Bare bones-back against the wall meal plan for 2011-2012

Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Weekly Menu Plans Bare bones-back against the wall meal plan for 2011-2012

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    • #301757

      I’m trying to drastically lower our grocery costs for the upcoming year to pay off credit cards as soon as possible…wondered how others would handle this.
      What would be a bare bones with your back against the wall grocery list and meal plan with current prices for a family of four.

    • #431054

      Um, this one still pretty much applies, it was the $10 grocery list and menu, although, I think you’re actually looking at more like $18-22 now.

      Budget101.com – – Surviving on a Budget- $10 grocery list

    • #431156

      I would add dry beans (and lentils) to the above list. They take bit of time, but they’re not particularly difficult, and they provide a good source of fiber and protein. (And most of the time is hands-off.) You should be able to pick up dry beans for no more than a dollar or so a pound (probably less) and they will provide at least double that in food.

      Also, if you eat meat, watch for sales on chicken. A chain in the town my parents live in has had an ongoing ‘sale’ on leg quarters for 49 cents/lb.

      That’s quite inexpensive, and when the meat’s gone, make stock from the bones…soups made with homemade stock are many times tastier, imo!

      we eat pretty frugally, period. we eat lots of ‘less-meat’ meals and tend to view meat as a floavring ingredients rather than the ‘main event.’

      just some of the many meals we eat regularly (and make at home) include: pad thai, mu shu, pasta & sauce (sometime w/ meat, sometimes not), ham & potato soup, cowboy stew ( a bbq ham and bean stew), chili, enchiladas/nachos/burritos, a variety of other soups and stews – especially in winter, curries & stir-frys, frittata/quiche.

      using the $10 list as a backup one week a month or something is a good idea, but if you’re going to stick this out for the long haul, you’ll probably need more variety than that grocery list/menu offers.

      Hope this helps,
      ~Sara

    • #431161

      Any information and tips can help and are always welcomed.

    • #431422

      We do things like, pot pies, or lima beans, or egg salad sandwiches during bad weeks, hope this helps

    • #432284

      i just want to say thank you for posting this list! while we haven’t ever had to do bare bones, this is the week we need it. i’ll be working from the 10 dollar list as well as getting what i need for the basic recipes and probably trying to do a cook one day thing and then make my week easier 🙂 thanks again!

    • #433981

      Here’s an article I found a while ago… It’s quite long even without posting the recipes (which I have if anyone doesn’t want to get them using the link)
      farmkat/kathy

      20 Cheap, Healthy Dishes Made From 10 Pantry Staples
      https://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2008/07/20-cheap-healthy-dishes-made-from-10.html

      wednesday, july 9, 2008

      Last week, to celebrate CHG’s first blogiversary, I asked readers what subjects they’d like to see tackled more often. Quite a few responded with along the same lines: inexpensive, healthy dishes made with stuff usually found lying around the house.

      With this mission in mind, I immediately thought of my own pantry, a three-shelf, 10” deep cabinet currently shared by four people. Due to these space restrictions, I have to be judicious about my supplies, keeping only the most consistently useful on hand. Beyond the usual baking products, they are (in charming alphabetical order):

      Beans (black, red, pinto, garbanzo)
      Canned Tomatoes (diced, crushed, whole, paste)
      Dried herbs & spices (all kinds)
      Extra virgin olive oil
      Garlic
      Onions (yellow, red)
      Pasta (thin spaghetti, rotini, elbows)
      Rice (brown, white, couscous)
      Stock (chicken, veggie, beef)
      Vinegar (balsamic, white, red wine, cider)

      Armed with a reasonable variety these ten basic ingredients, I can generally whip up a nice selection of main course, side dish, or snacky-time snack-type dealies. Bargains by nature, the food can be kept relatively healthy, too, if close attention is paid to the olive oil.

      With this in mind, behold: cut-and-pasted below are 20 dishes made entirely from the aforementioned pantry staples. As always, there are some things to note:

      1) I’ve only tried the Roasted Chickpeas and Sara Moulton’s dish, but nearly everything is either highly rated by site reviewers or given the Food Blogger Seal of Approval (meaning a respected culinary web writer’s tried it and liked it enough to post about it).

