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Discussion Starter #1
Ok all. Here is the situation. I have $40 for groceries that I need to last me for 21 days. I have a great dollar store around here with plenty of items and grocery stores. I have VERY VERY limited coupons. probably only about 1-2 products I will normally use. We are eatting very healthy. I need some VERY cheap breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas. Things that are quick for the morning (best yet, somethign I can freeze and just pop in the microwave to eat on our way out the door), healthy lunch ideas to bring to work and healthy dinners. I have following meats...

Ground beef
ground turkey
several pounds chicken quarters
chicken thighs
4 Pork chops
Ground chicken
Whole Chicken
Salmon Fillets

I have the following veggies:
Frozen broccoli (getting freezer burned need to eat SOON)
Canned Green Beans
Canned Corn
Frozen Corn
Frozen whole Spinach
Bag of baby spinach
Carrotts
Green Peppers
Pickles
Green Olives
Potatos
Diced Tomatoes
Tomato Paste
Stewed Tomatoes
Garlic
FRESH Basil
NO NO NO NO Onions. Just onion soup mix

I have all types of seasonings in my cabinet plus beef and chicken boullon cubes and puerto rican spices.

Bread I have..
1 Loaf white
1 loaf rye
1 refrigerated can of bisquit.
1 Package Whole Wheat Wraps
Frozen Waffles


Pantry goods..
pasta
rice
brown rice
rice-a-roni sides
ramon noodles
mac-n-cheese
Refried Beans

Dairy,...
Butter
Cream Cheese
sliced american cheese
laughing cow swiss
laughing cow herb & garlic.

Now I can buy some groceries at the dollar store/reg. grocery store but need to limit it to $40 plus I have to include deoderant for myself and TP. I know I do need to buy Eggs and Soy milk.

So here is what I'm trying to do. I'm soooo bad with menu planning, cheap meals etc.. I need help. It's myself, my BF and my 5 year old daughter (her school snacks are provided by the school and her lunch by my mother) I take lunch to work. I need healthy, quick, cheap meals. I also need recipes... I am really bad with just "throwing" something together. So I'm trying to see if I can get a menu together with all you lovely ladies help to feed my family for 21 days breakfast, lunch (for 6 days for all of us and every week day for me) and dinner. What i listed is mainly what I have... I can spend $40 this weekend. I need to figure out what to buy (very very little coupons), make a menu and get recipes together. Who wants to help???
TIA!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I forgot to add... i'm looking to put together/cook most meals this weekend for convenience so I may have to spend about $5 of that $40 on containers at the dollar store. Plus $5 for 5 containers of soy milk (will last the entire 3 weeks) and a carton of eggs $2. then I guess around $7 for TP. So i'm looking at only actually having $21 for actualy groceries.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
anyone? I'm willing to try anything!
 

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roast the whole chicken serve with riceroni side and corn for dinner.
use left over meat and laughing cow cheese and some baby spinach to make wraps for you for lunches.
cook groundbeef with garlic,basil, add some canned tomatoes, mix in cooked pasta.
porkchops, mashed tators and broccoli
 

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not sure how this would taste. But thinking with the ground turkey, if you cooked and then mixed in some turkey gravy (you would have to buy) and served over the biscuits. Kind of like sausage gravey and biscuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great. those are a few meals I can add. That's 3 dinners and several lunches thanks!
 

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at the end of the month u could get a big family can of tomato soup and put leftover meat and veggies in along with some garlic powder, chili powder and some seasoning salt or whatever seasoning u like.
 

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I forgot to add... i'm looking to put together/cook most meals this weekend for convenience so I may have to spend about $5 of that $40 on containers at the dollar store. Plus $5 for 5 containers of soy milk (will last the entire 3 weeks) and a carton of eggs $2. then I guess around $7 for TP. So i'm looking at only actually having $21 for actualy groceries.
ok, I stink at recipes, but I thought I may be able to help in another way :biggrin:

Don't spent $5 on containers at the store, instead buy a box of aluminum foil & saran wrap. (that just saved you $3)

Also, start saving your empty plastic containers from things like butter - then you will always have extra containers when you need them.

Can you buy a smaller pack of TP this trip, just enough to get by til you have more in the bank? Then you won't have to spend $7 on TP? ((That's expensive))

Most dollar stores have health/beauty stuff, so you can get deodorant there - so that's possibly only spending $5 total (($1 aluminum foil, $1 saran wrap, $1 toilet paper x 2, $1 deodorant))

Good luck :D
 

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You could precook the ground meat with onions (purchased) and a little carrot then divide this among several meals.

Add some brown rice and some brocoli (chopped) and stuff pepper halves.

Flatten out the bisquits (I pull half the layers off at a time) and line muffin tins then add a spoon of meat and some beaten eggs. Very easy and can be microwaved for an out the door breakfast. Add a little cheese if you like.

Add some of the meat to your rice a roni or noodles for that quick skillet meal.

Use the bones of the chicken you have and plan a soup. It is a great starter to a meal and can be very filling.

Make a strata if bread cubes, some of the meat mixture some added veggies if you like, and poor over some beaten eggs. I cut this into squares and microwave for quick lunches ... and breakfasts.


What a challange. Good luck.
 

