In the Early 90's I was feeding a family of 4 on $30 per week. What it usually involved was making large batches of stuff on Sunday, and eating them all week. If you have a freezer, then you can avoid some of the boredom by making large batches and freezing.
The reason for large batches is that some of the least expensive ways to make things is the longest and most tedius cooking process. For example, 1 lb of dried black beans will make about as much as 4 cans, and costs about 1/4 as much. But they are a pain in the neck to make, so you do it once and freeze the leftovers.
That said, some menu items.
Jambalaya's (louisiana style rice dishes). Lots of rice, any meat you add goes a long way.
Refried beans (real pain to make from dried beans, but real cheap, real filling, 1 $1 bag of dried beans is enough burritos for a couple of weeks)
Any time you need ground beef and it isn't a hamburger use ground turkey,
When making things like tacos, instead of ground beef for the filling, make it either all refried beans or 1/2 and 1/2 refried beans and ground turkey.
Breakfast fare... Oatmeal. Great for 'training table' and really cheap, especially if you can get 'bulk' oatmeal, or at least store brand. Grits and cream of wheat are in the same category.
Running treats like energy snacks. Homemade oatmeal rasin cookies have a similar nuritional value to energy bars, but since they are homemade, it costs you about $1 to make a whole batch, rather than $1 per bar.
Steak is off the menu for awhile, but japanese style cooking can be on the menu, just get the vegtables (which can be pricey) when they are on sale. (although jicama can substitute for water chestnuts).
For spaghetti though, my only 'brand' plug is the Hunt's spaghetti sauce (in the cans). It's about $1 a can, and unless you are growing your own tomatoes, you really can't get any cheaper, and it's good. I mean, _really_ good!
Oh, and make your burritos out of beans and rice. If taco bell can do it to cut the cost of raw materials, so can you, and it tastes great.
Brand names are not your friend. Most brand name foods are paying for national advertising that you don't need to pay for.
One other exception to that, 'Goya' has really good prices on a lot of their products. By rice by the 10-20 lb bag and you are getting it for .39/lb.
Hope this helps
Post a reply on the Bulletin Board | Send email reply to Richard Hubbard