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TOPIC: What's in your house to eat?

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June 17, 2012 7:44 AM
Yes, it's a serious question! I am having to rework my budget and can only spend $100 on food a month. (I live alone, no children.) I'm interested in knowing how everyone eats when the cabinets start going bare.
June 17, 2012 8:40 AM
Given food prices today a hundred a month isn't going to go very far.. Unfortunately most folks with very limited incomes fill up on rice or macaroni - cheap, bulky starches. My dad died when I was a kid and my mom ended up raising 7 kids on $75 a week so I grew up on starches - we only had meat once or twice a week. That's part of why you see so many heavy kids and folks who are also poor. But for what its worth, here are two stray thoughts - First, have you checked to see if there's a local food bank you could take advantage of? Secondly, have you applied for food stamps? If you hate asking for help, you could 'pay' back for the help by volunteering at the food bank or at some other organization that is helping your community for a few hours a month, As I said, just some stray thoughts.
  24622466
June 17, 2012 8:45 AM
I keep canned salmon on hand at all times. I limited canned tuna because of the mercury, although I do eat it occasionally. Always have salad greens, too. I can make taco meat ahead and then have a taco salads by adding a little salsa, cheese and light sour cream. I make deviled egg salad a lot, too.
  23159244
June 17, 2012 8:47 AM
You'd be better off eating beans than rice & noodles.

Yogurt & frozen fruit.

Frozen stir fry veggies (but I nuke them)

Check out your local meat store for low fat meats on mark down, they mark them down daily.

Fish, tofu.

Watch the sale ads for marked down chicken, turkey.
  21350066
June 17, 2012 8:58 AM
When looking to stretch my food dollar I head for the bulk bins. Brown rice, lentils and other legumes are uber cheap (even not in bulk, but in the bulk section even moreso). Some olive oil, onions and garlic (all inexpensive) and you can make an easy and satisfying meal. Nothing wrong with complex carbs (brown rice) and the lentils and other legumes give plenty of protein.

Buy veggies & fruit in season and local as much as possible (tastes better, more environmentally friendly and cheaper!). And you can always head to the freezer section to look for deals on veggies and fruit too.
June 17, 2012 9:04 AM
QUOTE:

Given food prices today a hundred a month isn't going to go very far.. Unfortunately most folks with very limited incomes fill up on rice or macaroni - cheap, bulky starches. My dad died when I was a kid and my mom ended up raising 7 kids on $75 a week so I grew up on starches - we only had meat once or twice a week. That's part of why you see so many heavy kids and folks who are also poor. But for what its worth, here are two stray thoughts - First, have you checked to see if there's a local food bank you could take advantage of? Secondly, have you applied for food stamps? If you hate asking for help, you could 'pay' back for the help by volunteering at the food bank or at some other organization that is helping your community for a few hours a month, As I said, just some stray thoughts.


I make too much money for food stamps. My gross income is $150.00 over the maximum. A friend told me about the food banks yesterday. It's something I think I'm going to have to look into this week. I know all too well that $100.00 a month isn't going to cut it. That's why I was hoping you guys could help come up with some ideas. :) I'm not a fan of rice, but I think I'm going to have to change that. LOL
June 17, 2012 9:05 AM
Chicken, bulk Greek yogurt, frozen veggies, fresh fruit. And my favorite food, peanut butter.
  3997270
June 17, 2012 9:15 AM
I'd purchase the following (my ultimate staples!):

Cheerios
Bananas, apples, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, sweet red peppers
Brown Rice
Chicken (lots of it!)
Deli sliced turkey
Hummus
Greek yogurt

