Low on Cash? $35 = meals for a week

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Sometimes people are simply low on money. Sometimes they don’t have a choice but to eat low budget.  What would I do if I didn’t have much to spend but had bare cabinets?

Lets say I do not have a stock of coupons. I would go to couponnetwork.com and print off 2 .75/1 coupons for Total(quickly before they run out).

Then I would go to Acme.

I would buy:
1 loaf of plain old white bread at 1.29. (Hopefully you have peanut butter and or jelly. If not, buy 1/2 pound American cheese $4)
1 gallon of milk($4)
2 cans of beans (.50 each)
2# bag of rice ($2)
1 package of chicken legs/thighs at .99# (approximately 4 lb – $4 ea.)
1 lb. broccoli crowns (.99)
1 lb. bananas – .59#

Then I would get 2 boxes of Total(2.50 ea.), 4 Betty Crocker chicken helpers(1.50 each) and 4 cans of Progresso soup(1.79 each). (Buy these 10 items, get $5 off instantly).

Next I would go to Giant. I would buy 2 Ragu sauce (1.50 each) and get the free box of pasta that comes with it. A coupon for 1.50 off my next order would print out so I would do it again. I would use the 1.50 that printed out the second time to get a bag of baby carrots(1.50 or 1.99)

When I got home I would put my chicken in water to cook it. Once it was cooked through enough to pull off the bone, I would de-bone it. I would keep the chicken liquid(broth). I would divide the chicken out for my meals and put whatever I wasn’t using in the next 3 days into the freezer until I needed it.

We would have cereal every morning. For lunch we would have sandwiches and broccoli/carrots.

For 7 dinners we would have:

2 meals -Chicken Helper (skipping the ‘cook chicken’ step I would throw in a ration of the cooked chicken). I would make sure 2 of the packages were chicken fried rice and skip the chicken if I didn’t have enough for the other meals.

2 meals – Pasta with Ragu

1 meal – Rice with beans and chicken (hopefully I have butter but if not, salt and pepper will help)

2 meals – Utilizing the chicken broth I would make soup with the Progresso, 1 can of beans, and chicken.

There you go, if you really HAD to do it and you didn’t have ANY FOOD in your cabinets you could have a week of meals for 5 people for under $35. (If you have coupons already or have jelly, etc. it could be cheaper.)

Shortly after we were married I no longer had a job. It took a bit to find one that worked with Dave and my full time college schedules, his 30 hours a week work schedule, and my basketball schedule. I skipped breakfast and he had breakfast and lunch included in his meal plan. I picked up 2 hours a day, minimum wage PLUS my lunch weekdays and Saturday breakfast with a work study program. The rest of our meals? $10 a week. Thankfully Wal Mart had the gross bags of chicken legs for $5 (you know, the ones you have to clean yourself) and 10# bags of potatoes for $2.50.
That’s pretty much all we ate for dinners. (Amazingly I still like potatoes. Chicken legs need to be prepped pretty fancy for me to eat them.)

 

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About 

Heather writes at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond where the food is (mostly) real and the making's easy. She believes any one can cook. Just follow the steps, starting at #1. Read, follow, taste, venture out. Don't be afraid to fail, then try again. Her other hats are homeschooling, editing fiction, ghostwriting, and culinary marketing. Oh, and she believes life is always better with dessert.

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