We are all feeling the effects of the recession. Food, gas, and every day items have gone from affordable to outrageously expensive. What used to cost just a few bucks now costs 3 or 4 times as much. I get tired of shopping and not being able to get nearly what I used to. My cupboards are bare because I don’t buy until I absolutely need something. I no longer take those weekly shopping trips or even bi-monthly trips.
Eating at home isn’t always fun when your on a tight budget but I have come up with some great meals that save money and can easily be thrown together in an instant for the family on the go.
1. Spaghetti – Hamburger(one of the cheapest meats to buy)$1.99 a lb, tomato sauce $1.59, noodles $1.00 and some garlic bread .99 cents. I find that already prepared tomato sauce is cheaper for the amount than buying individual cans and adding your own spices. If you have your own canned tomatoes from all those wonderful summer tomato plants than making your own is much cheaper. Average cost for a family of four: $5.58 You can make this vegetarian and save a couple bucks buy adding some squash or just putting some Parmesan cheese on top of the noodles and sauce.
2. Breakfast for Dinner – This is my families favorite. I usually make pancakes and serve it with Grandma’s homemade syrup and some fruit and a glass of milk. A box of pancake mix $1.00 for half a box, syrup $2.99(or homemade about .25 cents) and some fruit, like grapes or oranges about $1.99 a lb. Average cost for a family of four: $5.97
3. Quiche – Homemade pie crust .50 cents, 1 cup milk .50 cents, 1 cup cheese $1.50, frozen spinach $1.99, and a small onion .40 cents. Average cost for a family of four: $4.99 You can switch this up a bit and add in some left over ham, even sandwich meat works, and try different cheeses.
4. Chicken Noodle Soup/Chicken Dumplings – Whole fryer Chicken .99 cents a lb(chicken breast can be used also), 2 stalks celery approx.50 cents, 2 carrots approx.50 cents, 2 bouillon cubes .32 cents, and noodles $1.29 or dumplings. Dumplings are much cheaper and my family prefers them over the noodles. Average cost for a family of four: $6.61
*These are all approximate prices, obviously depending on where you shop and where you live the prices may be slightly higher or lower.