It covers carbs, protein and healthy fat
June 17, 2012 9:16 AM
Lots of canned beans (I like Black and Kidney beans)
Lentils
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Onions
Garlic
Frozen vegetables
Cheese - when on sale. Yesterday, I bought a half a pound of colby jack at the deli counter, sliced thin, for under $2.
Chicken - when it is on sale, I buy whole ones. Then I pre-cook the meat so I have it to add to salads and for easy dinners. And I use the bones to make chicken stock for soup and flavor when cooking.
Whatever fruit is on sale.
Sugar-free jello (which I only make once in a very long while)
  5889765
June 17, 2012 9:23 AM
I
Edited by jayne_mel On June 17, 2012 9:51 AM
June 17, 2012 9:40 AM
I'm a college student and I'm having the same problem right now. I invested in a filtered pitcher so that I could just drink water all the time (they're $10 at walmart) other than that I buy a lot of frozen chicken breasts(5lbs for $9) , shrimp (60 for $5), rice (I buy the family sized ones, can't quite remember the price right now, but there are three servings in one bag and 6 in a box so break out your tupperware!), tilapia, mozzarella string cheese sticks, apple sauce (no sugar added, they're 6 for $1.50), granola bars (18 for $3), a bag of potatoes (10lbs for $5), sometimes I just buy a lot of pasta ($1 for a pound) and some spaghetti sauce when it's on sale and that makes quite a few meals when you stick to the actual serving suggestions (which we should all be doing anyways), eggs are pretty cheap as well, usually less than $2 for a dozen. I do all of my grocery shopping at walmart, I occasionally splurge on lean pockets if they're on sale or I'll go in on the ingredients for something with a few friends but other than that I pretty much stick to the basics. Sorry for the text wall, just kind of typing things out as I remember them lol.

I've found that a decent (and cheap!) lunch is a cheese stick, a granola bar and some apple sauce. Although this may or may not cut it for some depending on when their next meal is.

I also like to eat a chopped up chicken breast with a serving of rice, if you put in a couple of tablespoons of kikkoman teriyaki sauce/marinade while the chicken is cooking it's really yummy! Another really cheap idea is a basic hot sauce (just cayenne pepper, vinegar, water, etc.) as a dipping sauce for a chopped chicken breast. The sauce has no calories and it doesn't matter how you cook the chicken (bake, fry, boil, etc.) the sauce is pretty hot and it makes me drink a lot of water! It's also pretty cheap, maybe a dollar a bottle on sale? Also anything canned as long as it doesn't have too much sugar. I love love love canned sweet peas and they really fill you up!

Anyways, I hope this helps at least a little bit.
  24648056
June 17, 2012 11:03 AM
Find a fresh produce market. They are usually way cheaper than wal-mart produce. I can get a whole weeks worth of veggies and salad fixin's for 8-10 dollars. I also make my own spaghetti sauce and freeze when tomatoes are in season. Have you thought about a garden to grow your own produce? I have fresh herb plants in my kitchen. They are not only cheaper, but taste better than dried herbs. Also beans, red beans, black beans, brown beans, white beans....
Edited by hddeuce1966 On June 17, 2012 11:05 AM
  16539386
June 17, 2012 11:07 AM
Clip coupons and sign up for your grocery stores member programs. Find out what's for sale and stick to a menu for that week. Don't be afraid of left overs.
June 17, 2012 11:15 AM
Lentils, apples, cucumbers, bell peppers, hummus, broccoli, brown rice, beans, tomatoes, sandwich thins, eggs, cauliflower, cilantro, chicken breast, baby carrots, lunch meat.

Two things that will kill your budget are meats and cheeses.
  23334912
June 17, 2012 11:19 AM
I get bulk veggies and fruit. Lentil or split pea soup with veggies, minestrone soup with any cheap veggies in season (no meats), steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon or sugar and raisins for breakfast. But mostly discount foods when they are on sale and eat according to sale foods. And I freeze or can anything cheap. Pretty soon I'll be making spaghetti sauce or tomato soup when veggies are cheap. I even make my own pasta when eggs are cheap.Even in an apartment you can grow herbs. Trading with people too- maybe do chores in exchange for fruit and veggies or taking turns making meals with friends so when you cook it's shared and you don't get too bored.Lunches of cobb salad, scrambled eggs with veggies (like onion and peppers),
Doesn't Schnuck's have a discount section?
See if Aihua Oriental Market or River City Food Co-op do bulk or bruised food at the farmer's market to make applesauce or pear sauce or anything like that.
No juice, no soda, no gatorade. No prepared meals.
  9263752
June 17, 2012 11:19 AM
Not sure where you're located but any Indian or Asian market will have very inexpensive prices on produce. For something that is filling, I do a complex carb with protein.

