Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cheap, Filling Meals

So what did we eat last month? I actually didn't make many changes to our usual routine. The only difference was that, for the most part, I used the protein sources we already had at home.

Among last month's dinner dishes were:

pizza - We ate 4 take n' bake pizzas. They cost $6 at Dominick's, and I jazz them up with olives and extra cheese or pineapple, ham, and cheese. Each pizza usually gets us 2 dinners for 3 and 2 lunches.

pork ribs with macaroni and cheese - ribs on sale for $1.75 or less, with homemade mac and cheese made with 8 oz of cheese bought for $1.50 or less and most of a box of $.99 pasta. This lasted us 3 dinners.

garlic lime chicken with rice - Leanne Ely's recipe from Saving Dinner, a cheap go-to recipe for our family. This lasted two dinners as well, and used $1.79 a pound chicken breasts.

pasta e fagioli with sausage - an easy one-pot meal that costs about $3 to make. We generally get at least 3 dinners out of this.

French toast - breakfast for dinner is often cheap, and many people like it. Breakfast can easily be vegetarian or at least lack meat without dedicated carnivores noticing, and breakfast meats are generally cheaper than other meats.

Ravioli with meat sauce - buying ravioli isn't that cheap, but the big bags from Sam's Club make this more cost effective. I make my own meat sauce for more savings.

Beef stew - add in any leftover veggies you have on hand, cubed potatoes, and chunks of a tougher cut of meat (round steak, chuck roast, etc.) with a thick meaty broth, and you have a winning meal easily prepared in the oven or crockpot. Just don't buy stew meat, as it generally runs at least $3 a pound. Watching sales will save you at least $1 a pound, if not more.

For lunches, we continued to eat sandwiches on homemade bread or leftovers from dinner. Breakfasts were usually waffles purchased on earlier sales, cereal from sales, or oatmeal. On Sundays we'll splash out and eat homemade pancakes or eggs with turkey bacon.

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