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SUNRISE14
Posts: 5,216
8/24/12 7:19 A

I am going to have to cut down on meat . It doesn't take much to use up our 50 a week grocery budget. I will fix it for dh and eat a small amount so dh won't realize what i am doing ! emoticon hamburger i always add cracker crumbs lots of onion and an egg to 1 lb makes 6 good size patties and i fry them !



VERONICA722
SparkPoints: (5,576)
Fitness Minutes: (1,212)
Posts: 346
8/21/12 11:51 A

great ideas re: buying family size on sale and remaking for self.
thanks!

emoticon



BLUSTAR
SparkPoints: (80,576)
Fitness Minutes: (84,777)
Posts: 3,670
8/19/12 7:43 P

thank you for the ideas for a tight budget...



THESLIMMERME1
Posts: 242
8/19/12 3:31 P

emoticon ideas here.
I am often cooking for one person - however, I will look at 'family size' packages for meats/poultry etc. as the cost / lb is usually less than the smaller portions. I consider the # of servings I get from the package for the total price - when I get home I either cook and freeze serving items or as long as the meat/poultry has not been frozen all ready, repackage in to serving sizes - using zip-lock sandwich bags, then place all into one large heavier zip-lock bag. I now have the correct size when ready to cook - also, this is handy if I am cooking for more than one. emoticon emoticon



LADYGARNETT
Posts: 6
8/11/12 4:39 P

i am also on a tight budget we have one income and 8 people and one of those is a15 year old high school football player who eats like a small army! I myself watch the adds when veggies are on sale in large discounts at the hispanic markets or the bigger discount stores, also depending on where you live look for fresh and easy they do a tiny section of discount veggies and foods daily. I will usually buy the discounted veggies wash them and freeze things that can be and if it doesn't freeze well fresh i will cook it into something that i can portion out and freeze for later on when im between checks or its just a few of us for dinner or even a busy night. and do the same with meats i usually watch for discounted lunch meats and especially the leaner cuts of pork and beef! another thing you may try is getting with a friend and utilizing costco or sams club and buying meats and veggies in bulk and splitting with someone else that you know might be a little tight check with neighbors and church members. I usually shop a few times a month for milk and fresh veggies but the rest of my shopping is like once a month. and i coupon coupon coupon on top of the discounted finds hope this all helps



SLOLOSER
Posts: 8,646
8/11/12 8:59 A

Stir frys are great because you can use what you have.

Of course, you might want to get some basic ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.



KAPELAKIN
Posts: 1,971
8/9/12 2:12 P

Eggs, beans and tofu as entrees are all very budget-friendly. If you are usig meat for your entree, use it in a way that it is stretched, so you don't need a large portion for each person. For instance, put some chicken into a stirfry or soup with a few ounces for each person, rather than making a baked chicken breast for each person. You can stretch ground beef in burritos or tacos by adding beans and/or rice.

Purchase foods in the bulk section and cook them from scratch. Just because it's the "bulk" section does not mean you have to buy a lot. You can buy just what you need for a meal. Things like rice, oats, beans and spices can be quite a bit cheaper purchased this way.

Buy a whole chicken, roast it on Sunday night and cut off the amount that you need for that meal. Portion out the rest of the meat and set it aside for use in 1-2 meals later in the week. Save the carcass and use it to make stock with extra/aging veggies including onion, celery and carrots. The stock will be lower in sodium and better-tasting than anything you can buy in the store, and basically free. You can cook it down until it is very concentrated, then portion it out and freeze it until you need it. I cook mine down so that 4 oz is enough to flavor the broth for a pot of soup.

Soup is a great budget-friendly meal, because it can be adapted to the things you have on hand, and can use lots of beans and veggies.

Baking your own bread can also save money, if you eat bread frequently. You can either make "no knead" bread quite easily in the oven, or find a bread machine at a yard sale or thrift shop to cut down on the labor involved. I also use my bread machine to make pizza dough, and we have homemade vegetarian pizzas with sauce I canned at home from free tomatoe, so the main cost is only the cheese.



ISABELL71
SparkPoints: (1,611)
Fitness Minutes: (480)
Posts: 19
8/9/12 11:40 A

in s\p life for 1 month now and loving it. i am wondering about winter and the cost and supply of fresh foods. any tips?



ROCKLADY39
Posts: 64
7/31/12 6:18 P

Coupons.com, you can print your own, or every other Sunday newspaper. Shopping sales is the only way to go as others have said here. It takes a bit to get started, but once you get the basics in the pantry, you are well on your way.



TDAENE
SparkPoints: (4,651)
Fitness Minutes: (2,802)
Posts: 63
7/31/12 11:40 A

Do you have any suggestions on where to look for good coupons? We live in a small town that doesn't always carry the variety of brands that the larger towns do. Also, our nearest city is almost two hours away and this is where we get the coupons from.



