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Old 01-04-2006, 11:17 AM   #61
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We do the same thing, Nettie, only I use canned chicken gumbo. I call them them sloppy Joes.
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Old 01-04-2006, 11:28 AM   #62
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This probably sounds stupid....but what is canned chicken gumbo?
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:31 PM   #63
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Slum Gullion!
The best and hartiest for sure.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:33 PM   #64
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Of course spaghetti and meatballs are always well recieved!
Meatloaf is another very popular meal.
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:18 PM   #65
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Tuna noodle casserole(all you need is a can of tuna, cheese,english peas,milk.and if worse come to worse you could leave out the peas...and of course there is always beans and rice)
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:54 AM   #66
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What a great thread! The following are pretty standard for us when I'm watching our pennies.

With a package of reduced fat bacon, I would stretch it over a few nights with some of the following:

blts with oven-roasted potatoes
Mark Bittman's Pasta with Potatoes (a pasta & potato kind of stew flavored with a bit of bacon and spiced with red pepper flakes)
green salad with poached eggs and hash browns
quiche or frittata
baked potatoes with bacon, cheese, and green onions.

With ground beef, I would make (as many have suggested) meatloaf or sloppy joes.

Pasta - where to begin?
Make a red sauce with canned tomatoes, herbs, and black olives
Lemon fettucine
Mark Bittman's Pasta with Charred Onions & Cilantro
The Urban Peasant's Pasta with Sauteed Mushrooms (using button mushrooms) flavored with soy sauce
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Cheese Quesadillas with Green Salad
Egg-fried Rice with peas and green onions
Pancakes with Fruit
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:39 PM   #67
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I'm going to take some of these seriously. I need to declare myself "poor" until I save up from all the holiday spending.
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:52 PM   #68
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When things get tight here, we tend to go with the big family packs of hamburger as well (i'm sorry, i don't recall who suggested it first )

We do hamburger gravy (brown 1 lb. hamburger with 1/2 an onion, s & p to taste, sprinkle with 1/3 cup or so of flour, allow to brown for 2 or 3 minutes, whisk in equal parts beef broth and milk to the consistancy you like for you gravy) served with either mashed potatoes or egg noodles, depending on what's on hand and green beans.
Meatloaf and meatballs with marinara.
Canned chicken gravy (same process as above except with chicken broth of course ) with egg noodles and peas.

We also tend to eat alot of breakfast for dinner when we're stretching ... pancakes, frenchtoast, frittata or omelettes and oatmeal with milk.

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Old 09-13-2006, 08:17 AM   #69
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Hope its ok to bump this one
I did a search for "budget meals" - for the obvious reason! - and quite few threads came up. I was going to post links to them, they are all very good reading, but it kind of clogged up the screen (some of the links were three lines long?), so anyone interested could just do the same search I've done (sorry!).

Relocating and loing my income is starting to hit us hard, and I am going to have to spend more to refine my Italian in order to be able to work. Not working is not all negative. For example, I am going to be able to be more regular about stock making and I don't expect a stockworthy ingrediant to find itsself going in the bin with a regretful shrug of the shoulders and look at the watch!

I have been reading through the threads and although many of the ideas aren't so relevant to me, outside USA, a lot of them are equally applicable whereever we are.

The thing that really struck me was the advice Michael in Ft Worth gave about shopping lists and planning ahead. At one point he mentioned he would like to see a thread on meals under $5 for a month. I am going to write such a thing out for myself because it struck me what a good idea this is. I am a list shopper...but the meals get juggled around an awful lot, and I am not good enough with left overs. On the occasionas I bank on the lefftovers I find my husband clears them as seconds.

The other situation that I, and I am sure many other people on a budget, find is that I am in rented...there is a decent (small by US standard though) fridge with a small freezer compartment. I'll pack it well, but I certainly won't be able to put too much in there, so this is where the list becomes more important than the bargain shopping!

What we have done for the past couple of years is list shop for six days of the week and then allow a day for eating out, having take out/whatever. I want to take that a stage further and eat our meals in an order that means I am using the left overs the very next day and cooking the amount needed per day (eg, not cooking a batch of soup, but expecting to make a soup or what ever daily, so it cannot all be scoffed!)

What I really liked about Michaels 30 day idea is that I think budget cooking it is easier than ever to fall into a rut. Something cheap, easy and you know is going to be liked becomes favoured over novelty: in the long term that makes the whole thing harder to stick to.

Having looked at all of that, we have a budget meal that I might have posted before can't remember. Its unappetisingly called cat sick in our house, but it tastes a lot better than that. Its a light meal on its own, or adds warmth to an otherwise unwinter friendly bowl of green salad and substance to a thin bowl of soup when served as a side.

1 can sardines, grated cheddar or cheddar type cheese, splash of Worcester sauce and a good squirt of ketchup. Combine, spred over bread/crumpets/muffins..any bready thing!...and grill. It is trashy but oh, so satisfying. I buy sardines in bulk and we eat a lot of this toward the end of the pay month!
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:30 AM   #70
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"CAT SICK" Lulu??!! Gosh that does sound tasty! I can just picture the color, too ... bet it's that special greenish color my (English ... is it a coincidence?) mother calls "s**t color by moonlight" ...

