 SparkPoints: (554)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 10
9/20/13 1:47 A


Not quite sure what you were referring to in your last post Mayber.

Best Regards.


MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 9,764
9/20/13 12:37 A

Great ideas already given by others
There are many people who only wish they have what you already have in you pantry and have an additional 25 dollars to spend for two weeks
take one day at a time
love prayers peace

TRAMORE22 Posts: 44
9/19/13 8:58 P

Interesting challenge you have with some good solutions.

JESSIE299 SparkPoints: (554)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 10
9/19/13 7:42 P

OOOOPS sorry about the typos

JESSIE299 SparkPoints: (554)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 10
9/19/13 7:41 P

It's not an old myth that eating breakfast starts your day off, I know that if I don't eat breakfast I will pick at anything that's on offer., bow I have 1/4 of a cup of oatmeal cooked in low fat milk, added to that is a small handful of dried fruit, dessertspoon of protein powder and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a 1/2 cup of low fat evaporated milk use it neat you get a nice creamy taste, I promise you, you won't be hungry to way past lunch time.

Cheers Carole

TBOURLON SparkPoints: (18,488)
Fitness Minutes: (60,777)
Posts: 520
9/19/13 10:01 A

Sounds like you have enough meat, so think vegetarian. I'd get some eggs, a bit more brown rice, oatmeal, canned beans, whole-grain pasta and a little cheese. You don't say how much time you have to cook, but pasta and stir-frys are pretty quick. Save the leftovers for lunches the next day. Make some veggie omlets either for breakfast or dinner. If you've got some canned tomatoes you can make a vegetarian bean chilli and save some of that for lunch as well. Apples are pretty cheap, too, and easy to take to work for lunch/snack. Alternate chicken & fish dinners with spagetti & veggies, stir-fry on brown rice, chilli and omlets. emoticon Good luck! emoticon

BEINGFIT26 SparkPoints: (1,066)
Fitness Minutes: (623)
Posts: 93
9/19/13 9:49 A

how about stock up cheap and fiber-filled meals like oatmeal?

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/19/13 9:46 A

You have meat, veggies, and rice, as well as oil. Stir fry the meat and veggies, and serve on rice. You need breakfast, and lunches, which can be p.b & jelly sandwiches, and if you have an Aldi's in the area, oatmeal is $1.49 for 10 packages. Eggs are $1.19 a dozen. Bread is $.89. You can probably get breakfast and lunch for $10.

GRAYGRANNY SparkPoints: (177,765)
Fitness Minutes: (191,073)
Posts: 11,127
9/19/13 9:38 A

Great ideas here that I will use too!!! Good luck to ya!!

RAINBOWS247 Posts: 7
9/19/13 8:39 A

I'm on a strict food budget this week as well. This has been helpful. Thank you.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
9/19/13 8:33 A

you've got some great suggestions.
I'm glad that this community can provide so many alternatives for you.

As money permits, obviously adding to the pantry - things that will not go bad fast, and the freezer - fruits or vegs that don't have stuff added - will aid you in creating a vast array of recipes.

after you make the broth with your chicken bones (or vegs, or fish, or whatever), make sure you save it in containers in your freezer in one or two cup sizes, so you can have the start of great soup.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,187
9/19/13 8:16 A

Lentils are good with sliced carrots and bouillion, cheap and easy. Low on calories & rich in plant proteins & amino-acids.You can buy a 16-ounce bag for $1.29 Carrots under a dollar.

Brown rice is good as a side, or with some chopped Canadian Bacon & onions added to make a meal. Easy prep. 1 Package of Canadian Bacon Oscar Mayer is $3.00 and they have 2 cello packs with 6 slices each, so you can freeze one. Canadian Bacon which is low in carbs, low in fat and has protein. About 33 calories a slice.

Orzo 1 box about $1.49 A Small Pasta. Great for soups.

Sweet potatoes are inexpensive, dice up & pair with black beans and make a casserole.
Broccoli contains a bunch of good nutrients, Publix sells a 2 lb. bag frozen for $3.59

A large box of Old Fashioned Oatmeal @ Walmart is $3.50 Eggplant is about $1.29 a pound...

Hormel has a pork roast (Garlic & Onion) for $5.99 put it in a crock pot and cook until you can shred the meat...or in the oven (see panel for instructions) make can buy 12 tacos @Walmart "Great Value" Brand for $1.00....

Fill tacos with left over tastes really good

Sardines are cheap, around $1.00

Make cabbage soup, cabbage is inexpensive, add boullion and a can of "Veg All" ($1.00 AT Walmart) with the liquid. Add any veggie left overs so nothing goes to waste. Try shredded cabbage instead of iceberg lettuce on your tacos.

