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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well the subject says it all. I have around 30 dollars to last me 2 weeks before my next pay day. I was wondering what everyone else does for meals when they are that tight under budget.

What sorts of recipies do you guys have that calls for maybe rice, tofu that sort of thing? Perhaps something large I can make like a stew that heats up well?
 

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When I'm really broke I tend to buy the biggest bag of rice I can, and with the remainder of the money I buy some beans, and then canned tomatos,courgettes, and eggplants.

I basically keep a never ending pan of ratatouille on the go as it always tastes better the following day. Then to add variety, I season each portion differently. Maybe one plain, one mexican etc.
 

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Another vote for rice & dried beans. Then I'll buy whatever is cheap. Maybe an onion, some carrots, a tomato or two, zucchini...You can make a lot of dinners from those ingredients.

Also, when I'm broke, I like to bake a lot. A nice batch of muffins or cookies makes me feel like I'm not so poor, y'know?

$30 doesn't seem like much, especially if (like me) you like to buy convenience foods, like burgers & stuff. But you can definitely get enough good food to be ok for 2 weeks. Then, when you get paid again, you'll feel rich!
 

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How about PB&J fixings? Also, you can opt for frozen veggies as opposed to fresh... get some non-brand bags for $1 apiece or so.
 

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Buy a big bag of brown rice, dried beans, fresh veggies and tomatoes...if you have some spices lying around your house, you're good for tons of meals. Good luck! I'm a sucker for convenience foods so I've never tried $30 for two week (we have a family of three and spend like $160 a week...but it's all my parents' dairy!!), but I actually think that would be a fun kind of challenge. I've been growing sick of over-processed, commercial foods and just really wanting more fresh, basic foods...so I'm actually jealous of you. You get to use your resourcefulness and eat like that


Cassie
 

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I feel your pain! There always seems to be more month than there is money. I would suggest going through your fridge and pantry (an freezer), and just see what you have that you can add to. If that doesn't work rice, beans and pasta are all a must. My two cents (and a half!)

-Journey The Poet
 

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Looks like you have about $2.14 per day. I don't think that's TOO hard.

Inexpensive meals that I make are:

red beans and rice, soups (vegetable, potato, split pea) burritos, tofu & veggie stir-frys (using whatever produce is cheapest), pasta and sauce with a tossed salad and a toasted bagel.

I can feed our family dinner for a dollar a person...easy. Then for lunch, take left-overs or make a simple sandwich. Breakfast - cereal, esp. oatmeal is very cheap.

Don't worry, $30 is enough, just make a plan.
 

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i can get a twenty pound sack of potatoes for under four dollars (canadian, too!). i make lots of yummy things out of potatoes:

~mashed potatoes with gravy

~potato pancakes with apple sauce and/or tofu sour cream

~potato and veggie curry

~piroshki and perogies

~roasted garlic and potato soup, or potato corn chowder

~oven fries

~hashbrowns

~baked potatoes with a "cheese sauce" and broccoli topping

~roasted potatoes with lots of lemon and garlic

~gnocchi (tiny potato dumplings that are boiled and eaten like pasta)

~potato salad

~samosas

~pakora

i could go on.

aside from potatoes, i agree with everyone else here. brown rice and legumes are the uber-cheap way to go. pasta isn't too bad either, but i'd suggest sticking with the whole grain variety if possible, which can be more expensive.

don't forget oatmeal and raisins for breakfasts. and you can very easily make your own rice and nut milks, if you have a food processor and some cheesecloth.
 

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If you have a farmers market nearby, often you can get local produce pretty cheap. I just bought 1 doz ears of corn for 1.00! I'm going to blanch and what my H and I don't eat.

Cheap stuff....

Rice

Beans

Pasta (sometimes you can get store brand whole wheat for cheap)

Potatoes

Frozen veggies.

Make stuff that you can freeze and have at another time. Recipes made with the above freeze very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for the suggestions. My huge problem is i'm a big organic foods freak and try to do as much as possible, and thats always taxing on the $$s. I made a batch of chili, and seems like I'll be good to go. the other suggestions sound great too
 

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panhandle!

