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I guess we are officially on a Rice and Beans meal budget/plan. I need all the ideas for a family of 4 to keep the weekly/monthly food budget as LOW as possible. we usually shop at Walmart.Debby
(BS7) I do a very simple meal plan for the month, then I check our freezer and pantry and jot down needed items.
We make a lot of casseroles, crockpot meals and hearty soups. Noodles, rice and potatoes stretch every meal.
Campbell’s Cooking with Soup site has great and easy recipes.
I also use Cris Crockpot for easy meals.
I only grocery shop with my list in hand and a limited amount of ca$h in my pocket. With ca$h in hand there is no way to overspend.Christina
1. Meal plan. I try to meal plan the whole month if I can. Weekly planning works well, too.
2. Before you meal plan, take inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer(s). Shop your existing stock first and build your meal plan around things you have and need to use. This will minimize what you need at the store each week.
3. ALWAYS have a grocery list. Try to do pickup instead so you aren’t tempted to walk around if that’s a problem for you.
4. Look for clearance, shop the sales, and spend part of your budget each week stocking up on a couple things. If something is a great deal, but 1 for now, 2 for later (as long as you have room to store it, and this may require creativity). I have half a freezer full of clearance meat, so I never have to pay full price.
5. Keep your recipes simple. Start the crockpot before you go to work and come home to a complete meal, find instant pot recipes that take almost no time, and use one pot/one pan meals on other days (that use few ingredients and minimal prep and cooking time). I like to find 5 ingredient or less meals.
6. Season your food well! It makes it more palatable to eat at home. Know why restaurant food tastes so good? Salt and fat.
7. Watch people who can teach you simple meals and basic principles of frugal food life. Frugal Fit Mom, Julia Pacheco, and See Mindy Mom are my faves.Rachel
-Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice soup
-No Peek Chicken and Rice (I like Plain Chicken’s recipe)
-Hobo Dinner (foil packet dinners)
-Pork roast (on sale for $1.88/lb at Kroger right now) with carrots and potatoes
-Chicken Divan (spend with Pennie’s recipe)
-Take advantage of hams that will be going on major sale for Easter. Have ham the first night, then pick the meat off for casseroles, soups, ham and beans, etc.
-easy baked tilapia (spend with Pennies)
-blue plate open faced turkey sandwich (taste of home – I only use one small package of turkey lunchmeat, but you can double if you have the extra money, and I make homemade mashed potatoes)
-Tuna noodle casserole (pioneer woman)
-homemade hamburger helper (divas can cook)
-cheeseburger soup (taste of home)
-homemade pizza dough for pizzas (Sally’s baking addiction)
-crispy skinned baked chicken legs (healthy recipe blogs)
-crispy baked chicken thighs (recipetineats)
-lasagna with cottage cheese instead of ricotta
-breakfast for supper once or twice a week to cut down on meat expenses
-everytime you go to the grocery store check the discount produce, discount meat, and clearance section.
-only buy what’s on sale
-look for salvage grocery stores. I drive to several and the farthest one away is just over an hour, but it’s totally worth it!
-beans, pasta, and rice will prob be your cheapest bets.
-Any soup or casserole recipes that call for meat can usually have the amount of meat cut in half
-bread and butter is probably the cheapest filler you can have, so add it to your dinners if you need a little extra to make sure tummies are full.
It’s soooooo fun making food stretch! Keep a positive attitude and make it like a game. 😊 You’ve got this!AMegan
Make a meal plan and stick to it. Make your shopping list based on that plan. Go meatless for at least one or two meals (we usually eat meat 1-2 times per week, but do what works best for your family). Use the Supercook app to find recipes based on what you already have in your pantry. When I was starting, I felt I was more successful when I made my plan and list and then put in an order for pickup at Walmart. I saved time and money because I wasn’t buying duplicates because I wasn’t sure what I had at home (I could just run and check) and I wasn’t tempted by things not on my list. Good luck!Bailey
I use Walmart pickup and adjust my cart until it is exactly in budget.
Buy all store brand. It’s for a season, off brand ranch is not my fave, but it gets the job done.
Avoid processed food. No hamburger helper, Rice Roni, instant rice, canned beans, chips etc. Instead go for Dried beans, brown rice, flour, yeast, etc.
Cook from scratch. It is more time consuming and requires more planning, but the meals can be significantly more nutritious and filling for longer.
Opt for foods that keep you full longer oatmeal vs. sugary cereal. Brown rice vs. White.
Keep your attitude positive. If the kids hear you grumbling about the meal they are going to follow suit. Have fun names for meals. Make it a game, let the kids pick 1 meal a week and get them in the kitchen with you.
Some of our favorites- Spaghetti with zoodles. Whole roasted chicken with rice and gravy, SALAD, and one other veggie.
Look at the portion sizes on your plate, our culture tends to put WAY more protein in the plate than is needed. Offer various fruits and veggies at every meal.Holly
1. NEVER go in the grocery store hungry!!!! You’ll buy tons of crap and none of it will go together and it will cost twice as much!
2. Make a menu (I use sale paper and items I already have for ideas) first
3. Make grocery list off of meal plan
4. Only buy what’s on the list… if you want to, you can add a list item for like $10 or whatever for an extra item, but just a small amount.
Hot dogs are cheap, anything with rice is cheap, grilled cheeses and soup is cheap. If you want healthier, you’re gonna pay more… shop the outside aisles of the store and stay out of the middle aisles, that’s where all the junk food is…Jessica
Utilize your local library for books on budget meals. The book Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown is a great start. If you have an Aldi check out the Mashup Mom on Facebook she does a meal plan for $75/week.Holly
Shop aldi! There’s also a Dave Ramsey budget meals group where people post recipe and meal ideas
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