General chatter - GIRL! You Are SO CHEAP!!!




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EZMONEY
07-21-2009, 12:28 AM
OK today I had an argument with my brother...we like to do that when we work together...time passes better ;)

anyway he said he could eat cheaper by buying crappy food and TV type dinners than I could buying healthier stuff....

maybe he can....I see at our stores almost all the frozen meals are cheap-o right now....

I am not going to debate it...not the point of this thread...

A few nights ago Angie made grilled chicken (2 chicken breasts from the Costco big pack) with peach/mango salsa (store bought from the refrigerated section, Santa Barbara brand) with coleslaw ( one small head of cabbage shredded with some mayo and Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar)...and some brown rice

a very nice looking meal...I say around $20 at a mid-size priced restaurant...

Now I really don't have (don't want) time to price all this out but I bet it was pretty cheap!

My brother had hot dogs....Kraft dinner mac and cheese...and some baked beans...

maybe his meal was a lot cheaper...maybe not...but I bet mine was better for you!

POINT OF THIS THREAD ~

Gives us your best shot on a cheap and healthier meal than hot dogs and Kraft dinner mac and cheese!


painted lady
07-21-2009, 12:32 AM
mmm peach mango salsa sounds really good right now.

kaplods
07-21-2009, 12:51 AM
Tvp or cheap ground beef or other meats, even pork browned with equal or greater parts tvp makes a ground meat substitute that can be as little as 15 cents per serving (even when I use ground beef, it's usually no more than 60 cents per serving).

One of my favorite meal-in-a-skillet recipes is to add the ground beef/tvp mixture (that I freeze in "crumbles" so I can make ahead and use in super-quick suppers) to tomato juce in a dutch oven and add veggies. It may be half a head of cabbage, or a package of mixed veggies. It may contain a bit of potato or corn, but mostly non-starchy veggies. Garlic and onion (of course). My husband and I can, and do often eat healthy meals that cost under $5 for the whole meal's production, and often provides leftovers.

My mother used to make this when my brother and I were kids (without the tvp, just 80/20 ground beef), and she'd add corn AND potatoes. We knew it as "slop," (my dad probably named it, as he said it looked like what they had fed the hogs on the farm when he was a kid), but it tasted really good, and we would often ask for it (that and my mom's meatloaf were just amazing).

Most homemade soups can be made very cheaply. Lentil and bean soups, are super cheap, very filling, and nutrient-dense. We live in an area where you can still get dried beans and lentils, chicken legs or thighs, soup bones, hamhocks (remove the fat first), pork neckbones, and oxtails very cheaply. All make great soup stock bases.

Cabbage, potatoes, beans, lentils, onions, celery, carrots and canned tomatoes are among the cheapest veggies, and I have tons of recipes that use only those veggies with a small amount of meat.

There's a wonderful "cheap" cookbook called "Good Cheap Food," by Miriam Ungerer (I bought it used on amazon.com - with shipping I paid less than $5, and it's still available at that price), and there are some very good recipes. Not all of them are diet-friendly, but many of them are or could easily be adapted.


aphrodite
07-21-2009, 12:53 AM
Hot dogs and Mac and Cheese might be cheaper right now, but imagine how much you're going to save in health bills in the future. ;-)

Onederchic
07-21-2009, 12:55 AM
I say...down with mac and cheese, baked beans and hot dogs, icky! Give me healthy and nutritious any day :D :hug:


(Yes, this is a hint for a dinner invite ;) :p :D)

nelie
07-21-2009, 12:55 AM
Uhh everything? :)

I went grocery shopping today and bought a ton of stuff for $50. A lot of the things I bought were on sale but I'm prepping for a trip. Many of the things won't make it on the trip but I'd estimate about $30 of my groceries will but even that is really only a portion of the total (ie, I bought a big bag of beans, small portion of that will go on the trip)

The food on the trip will include:
marinated tofu and veggie kabobs
chili with beans with veggies and couscous
Rice/Chickpea salad (rice, chickpeas, bell peppers, cucumber, an impromptu dressing)
no-tuna salad (mashed chickpeas, nori, dill relish, etc) sandwiches
lentil sloppy joes on sprouted grain bread
Hummus and pita bread (I made a huge batch of hummus from some canned beans I bought)
Carrot/cabbage slaw
Blueberries and cantalope (both on sale)
Cereal/blueberries and soy milk for breakfasts

cfmama
07-21-2009, 01:11 AM
Tonight we had grilled chicken salads. 3 chicken breasts (from the big Costco pack lol!) 1 head of romaine, 1/3 cucumber, 8 grape tomato's, small avocado, 1/4 red onion, 3 mushrooms. We each (the three of us) had a small serving of salad dressing, sprinkle of sunflower seeds and a slice of low fat cheddar. Pretty cheap I'd say!

