My cousin and I were talking about our shopping list this week. We compiled a few meal ideas that are very budget friendly. Here they are.
When making spaghetti double or triple the amount of sauce you make. Then you can re-purpose it for lasagna or baked ziti. Next week on Monday I plan to make lasagna then on Thursday I will be making spaghetti. Aside from boiling noodles I don’t have to do a damn thing!
I like to do a lot in the crock pot. One of my favorite things to do is cook chicken with onions and garlic. One night I fry a portion of it up with some coriander and adobo and make tacos. The next night I add some green enchilada sauce and make quesidillas. Lisa stretches hers even farther and makes enchiladas.
I also love to make Lisa’s Spanish chicken recipe in the crock pot. One night I make taco salads and the next night enchiladas.
My husband loves pork carnitas. When making those I double up since it is only onions, garlic and pork, and some water in the crock pot. The next night you add BBQ sauce and wala pulled pork sammies.
When you make large cuts of steak like tri tip reuse some for tri tip salads, fajitas or sandwiches.
My husband loves frozen chicken wings. They can be grilled, fried or baked. For only ten bucks a bag you get a ton of chicken. I like to use them for what I call weekend meals. I don’t like to cook much on weekends and I don’t like meals with leftovers. Having those wings around is a cheap way to know my hubs will make food. Normaly on Saturday if I don’t want to cook I say fuck it lets get fast food. But now I’m going to make sure I have plenty of wings on hand for him to play with. He can grill em, toss em in hot sauce and butter, fry em or do whatever and it doesn’t cost me any thing but the initial cost. One bag lasts at least a month.
I make other cheapy weekend meals like burgers. They are great, no left overs and cheap. You can do so much with a burger too so you can make it more then once in a month. Mushroom burgers, chili burgers, Mexican burgers you name it.
One of the tips I was given in a comment was actually pretty brilliant. If you need a lot of something buy two smaller ones. For example we use a lot of cheddar cheese. I used to be able to afford two big bricks a week. Now I can only buy cheese every two weeks. Well halfway through the week my cheese starts to get a little stale. Zip lock bags actually kind of suck in the way of cheese. This week I’m going to buy two smaller cheeses. That way I have a fresh one each week, I’m not throwing away the stale, discolored cheese and the price is close to the same. I took her advice with the sour cream and it worked great. I don’t know about you but I have big issues with sour cream after it is open more then a week. This time I bought two smaller sour creams. Which is good because I’ve only used one, and the other one is still fresh and sealed up for next week.
Eggs are another great saver. You can do so much with eggs. Especially at the end of the week. Omelets for dinner, scrambles, or frittatas. At the end of the week, or on a Saturday my husband loves to go through the fridge and see what is left and make a big scramble (truth he tries to make omelets but it turns into scramble when he flips it..shhhh I didn’t tell you). I’ve been known to do this too. Have a few mushrooms, some frozen spinach left over, maybe a little onion, and some bell peppers. A couple small pieces of two kinds of cheese and I’m set for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. I always ALWAYS have hard boiled eggs in my fridge. Cheapest meal ever, egg salad sandwich on cheap white bread. Or they are a great cheap item to toss in the hubbies lunch box as a snack. He even has his own tiny salt shaker in there. Two eggs cost you maybe .25 in comparison to how much he would spend at a gas station on a snack, even a bag of chips now is over a dollar.
Other money savers are making more then just dinner. I TRY to make my husbands breakfast most days. Some days I fail but the days I succeed I save at least $4.00 of him going somewhere else. And if I make his lunch even 3 days a week, well that is $12.00 and if I tell the truth that his breakfast burritos cost him $5.00, well shit, that right there is a $15.00 a week savings. Imagine what I could buy for $15.00. His lunch cost a minimum of about $7.00 eating out. If I make 3 lunches I’ve now saved $21.00 and if I make both breakfast and lunch that is $36.00. I don’t know about you but $36.00 is sure a lot of grocery money especially when I can buy a weeks worth of breakfast for just about the cost of one of his fast food meals. Eggs are cheap, bacon is fairly cheap when you consider a weeks worth of use. I like to make him breakfast burritos wrapped up in foil so he can eat them driving. Eggs, tortillas, some sausage and bacon, with a little cheese. Quick, simple, cheap and a nice hot and filling breakfast. Some days I make him breakfast sandwiches, Wonder bread, eggs, deli ham and mayo. Again, cheap!
I realize that waking up in time to make breakfasts and lunch sucks, BUT having that extra money in you’re account doesn’t suck! I also know first hand that making a double portion of dinner to serve as lunch is not any harder, it doesn’t take any longer and you won’t even notice. The same goes for double portions to reuse in another dinner. Instead of harder this will make your life easier. Not to mention I personally think spaghetti taste better the next day as my lunch!