TDAENE
SparkPoints: (4,651)
Fitness Minutes: (2,802)
Posts: 63
7/31/12 11:38 A

Our family has lactose, soy and food dye issues and we essentially have to cook from scratch each meal. It is cheaper once you have the supplies but startup can be a little pricey. Having key ingredients on hand at any given time is the key. Also learning to use the spark recipes and google to find recipes based on what you already have works just as well!

Great job!



SNOOPY1960
Posts: 1,680
7/30/12 10:50 P

I only buy what is on sale. I am lucky, I have a big deep freezer so when chicken is on sale or bread is buy one get one free , I stock up.

Cooking from scratch is sooo much cheaper than prepared foods.

Eggs are cheap. Make omelets or egg salad.
Pasta is cheap - make your own sauce !
Buy chicken in family packs, cheaper per pound. Use what you want, freeze the rest.
Beans, potatos, onions, bananas , in season fruit and veggies are cheap.

Buy old fashioned oatmeal in a big box. Cheaper to cook your own than to buy flavored envelopes !

You can do this, it just takes time to walk around the market and get the best bargains !



NIGHTFLOAT
Posts: 136
7/30/12 5:34 P

Use the sales to plan your meals, especially when it comes to meat and produce. If you have a big enough freezer you can stockpile meat on sale.



RJNICHOLS
SparkPoints: (27,933)
Fitness Minutes: (10,074)
Posts: 192
7/27/12 11:56 P

Take your favorite restaruant recipie and recreate it at home. It can be fun, but also it can be a miss. Best of luck.



ROCKLADY39
Posts: 64
7/26/12 2:47 P

I am new to sparkpeople and came here looking for recipies and general discussion. I wanted to weigh in on the shopping on a tight budget topic. I think the key is cooking from scratch. by doing so you not only can stretch your food dollar. Watch the sales, right now Safeway has whole wheat pasta on sale for $1 a box. As we all know processed, prepackaged foods are NOT good for us. Yes they are quick and easy and taste yummy, but they are loaded with fat, salt and sugars. I agree, with one of the tips below, look for sale items. I would add coupon coupon coupon. I would look on line at Taste of home. they have a ton of crockpot recipes, and they have many "diet" recipes.



SKYE080
SparkPoints: (64)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
7/26/12 2:01 P

Box of mac & cheese
ground beef (optional)
can spaghetti sauce
chopped veggies such as onion, gr.pepper

in a oven/microwave safe cassarole dish add cooked pasta and fried ground beed-drain off the fat first- add veggies and spaghetti sauce, add half the contents of cheese mix saving rest for later. Stir until contents are blended, bake covered at 350-375 about 45 minutes or microwave until hot.

Scrambled egg taco

taco shells
scrambled eggs
veggies
assemble like a taco

Omlet
cook 2 or 3 eggs in skillet-do not stir
add any veggies or fruit you have
cheese(optional)
when cooked eggs are firm add fillings to one side then fold over

Basic tuna salad
can tuna
chopped celery
place drained tuna in bowl, add chopped celery, a dollop of mayo-enough to lightly coat ingredients.lightly coat ingredients with mayo

Tuna cassarole

can tuna
pasta
can mushroom soup
can or frozen peas or mixed veggies
cook pasta as directed, add drained tuna, can mushroom soup 1/2 can water., add veggies/peas stir together, can be topped with breadcrumbs if you wish. bake at 375 about 45 minutes or microwave until hot

baked chicken (unbreaded)
any chicken parts-can be cubed to strech meal
can cream of chicken soup
carrots, potatoes, or any veggie
place chicken in cassarole dish, add cream of chicken soup +can of water and veggies
Bake 375-400 about a hour until chicken is done. Serve over pasta or rice.

Of course, buy everything on sale or reduced section-many good values there. Oh, my moms favorite budget strecher was to cut hot dogs into "pennies" add to a large can of baked beans with a chopped onion and bake until hot-can be done on stove top also. She served this with cornbread as a side.



MIAMI_LILLY
SparkPoints: (89,503)
Fitness Minutes: (33,279)
Posts: 5,437
7/19/12 4:24 P

I have 4 kids so I understand needing to eat healthy on a tight budget. I found that using beans as your main meal ingredient makes a super cheap dinner. I've made black bean burgers, black bean chili ( no meat), falafel on pitas, minestrone with white beans and pasta...they are all delicious. And don't forget about eggs! My mom would make scrambled eggs with peppers and onions...put that on whole grain bread and it's satisfying and cheap!



SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
7/17/12 3:27 P

Hi Chick,

Below is a link to a SparkPeople article on eating healthy on a budget. At the bottom of the article are other related topics that may be just what you are looking for. I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=511




CHICK8526
SparkPoints: (4,175)
Fitness Minutes: (2,848)
Posts: 140
7/17/12 2:35 P

recipes for tight budget

Edited by: CHICK8526 at: 7/27/2012 (14:49)


 
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