Lunch: Ground turkey burger with a microwaved yam, beet or squash. I will add different types of condiments to the sections of the burger to change up the flavor. .
Snack: Boiled egg & Apple

Eggs $1.76 Walmart
Pack of Turkey Burgers $13
10 lb pack Chicken Breast $22
Bulk Greek Yogurt
Double Fiber Bread
Black or Pinto Beans
Generic Crystal Light Mixes (if CL not on sale)
Sweet Potato or Yam
Butternut or Acorn squash
Fresh Beets
Apples
What ever fresh veg/fruit that's on sale
June 17, 2012 11:23 AM
Old fashioned oatmeal. You can make regular oatmeal or refrigerator oatmeal with plain greek yogurt. You can use it as a filler with meatloaf and use it in place of flour if you have a food processor to grind it up.

Buy a food scale if you don't have one and buy large packages of meat and divide them into 3 oz portions. That'll stretch a long way.

A dozen eggs is good to have on hand. A small jar of honey. Frozen veggies are often cheaper than their fresh counterparts and the nutrition is pretty good. Buy larger bags for more savings.

Talk to a local store about buying older bananas cheaply - you can use them to make bread and such. And, remember that if you have fruit that's a little too ripe you can blend it up with a dollop of yogurt and make a smoothie.

Good luck!
  4403851
June 17, 2012 11:27 AM
everything you can possibly imagine....because im russian and still live with my mom :P
June 17, 2012 11:33 AM
I live alone and probably spend $75/week on groceries. So I definitely think you should look at food banks and local church food pantries. So check those things out and buy beans, eggs, bulk oatmeal, frozen fruits and veggies and other cheap staples. Cheese is expensive, yogurt is kind of expensive if you buy the single servings. Cereal is definitely expensive.
Edited by sun33082 On June 17, 2012 11:37 AM
  8735779
June 17, 2012 11:36 AM
If you have an Aldi's in your area, they have some decent produce and good prices, too.
  19030531
June 17, 2012 11:37 AM
I have really gotten into coupons and frozen vegetables. I go to the website for the item and you can usually find a coupon. Frozen vegetables are cheap, they keep for the longest time and have a variety of uses. I can steam them, grill then, put them in a pan with some salsa.... done.
I also look to buy in bulk when I have some extra cash. Stock up on flexible items such a pasta, rice, soups even.
June 17, 2012 11:41 AM
I always buy the discount meat - terrible as that sounds, it saves me a ton of money. I always have chicken, spaghetti sauce, and pasta on hand. I keep an emergency ration of Ramen (which I fortunately almost never have to eat), and then basics like flour so I can make bread or something if needed.
June 17, 2012 11:41 AM
When I first moved to L.A., I had like $5-10/week to spend on food. Well, that sure doesn't get you far. I got the cheapest bread I could (pita pockets at the local mexican food store) and then I'd have 1/2 a can of tuna with some mayo for sandwiches at lunch. I'd have things like eggs on hand all the time because they're filling and dirt cheap. Eggs for breakfast, egg salad for lunch - you get the idea. I'd also get milk, like a glass of milk a day means 1gal should last you about a week. chicken cutlets are often on sale, and if you freeze them, they're good for further meals. Frozen veggies are def. cheaper, too, than fresh, and won't go bad as soon (waste of money).
  5835264
June 17, 2012 11:52 AM
QUOTE:

I'd purchase the following (my ultimate staples!):

Cheerios
Bananas, apples, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, sweet red peppers
Brown Rice
Chicken (lots of it!)
Deli sliced turkey
Hummus
Greek yogurt

It covers carbs, protein and healthy fat



This sounds like some good choices!
  24639172
June 17, 2012 11:55 AM
Meat loaf is cheap. For a few bucks you can make enough pasta to eat for a few days, lunch and dinner. Oatmeal is cheap.

I'm the king of eating well for cheap.

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