Budget food ideas...
Eggs, beans, canned tuna, Canned Chicken, seasonal veggies and seasonal fruits, oatmeal, grilled tomatoes, lentils, Kasha, Barley, Brown Rice, green beans, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, celery, tacos, pasta, celery, frozen broccoli, frozen green pepper bits

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
Fitness Minutes: (13,224)
Posts: 130
9/19/13 4:47 A

What about fish pie? You've already got fish and veg, so grab a bag of potatoes (or you could try sweet potatoes) and you'll have dinner for at least four nights.

And check out the recipes on

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
9/18/13 9:47 P

With flour, eggs, salt and pepper you can make homemade dumplings for your soup. Not terribly dietary (lots of carbs) but very satisfying when you are hungry...and cheap!

Good luck to you.

THEPIA Posts: 297
9/18/13 8:15 P

Thanks for all the ideas. I feel a little frazzled so they are great. I will definitely grab some beans or lentils. I do enjoy them.

As far as anything additional I have.. about 1/2 lb of flour is all that isn't on the list. I try very hard to only buy what I need and this month has been about eating what I have.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
9/18/13 7:55 P

Do you have a garden? Anything in the freezer? Any canned foods? Any flour or dry ingredients?

Bread has a huge markup, so it is better to make that yourself if you have the ingredients.

I would suggest making your own soup stock (save your veggie and chicken scraps) and buying some dry beans or lentils and eggs for protein. Pasta with marinara sauce might also be a good bet since you can get the veggies cheap this time of year and pasta is inexpensive.

If you live in the NW, Fred Meyer has a coupon for a whole roasted chicken for 91 cents today on Facebook. Do you have Grocery Outlet or other discount grocery stores available?

What about spending $10 this week and then saving $5 to get fresh veggies and additional protein for each subsequent week?

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 9/18/2013 (19:56)
ANARIE Posts: 13,174
9/18/13 7:52 P

Two weeks on $25 when you've already got almost half of what you need? Easy-peasy. That's actually not much more than I spend on a regular basis.

Get an old-fashioned paper calendar page and do what Nirerin suggested to see how much you've already got covered. After that, follow the main rule of both economical AND healthy eating: Don't buy food; buy ingredients.

Don't buy bread; buy whole-wheat flour. Find someone with a Sam's or Costco membership and have them buy yeast for you-- a one-pound bag costs about the same as 1 1/2 of those little strips of paper envelopes, and if you keep it in the freezer it's good for over a year. Then Google "no knead bread" and you'll find a dozen or more websites showing you how to make homemade bread with just yeast, flour, salt, and water, and about 15 minutes of work once a week. (Ignore the ones that tell you to use a baking stone and a pizza peel; all you need are two pans that can take a lot of heat. I bake the bread in a cast-iron skillet and use the oven's broiler pan to hold the water. Unless you have a baking stone.)

Beans have already been mentioned; lentils are sometimes even cheaper than pinto beans and they take less time to cook. Lentils and tomatoes are particularly nice together, so maybe look for some 50-cent-a-can tomato sauce or seasoned diced tomatoes.

Oatmeal is another great investment; besides cereal, it can become dessert or a main dish. Google "baked oatmeal," and use the proportions to design your own. It's a great way to use up overripe fruit.

Personally, I would budget a gallon of milk and make a quart or half gallon of it into yogurt. That's another thing that you can google; it takes about 5 minutes. Ignore the ones that tell you that you need a yogurt maker; all you need is a clean jar. I use an empty spaghetti sauce or mayonnaise jar, and if the weather is warm, I set it in my car to stay warm. No electricity needed. If you're doing it at night or it's cold already where you live, warm the oven just a tiny bit and then turn on the light bulb.

I think someone already mentioned ethnic markets, but in case they didn't, I'll repeat it. You don't want to buy dry goods there, but for produce and sometimes meat, your local Latin or Asian supermarket might just be fabulous. This week, the one I used to go to (before I moved to the end of nowhere) has bananas, zucchini, mild chiles, chayote, cabbage, and carrots all at 3 lbs/$1, watermelon 5 lbs/$1, and pears 2 lbs/$1. Often they have onions at 7 or 8lbs/$1. For $5, you could get more fruit and veg than you can eat in a week.

And don't ignore the other end of the scale. Check ads for the upscale "natural foods" type of store. Their bulk sections can have great bargains (69 cents a pound for oatmeal, pinto beans, and brown rice, for example), and most important, you can buy just what you need. That's *really* great with spices-- I routinely would come out with 10 little tiny baggies of whatever fancy spices I needed, all for about 75 cents.

It's not fun to be short on money, but you have enough to be perfectly fine for the rest of the month. You won't get to eat exactly what you what, whenever you want, but you won't go hungry.

WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 949
9/18/13 6:54 P

This is what I have:
2 chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
2-3 bags frozen fish (various kinds)
brown rice
homemade salsa
1/2 loaf of bread
About a week's worth of frozen veggies
Soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil

What I see when I look at this are chicken and rice bakes. You can mix up a variety of ingredients in a baking dish, cover with foil, then cook through. Some folks use things like cream of something soups, but you don't have to.

Most of the same ingredients- fish soup/stew. You can use the $15 or so it would take to buy frozen or fresh vegetables to make these meals. That should last you two weeks, easy. Get some eggs and potatoes for breakfast and you've got it made.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,974)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,708
9/18/13 6:18 P

That's very doable if you are not picky and willing to seek out sales. Based on sales in my area and items you already have, I would buy you:
2 dozen eggs
2 whole chicken (use bones to make broth for soup, eat the skin)
5lbs dried beans
7 cans tuna
baby carrots
frozen spinach
frozen green beans

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 9/18/2013 (18:26)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,156
9/18/13 5:26 P

if it has to last two weeks, break it down by day. in other words, take that 25 and divide by 14 to get 1.78 per day is what you have to spend. figure out how many servings of things you want to aim for [say 2 protein, 4 grain, 3 veg, 3 fruit, 2 dairy or whatever your breakdown happens to be] and start filling in and pricing out. so your 2 breasts and four thighs might take up 8 portions of protein [having half a breast per serving], which means you need to find 20 more portions of protein. i have no idea how many portions of fish bagged fish, breaks down into, but block off those protein spots, say with 2 servings per bag and 2 bags of fish, that would mean you only need to buy 16 more servings of protein from that $25. do the same with the rice, is it a full pound bag? with 14 servings, then you can block off 1 grain serving with rice for each of the 14 days, so in my scenario you'd only need to buy 42 servings. if your half loaf of bread has five servings in it, cut out those 5 so you only need 38 servings. if you have a week's worth of veggies, you only have to focus on buying 21 servings of veggies [3 per day for 21 days]. let's pretend you have a week of apples and you would need to find 70 servings of fruit. so roughly you'd need $25 to cover 16 servings of protein, 42 grains, 21 veg, and 70 fruit. so each serving would need to cost about 17 cents. if you make the bulk of the protein you need to buy beans, that's only going to be about ten cents a serving, which means you can spend that extra 7 cents a serving on something else. look to applesauce and raisins to be the bulk of your fruits and you can buy those in the 10-11 cents a serving range, which frees up another 5 cents per serving for something else. you could easily get pasta or rice or oatmeal for around that ten cent number as well. frozen veggies tend to run in the 20-30 cent a serving range, and if you can find anything on sale for $1 a pound, that would be roughly 25 cents a serving. you could also swing one or two of the tiny ethnic seasoning packets to get some variety in there.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
9/18/13 4:33 P

You might consider getting a small jar of peanut butter and doing PB sandwiches for lunch (with an apple). Look for a sale on wheat bread and pick up another loaf maybe... Sounds like you don't have anything for breakfast--maybe some oatmeal (cardboard tube, store brand)? You might consider getting a gallon of milk. It will provide you with some extra protein and you can have a glass with breakfast for some extra protein. You can stir the peanut butter into your oatmeal too, to make it more tasty. Chicken/fish with brown rice and some frozen veggies (might have to pick up some more frozen veggies) makes a good dinner.

If you like beans, it's pretty easy to get a bag of dry pinto beans, soak them overnight, rinse and put the back in water to cook on the stove until done. After they are done, you can drain off the extra water (save it in case you need to add some back) and smash them up to make refried beans (you could use an immersion blender, a hand mixer or even a potato masher or something like that). Add a little salt, if you want, for flavor. Or, you could leave them whole. Beans and rice are a good meal. If you had some money for tortillas and maybe an onion, you could make burritos (they would be rather plain without cheese/sour cream, but still edible).

THEPIA Posts: 297
9/18/13 3:16 P

Alright - this is a very money-tight month for me. All I have in my budget is $25 for groceries (yes, I have literally zeroed out everything on my budget except gas, groceries, and bills- even the dog and cat are eating light..)

This is what I have:
2 chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
2-3 bags frozen fish (various kinds)
brown rice
homemade salsa
1/2 loaf of bread
About a week's worth of frozen veggies
Soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil

I need ideas on how to make that, plus no more than $25 in groceries last two weeks. I am open to boring and plain. I also don't mind eating the same thing multiple times. I am out of ideas though. Last week was sandwiches, pasta, and smoothies.

I am open to all suggestions. Thanks in advance.

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