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?
Tofu parmesean, tofu stir fry, tofu lo mein, fried tofu. You can make almost anything from tofu and it is super cheap. Get a big bag of black beans and with half of the bag make black bean soup and with the other make black bean burgers. What staples do you have? Just make as many meals as you can with what you already have.
Pasta is pretty inexpensive, and you can prepare it in so many ways. One meal that will not break the bank is tuna noodle casserol. All you need is a box of macaroni (any shape), 1 can (any brand condensed cream of mushroom soup, a bag of frozen peas, and 1 can drained water packed tuna. Cook the macaroni and drain, In a baking dish combine soup along with 1 cup milk, the frozen peas, and tuna. Toss in the macaroni and blend ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top the dish with 1/2 cup bread crumbs, and some parmesan cheese, and bake at 350 for 30 mins or until top is golden brown. To save money, make your own bread crumbs by grinding any bread you have in you house in a blender or food processor.
I think your best bet will be to get a few big cuts of meat and divide them up across the next 2 weeks. Then make things like stir frys, stews, casseroles, etc. Anything to stretch it. Teens need protein, mama. I think that's the best way to get it in them on a budget.
I made your quesadillas and nearly died!!! I didnt have tomatoes so I used a can of ro-tel. I also sauteed onions with my bell peppers. My pinto beans were from a can of ranch beans. I added salt, onion powder and Cayenne pepper. I also didnt have pepper jack cheese so i used Monterrey jack. I'm sure it was close enough and woooooooow!!!!! LOVE IT!!!!! Thank you!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo
Things I make when $$ runs short....
1)tortellini soup--water, boullion cubes, canned tomatoes, cooked ground meat or canned beans, any frozen veggies, and tortellini...bring to a boil then simmer until tortellini and veggies ate done, about 10 min.
2)quesadillas--flour tortillas, canned corn, canned pinto beans, chopped bell pepper, chopped tomatoes, and shredded pepper jack cheese...fill between 2 tortillas and heat in large skillet on both sides...slice into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with sour cream and salsa and rice.
3)blt pasta--cooked bow tie or spiral pasta, cooked bacon crumbled, cherry tomatoes halved, chopped romaine lettuce, ranch dressing, shredded jack cheese...mix all together and serve with toasted and buttered french bread.
4)egg salad sandwiches--chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped celery, chopped red bell pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise & mustard, Mrs. Dash table seasoning, and salt & pepper...mix all together and fill between 2 slices of bread toasted and serve with a apple slices.
5)tater tot casserole--oil a baking casserole dish and layer in: cooked ground meat cooked with onions+garlic+tomato sauce+salt+pepper, next layer cooked rice, next layer drained canned corn, last layer frozen tater tots....cook @ 350 for about 30 min. Or till tater tots are done. Finally top with shredded cheddar cheese and heat until cheese melts and serve with sliced tomatoes.
**Add, omit, or switch out any ingredient on these recipes depending on what you have on hand. Enjoy :)