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Need ideas for super cheap meals

My husbands hours have been cut by more than half. Trying to feed family of 5 on what is basically 40 hrs at min. wage.
Websites and cookbooks would be helpful.


Asked by koon293 at 2:03 PM on Jul. 23, 2010 in Food & Drink

Level 5 (71 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Hillbilly Housewife's $45/week menu

    Start by taking inventory of your pantry/fridge/freezer. List every item you've got in there. Then, building on that list, try to determine what meals you can make from that without adding or adding only minimal ingredients.

    Find an Aldi's or Save A Lot near you & do your shopping there.

    Buy ground turkey instead of ground beef. It's only $1.39/lb. at our Save A Lot.

    Avoid boxed meals, make everything possible from scratch:  pancakes, biscuits, cookies, tortillas, bread, buns, seasoning mixes, salad dressings, & sauces.

    Rice & beans are cheap & don't have to be boring.  Add a can of tomatoes, spices, & some cheese for a tasty meal.  Serve with homemade tortilla chips.

    Pasta, homemade sauce, homemade garlic bread -- there are many varieties to this type of meal


    Answer by michiganmom116 at 5:09 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • It is a very southern dish. Baked beans mixed with hamburger meat and seasoned to taste with cornbread. It is way yummier then it looks. We ate it a lot in alabama and it is very cheap.

    I find tacos to be cheaper.

    Chicken breasts, noodles and cream of mushroom and bake it.

    Canned chicken breast, cheddar cheese, fat free cream cheese..and hot sauce (weight watchers) makes a yummy sandwich or cracker spread.

    Tuna and macaroni and cheese or hamburger meat..make your own hamburger helper

    Sometimes it ok to cook breakfast for dinner. Eggs or pancakes are cheaper.

    Answer by maggiebella25 at 2:06 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • start by buying bags of rice, beans and macaroni it is cheaper in the long run and goes a long way for meals.
    I can't believe how cheap it is to buy beans, soak them then just had a ham bone (very cheap) and onion and seasoning. Great meal, my mom never made us stuff like that. I make it alot because it is so cheap.

    Answer by adakbride at 2:17 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I know at Barnes and Noble they have cook books just for meals on short budgets. In our house we have to use cost issues all the time. We will fix a big meal knowing that we can freeze leftovers. We then put in different containers to use for other meals.

    One great meals at home - skinless, boneless chicken breast; any pasta noodles (we like angel hair); cream of mushroom soup; half can of milk; about 6 to 8 ounces of sour cream; and shreaded mozzarella cheese. Brown up the chicken with your oil of preference (we use extra virgin olive oil), then add the soup and milk, once mixed well add the sour cream. While you are dealing with the skillet, make sure you have a pot with boiling water with the pasta going. When the pasta is ready, add the cheese, usually about 10-12 oz. till mixed in completely. Add pasta and enjoy a really tasty meal

    Answer by guyandtoni01 at 2:23 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Sloppy Joes, Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, Tacos, Bean burritos, Quesadillas, Hobo dinners
    Try the sites: thriftyfun, frugalabundance, onceamonthcooking
    Planning is the key to cooking cheaply.

    Answer by Librarylady60 at 3:20 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • is a great site

    Answer by adakbride at 2:14 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Salmon Patties are super cheap to make.
    Also, Kraut with Hot Dogs are Polish Sausage go a long way and are really cheap.

    Answer by mommy11260 at 2:15 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • buy foods in bulk then get ziplock seal bags an split it into meals

    Answer by Prego889 at 2:29 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Pinto Beans and Cornbread, Meatloaf, Chili, Beef Stew, Chicken & Dumplings, Cheeseburger Pie, Breakfast Casserole, homemade soups, pancake/waffle dinner, Chicken Casserole, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Baked Salmon Patties...hope this helps!

    Answer by Erin814 at 2:53 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Without knowing what you've already got on hand, here are some meal ideas:
    teriyaki chicken with rice, stir fry veggies (2 chx breasts, rice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, rice, broccoli & carrots or frozen stir fry veggies)
    salisbury patties w/gravy over mashed potatoes, veggies (1 lb. ground meat, saltines, onion, egg, gravy mix or make your own, potatoes, veggies)
    spicy roast chicken, lentil confetti salad (whole chicken, spices, lentils, rice, 1 tomato, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, onion, Italian dressing - I make my own from a recipe)
    Chicken alfredo, veggies (2 chx breasts, spaghetti, 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 stick margarine or butter, 3/4 c. parmesan cheese, milk, veggies)
    porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, veggies (1 lb. ground meat, rice, tomato soup, seasonings, potatoes, veggies)
    hamburger stroganoff (1 lb. ground, cream of mushroom soup, 1 small can mushrooms, 1 c. sour cream, egg noodles, veggies)

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 8:08 PM on Jul. 23, 2010