EZMONEY
07-21-2009, 01:15 AM
that's what were looking for ladies!

mandalinn82
07-21-2009, 01:52 AM
My farmer's market tally for $17 total on Sunday:
Enough lettuce for 4 main-dish salads and 8 side-dish salads
6 carrots
A pound of lemon cucumbers
A giant bag (4 pounds or so) of assorted squashes
4 onions
2 heads of garlic
5 Red Bell Peppers
4 lbs of green beans
A bag of baby red potatoes.
1 japanese eggplant
That's the veggies I need for SIX meals for 4 (well, it's just the two of us, but we do lunch with leftovers)

My grocery store list/cost of meats in my freezer
3 lbs chicken breast - $9.00 total
1 lb pork chop - $3.00
1 lb lean chicken sausages - $2.50
1 lb lean beef skewers - $3.00
Package of sourdough for sausage sandwiches - $3.00
Pasta - $1.00
Tomato sauce - $1.50
1/2 cup lentils - 50 cents
1/2 cup brown rice - 50 cents
Croutons - $2.00
Dressing ingredients, spices, and extras - $2.00 (and that's liberal!)

Sunday - Grilled chicken breasts (on sale - was $3.00 for enough for the four meals), green beans, roasted potatoes

Monday - Grilled chicken salad with grilled squashes, peppers, red onion, sliced carrot, cucumber, tomatoes from the garden, and a bit of dressing made from tarragon vinegar and a little garlic, oil, seasonings (another $3.00 worth of chicken).

Tuesday - Pork chops (got them from my specialty butcher for $3.00 for the lb I'll use), assorted sauteed squashes, and a side salad with leftover carrots, cucumber, greens, a little dressing.

Wednesday - 99 cent box of pasta, $1.50 of tomato sauce, and another $3.00 of chicken, plus roasted veggies: Red onion, eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper.

Thursday - Grilled chicken sausages ($2.50 a pkg) with peppers and onions, on toasted rolls for $2.00, served with a side salad.

Friday - Grilled beef skewer ($3.00 a pound...pre-skewered!), served with a lentil and brown rice pilaf that's a real bargain from scratch - $1 for the whole 4-serving pot (onions, the brown rice and lentils, some curry powder, garlic, etc), and sauteed green beans.

In case you're keeping count, that's 24 meals (two meals a day for two, for 6 days) for under $2 a serving. That doesn't count seasonings (which I buy in bulk on the cheap), and I do live in an area with a ton of fresh produce for rock-bottom prices, being in the Central Valley growing area.

I also got tons of fruit for $15 - enough to snack on for days.
4 lbs red grapes ($3.00)
4 pounds assorted stone fruits (peaches, apricots, etc) ($4.00)
2 8-oz containers of blackberries (5.00)
A personal-sized watermelon (3.00)

For breakfasts, I've been having 2 slices of the loaf of sourdough we bought for the sausage sandwiches, soaked in 1/2 cup of egg beaters (50 cents or so) with some cinnamon, served with a chopped peach. I snack on fruit, yogurt with fruit ($1 a day), and popcorn that I pop on my stovetop...it costs less than a quarter for a serving. So between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three snacks (a serving of popcorn, a $1 yogurt with some more fruit, and some grapes for snack), this week, I'm spending about $9.25 a day to feed myself.

SunshineCA
07-21-2009, 03:46 AM
Just call me cheap! :yes:

You're going to have to do an intervention at your brother's house. :)

ValRock
07-21-2009, 04:00 AM
I like to buy a whole chicken and put it on the rotisserie on the grill and eat the meat the first day with some veggies and rice. On the 2nd day I take the rest of the meat off the bones and make soup. Both meals end up being dirt cheap!

