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Feeding 5 teenage boys...ugh

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We are a family of 7. Myself, my hubby and our sons are 18, 18, 17, 15 & 13. They are bottomless pits! Recently we've had a ton of unexpected medical expenses and I've lost half of my income. Its very frustrating. I try very hard to be creative and come up with meals with what we have but I run out of ideas so I thought I'd see if other people have suggestions. I'm not exaggerating when I say I feed all of us on $300 or less per month until we can get my health back on track & that includes breakfast, packing hubbys lunch and dinners. I generally use meat sparingly because of its cost so no meals where everyone gets their own serving of meat. Most so called cheap meal recipes are for families of 4 or less so once I double it they're no where close to cheap! So any suggestions for super cheap but good meals for large families??
by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 3:03 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 6:54 AM

Double this to feed your's cheap if you make your own pie crust.  I've also made biscuit dough and put it on top of the filling, ignoring the 2 pie crusts.

Chicken Pot Pie:

  • 1 pkg ready made pie crust (2 crusts), or make your own
  • 1 16 oz. pkg frozen mixed veggies,
  • 1 to 2 c. cut up cooked chicken,
  • 1 can cream of potato soup,
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup,
  • 1/3 c. milk,
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt.

Put bottom crust in pie pan. mix rest of ingredients and put into pie pan, put top crust on according to directions. Be sure to cut slits in top crust. Bake at 375 for 45 to 50 minutes

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 6:57 AM

This makes a 9 x 13 pan full.  Add garlic bread and veggies.

Chicken Alfredo


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • salt and pepper


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper (may also use black pepper)

16 oz. cooked spaghetti, linguini, fettucini or angel hair pasta


Cook chicken in olive oil with garlic and salt and pepper. While chicken is cooking, melt cream cheese and butter together in saucepan. Stir until smooth. Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Pour chicken and juices over spaghetti in a serving dish, then top with sauce and sprinkle parsley on top.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:01 AM

This easily makes 8 to 10 sandwiches

Copycat Manwich

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed

Brown ground beef. Mix rest of ingredients together and add to browned meat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and serve on toasted buns.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Serve this with homemade muffins

Potato Soup

  • 4 to 6 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 - 8 cups water
  • 6 - 8 tsp. instant chicken boullion or 6 to 8 boullion cubes
  • diced ham
  • 1 small onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1 cup milk, evaporated milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in water until just fork tender. Add rest of ingredients and season to taste.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Easily double this for cheap.  Add homemade biscuits or cinnamon buns to the meal.

  • Crustless Sausage Cheddar Quiche

    • 6 to 8 oz. sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 c. half & half (I use evaporated milk)
    • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1/8 tsp. pepper
    • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.  Pour into a pie dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until set or a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Serve with sliced fresh tomatoes.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:07 AM

This makes a huge bowl, enough to feed my crew.

Taco Salad

  • 1 head lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can black olives, sliced (optional)
  • 2 cans or 3 - 4 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 env. taco seasoning (or use my homemade recipe)
  • 1 lb. ground meat (turkey or beef), browned, add 3/4 c. water and taco seasoning
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cheddar or Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 11 to 13 oz. pkg nacho cheese tortilla chips, crushed into bite size pieces
  • Catalina or sweet French dressing (I use my homemade recipe)

Cook & cool taco meat. Shred or tear lettuce into bite size pieces. Add rest of ingredients including meat. Mix well. Add dressing just before serving and mix well.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Makes a 9 x 13 pan can use leftover cooked chicken instead of the breasts...and sub 2 four ounce cans of mushrooms for the fresh.

Chicken Tetrazzini

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 to 3 lb. chicken breasts or a whole chicken
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pint (16 oz.) sour cream
  • 16 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked
  • 16 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
  • pepper and garlic salt to taste
  • grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses (or just Parmesan)

Cook chicken in water seasoned with a bit of garlic salt until done.  Remove meat from bones if whole chicken, cut up breasts if not.

Saute mushrooms in butter.  Add soup mixes and sour cream and spices to taste.  Layer in 9 x 13 baking dish or pan:  1/2 spaghetti noodles, 1/2 mushrooms & soup mixture, 1/2 cheese, repeat.  Bake in 350° oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:10 AM

add biscuits, cinnamon buns, or muffins to this meal

Egg and Sausage Casserole

  • 1 stick butter
  • 10 to 12 oz. shredded colby cheese
  • 12 slices bread, cubed
  • 1 lb. bulk pork sausage, browned and drained
  • 6 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 c. milk, evaporated milk, or half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard (can be optional)

Melt butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Layer 1/2 the bread cubes and 1/2 the cheese in dish and press them down into the butter.  Sprinkle sausage over bread and cheese.  Top with remaining bread and cheese.  Beat together the remaining ingredients and pour over the bread/cheese/sausage.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for one hour.

Variations:  may use sliced smoky links or diced ham instead of sausage.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:12 AM

I often skip the spinach in this one.  You could also cut the amount of chicken in half.  I recommend doubling the recipe....add a loaf of Italian bread as a side.

This is from a McCormick spice mix:

Tuscan Chicken Stew

Tuscan Chicken Stew

  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 15 oz. can cannellini or other white beans, drained
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 c. red wine or water
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 oz. baby spinach leaves


  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 10 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet. Add onion and fennel seed; cook and stir on medium heat 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Stir in beans, tomatoes, red wine, basil, minced garlic, rosemary, salt, oregano and pepper. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet.
  3. Stir in spinach. Cover. Cook 5 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.
by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:13 AM

double this one for your family

Ramen noodle casserole:

  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey or beef, browned.
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup,
  • 1/2 c. water,
  • 1/2 c. milk,
  • 1/4 c. diced onion,
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced,
  • 2 packages of broken ramen noodles
  • 1 beef seasoning packet from the noodles.
  • Sprinkle with a little soy sauce if desired
  • 4 oz. can of mushrooms if you want.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stir the noodles on top into the bottom, bake another 5 minutes.

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