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hamburger helper?????

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Last night I had the most fabulously healthy and scrumptious dinner. I had fresh salmon (beautifully pink and marbled, thick cuts) roasted in a bag. I sliced yellow squash, zucchini, red potatoes and red peppers, tossed them with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and placed the salmon on top. I seasoned the fish and put sliced lemons on top. I sealed the parchment paper bag and let it roast for 30 minutes. IT WAS EUPHORIA. There is something about eating fresh, clean, simply prepared food. I don't know why I don't do it more often.

And that is where the Hamburger Helper comes in. WE ARE BROKE. Not slightly broke. ALL the way broke. We are in the midst of refinancing our mortgage and cannot accrue any new debt. Typically I would throw the groceries on the credit card and pay it back when we get paid. Unfortunately, us taking three weeks off for the wedding and honeymoon meant that neither of us got paid from our part-time job. We basically lost $1,000 extra bucks not including what we spent on the wedding and honeymoon. Then yesterday my brother needed gas money and he drives an SUV. So as I looked through my refrigerator and pantry, I immediately thought, "What in the hee-haw am I going to cook for dinner?" Hamburger Helper. We have the box sitting in the back of my pantry, for who knows how long, looking like cardboard yuckiness. I typically wouldn't be this critical of the stuff but after eating such fresh, yummy food yesterday, I am actually feeling my bowels sieze up thinking about eating it. Oh God, please be kind enough to drop a lean cut of meat and vegetables on my doorstep!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Girl go get a bag or two of beans

    They sell them at the dollar store and in my area the dollar store has frozen veggies and frozen fruit

    They also have can goods that are healthy I.e. tuna in water or veggie soup etc

    Make you all a great healthy bean n veggie soup to eat for a few days at a cost of less than a dollar a day

    Broke does not mean start eating like crap it means being open minded and creative

    You have worked for you health dont let that salmon cloud your judgement and have you belive to eat healthy has to be expensive as it does not
    1548 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/22/2013 2:10:00 PM
    Girl! I love it. At least this is not the state of affairs on the regular.
    And it is times like those times you truly lean on one another and wisdom speaks and says HOLD ON TIGHT! You learn to be creative and you grow an appreciation for when things get better. lol
    $1000 in part-time job money alone...I never heard it so good. LMBO

    1582 days ago
    I know that we have all been there!!!! emoticon
    1609 days ago
    This totally hit home and is one of my biggest hurdles right now.
    1616 days ago
    never heard of hamburger helperwhat is it fake meat? emoticon
    1618 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    The Lord will provide!
    1618 days ago
    You gotta do, what you gotta do. Been in your place raising four kids and cooking on a budget and trying to lose weight is hard but you can do it!
    1621 days ago
  • GR8TAWK-N-2-U
    Keep the faith, things will get better.
    1621 days ago
    You gotta do what you gotta do! Every young couple goes through tough times. You don't always need to put meat on the table. Buy some bags of beans and cook them along with brown rice. Search through the sparkpeople recipes and enjoy while saving. Keep up the good job and that Salmon dish sounded so good!
    1621 days ago
    As another person already pointed out - HH for a day or two is not the worst thing ever, especially if you can pair it with some frozen veggies from the back of your freezer!

    At one point where we were poor (car repo'd, evicted from the apartment, two hungry kids with one in diapers, only one of us able to work - this was during the worst of the recession), we actually pretty much went freezer fishing at my MIL's house (as a factory worker, the huge decrease in consumer demand meant that the bottom dropped out from under her as well - she was lucky to get a single day of work every two weeks and was almost evicted herself). All the random crap that can be found in the back, we made use of. Her freezer was EMPTY by the time we were done. She had a bunch of random frozen veggies stashed in there that hadn't yet expired.

    We literally spent WEEKS eating nothing but rice mixed with frozen veggies and beans. That is IT.

    The best "po' times" meal is simply a bag of black beans cooked up with whatever random spices you have in your house, especially salt, garlic, dried onion, etc. A bag of 80 tortillas is less than $4. Heat tortilla, put in beans, and enjoy. If you're feeling extravagant, you can make some rice mixed with frozen veggies as well. You can get brown rice at a place like Wal-Mart for insanely cheap, and frozen mixed veggies (carrots, lima beans, etc) at places like Aldi. Notice how none of that is heavily processed garbage!

    Also, check the sales circulars online before you go around wasting gas driving to different stores. There are times that places like Aldi have whole chickens for only 60 cents a pound. One of those cooked up in the oven or crockpot, with the rice, beans and frozen veggies from above. You have several days worth of food for less than $15 invested in to it.

    We fed a family of five for months this way. Thankfully times are MUCH better now, but my hubby and I remember the bad old days and make sure to always have rice, beans and frozen veggies in the house!
    1621 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    Hamburger Helper isn't that bad. Add a salad or a veggie & you guys will be fine. The Dollar Store has fresh fruits & veggies. emoticon
    1622 days ago
  • SPARKLE1908
    Hey, you have to do what you have to, right? Hamburger Helper might not be the "best" but it is definitely better than nothing...this too, shall pass!!
    1622 days ago
    I completely understand living on a budget, especially when we're literally counting the dollars we have per day for food.

    Here are a few of my low-budget healthy meals:

    1) frozen veggies for a stir-fry. I will shop around to find the best prices on meats and almost always buy discounted meat - like buy one, get one free packages at Albertson's, or Safeway has "Manager's Specials" where they take 30-40% off of a package of chicken. I can usually make a full meal for around 5$. A bag of veggies is maybe 1.50, a box of rice I can usually find for about $0.75 and a package of chicken divided into 3-4 meals is about $2 a meal. If I'm being good, I don't eat too much of the rice. It is mostly for my husband.

    2) Chili - I buy the beans in the bulk beans at Winco. I also buy the spices I need in the bulk section at Winco, rather than buying a packet of Chili seasoning. The beef is usually about 2-3$ per pound, less if I can find it on sale. A big pot of chili can last us 3-4 days. I'll usually also buy a bag of tortilla chips to help out :) All together, the chili usually costs me about $15 to make, but per meal that's only $3-4

    3) I also often make a big pot of chicken and vegetable soup - 1 whole chicken roasted in the oven and then meat taken off and cut up into the soup, usually 1/2-1 green cabbage, a head of cauliflower, maybe potatoes..all pretty cheap veggies and that big pot can last us a few days. A pot of soup usually costs me about $15 to make, so about $5 a day.

    These are definitely my go-to meals when we're down to counting pennies :)
    1622 days ago
  • PRIN1978
    Girl. I know what you mean. Will send prayers your way! emoticon
    1622 days ago
  • PURPLE180
    Oh honey, how I know the feeling. God is good and He will see you through. emoticon
    1622 days ago
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