      2) Nutritional calculations are from the original sites or my own math. (Some dishes couldn’t be quantified because there were no serving sizes listed.) Please e-mail me if you see mistakes (cheaphealthygood@gmail.com).

      3) Substitutions (canned tomatoes instead of fresh, etc.) are given in a number of dishes where it wouldn’t affect the taste too much (i.e. they’re not a main ingredient). I know fresh foods will almost always be more flavorsome than canned/dried, but sometimes they can be switched without crazy damage.

      Bonus: after the initial 20 dishes, there are nine more that only require one or two extra ingredients. If you have ‘em on hand, give ‘em a shot.

      spreads and snacks

      all recipes: roasted garlic
      79 calories and 2.9 g fat per serving

      All Recipes: White Bean Spread with Garlic and Rosemary
      Use dried rosemary and reduce the quantity by 1/3rd.
      48 calories and 1.8 g fat per serving

      Cheap Healthy Good: Roasted Chickpeas
      135 calories and 4.3 g fat per serving

      beans and rice

      a year of crockpotting: crockpot beans and rice

      all recipes: american-style red beans and rice
      517 calories and 5.1 g fat per serving

      All Recipes: Black Beans and Rice
      140 calories and 0.9 g fat per serving

      All Recipes: Vegetarian Refried Beans
      Sub in diced tomatoes for fresh.
      159 calories and 3.1 g fat per serving

      Eating Well: Easy Black Beans
      117 calories and 1 g fat per serving

      Food Network: Refried Beans
      166 calories and 3 g fat per serving

      soups and chilis

      all recipes: fantastic black bean chili
      leave out ground turkey and sub in another can of your favorite bean.

      all recipes: garbanzo tomato pasta soup
      323 calories and 6.1 g fat per serving

      Boston Globe: Pasta e Ceci
      Sub 1/3 teaspoon dried rosemary for fresh.
      504 calories and 18.6 g fat per serving

      Cook Almost Anything: Roasted Garlic-Onion Soup
      Use dried herbs for fresh ones and skip the parsley.

      The Peppertree: Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans

      What Geeks Eat: Black Bean Soup
      Many black bean soups use bacon, ham, carrots, and celery as flavorings. If you have ’em in the fridge, go nuts.

      pasta, rice and couscous

      all recipes: pasta and beans
      sub in diced tomatoes for fresh.
      284 calories and 6.6 g fat per serving

      Cookbook Catchall: Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil (Aglio e Olio)
      Much of the olive oil will pool at the bottom of the dish, so the fat and calorie content are estimated a bit high.
      587 calories and 19.7 g fat per serving

      Epicurious: Curried Couscous
      Leave out the mint leaves and raisins.
      219 calories and 5 g fat per serving

      Epicurious: Curried Rice
      224 calories and 5.5 g fat per serving

      FatFree.com: Garlic Tomato Couscous
      Use 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh.
      115 calories and 0.2 g fat per serving

      extra special bonus dishes
      though they require one or two more inexpensive ingredients, these dishes can be just as healthy, fast, and easy as the pure pantry meals listed above. the additional ingredient is listed after each name.

      book of yum: all purpose pasta sauce
      needs carrots.

      cooking light: cumin curried hummus
      needs lemon juice.
      82 calories and 2.6 g fat per serving

      Food Network: Pasta e Fagioli
      Needs carrots and celery.

      Orangette: Mujadara
      Needs lentils.
      259 calories and 11.2 g fat per serving

      Recipe Zaar: Quick and Easy Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Pasta
      Needs sugar and parmesan.
      393 calories and 3.9 g fat per serving

      Sara Moulton: Orecchiette (er, Macaroni) with Broccoli and Chickpeas
      Needs broccoli.
      324 calories and 7.8 g fat per serving

      Serious Eats: Swiss Chard with Tomatoes and Chickpeas
      Needs Swiss chard. Also, lots of leafy greens can be sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes for a quick and nutritious bargain meal. This is just one suggestion.
      276 calories and 13.1 g fat per serving

      Simply Recipes: Easy Black Beans and Rice
      Needs bell peppers.
      249 calories and 3.1 g fat per serving

      Smitten Kitchen: Stewed Tomatoes and Lentils
      Needs lentils and carrots.

