I have the biggest financial challege I have ever had to deal with. I have about $200 to buy food for the month for my family of 5 plus my 12 yo nephew who is moving in, food for the fourth, food for cousins open house adn food/supplies for DD2s birthday! BIL is going to give me a couple bucks but I am not counting on that. Hoping I get some more babysitting because this is going to be tight! I see lots of beanie weinies in my future! LOL
Major challenge for me
- 15,437 Posts. Joined 12/2006
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That 12-yr old is the precarious factor. He could come to the house expecting to eat in a completely different way than you're used to. Plus kids who are upset from their normal family routine (i.e.: not living with their parents) may start hoarding food so your already lean provisions might suspiciously start to disappear.
I'd take stock of what provisions are already on hand and see what you can do with those. I'd also lean toward being very frugal with food early in the month, then loosen up as you see that the resources are stretching enough. A written menu is a must. And I'd plan in a night of leftovers or "fend for yourself" either for lunch or one dinner a week.
Stock up on rice and eggs. Those are both cheap, flexible and go a long way. I'd plan soup at least once a week, too.
I think I can do the shopping for $250 roughly. This boy can eat you out of house and home if you let him. I am going to employ the same tactics FIL and BIL use which is to basically hide the food and set out a days rations LOL Cereal is always a free for all although I am down to only 9 boxes. I will set out snacks accordingly and lunch will have to be pbjs, mac n cheese or ramen. Fortunately I didn't use all of my meals for May/June and have 4lbs of hamburger and 7 chicken breasts left as well as beef stew to put over rice. That helps since meat is expensive! I have FFY on the menu 3 times, the open house and fourth (have to take a dish basically), and Baileys birthday for meals. I hit my dad up to bring 10lbs of sloppy joes and an aunt to bring a huge pot of rice to Baileys birthday. Both acceptable with these people. The aunt sees DH more of a son than a nephew and our kids as grandkids. Aunt also said she is going to help me out with some food for my nephew as well. Hopefully I make it under budget with pricematching and coupons.
- 29,091 Posts. Joined 10/2007
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When money was very tight for me when I was a single mom, I would buy a whole chicken and use it for 3 or 4 meals. You can cook a chicken and have chicken noodle soup, chicken casserole and chicken taco. You can take eggs and have egg salad sandwiches and omelets for two separate meals. Same with hamburger meat. You can do a lot with hamburger meat.
I would also buy a bag of dry pinto beans and cook them. One night we would have chili, next night pinto beans, fried potatoes and cornbread. Then one night we would have pinto beans and rice.
Here are my meals (I think I have finalized this anyway)
smoked sausage and shells n cheese (have sausage in freezer from a sale last month)
taco braid (only have to buy crescents)
cheeseburger macaroni (homemade)
BLT wraps (bacon is on a great sale this week and veggies come from WIC)
chili burritos (only have to buy tortillas for that)
beef stew over rice (already have that)
Tortellini (only need sauce)
Chimichangas (only need sauce)
Cinn roll waffles or pancakes (only need cheap pancake mix)
hamburger gravy over mashed taters
rice and beans with ham
hamburger helper enchilladas (start with box and add stuff I already have)
hot dogs on the grill
spanish chicken and rice
BBQ chick sandwiches
beefy rice (already have)
bbq chicken on the grill
Party menu is Sloppy joes, hot dogs, berry goodness fluff, green jello salad, chips, rice, baked beans, cake/cupcakes, pop and water. (dad is making sloppy joes and aunt is making rice)
For the open house, potato salad and dunkaroo dip
For the fourth potato salad, green jello salad, chips, beans. (meat is on BIL)
Lunches will be ramen, pbjs, mac n cheese and chicken nuggets
Breakfast will be cereal cereal cereal
I don't think I can go any cheaper.