Choose Theme

Find the Sexy Nerd Next Door? 

Fatty Talk “Feeding a family on pennies a day!” by DoomMonky

 
Member
DoomMonky 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Let me preface this by saying that I've never been good in the kitchen, unless you count eating what others have made for me.

So here is what I need. I need to learn to put together a weekly menu to feed three people on as little money as possible. I need good quick budget recipes that I can throw together in no time when we get home for the evening. And I need the advice of people who do this regularly on how to keep things varied and interesting, without adding a whole lot of extra cost.

So go! Help me build tasty menus that we can afford!
item
 
NekoStar 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Pocket Link named "small but pleasing"
Budget Bytes!

http://...blogspot.com/...d-pork-chops-655-recipe-163.html

item
 
Boudicca 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Lightsaber named "I AM the Dark Side, Motherfuckers!!"
The best place to start is buying whatever meats are on sale at your local market and building your meals around that.

If hamburger is on sale, we'll have spaghetti, nachos and burgers that week. If it's chicken we'll do baked chicken or BBQ chicken, chicken parmesan or chicken casserole.

A big pot of chili is something you can make on the weekend and have a couple times that week. Might get monotonous, but it'll feed everybody!

The cheapest and easiest meal to make is breakfast for dinner. When things get tight, we'll have sausage, eggs, grits and waffles.
item
Member
pamelaNeko 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Devo Hat named "uncontrollable urge!"
Rice and Beans
item
Member
Amanda 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
Beans are cheaper than meat to get your protein. Tuna can be cheaper than beans, if it's on sale. It's only cheaper to make bread than buy it if you're confident in your ability to make loaves and you already have the equipment necessary.

Seriously though, loads of beans. Nutritious and filling. Use some discretionary dollars to buy fresh vegetables on sale once or twice a week.

That's basically how I lived on $10/wk for a while.
PS: Canned green beans are kind of gross but they can get down to $0.30/can on sale. And they can be dressed up with vinegar and other spices if they getcha down.
item
 
Boudicca 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Lightsaber named "I AM the Dark Side, Motherfuckers!!"
As far as veggies go, I have found that frozen veggies can be just as cheap as canned and the nutrients are still in them without all the added sodium of canned veggies.
item
Member
The Virgin Queen 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Automail Arm named "Wanking Arm"
Pasta and a tin of tomatoes goes a long way with an added bit of seasoning.

I find ground/minced beef is one of the cheapest meats out there. I bought this book and it really helped me create a variety of tasty, cheap meals:

http://www.amazon.com/1-Ground-Beef-100-Meals/dp/1445406373

You can do burgers, chili, spaghetti bolognese, cottage pie, meatballs, battered beef.. It goes on.

A staple food in my kitchen for super-low-cost-but-super-filling is making a few yorkshire puddings to go with whatever you're serving.

- You need 1 egg, 1 cup of flour, 300ml of milk and a bit of cooking oil. This makes TWELVE yorkshire puddings!
- You need a cupcake/muffin tray, fill each section with a little bit of oil just to cover the bottom.
- In a bowl, sieve the flour into it, add the egg, whisk together and slowly pour in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Put into a large measuring jug of ease of pouring later. You can put this in the fridge for a few hours if you want or use immediately.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425, put the oiled up pan into there for 5 minutes until the oil is hot. Remove, pour in the batter about to half fill each section of your pan. If you hear a sizzle when the batter hits the oil, you're doing it right. If you have batter leftover just top up any bits you've been a bit skimpy on.
- Put in the oven for around 15-20minutes, you'll know they're done when they're golden brown and risen nicely.
- Don't worry if they don't look exactly like the picture below, they will taste the same I can assure you.
- Feel free to add salt and pepper to the mixture as you're making it. You can add a bit of dijion mustard too if you're feeling fancy OR a bunch of sage seasoning to give it that warm, Christmassy taste.

Very very cheap, very simple to do, makes 12 and fucking tasty.

