I am working to plan our menu for the next couple of weeks but we are in a crunch and need to feed our family of 6 (us and 4 teens) on a very low budget for the next 2 weeks. We can buy one thing of cheap meat if we need to, like maybe a bag of chicken that can be used for a couple of meals. For the most part, I need to just get some good ideas for cheap, meatless meals. Can anyone give me some good ideas PLEASE?
peanut and jelly sandwich, that was my grandkids lunch last summer everyday, oatmeal for breakfast and banana, and pancake and sausage, you can skip the sausage, I would cook double so it was plenty for left overs. I went to the bread house and stocked up on bread, and kept plenty in my freezer. I keep a bowl of fruits on the table at all times, they all went home about 3pm or 5pm, and I am talking about 7 kids.
her is some cheap meals I can think of, tuna fish salad, egg salad, mac and cheese you can put brochil or sweet peans in it with tuna fish, cooked potates with scramle eggs are very filling also, pinto beans and corn bread, I use dry beans because they are cheaper, grill cheese sandwich with soup or salad
I make a lot of things with dried beans and rice which is really cheap. A $1.99 bag of garbanzo beans will make 3 healthy, protein-packed meals for my family. Black beans & rice are good too. Here are a few of my favorites:
This one is a series of 16 meals I made (all but one are crockpot and freezer friendly) for $150.
2 boxes of cheap mac and cheeses
1 lb hamburger
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pack taco seasoning
fry hamburger and drain. cook mac n cheese as directed. add meat to mac n cheese. put in tomatoes and taco seasoning. mix and heat till warm. you can use more mac n cheese to stretch this dinner for a bigger group.
I work at grocery store and I know I have heard that Wednesday is the day they mark down meats, etc. But the truth is ask!! They don't mind telling you! I know I have people ask me. At my job it is usually Friday morning... I tell them get here before 12 or most of it is gone...
I know this sounds crazy but the whole baked chickens... under $5 for a whole chicken (raw is what like $8). We eat the chicken for first meal... season meal I add onions and peppers and fajita seasoning make taco or burritos or a burrito bowl.... I use chesse and salsa to top but have used lettuce and tomatoes when I did have time to whip up salsa...
Stews and soups are fulling yea the liquid helps fill you up but also can keep the price down.
How about egg noodles with vegetables such as corn, peas, canned diced tomatoes and carrots mixed in olive oil or margarine. If you have chicken toss some pieces in with it but if you can't afford to it tastes just fine without. Toss in any seasonings you like with it to give some more flavor.
I know this sounds weird, but if you're desperate...this is something I got from a friend when all of us were counting pennies.
You can easily double (or even triple) this.
All you need is a package of that lunch meat that's shaved thinly, usually in hanging bags on the rack near the more expensive ones. A box of Rice-a-Roni, and a can of cream of mushroom (or whatever...your choice) soup.
I used to choose the Rice-a-Roni and cream soup to match the meat.
Just fix the Rice-a-Roni in a large skillet, according to the package directions. Juliene the meat (roll it up and slice) and add to the skillet. Add the cream soup, undiluted, and heat through.
Now, if you wanted to get fancier, you can make it to this point, put it in a greased casserole dish, top with...anything...canned fried onions,some bread or stuffing crumbs, cheese, you name it. Then you can put it in the oven on broil and brown the top.
Swear it's good! Total cost? (doubled)
Packaged meat: $2.00 or so
Soup: $1.50 or less
Rice-a-Roni: About $3.00 I think, for 2
and a pat or two of butter as the package directs
If you double it, you will have spent about $7 for your whole family. Add some broccoli (frozen, big package) or green beans or small salad, and you have a meal. For about $10, all total. That's less than $2/each for 6 people. If you have any money left over, use it for a large can of fruit cocktail to round it all out.
I have a couple of more things I'll search out and post. It might use meat, but very little. Or something cheap.
I don't know what your family likes, but a big pot of pinto beans and a pan of cornbread makes everyone swoon around here. (Hey, we're in the south...lol) If you need to know how to do the beans, let me know. There's a brand called Randall's here that comes in quart jars, and you'd swear your grandma cooked them all day. Otherwise, cooking pintos is a snap once you get used to it. If you don't have a cornbread recipe, those packets in the baking section work just fine...ESPECIALLY if you do them in muffin tins! (Grease those babies well, so you get a crispy crust on the outside.) I like to serve coleslaw with them, some bread and butter pickles, minced onion to put on top of the beans, anything else I see...how about a boxed mac and cheese? Never saw a kid who didn't like that!