      And that just about wraps it up. Readers, if you have any suggestions for easy, healthy pantry meals, I’d love to hear ’em. Thanks!

    • #433982

      another article – includes 2 recipes
      farmkat/kathy

      how to eat for $2 a day [5 ingredients]
      how to eat for $2 a day [5 ingredients]

      When an email popped into my inbox the other day with the title ‘What would you cook for $2 a day?’, my curiosity was immediately piqued. I mean $2 can’t even buy you a coffee these days, how could it be enough for food for the whole day. And why $2, anyway?

      Delving in deeper, I discovered that the international poverty line is $US1.25 a day which today equates to $2 Australian. And that 1.4 billion people currently live on less than this. An organisation called The Global Poverty Project has started an awareness and fund raising initiative in Australia.

      ‘Live Below the Line’ invites people to live on $2/day in August to raise money for a program to educate Australian school students about the issues of global poverty.

      The aim is to inspire students themselves to become leaders in the movement to end extreme poverty. Funds raised will also be allocated to open three schools in the poorest areas of Cambodia.

      To help inspire anyone interested in taking the $2 challenge, on Monday I had a go at feeding myself on less than $2 for the day. While it did take quite a bit of thought and planning, I’m happy to say that I did not go to bed hungry, and better yet, enjoyed and was very thankful for my food that day.

      The thing that surprised me the most was just how cheap some food can actually be. I couldn’t believe that the cheapest battery farm eggs were just $2.29 for a dozen or that you can get 250g butter for $1.29.
      Unfortunately, this exercise did confirm by comparison how expensive fresh veg can be. I normally wouldn’t think about having an omelette for dinner without a salad or some greens.

      But with even the cheapest lettuce costing $1.95, it was a no-brainer to fill up on eggs and potatoes instead.

      For more details on how you can help end extreme poverty, visit the Live Below the Line website.

      $2 day menu
      breakfast
      a slice of homemade bread 11c
      25g homemade peanut butter 20c
      tea with milk 9c

      lunch
      broccoli soup (recipe below) 60c
      slice of homemade bread 11c
      butter 2.5c

      dinner
      potato omelette 85c
      TOTAL – $1.985

      [5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
      broccoli soup
      serves 1

      I’d normally serve this with goats cheese, but to be honest it is lovely all on its own. The most surprising thing is just how delicious broccoli can be, without onion, or stock or butter.
      The key to this soup is not adding too much water and being generous with the salt and pepper.

      1 head broccoli 60c

      Bring enough salted water, to just cover the broccoli, to the boil in a medium saucepan.

      Cut broccoli into individual little trees and simmer until the broccoli is bright green and tender. You want to be able to cut it easily with a butter knife.

      Drain, reserving the cooking water. Pop the hot broccoli in a blender and add a little of the cooking water.

      Carefully cover the blender with a tea towel and hold the lid on. Whizz until you have a soupy consistency.

      Add a little more water if it seems too dry. Taste and season generously.
      Total cost per serve 60c.

      [5 ingredients]
      potato omelette
      serves 1
      The secret to this omelette is to cut the potato into very fine slices and cook the potato through before adding the eggs. I used the easier method of finishing it off under the grill, but you could also use the more dare-devil approach and invert the omelette onto a plate and then slice it back into the pan top side down.
      You can serve this hot on its own or if you need to make it stretch further, use the omelette as a sandwich filling.

      10g butter 5c
      1/2 brown onion, peeled & finely sliced 15c
      1 large potato, scrubbed and finely sliced 25c
      2 eggs 40c

      Melt butter in a small frying pan and add onion. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the onion is soft and golden brown. Add potatoes and a few tablespoons of water.

      Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the potato is soft but not broken up and mushy. If it starts to burn on the bottom add a little water and stir more freequently.