I'll add it to my list of revolting food names, thus far only having "dead dog" and "spotted dick" as entries, but I'll betcha we could all go on a tangent here.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:30 AM   #71
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When I need to budget, I make sure to hit my grocery on the sale days, and not the heavily advertised ones you see on TV. Every grocery has meat, produce (not as much) that it needs to get rid of fast, or else it goes bad and it's just money down the drain for them. Most groceries also have a cycle they go through, what days their stuff is fresh and just delivered, and what days that same stuff gets marked down.

For me, Tuesdays are Chicken Breast days, and Thursdays are normally Beef and Pork days. (Just an example)

I always always always look out for the great buys though; about 3 weeks ago I found a whole pork loin for $15, a little of 1/2 off that day. The thing was so big I couldn't even fit it on my grill, and Fiance and I we're eating it for over a week... and it was VERY good!

Back on topic... rice dishes I think are some of the best money savers. Totally versatile, and extremely cheap. Find yourself a good Asian grocer, they often sell rice and asian noodles in bulk. I actually had a dilemma last time I was at our Asian grocer... I realized they sold rice in 30 lb. bags for like $7!! I wanted to buy that so badly but I has a lot stored in the freezer just then, and I didn't know how I would ever use that much rice!
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:31 AM   #72
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Oh sorry, that wasn't the subject?

I'd go for a can or two of tuna, some pasta, garlic, and parsley. Cook the pasta, sautee the garlic in some olive oil or butter, add in the tuna and the pasta, toss until all ingredients are warm, then top with the parsley and lots of pepper. Yum!

With $10 or $15, same thing but with prawns ...
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:00 AM   #73
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I had to pinch pennies to feed my family when the kids were little, so cheap is my specialty. Here are some $5 or under menus:
*Potato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
*SOS made with chipped beef or hamburger and peas with homemade biscuits
*chicken & dumplings, green beans & cornbread
*any kind of greens cooked with bacon or hamhock and cornbread
*any kind of dried legumes cooked as above and cornbread
*macaroni and cheese
*pancakes or waffles
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:10 AM   #74
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I'd get $3 worth of chicken and a $1 packet of corn tortillas and provided I had rice, I'd make them some tortilla soup with chicken, dried chilis, leftover veggies in the fridge and some hot steaming rice. I usually have cornmeal, flour, sugar and butter so I'd make a cornbread to go with the soup. If I had cocoa or chocolate chips, (which is something I usually keep in my pantry), I'd bake them a marble cake, brownies or cookies for dessert. It's amazing what you can do with $5 bucks.
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:10 AM   #75
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From what I have in my house...... it would all be vegetarian, because I don't and won't buy grocery store meat because of the steroids, hormones and antibiotics, but I could make some yummy meals of pasta with a whole host of different veggie based sauces, red beans and rice, split pea soup, many bean soup, risotto with veggies and grated cheese, veggie quiche..... I always have oganic corn meal, whole wheat flour and rye flour on hand, and could make some great breads and/or rolls... It's not hard to feed a family of four well for $5 a meal, it just takes ingenuity and the willingness to eat a meatless meal!
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:36 PM   #76
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My local supermarket has fresh sardines at a euro a kilo at the moment. No idea how much $5 is in euros, but I reckon I could get a kilo and a half of sardines (just over 3lb in weight; the sardines are so good that a kilo might not be enough!) and serve with salad and rice and possibly have enough left over for an apple crumble or perhaps orange slices in brown sugar for pudding.
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:10 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Snoop Puss
...No idea how much $5 is in euros, .....
Lulu's simple guide to economics!

Taking my base currency as the pound! I have to consider accounts in dollars, euros and pounds.

The euro and d=the dollar are the closest, both are worth less than the pound. In my simple economics 1 euro = $1= 1 pound. $ are ok, I only have to deal with them coming in, so I write them off so I am left with pounds and euros. I take euro as the base rate, there fore I have to come in on budget in euros. All my most common ingoings and out goings are in euros now. So if I come in on budget in euros I will automatically be in budget in pounds with some left over for emergencies because the pound is worth more.

So, to further foolproof my method I make sure my personal values are in pounds. This means if I would spend say, 5 pounds on something, its ok to spend five dollars or euros. If its more than 5 in any currency then no, I cannot have it!

It makes sence to nobody but me, but it works and leaves me some in the bank for trips to the vet/unforeseen circumstances etc.

All I know is, that in any currency things are tight right now
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:26 PM   #78
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Grilled cheese & tomato soup FTW
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:45 PM   #79
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If I were in your shoes & on a really tight budget, first thing to go would be the night of dining out/takeout once a week. I'd automatically move that to once a month, or even once every 2 months (been there, done that).

Second, instead of the weekly meal plan I usually make up, I'd probably switch to a 2-week plan so I could plan using purchased items over a longer period of time.

For instance, I bought some feta cheese & a jar of kalamata olives to make a big meal-size Greek salad for dinner. I still have feta & kalamatas left over, so will purchase some penne pasta & fresh kale this weekend to make my favorite "Penne With Kale, Feta & Olives" recipe next week.

I LOVE buying whole chickens, roasting them, & using half for one meal; half for another. Depending on where you shop & the size of the bird, whole chickens can be had for anywhere from $2-$5. Roast the bird, enjoy half with veggies for one meal; use the other half for another dish.

I currently - & without any real "budgeting" - feed my husband & I weekday dinners & lunches & dinners on the weekends for approximately $5-$10 per each of us per meal. And with food prices the way they are these days, I consider that pretty darn good!!
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:48 PM   #80
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Pizza with tuna, I'll only have to buy some cheese.
$1000 recipe contest has just started!!!

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad...
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