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.)