Money has been tight in our house as of late. I’ve had to be really conscientious about how much I’m spending. I run all my errands in one shot and make sure that all the places I need to go are close enough together so that I can hit everything in one trip – without driving across town. I replaced all of my old, incandescent light bulbs with newer, energy-efficient bulbs. I learned to keep my thermostat down to a reasonable temperature and wear sweats, rather than shorts, in the house.
Another area that needed to be revisited was my food bill. Three years ago I was able to buy two weeks’ worth of groceries for roughly $150 total. Now, it’s a challenge to keep it under $150 per week! We eat mostly whole foods (versus pre-packaged meals) so couponing only really helps with toiletries and other household goods like toilet paper and laundry soap.
Since I get paid bi-weekly, I’ve learned the importance of making meal plans. I wanted to share some recipes with you that I threw together for this pay cycle. All five of them cost less than $15 per meal to make and most are under $10! I’ve also included a recipe for my favorite French bread. We make this daily so that we always have fresh bread in the house. There are only two of us in the house so these portions may seem small but most of these meals can be doubled and will still be under $15.
Here are the meals, from most to least expensive:
|Bean Burgers||$12.20 for 8 burgers|
|Chili||$8.66 for 8 bowls|
|Fry Bread Tacos||$4.99 for 6 tacos|
|Simple Chicken Soup with Dumplings||$4.71 for 6 bowls|
|Lactose-free Quiche||$3.57 for 1 pie (8 slices)|
|Easy French Bread||$2.45 for 2 loaves|
You may be wondering why there is no meat on this menu. We eat mostly vegetarian although I do sometimes throw in poultry or fish. Don’t hesitate to add any meat you want to these recipes. If you have a crock pot, you can save tons of money by buying the cheaper meat cuts (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, chuck eye steak, etc.) and slow cooking them. Even the cheapest meats come out juicy and tender when cooked in a crock pot! I’m also lactose intolerant so I use Lactaid brand milk and aged cheddar (naturally lactose free if aged over 24 months!) but any milk or cheese can be substituted for all of these recipes.
I would love your feedback so please don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s anything that you would add or omit to the recipes. If you’re interested in seeing a sample of the shopping list and meal price breakdown, it can be found here.
Enjoy and thanks for reading!