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Meal Planning Meal Planning

Planning on a short budget.. Help!

Posted by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM
  • 26 Replies

Ok, so basically I've never really done a "meal plan" but I need to start. I have always just hit the store bought the "usual" stuff and if I wanted to make something specific make sure I had everything for it. I've been working with a very short grocery budget for awhile so that's not really the issue what is the issue is the doc wants me to go on this "diet". So now I need to plan meals which will mostly involve me cooking for everyone else then making something seperate for myself. I just have no idea how to plan meals and how to make a plan work with the little bit i have to work with. here's the specifics...

my meals need to be 500 cal 3 times a day and 1 snack of 150 cal, each meal 40-50 carbs and snack 15-30 carbs.

No allergies, some family pickiness (one child dislikes onions and mushrooms, another isn't fond of veggies other than green beans and corn sometimes broccoli and carrots) DF lived off processed microwavable crap his whole life until me so I try to mask veggies and fruits when I can and I have shown him that rice is yummy especially brown and wild rice.

The budget is about $30-$50 per week, 2 adults, 4 kids but the baby doesn't really "eat" yet not like our foods and wic covers her baby foods and most of her formula.

I have been trying to do this for the last 2 weeks and I'm so frustrated it's just not even funny. I have done numerous searches and come up with nothing helpful.

ETA: Ground beef is about all the meat I have to work with right now, we bought a cow a year ago. Getting low but have enough to get through the next couple months no prob. Also a couple steaks and soup bones but no roast left. I am being daring and bought 50 cornish cross chicks a week ago they were 99 cents each and at the end of May they are being butchered which will cost me $80 so after then I will have chicken. It's gotten too expensive to really buy in the store anymore and the last 2 times I bought it, it was near spoiled. I had 3 quarters in the fridge for 2 days and when I went to cook them they were totally rancid. We live in the country but the landlord won't let me have a garden. Don't know why there's freakin 10 acres here and plenty of room around the house for one.

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by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
DissieDothe
by Silver Member on Apr. 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM

The doctor put my sister on this same diet (my meals need to be 500 cal 3 times a day and 1 snack of 150 cal, each meal 40-50 carbs and snack 15-30 carbs). She simply cooks it for the entire family. Their food bill has actually gone down a little.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Apr. 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

DARN, that's a LOT of carbs!  I couldn't do it without gaining weight!

Use one of the steaks to make a beef & broccoli stir fry or a Spanish steak & rice, use another to make a stew.

Ground beef ideas:  porcupine meatballs in sauce, sweet & sour meatballs, sloppy joes, meatball mushroom stew, hamburger gravy over biscuits or mashed potatoes, salisbury steaks w/gravy, shepherds pie, beef pot pie topped with homemade biscuit crust

other ideas:  baked beans & hotdogs w/ or w/o cornbread or biscuits;  pigs in a blanket (hot dogs wrapped in breadstick or biscuit dough); cornbread muffins; chipped beef/tuna/pork sausage/diced eggs in white sauce over toast


Marti123
by Bronze Member on Apr. 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM
I agree with above, you should not need to cook separate meals. Poor thing, that is way too much work!

I will also say, and some might totally disagree, BUT we garden, it's a hobby, but saves us NO money. By the time I buy heirloom seeds or plants, water, fertilize, compost, stakes, cages, fence, etc. . . . It is cheaper just to buy all the surplus at the local farmers markets in the summer. so do not feel too broken up about that in my opinion. Do you have a deep freeze?

So ground beef, you can eat that, taco meat, sloppy joes, burgers mixed with beans for your family, but no beans for you. Do you do a dried bean night, that is super cheap, you will just have really watch your portion size. And can you get cheap eggs? Another cheap protein night there. I stick eggs on sandwiches and in pasta. Of course no pasta for you, just for the little ones.

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La-Belle-Vie
by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM
I totally agree on the gardening. We spend a ton on it, so we don't actually save much money in that department and it's expensive to start up too!

Quoting Marti123:

I agree with above, you should not need to cook separate meals. Poor thing, that is way too much work!



I will also say, and some might totally disagree, BUT we garden, it's a hobby, but saves us NO money. By the time I buy heirloom seeds or plants, water, fertilize, compost, stakes, cages, fence, etc. . . . It is cheaper just to buy all the surplus at the local farmers markets in the summer. so do not feel too broken up about that in my opinion. Do you have a deep freeze?