Image: 285x217 JPG, 40KB. Click to view.
item
Member
Dusty Pockets 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Bi Curi-O's Cereal named "Taco flavored cereal?!"
I agree on the rice and beans route. I usually make several servings ahead of time.

This is for one person, but I also make a lot of soups and stews. One big pot of soup will last me for a week if I'm careful.

I don't care for it. but if you get a whole chicken, you can use the bones and such to make stock. Freeze that shit, date it, and you have tasty stock that can be used to spice up ALL KINDS of meals, especially when you money is being stretched.

Whenever you have some discretionary cash, I recommend expanding your cookware arsenal. The more tools you have available to you, the more different meals you can readily make. I love my big pot, my pyrex dishes (great for cheap casseroles!) and my steamer, all of which were larger investments.
item
Member
Ryan the Lion 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Radtaculous Glove of POWWWEER named "Knife-proof bionic hand!"
It's worth mentioning that you should also control your portions. Don't starve yourself, but try not to cram until you're absolutely full.
item
 
Bad Wolf 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Sigil From Ed Elric's Coat named "Equivalent Exchange"
Ryan the Lion said:
It's worth mentioning that you should also control your portions. Don't starve yourself, but try not to cram until you're absolutely full.


This. Also, a really simple, easy, cheap meal I used to do I found on the box of some generic store brand mac 'n' cheese years ago.

Just prepare a box of mac 'n' cheese the way you would, then add in a can of tuna and a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. Stir it all in. Enjoy.

More filling, gives you protein, and you'll definitely have some leftovers. I had a friend who would use this recipe and also stir in some leftover peas she had from her vegetable portion of her meal the night before. Tasted pretty good!
item
Member
RogueSamus 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Embarassing Yaoi Fanfiction by RogueSamus named "Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life"
Crock pot! Great for a few meals' worth in one cooking session, easy to find cheap ingredients, also works well with things from the freezer, so you can stock up when certain meats are cheap. This way you can budget for meat and then leave discretionary money for whatever vegetables are on sale.

You can also do dry beans in the crock pot and really make a variety of meals with just beans and a few cans and spices.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
item
Member
Ryan the Lion 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Radtaculous Glove of POWWWEER named "Knife-proof bionic hand!"
Rizu said:


This. Also, a really simple, easy, cheap meal I used to do I found on the box of some generic store brand mac 'n' cheese years ago.

Just prepare a box of mac 'n' cheese the way you would, then add in a can of tuna and a can of condensed ...


I do this, but with chopped broccoli!
item
Member
marinasaurus rex 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Shark With Frickin' Laser named "Raymond"
I say this in every thread likes this. BUT THE WHOLE CHICKEN THING CAN FEED A SMALL FAMILY FOR A WEEK. Cook it one night, then you have tacos/sandwiches/pot pie/whatever and then use the carcass to make a nice stock for stew!!!
item
Member
Dusty Pockets 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Bi Curi-O's Cereal named "Taco flavored cereal?!"
Learn how to creatively use leftovers. I had leftover veggies from Thanksgiving (potatoes, carrots, onions.) I popped all of it into a casserole dish with a can of cream of chicken soup and some frozen chicken and poured some Bisquick on top (mixed into a batter, of course.) It made a damn good chicken pot pie that lasted quite a while!
item
 
Bad Wolf 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Sigil From Ed Elric's Coat named "Equivalent Exchange"
My mom always makes soup from leftover turkey or chicken! It's the best, lasts for at least a week or so. :)

Also, Ryan, that sounds so much better on account that I actually don't like peas very much... hahaha.
item
Member
Creepy Stalker 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: N00dz of akanepanda
:)
item
 
Donitsu 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Technique Scroll: "Mega Pimp Slap"
Spaghetti and tomato juice. Sounds gross, heat up the tomato juice pour it on spaghetti and eat it like ghetto soup. Throw a little butter in there, shit worked for me forever when I was growing up broke.

Also: French onion soup. Sounds fancy, it's cheap and easy to make.
item
Member
Amanda 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
my school was close to a pizza parlor that would offer a $5 student calzone deal and it was pretty baller!

in my poorer days, I'd scavenge for peoples' leftover calzone marinara dipping sauce (like my roommate who couldn't have tomatoes), mix it with cottage cheese, and pour it over spaghetti. weirdly delicious.

