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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 (21-30):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:14 AM

one recipe of this fed my crew plus leftovers for Dad the next day.


  • Wet Burritos

    • 1 lb. ground turkey or beef,
    • 1 can refried beans,
    • 1 pkt. taco seasoning,
    • 1 c. water,
    • 10 large flour tortillas,
    • 8 oz. shredded cheddar,
    • 2 chopped tomatoes,
    • 1 to 1 1/2 c. chopped lettuce,
    • 1 medium diced onion,
    • 1 can mild enchilada sauce,
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup.

    Brown and drain the ground meat. Add refried beans, taco seasoning and water. Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Now come the hard part: Divide the meat/beans into 10 fairly equal parts. Doing one at a time, place a part of the meat/bean mixture on a warmed tortilla, top with some tomatoes, lettuce and onion. Roll the tortillas according the directions on the tortilla package, being sure to tuck the ends in. Place in a 9 x 13 casserole dish or pan. Repeat with each tortilla. Mix enchilada sauce and chicken soup together and pour over the top of the burritos. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350. These may be a bit too spicy hot for young kids (mine love them) but any leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:17 AM

a few more ingredients to this one, but it FILLS a 9 x 13 pan


Baked Spaghetti:

1 c. chopped onion

1 c. chopped green pepper

1 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1 28 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes with liquid

1 4 oz. can mushroom pieces, drained

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained

16 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/4 c. water

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 small can sliced black olives

In large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and oregano. Add ground beef. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Tope with 1/2 of the tomato/beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheddar cheese. Repeat layer. Mix the soup and water until smooth; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with sliced olives. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:19 AM
1 mom liked this

add a few more potatoes to this, and sliced kielbasa!


Hot German Potato Salad

  • 9 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/3 . white vinegar

Cook potatoes until just fork tender.  Drain and set aside.  In a large fry pan, fry bacon until crisp, remove and drain.  Cook onions in bacon drippings until brown.  Blend in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper.  Stir over low heat until mixture is bubbly.  Remove from heat and stir in water and vinegar.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  Add potatoes and crumbled bacon, stir just enough to coat evenly.  Serve.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:20 AM

You'll want to add more potatoes & sausage...


  • Sausage & Potato Skillet


    This is a fairly inexpensive, quick-to-fix simple main dish.


    Sausage & Potato Skillet

    • 1 lb. fully cooked smoked or Polish sausage, sliced into 1/4" slices
    • 3 to 5 medium baking potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
    • 1 medium onion, cut length-wise into thin wedges
    • garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 to 4 Tbsp. butter

    Melt butter in a non-stick pan or electric skillet set on medium low heat. Add potatoes and onions. Cook, stirring frequently and carefully and covering between stirring until potatoes are just tender. Add the seasonings and gently stir to mix well. Add the sausage, cover and cook until sausage is heated through. Serve.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:21 AM

at least double this, serve over biscuits, maybe with scrambled eggs as a side


Sausage Gravy

  • 1/4 lb. bulk pork sausage
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Cook sausage until browned and crumbled.  Drain off all fat except 2 Tbsp.  Stir in flour, stirring constantly until golden brown and bubbly.  Gradually whisk in milk, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  Serve over hot biscuits.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:22 AM

Double this.


Hot dogs & noodles skillet meal

1 pkg. hot dogs, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 pkg. egg noodles

1 Tbsp. butter

bit of diced onion (optional)

1 - 2 cans condensed tomato soup

Put egg noodles in boiling water and cook 8 minutes.  While noodles are cooking, saute the hot dogs and onion in melted butter, stirring to avoid burning.  When noodles are done, drain them and then combine them with hot dogs and add tomato soup.  Stir well and serve.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Ignore the prices from 2010


Scalloped Potatoes & Ham, green beans  (feeds 6 to 8)

  • 9 medium large potatoes, peeled & sliced 1/4 inch thick  OR diced into 3/4 inch cubes  about $1.50
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin  10¢
  • 1 lb. ham, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. margarine or butter  6¢
  • 3 Tbsp. flour  pennies
  • 1 tsp. salt   penny?
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper  a penny?
  • 2 1/2 c. milk  40¢

Layer potatoes, onion, and ham if desired in a greased baking dish. 

Heat 3 Tbsp. margarine in saucepan over lowheat until melted.  Stir in flour and seasonings.  Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is mooth, about 1 minutes.  Slowly whisk in milk a bit at a time, whisking until all lumps are gone before adding more milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil & stir 1 minute, then pour over potatoes. Dot with butter, cover with foil, and bake at 350° for an hour, then uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned on top.

1 bag frozen or 2 cans green beans  $1

TOTAL  $4.59

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:27 AM

The guys want snacks?  Let them make these (more potatoes needed for 5 of them):


Homemade BBQ Potato Chips


1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. ground mustard

dash of cayenne pepper

2 large Russet potatoes, sliced very thin

Combine spices (I put mine in an extra shaker bottle).  Cook potato slices as desired -- bake or deep fry.  Sprinkle with a little salt and as much of the spice mix as you'd like.  Cool a little before eating so you won't burn your tongue.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:33 AM

stay away from cold cereal -- my boys could go through a box in a DAY, and with the milk they used it got pretty expensive.  Make a huge batch of pancakes and freeze them...let the guys reheat for breakfasts.  They can spread with peanut butter and jelly, top with bananas or other fruit, etc.  Make homemade muffins....they can have them with eggs for breakfasts.  Cook up scrambled eggs with sausage, peppers, and/or onions.  This will freeze.  Reheat 1/3 cup per serving, put on a tortilla, top with a bit of cheese, and roll up for breakfast burritos.


michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:41 AM

brown a couple of pounds of ground beef, add/make beef gravy.  Serve over mashed or baked potatoes.  I do the same thing with leftover chicken (chicken gravy)

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