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Take your diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and tomato paste and make sauce with some of the seasonings you have, and have pasta and sauce.
How about meatloaf? You can make that, you will need a couple of eggs though. You can make the bread crumbs with about 5 pieces of your bread, dried out in the oven then put through the food processor.

Take your broccoli, cheese and some riceand make a casserole. I don't have a recipe, but I'm sure if you search broccoli cheese casserole you'll find one.
 

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You didnt say if you have any flour. If you do, you can use some chicken broth/boullion and make homemade dumplings. This can possibly make a couple of meals. I have added veggies to the broth to make it a little more healthy
 

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I was looking for a previous post, but cant find it. However, Sunshine had some great ideas about feeding a family for a small amount of money. I hope this helps.
 

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Hope this helps with your planning:

Dinners

Poach Salmon in some water with the basil and garilc,serve with brown rice, and bagged spinach

Crockpot-pork chops and baked beans (you will have to purchase but they are pretty cheap)

Chicken Quarters-place a little of your garlic laughing cow and place under the skin before baking the chicken, serve with broccoli, and white rice

Chicken thighs-in crockpot put in chicken, stewed tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and basil, serve with rice

if you have leftovers you can take any of these into work for your lunches, do not buy the containers it is not the right way to spend your funds now. cover a bowl with plastic wrap or foil, it will do the trick for right now you will just have to be careful

Lunch idea

Make onion soup mix and add some cooked ground beef to it to stretch and fill you up, serve with your rye bread.

Do you have a bread machine? If so, you should use a little money to get flour and yeast and this will get you a long way with little investment in cash or time. I would be happy to give you recipes for white bread as well as french, pizza dough, and so forth. I am the queen of the bread machine and it does save you money. Good luck and feel free to pm me if you would like.
 

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I just made a big batch of breakfast rice. Cook regular rice, add sugar and cinnamon to taste. You can also add dried fruit if you like. I like to add the cinnamon and sugar after about 5 minutes. I cook for another 5 minutes. It is usually done then. If it needs more sugar add it now. Scoop into microwave safe bowls, cover and put it in the fridge. The kids take it out of the fridge in the morning and heat it in the microwave. Cheap, easy, fast, and 2 out or 3 kids love it.
I hope this helps.
 

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I just made a big batch of breakfast rice. Cook regular rice, add sugar and cinnamon to taste. You can also add dried fruit if you like. I like to add the cinnamon and sugar after about 5 minutes. I cook for another 5 minutes. It is usually done then. If it needs more sugar add it now. Scoop into microwave safe bowls, cover and put it in the fridge. The kids take it out of the fridge in the morning and heat it in the microwave. Cheap, easy, fast, and 2 out or 3 kids love it.
I hope this helps.
this stuff is really tasty! we eat it especially around christmas and add a little milk to it. makes for a nice warm treat.
 

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I made salisbury steak just this week -- it's cheap and very filling. Here's a scaled down version of what I do (I make it 5-10 lbs of meat at a time).


Take 1 lb. ground beef, but you could very easily use ground turkey or ground chicken. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 pkg. onion soup mix and about 1/4 cup water and 1 egg (you can leave out if you want). Add whatever other seasonings you want but you won't need much salt, but you can add powdered/minced garlic, black pepper, etc. Mix with hands and shape in patties. Brown in skillet. With the remaining 1/2 pkg of soup combine with 2 cups water in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Thicken with cornstarch/water or flour/water mixture to make gravy and season to taste with black pepper and a small bit of salt (the soup mix tends to be salty though). Serve 'steaks' with gravy and your choice of mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.
Note: I do these in a large batch, so I brown my patties in oven on sheet pans, mainly because I use ground beef and this gets a lot of the fatty grease out. I then transfer to a 9x13 or larger pan and pour gravy over patties. I cover with foil and bake till patties are done (these can be baked for as long as 1 hour if necessary -- so it makes a nice meal that can be prepped ahead of time and 'kept' in the oven till dinner).
 

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Ok, I have a couple more ideas - I made pasta con broccolli last night from scratch. I hmade the white sauce - 8 tbls butter, 8tbls flour 4 cups milk, garlic powder,4 tbls red spag sauce(this is optional) 1 box of noodles (I used spaghetti) 1 bag of broccolli. This will be 2 dinners for us. I have a couple heavy eaters, so this may be more for you. Also, you could buy top ramen noodles and add veggies to them. Normally this isnt a great meal, but if money is really tight, It will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone! All the ideas have been great and as soon as I'm done work (we have been Slammed this week) I'm going to make up a 21 day menu and see what I need to buy for my $21 (if not more thanks to the savings ideas regarding my containers) and see waht I can cook and freeze on Sunday. Any more ideas.. keep them coming and thank you again! You have no idea how great it feels to have you ladies to turn to in the time of need.
 

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what we do at my house is make what we call a "pot". its really just soup . we take a big can of tomato sauce and put all kinds of left overs in the pot.,add a can of corn and some pasta..its a great way to use up all the left overs in your fridge and save money at the same time.

we also stock up on big can of tomato sauce all year long.. we make mostof our pasta sauce ... look on line for other soup receips.. esp since it should get cool soon.
 
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