JulieJ08
07-21-2009, 10:30 AM
I have no time for people saying they eat junk because it's cheaper if they have cable TV, iPods and stuff like that ;)

sharongracepjs
07-21-2009, 10:39 AM
Do you ladies have Aldi in your area? I'm finding it a great source of super cheap produce and staples like milk, eggs, beans, spices...even things like hummus and goat cheese! The inventory is a little hit or miss as to what will be there on a given day, but if I'm flexible and creative, I can spend $15 and walk out with 2 weeks of healthy, tasty groceries for myself.


(and for those of you with kidlets, yes they do sell things like frozen pizzas and lunch meat!)

Ufi
07-21-2009, 11:23 AM
To put it into perspective, have him compare the FUEL value of his food to yours. Vitamins, etc. It's like shoes. If you buy a $5 pair of shoes that lasts 3 months and a $30 pair of shoes that lasts five years, which is the better value?

dragonwoman64
07-21-2009, 11:28 AM
Hot dogs and Mac and Cheese might be cheaper right now, but imagine how much you're going to save in health bills in the future. ;-)


that was my first thought

a whole chicken which can feed two people for possibly 2 plus meals costs a little over $4 here; a cooked chicken (roasted) is about $5 plus.

Cole slaw, I bought it already chopped (the Dole from a chain grocery store, you probably could get it even cheaper chopped up from the local bodega cost about $4 -- I bought a bag of white cabbage, bag of red, and a bag of shredded carrots), put a little mayonnaise and vinegar in it, golden raisins. it made a huge tub that will last as a side for a bunch of meals.

I still have some black bean compote (has diced tomatoes with mild chilies in it, garlic, onion, cumin), the beans were about 70 cents, I'd guess the tomatoes were about $1 maybe $1.50 (the compote will feed 2 people for about 2 meals)

that's pretty dang cheap, tastes good, is really healthy.

the farmers markets here can be twice the price if not more of the regular grocery store, unfortunately.

nelie
07-21-2009, 12:08 PM
Asian markets are really my price saver.

Although I am jealous of some of the offerings in So Cal that are super cheap. My mom took me to Fraser Farms and I was a bit shocked at the prices there and there are other similar places in So Cal. I also went to a 'grocery outlet' while I was there and picked up a few things for cheap.

lizziep
07-21-2009, 02:07 PM
rice and bean bowl with ff sour cream, fresh veggie salsa, some olives, avocado if you splurge lol - so filling you'll burst, good for you, and costs pennies.

i buy a lot of frozen junk myself- but if you look around you can buy the right frozen junk. and sure it might cost a bit more - but not only are there health implications but frankly- if i was going to eat Ramen and Chicken Nuggets - I'd have to eat a lot more junk too to feel full. So it might be cheaper but I know at least I would be eating more of it.

taniquelasse
07-21-2009, 08:26 PM
I know its out of season, but it sure sounds good right now -

15 bean soup and homemade cornbread! WAY cheaper than hotdogs and mac & cheese.

EZMONEY
07-22-2009, 12:57 AM
mmm peach mango salsa sounds really good right now.

We like the Santa Barbara brand....I hope you have it in your area. Just pour some over the grilled chicken and awesome flavor.

....My mother used to make this when my brother and I were kids (without the tvp, just 80/20 ground beef), and she'd add corn AND potatoes. We knew it as "slop," (my dad probably named it, as he said it looked like what they had fed the hogs on the farm when he was a kid), but it tasted really good, and we would often ask for it (that and my mom's meatloaf were just amazing).

Sounds great to me Colleen :)
.

Hot dogs and Mac and Cheese might be cheaper right now, but imagine how much you're going to save in health bills in the future. ;-)

Very True! :)

I say...down with mac and cheese, baked beans and hot dogs, icky! Give me healthy and nutritious any day :D :hug:


(Yes, this is a hint for a dinner invite ;) :p :D)

Come on over! Tonight it was leftover flank steak in a salad.

Uhh everything? :)



Well Nelie that settles it! :)

EZMONEY
07-22-2009, 01:01 AM
Tonight we had grilled chicken salads. 3 chicken breasts (from the big Costco pack lol!) 1 head of romaine, 1/3 cucumber, 8 grape tomato's, small avocado, 1/4 red onion, 3 mushrooms. We each (the three of us) had a small serving of salad dressing, sprinkle of sunflower seeds and a slice of low fat cheddar. Pretty cheap I'd say!

