The secret to making meals on a budget is just a little planning. My pantry is pretty well stocked. I have canned veggies and had a generous neighbor who supplied me with fresh produce. Some of which I canned. I make my own soup (like french onion) and portion it out in one to two cup bags and freeze them to add to stews, pot roast. I made my own spaghetti sauce recently and canned a few jars. All of these tips will help you save on your weekly bill. I purchase rice in bulk along with lentils and couscous.
Must haves for me in my pantry are pasta, flour, beans, rice, sugar, veggies(or frozen)and potatoes. Fridge items I must have are cheese, eggs, milk, ketchup.
I only had $20.00 to spend this week. Our normal grocery store is a ways out but I came across a competitor ad that was closer. I scored some ground beef ($2.49/lb) and chicken (.99/lb for a cut up chicken). I took a look in my pantry and figured out what I could make for the week. I go to school two nights and all day Saturday and I need things I can throw in the crock pot. Today it's chicken pot pie. I purchased some biscuits. In the crock pot I took one thigh and a wing (doesn't sound like much but there is a lot of meat) I will let that cook until around 5 on high and then break the chicken up. With the juice in the crock pot, I will be making easy gravy on the stove and browning the biscuits in the oven. This will take me 10 minutes tops. And there is one meal down.
With the meat, I portioned it into one lb packs also. I can grab it out of the freezer when I need it. I have shells and homemade sauce so I may make stuffed shells this week or oven meatballs. Look at local bakeries for discounted bread. Check your stores clearance section or sign up for their weekly ad online. Instead of ordering pizza, make your own. This frozen dough we buy is only a buck. Toppings are a total of $2.00 more at the most. The chicken is also portioned out into Ziploc bags. I put the breasts together and the drums and thighs in another bag.
Search the word crock pot in the upper left hand of my blog and it will take you to all of my crock pot recipes.
Meals for the week so far are:
Sunday is special breakfast day: We had homemade pancakes and turkey bacon
crock pot chicken pot pie
French Onion soup and crusty bread (from the freezer)
oven baked chicken and roasted potatoes