      Mix eggs together with a pinch of salt in a small bowl for a few seconds then pour over the potato mixture. Gently stir so the egg gets well distributed under the potato and smooth the top so it looks pretty. Cook for a few minutes until the egg at the sides looks set then pop the whole thing under a hot grill and cook until the top is set all the way through and the omelette looks a little puffy.
      Total cost per serve 85c.

    • #433983

      another $2/day article
      farmkat/Kathy

      how to eat for $2 a day WITHOUT resorting to battery hen eggs
      how to eat for $2 a day WITHOUT resorting to battery hen eggs

      It’s a good thing that blogs have comments. I mean it’s a great way for me to learn from you guys as well. But it also keeps me on the straight and narrow – which is a good thing.

      You see if blogs didn’t have comments, I’d be getting away with outrageous things.

      Like writing posts on how to survive on $2 a day by eating potato omelettes. Which might seem innocent enough, but when it comes down to it, you can only achieve the $2 limit if you use the cheapest eggs available – eggs from poor battery hens.

      When I was writing the post, I used my normal free range, happy chicken eggs to make the omelettes and used the battery hen price for my calculations. I didn’t even think of the implications of what I was doing until I had a few comments from responsible readers accusing me of condoning the use of battery eggs. At first I was in denial, but thinking about it for a few minutes I realised the error of my ways.

      What a goose.

      So today I wanted to apologise for inadvertently inciting you to buy cage eggs and offer an alternative $2 menu. If you missed it, you can read all about the live below the line campaign to raise awareness of extreme poverty. But if you are going to make the omelette, please use eggs that have been produced ethically.

      my ethical $2 day menu
      breakfast
      a slice of homemade bread 11c
      10g butter 5c
      tea with milk 9c

      lunch
      potato soup (recipe below) 60c

      dinner
      hearty red lentil stew 77c
      steamed rice 15c
      TOTAL – $1.77

      [ 3 ingredients]
      potato soup
      serves 1
      Inspired by Julia Child’s potato & leek soup from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
      Not exactly going to win any awards for beauty, but don’t let that put you off this simple, lovely soup. It’s potatoey and onioney and comfort in a bowl – not to mention filling.
      Feel free to scale this recipe up for as many people as you need to feed.
      I used a waxy spud for this soup but I think it would be even better with a lovely floury number. And I think next time I’d soften the onion in butter first, rather than just boiling them.

      And I’m keen to try it with leeks like Julia when I’m not on such a strict budget.

      1 large potato, scrubbed & diced 25c
      1 medium brown onion, peeled & diced 30c
      small knob butter 5c

      Pop potato and onion pieces in a medium saucepan and add 1 1/2cups water. Simmer for about an hour, adding more water if it starts to get too dry. It’s done when everything is meltingly soft.

      Mash with a fork or potato masher until the soup is as smooth as you’d like. Stir through butter, taste and season.
      cost per serving 60c

      [5 ingredients]
      hearty red lentil stew
      serves 3-4
      I was looking to maximise the use of fresh fruit & veg this time and the humble trio of onion, celery and carrot were the best value.
      This stew is calling out for customisation. Some spices, a little more chilli, even some different veg – all depending on your budget.

      If I had more money to spend I would have topped it with some fresh corriander or mint leaves and served with a dollup of natural yoghurt.
      The secret to cooking red lentils is to keep an eye on them and stop when they are just tender. Its a fine line between just cooked and mushy. But don’t stress if you end up with a more lentil soup texture – it will still be delicious.
      Oh and if you’re wondering why I’ve labelled this 5 ingredients but there are 6 listed, I normally don’t count oil as an ingredient but have listed it today for accounting purposes.

      2 tablespoons vegetable oil 10c
      1 onion, peeled & diced 30c
      1 large carrot, diced into chunks 24c
      2 ribs celery, diced onto chunks 24c
      1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz) 75c
      150g red lentils 66c

      Heat oil in a medium saucepan and cook onion covered on a medium low heat until the onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients except for the lentils and 1 1/2cups water. Simmer until the veg are tender – about 45mins.

