Spaghetti with meat sauce.
If you buy the canned spaghetti sauce when they're at a dollar or less apiece, pasta when on sale at $0.59 apiece, and a small pack of ground beef to brown and mix with the sauce or one polish keilbasa to brown and mix with the sauce. Should be able to eat for at least two meals for about $5-6.
For veggies you can add a can of diced tomatoes or 1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach to the sauce. Both can be found for $1 when on sale. The canned diced tomatoes can occasional be found at $0.75
Hot dogs or polish kielbasa with mac and cheese. Cheap hot dogs can be as low as $1 per package. Add a can of diced tomatoes. Dice the hot dogs or kielbasa and saute with some onions. Stir in with three boxes of Mac and cheese. Boxed mac and cheese can be found for as low as $0.33 per box of store brand.
Watch the sales. Buy in bulk.
Soups and stews are good for stretching a long way. Chile with lots of beans and rice is a favorite of ours. You need protein and beans and legumes are good for that. Also, eggs are relatively cheap and a good source of protein, so we will eat eggs for dinner at times when we're trying to not spend money on meat. Two eggs per person is a lot cheaper than a cut of meat per person. Add potatoes and a separate veggie or make a salad from head lettuce, which is relatively inexpensive. Feeding seven people is going to be more expensive any way you do it, but sticking to bulk dry foods like beans and rice and cheaper foods like potatoes and eggs will help a little.
I doubled this when I made it, served with homemade muffins and veggie sticks or glazed carrots. It easily fed all 7, with leftovers.
- 1 lb. dry navy beans (I've also used black-eye peas or great northern beans)
- 6 cups water
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3/4 c. ketchup
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 3/4 - 1 c. water
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 2 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 tsp. salt
Soak beans in water overnight in large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain and discard water. Mix together all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.
Note: I often soak the beans the day before, cook them and then cook in crock pot overnight.
Note: I sometimes add sliced hot dogs or ham to the mixture. When I do this I reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp.
Protein fills be holds really well. If they are still feeling hungry after meals, offer peanut butter sandwiches or toast. Milk at the meal will also help.
Chili with lots of beans in it never looks very filling, but it's amazing how much a little bit will fill and hold as well. Here's a cheap and easy recipe-
1 large can Great Northern Beans
8oz Colby/Jack cheese
1 can salsa
1 can Chicken Broth
1 can of chicken (or use frozen chicken, cook and add in. It's a bit harder, but I think the big frozen bags are cheaper and you can add in more or less)
Chili powder to taste
Throw it into a crock pot and let it go. Ready when they are and VERY filling!
This fed 8 as long as I had sides
Chicken & Rice Casserole
- 8 pieces chicken drums or thighs or combination
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 to 1 1/2 soup cans water
- 1 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
- 2 tsp. beef boullion
- 1 cup long grain rice
Wash chicken pieces (I prefer to remove the skin too). In 9 x 13 pan or baking dish, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Add chicken pieces. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.