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If you needed to save every penny you could and had nothing, what would you stock in your cupboard, and what would you splurge on?

One of my girlfriends just got married, just moved across the country with her new husband, is TTC, and they are trying to save up a down payment for a house so they can move out of the apartment they are in...so she is trying to strip it down to basics and has never done so before.

She literally has nothing in her cupboards after a move, and doesn't really know where to begin. I made a list of things she could get for $100 that would stock her cupboards and give her a basis for a lot of meals.

I want to see how my list compares to what you ladies would recommend. I wish I could attach my list here, somehow!

 
Mom-2-3-Girlz

Asked by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 5:53 PM on Mar. 12, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 37 (93,457 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Cross off all the processed stuff. The key is cooking from scratch. If it comes in a box and has more than 3 ingredients, it's wasting your money even though it looks cheap. Focus on the ingredients that go in those boxes instead - take hamburger helper - it's about $1 a box for enough pasta and seasoning to make a single meal. If you bought a whole box of pasta and a few seasonings, you could make the exact same meal 10 times and it would cost less than 50 cents per meal. Even cheaper if you make your own pasta from scratch, and that's ridiculously easy. Focus on bare basic staples - flour, salt, sugar, eggs, milk, pepper, cheese and basic seasoning. A little bit of fresh meat and produce will stretch a lot farther than crap in a can of box.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:24 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • well i would definately splurge on some pre-natals since she is ttc. i would buy pasta, sauce, the cheap cutsof chicken and beef, rice (my hubby loves rice lol), canned veggies...... truthfully since there aren't any kids yet i wouldn't have a problem eating like a college kid again lol. gl to her though.
    princessbeth79

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 5:58 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • so $100? potted meat, rice, tomatoe sauce, fresh beans, salt, pepper, couple seasonings, whole chicken(cheaper), no meat with bones(cheaper n more meat), water, potatoes, eggs(get mine at an egg ranch..$3 for 30), block of chz, milk, and a couple veggies. freeze anything not in use or in use of 3 days. those are just basics that dont even cost $100. me n my bf did this for 3 months.
    minki111

    Answer by minki111 at 6:02 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Thanks ladies. I suppose I should list some of the things from my list: I did basic staples like simple seasonings, flour, sugar, baking soda, yeast, bisquick mix, tea mix/coffee, a beef roast, cheap chicken cuts, hamburger, egg noodles, sauce, cream based soups, bags of frozen vegetables, eggs, etc.
    Mom-2-3-Girlz

    Comment by Mom-2-3-Girlz (original poster) at 6:02 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Basics I keep on hand are flour, sugar, salt, peppercorns, pepper, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, beans, broth, cooking oil, potatoes, celery, carrots, milk, eggs, pasta, rice, tomato sauce, frozen or canned veggies when I can't get fresh, pasta sauces if she doesn't make homemade (making homemade isn't expensive, cuts sodium and preservitives and you can always make enough to freeze for 2 or 3 more meals), chicken, hamburger. I also try and keep some cheese on hand. Catsup, mustard, mayo, bbq sauce, etc.

    Does your friend have a slow cooker? You can always use much less costly cuts of meat and the process of slow cooking makes it much more tender and succulent.

    I make a lot of soups - that's often a cost saver. I also don't use many boxed meals because it's pretty pricey when you break it down. I'm sure I forgot something - lol.
    AAAMama

    Answer by AAAMama at 6:21 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • I forgot to add cream based soups - I always have those on hand. And if she wants to make homemade baking mix like bisquick it's often much less expensive :) AND butter or whatever to cook with.
    AAAMama

    Answer by AAAMama at 6:23 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Yes, she does have a slow cooker. They got a lot of kitchen things as wedding gifts. Whether or not she can use it, is another story! LOL!

    I love her to death, but this is not coming naturally to her at all. She came from a fairly privileged family and is not used to doing a lot of things for herself, and has always had a job, so the role of "housewife" is brand new.

    They moved to Alabama from Michigan (where I am), and she will be back for 3 weeks while he is away on business next month. She is going to stay with me at least part of the visit, so hopefully we can go over some things while she is here.
    Mom-2-3-Girlz

    Comment by Mom-2-3-Girlz (original poster) at 6:35 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Whole wheat pastry flour
    succanat
    maple syrup
    brown rice
    assorted whole wheat pasta
    dried beans
    dried lentils
    sea salt
    black pepper
    cayenne
    fresh ginger and garlic
    soy sauce
    assorted frozen vegetables

    I have a ton of recipes that are tasty, simple, healthy, family and budget friendly; send me a message offlist if you would like some.
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:10 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Don't forget to suggest to start getting the sunday paper and cut coupons. On top of buying the bare essentials you can cut your grocery bill in half with coupons if you take the time to cut and buy what you have a coupon for. My MIL once got over 400 dollars worth of groceries (she was buying for a party and a friend, plus herself all at once, not a normal bill) for only 175. Nothing she bought was without a coupon. And some if you read the fine print you can double up on. I always use coupons. Sometimes I have to buy things I don't have a coupon for, if it's like toilet paper and we can't wait, but typically if I don't have a coupon for it I don't buy it. The savings over time is well into the hundreds.
    ba13ygrl1987

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 9:52 PM on Mar. 12, 2011

  • Basics I keep on hand are flour, sugar, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, beans, broth, cooking oil, potatoes, celery, carrots, milk, eggs, pasta, rice, frozen or canned veggies when I can't get fresh, pasta sauces if she doesn't make homemade (making homemade isn't expensive and you can always make enough to freeze for 2 or 3 more meals), chicken, hamburger. I also try and keep some cheese on hand. Ketchup, mustard, mayo, bbq sauce, applesauce, things to make homemade breads, muffins
    Christmaslver68

    Answer by Christmaslver68 at 8:19 AM on Mar. 13, 2011

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