So ground beef, you can eat that, taco meat, sloppy joes, burgers mixed with beans for your family, but no beans for you. Do you do a dried bean night, that is super cheap, you will just have really watch your portion size. And can you get cheap eggs? Another cheap protein night there. I stick eggs on sandwiches and in pasta. Of course no pasta for you, just for the little ones.



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jessicasmom1
by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

:-) I am right there with you I garden for a hobby ... and in fact the farmers markets will be coming soon enough with there cheap fruits and vegetables... no money saved but I like to see my garden grow :-) 

Quoting Marti123:

I agree with above, you should not need to cook separate meals. Poor thing, that is way too much work!

I will also say, and some might totally disagree, BUT we garden, it's a hobby, but saves us NO money. By the time I buy heirloom seeds or plants, water, fertilize, compost, stakes, cages, fence, etc. . . . It is cheaper just to buy all the surplus at the local farmers markets in the summer. so do not feel too broken up about that in my opinion. Do you have a deep freeze?

So ground beef, you can eat that, taco meat, sloppy joes, burgers mixed with beans for your family, but no beans for you. Do you do a dried bean night, that is super cheap, you will just have really watch your portion size. And can you get cheap eggs? Another cheap protein night there. I stick eggs on sandwiches and in pasta. Of course no pasta for you, just for the little ones.


michelles
by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I agree with you ladies about the gardening! Hubby has had one for the last three years and I put my foot down this year...our biggest cost was watering it...the water bill tripled in the summer!

Satan71
by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 4:07 PM

My daughter is a T1 Diabetic so counting carbs has been a must at our house. When I was learning to recognize how much different carbs were I  would go to the library and check out a cookbook that looked like it has reasonable recipes that my family would eat. And it had the nutrition info including carbs listed. I would cook from that book copying the recipes that worked and changing them to fit my budget as needed. Maybe not using as much of the meat in a recipe or substituting for a cheaper cut of meat. 6 yrs later I can spot a carb portion a mile away. LOL Its a starting point I hope it helps. When I have more time tonight I will give you some links to some of the recipes I use regularly that would fit your criteria.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Apr. 13, 2012 at 4:29 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow. I disagree with "gardening doesn't save us money."  Maybe I just do it differently...

I garden, I have done so for YEARS.  It's a huge money saver!  Yes, I use heirloom seeds, do a lot of the work myself, and I preserve everything we don't eat fresh, but it saves us at LEAST $1000 a year (at today's prices) with fresh chemical-free produce and home canned goods such as salsa, tomato juice & sauce, pickles, applesauce, veggies, fruits, etc.  I KNOW it does, because my DH challenged me to prove that it does save us money.  There are weeks during the summer that I can live off what is in our garden and what is in our freezer without having to buy many groceries if any.

Satan71
by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM

That was our experience as a kid on the farm. I hope to do that again when we settle down for ever. We always used everything we could, right down to pickled watermelon rinds and pigs feet. I am so not a fan of the feet though. That won't be a tradition I carry on. LOL

Quoting michiganmom116:

Wow. I disagree with "gardening doesn't save us money."  Maybe I just do it differently...

I garden, I have done so for YEARS.  It's a huge money saver!  Yes, I use heirloom seeds, do a lot of the work myself, and I preserve everything we don't eat fresh, but it saves us at LEAST $1000 a year (at today's prices) with fresh chemical-free produce and home canned goods such as salsa, tomato juice & sauce, pickles, applesauce, veggies, fruits, etc.  I KNOW it does, because my DH challenged me to prove that it does save us money.  There are weeks during the summer that I can live off what is in our garden and what is in our freezer without having to buy many groceries if any.


Marti123
by Bronze Member on Apr. 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM
Sorry to the OP to hi-jack your post for a moment :)

That is awesome you can save so much.

I think part of that might be the "years" part, start up costs can be huge! I am still, 4 years later waiting to break even, (and DH bought the watering system this year, so it won't be this year) lol!!




Quoting michiganmom116:

Wow. I disagree with "gardening doesn't save us money."  Maybe I just do it differently...

I garden, I have done so for YEARS.  It's a huge money saver!  Yes, I use heirloom seeds, do a lot of the work myself, and I preserve everything we don't eat fresh, but it saves us at LEAST $1000 a year (at today's prices) with fresh chemical-free produce and home canned goods such as salsa, tomato juice & sauce, pickles, applesauce, veggies, fruits, etc.  I KNOW it does, because my DH challenged me to prove that it does save us money.  There are weeks during the summer that I can live off what is in our garden and what is in our freezer without having to buy many groceries if any.


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