Also, let's not get down on PB sandwiches for breakfast. Good mix of fats, proteins, and carbs, and really fucking cheap to boot.
item
Member
seggs 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: All-New, Portable, Take-Anywhere Llama named "Tina"
pamelaNeko said:
Rice and Beans


and noodles.

when i was living by myself, i wasnt so much concerned about cost of food as i was about how long it would stay shelf stable. spoiled food is wasted money, and that was my financial worry. left to my own devices i will probably eat 10-12 meals a week. theres a certain point where the unit price almost doubles for the next size down. i was apparently at that point, so i would buy what i wanted and make it last for two weeks. i did a lot of preparing and freezing.


item
Member
pamelaNeko 3 years ago on 12/07/11
Equipped: Devo Hat named "uncontrollable urge!"
Cheap Pantry Stock:

eggs
beans (dry are the cheapest if you have the prep time)
lentils
cabbage
canned tomatoes
tuna
frozen shrimp
rice
frozen veg
carrots (not baby carrots)
peanut butter
onions/potatoes/sweet potatoes

We (Christian) make a lot of soups & stews & curries. They are hearty, flavorful and good for leftovers. But the real thing is you can throw basically anything in them, whatever is cheap at the time (or overripe). You can get super cheap cuts of meat (neck bones, oxtail, ham hocks) and roast or braise them in stew for a meaty flavor, though you may be getting your protein from the beans rather than big chunks of meat.

I like making quiche b/c it feels decadent but it's just eggs, milk, and chopped up whatever. Make it a frittata if you don't want crust.

Cabbage is cheap, versatile, and goes a long way. Cheap dark greens are amazing-- collard greens, kale, etc are often like $1 for a huge bunch.

Stop buying processed/pre-packaged stuff like bottled salad dressing, boxed noodle/rice, tater tots, soup, etc and make your own. No instant anything. Shred your own cheese, make your own hummus, etc. We try not to buy snacks either, like chips. Make stove-top popcorn instead. Sometimes we get a big box of Saltines-- the multi-grain ones are actually really tasty.

Boxed cereal is really expensive for what you're getting-- consider oatmeal (homemade, not instant) or homemade granola.

Learn how to make a roux-- a rich base for many a simple dish.

Pizza dough (and other kinds of dough) are easy, cheap, versatile, and freeze well.

Scout the cheapest grocery stores in your area (or beyond). Ethnic markets are often SO much cheaper than Jewel or Dominicks! And you can get awesome produce too. Spices & herbs are all cheaper from Mexican brands. Dried mushrooms from Asian markets are super cheap and add amazing flavor.
PS: I like to make cookie dough in double batches. I bake only as much as my small family needs (maybe a dozen) and freeze the rest in little balls. Now I have frozen cookie dough for a sweet inexpensive treat whenever I want it.

I know you said you want recipes that take no time. But if you want nutritious, truly cheap food, you're going to have to either put some time in it, or slow-cook everything. It's not so much the time as it is the thought. Sometimes that can be hard after a long day at work. But man, I grew up on hamburger helper, then lived through college days of all ramen. It's so much healthier & happier and ultimately cheaper to spend a little time cooking for real.

Moderator marinasaurus rex Says:

You need a paid membership to reply to this thread.

Paid memberships are four bucks a month or twenty bucks a year. Cheap!

However, creating an account is free. Members without paid accounts can use a lot of the site's features without ever paying anything.

Be awesome. Create an account!

Geek dating and social networking for awesome people.

Sign Up. Join OtakuBooty!

OtakuBooty is where smart, funny, sexy nerds meet. Creating an account is free. Full membership is $4/month or $15/year. Cheap!

Press People. Need material? Cover OB for your site, blog, podcast, magazine, or what-have-you.  More info »

Want Your Stuff Reviewed By OB? Just send us your press releases and requests to review your products.