Friday, November 4, 2011

Dinner on the Cheap (Part 1)

Let me tell you, it is not easy to feed a family of 6 cheap. And then on top of that, its really hard to get good veggies and fruits and not spend a fortune! I am positive that my meals are not as healthy as I would like them to be on some nights; however, at least they are not all processed foods. Some nights, yes, there are processed foods in there, but they are the nights that are definitely more filling and last longer. Kinda sad if you ask me...I am sure its because our bodies cannot process the food as our bodies were designed to do so. I will save that soap box for another day. LOL.

A few things I do to stretch our budget are listed below. Our grocery budget is typically $150 every 2 weeks.

  • 1x a month I go to Sam's Club and buy chicken in bulk. I usually pay around 73cents a pound. I am able to get leg quarters, drumsticks and whole fryers averaging that price. Every other month I purchase a 10lb roll of ground hamburger. I separate all the meat into individual meals. Each meal I cook has enough food for that meal plus some for lunch the next day. For soups and stews, I make enough to last 2 suppers and 2 lunches.
  •  I also shop at Save-a-Lot and Aldi. These stores have just as good food for a fraction of the cost. The meat sometimes is not as good a deal as you can get in the clearance bin at the local chain grocery store, but the frozen meat is good quality and much cheaper. Vegetables and fruit are also bargain prices.
  •  Learn to make your own bread (or get a bread machine at Goodwill) and several of your own sauces. Stock up on spices so you can quit buying those "McCormick" packets. Though they are "only $1" most of the time, you will get much more out of that $1 by buying the spices in the jars. 
Here is one easy and cheap recipe that our family LOVES! and this is one of those "poor man" recipes!

Hungry Man's Stew

1lb ground beef or turkey, browned
2 cans minestrone soup
1 large can baked beans

Drain the browned meat. Dump other ingredients in. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to let flavors meld. Serve hot.
Alot of times, I throw corn bread in the oven while this simmers; it makes a fabulous side.

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