      Add lentils and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until lentils are just cooked through but not mushy. Taste and season and serve with steamed rice.
      total cost $2.29
      cost per serving (assuming 3) 77c

    • #433984

      another $2/day article
      farmkat/Kathy

      how to eat for $2 a day WITHOUT resorting to battery hen eggs
      https://thestonesoup.com/blog/2010/07/how-to-eat-for-2-a-day-without-resorting-to-battery-hen-eggs/

      It’s a good thing that blogs have comments. I mean it’s a great way for me to learn from you guys as well. But it also keeps me on the straight and narrow – which is a good thing.

      You see if blogs didn’t have comments, I’d be getting away with outrageous things.

      Like writing posts on how to survive on $2 a day by eating potato omelettes. Which might seem innocent enough, but when it comes down to it, you can only achieve the $2 limit if you use the cheapest eggs available – eggs from poor battery hens.

      When I was writing the post, I used my normal free range, happy chicken eggs to make the omelettes and used the battery hen price for my calculations. I didn’t even think of the implications of what I was doing until I had a few comments from responsible readers accusing me of condoning the use of battery eggs. At first I was in denial, but thinking about it for a few minutes I realised the error of my ways.

      What a goose.

      So today I wanted to apologise for inadvertently inciting you to buy cage eggs and offer an alternative $2 menu. If you missed it, you can read all about the live below the line campaign to raise awareness of extreme poverty. But if you are going to make the omelette, please use eggs that have been produced ethically.

      my ethical $2 day menu
      breakfast
      a slice of homemade bread 11c
      10g butter 5c
      tea with milk 9c

      lunch
      potato soup (recipe below) 60c

      dinner
      hearty red lentil stew 77c
      steamed rice 15c
      TOTAL – $1.77

      [ 3 ingredients]
      potato soup
      serves 1
      Inspired by Julia Child’s potato & leek soup from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
      Not exactly going to win any awards for beauty, but don’t let that put you off this simple, lovely soup. It’s potatoey and onioney and comfort in a bowl – not to mention filling.
      Feel free to scale this recipe up for as many people as you need to feed.
      I used a waxy spud for this soup but I think it would be even better with a lovely floury number. And I think next time I’d soften the onion in butter first, rather than just boiling them.

      And I’m keen to try it with leeks like Julia when I’m not on such a strict budget.

      1 large potato, scrubbed & diced 25c
      1 medium brown onion, peeled & diced 30c
      small knob butter 5c

      Pop potato and onion pieces in a medium saucepan and add 1 1/2cups water. Simmer for about an hour, adding more water if it starts to get too dry. It’s done when everything is meltingly soft.

      Mash with a fork or potato masher until the soup is as smooth as you’d like. Stir through butter, taste and season.
      cost per serving 60c

      [5 ingredients]
      hearty red lentil stew
      serves 3-4
      I was looking to maximise the use of fresh fruit & veg this time and the humble trio of onion, celery and carrot were the best value.
      This stew is calling out for customisation. Some spices, a little more chilli, even some different veg – all depending on your budget.

      If I had more money to spend I would have topped it with some fresh corriander or mint leaves and served with a dollup of natural yoghurt.
      The secret to cooking red lentils is to keep an eye on them and stop when they are just tender. Its a fine line between just cooked and mushy. But don’t stress if you end up with a more lentil soup texture – it will still be delicious.
      Oh and if you’re wondering why I’ve labelled this 5 ingredients but there are 6 listed, I normally don’t count oil as an ingredient but have listed it today for accounting purposes.

      2 tablespoons vegetable oil 10c
      1 onion, peeled & diced 30c
      1 large carrot, diced into chunks 24c
      2 ribs celery, diced onto chunks 24c
      1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz) 75c
      150g red lentils 66c

      Heat oil in a medium saucepan and cook onion covered on a medium low heat until the onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients except for the lentils and 1 1/2cups water. Simmer until the veg are tender – about 45mins.

      Add lentils and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until lentils are just cooked through but not mushy. Taste and season and serve with steamed rice.
      total cost $2.29
      cost per serving (assuming 3) 77c

    • #434977

      I would love to see a nutritional analysis done on the $2.00 daily menu. The menu looks tasty and varied. I’m guessing it could even be lower with homemade bread.

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Weekly Menu Plans Bare bones-back against the wall meal plan for 2011-2012