..or i could be serious.

i would probably just live off canned vegetables and rice, make the WEIRDEST combinations of stuff i already had at the house, but if you're a big organic foods freak (which i would be too if i had the money to be
) that might not work so well.
 

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I know you like organics, but you may have to forgo that for these two weeks....

Here is a recipe I love and I never get tired of it

http://www.vegsource.com/talk/recipe...ges/76198.html

Goodie Burgers

You probably have all of these ingresients lying around...

I personally love PB and Jellies on Whole Wheat and a glass of super cold soymilk for lunch.

Veggie/Tofu Stir fries and rice/noodles....

Chili/Sloppy Joes with TVP (super-cheap)

I have a Gimmie Lean Clone (sausage) and burger crumbles from Deborah and my favorite breakfast sandwich.

http://www.vegsource.com/talk/recipe...ges/77204.html

Veg Mc Bagel... add nutrtional yeast (1 tsp) to batter

and make plain, top with a cheese slice and a Gimmie Lean Sausage Patty

http://www.vegsource.com/talk/recipe...ges/58844.html

Burger Bits

http://www.vegsource.com/talk/recipe...ges/47153.html

TVP recipes

Shannon
 

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A big bag of TVP from the bulk section

beans

tortillas

canned tomatoes

taco shells

frozen spinach/green beans/corn/squash etc.

pasta

chick peas for hummous

and make a huge batch of Granola for breakfast. I make a batch that lasts us 2 weeks and there's two of us. you can make it for under $8.

We just got slammed with a financial crash of our own, and I've been feeding the two of us for under $20 per week. WOOOOHOOOO! [insert giddy Homer here]
 

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In England, beans on toast is the ultimate in cheap eating. You can get a can of beans for 9p ($0.15) in most supermarkets, and bread is easy to come by.

But rice, lentils, beans etc. they're all good. Not very interesting, but cheap.
 

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you can always sprout your beans too, if you know how to do it.

in our case, we can get produce very cheap at Produce junction. We got all of our fresh veggies and fruits for this week (we eat a lot though) for $20--most people can make the fruit stretch longer, but we eat fruit and veggies at every meal.

here's the produce that we were able to buy:

red, green, and yellow bell peppers (3 lbs)

sweet potatoes (5 lbs)

red bliss potatoes (5 lbs)

Red leaf lettuce (4 heads, lasts 2 weeks)

cucumbers (3 lbs)

mushrooms (1 lbs white)

roma tomatos (3 lbs)

red onion (3 lbs)

zuccini (2 lbs)

yellow summer squash (2 lbs)

and fruit:

green apples (5 apples)

bananas (15)

nectarines (10)

plums (10)

cantelopes (2)

pineapples (2)

kiwi (6)

grapefruit (6)

oranges (10)

Produce junction is great. Some of it is organic, some of it isn't. but it's all for a dollar a bag. Some bags are big (like 5 lbs of sweet potatoes) and some are small (like six kiwi for a dollar, but still, that's better than the grocery store's two for a dollar!).

anyway, the last $10 i would spend on beans, bead, and tofu. Because there are so many thigns that you can make with these things. various dips and hummus, sauces, tofu scramble--all kinds of good stuff!
 

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And don't forget the tortillas! Get some whole wheat tortillas and you can stick the beans, rice, whatever, in there...heck, you could even put peanut butter and/or jelly in there and it'd be great!
 

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Root vegetables are cheap. One of our favourite recipes when money's tight is for oven-roasted root veggies (potatoes, carrots and turnip) with celery, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. We'll sometimes add rosemary or thyme.

You can also sprout lentils and different organic grains (wheat / kamut berries, for example) you may have around the house. it takes 2-3 days and a few tablespoons will provide you with a couple of cups of fresh yummy sprouts.

Some other cheap stuff:

-TVP chunk / root vegetable stew

-cabbage / carrot slaw w/ pineapple and Nayonaisse or apple cider vinegar and caraway seed

-brown rice / lentil casserole with onions, garlic and soya sauce (and whatever herb you feel like adding)

-lentil soup with a few diced root veggies, onions and frozen greens beans or corn thrown in

-pea soup w/ mixed frozen veggies, onions, garlic and a dash of liquid smoke
 
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