I can get about ten meals from twenty dollars worth of meat. That takes us threw almost two weeks when you add two days a week vegetarian. It does take cooking from scratch. Batch cooking is easy,takes a couple of hours and saves much more time at dinner time. Having the discipline to prep meals and plan makes mealtime easier and scares the take out demons away. If you get take out or go out for dinner, it's because it is an educated decision, not one made under stress.
Most of our cooking is scratch. We are not extreme at anything. That might be shooting yourself on the foot. There are two sides to every thing and moderation is the key. There are some things on sale for the right price that are cheaper than scratch. I would rather be playing with my grandbaby than slaving over a hot stove and paying more for something than I have to. Case on point, enchalada sauce at ALBERTSONS this week. .75. By the time I pay for the salad oil and chili powder, I'm not paying much for someone else to make it. I am not going to buy ready made when it costs more than scratch, or when the quality suffers. Case in point, chicken pot pie. Homemade chicken pot pie is cheaper and better. We don't eat enough potatoes to use them all up before they go bad. I am better off buying frozen on sale and instant mashed and a few potatoes when I know we are going to eat meals with real potatoes. I make an effort to use them when I have them. We like the instant mashed potatoes with flavor ones. I get them when they are less than a buck.
OK. Ten meals on sale prices at SAFEWAYS.
1- 4-1/2 to 5 pound chicken at a dollar a pound.
5 pounds good hamburger at 2.99
Total cost 20.00
- Roast chicken dinner: mashed potatoes, veggie, salad ( spinach)
- Buffalo chicken pizza
- Chicken pot pie
- BBQ chicken legs and thighs
- Chicken soup
- Meatloaf( dinner and lunches)
- Tacos x2
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Sloppy joes
Now, the plan is not to eat all the meat in a two week period, that wouldn't make for much variety. But, if you buy four things to batch cook in a month, you can have variety and eat cheap. To use my matrix, you would still need to make pork ( 3 days) , beef( 3 days) along with 4 days of fish and 8 days vegetarian.
To stay in a budget, especially on snap where you have to be diligent, break down costs for a food group. It is easier not to overspend if you know you are trying for 2-3 dollars a day for protein ( average) and five dollars a dinner. That leaves you fove for breakfast and lunch.m many times lunch for children if you are on SNAP is free at school.
I am getting a lot of coupons lately on the Internet. Mi only download what I would buy anyway, unless is it something new for free. That doesn't happen often. Recipe starters for free comes to mind. I can substitute them for white sauce or tomato sauce and for FREE , it works. No way would I pay 2.79 for that can of sauce. There are other sauces and flavored butters on the market. They are just plain expensive. You are paying a exhorbitant amount of money for someone else to outmanned spices into some butter or white or tomato sauce. Spices are .88 some places on sale, a buck at most.
Ditto taco seasoning. If you have old enough children or grandchildren, it is a good way for them to learn fractions. Helping is a good lesson and self esteem builder.
Thanks for stopping by