AWESOME!

My farmer's market tally for $17 total on Sunday:
Enough lettuce for 4 main-dish salads and 8 side-dish salads
6 carrots
A pound of lemon cucumbers
A giant bag (4 pounds or so) of assorted squashes
4 onions
2 heads of garlic
5 Red Bell Peppers
4 lbs of green beans
A bag of baby red potatoes.
1 japanese eggplant
That's the veggies I need for SIX meals for 4 (well, it's just the two of us, but we do lunch with leftovers)

My grocery store list/cost of meats in my freezer
3 lbs chicken breast - $9.00 total
1 lb pork chop - $3.00
1 lb lean chicken sausages - $2.50
1 lb lean beef skewers - $3.00
Package of sourdough for sausage sandwiches - $3.00
Pasta - $1.00
Tomato sauce - $1.50
1/2 cup lentils - 50 cents
1/2 cup brown rice - 50 cents
Croutons - $2.00
Dressing ingredients, spices, and extras - $2.00 (and that's liberal!)

Sunday - Grilled chicken breasts (on sale - was $3.00 for enough for the four meals), green beans, roasted potatoes

Monday - Grilled chicken salad with grilled squashes, peppers, red onion, sliced carrot, cucumber, tomatoes from the garden, and a bit of dressing made from tarragon vinegar and a little garlic, oil, seasonings (another $3.00 worth of chicken).

Tuesday - Pork chops (got them from my specialty butcher for $3.00 for the lb I'll use), assorted sauteed squashes, and a side salad with leftover carrots, cucumber, greens, a little dressing.

Wednesday - 99 cent box of pasta, $1.50 of tomato sauce, and another $3.00 of chicken, plus roasted veggies: Red onion, eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper.

Thursday - Grilled chicken sausages ($2.50 a pkg) with peppers and onions, on toasted rolls for $2.00, served with a side salad.

Friday - Grilled beef skewer ($3.00 a pound...pre-skewered!), served with a lentil and brown rice pilaf that's a real bargain from scratch - $1 for the whole 4-serving pot (onions, the brown rice and lentils, some curry powder, garlic, etc), and sauteed green beans.

In case you're keeping count, that's 24 meals (two meals a day for two, for 6 days) for under $2 a serving. That doesn't count seasonings (which I buy in bulk on the cheap), and I do live in an area with a ton of fresh produce for rock-bottom prices, being in the Central Valley growing area.

I also got tons of fruit for $15 - enough to snack on for days.
4 lbs red grapes ($3.00)
4 pounds assorted stone fruits (peaches, apricots, etc) ($4.00)
2 8-oz containers of blackberries (5.00)
A personal-sized watermelon (3.00)

For breakfasts, I've been having 2 slices of the loaf of sourdough we bought for the sausage sandwiches, soaked in 1/2 cup of egg beaters (50 cents or so) with some cinnamon, served with a chopped peach. I snack on fruit, yogurt with fruit ($1 a day), and popcorn that I pop on my stovetop...it costs less than a quarter for a serving. So between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three snacks (a serving of popcorn, a $1 yogurt with some more fruit, and some grapes for snack), this week, I'm spending about $9.25 a day to feed myself.

My favorite :hug:

Just call me cheap! :yes:

OK...you are cheap!

You're going to have to do an intervention at your brother's house. :)

Would not be the first one! Although the first one...very successful after 20+ years WAS NOT include hot dogs ;)

I like to buy a whole chicken and put it on the rotisserie on the grill and eat the meat the first day with some veggies and rice. On the 2nd day I take the rest of the meat off the bones and make soup. Both meals end up being dirt cheap!

Great! We do this with the rotisserie ones.

EZMONEY
07-22-2009, 01:06 AM
I have no time for people saying they eat junk because it's cheaper if they have cable TV, iPods and stuff like that ;)

I agree...and yes he does!

Do you ladies have Aldi in your area? I'm finding it a great source of super cheap produce and staples like milk, eggs, beans, spices...even things like hummus and goat cheese! The inventory is a little hit or miss as to what will be there on a given day, but if I'm flexible and creative, I can spend $15 and walk out with 2 weeks of healthy, tasty groceries for myself.


(and for those of you with kidlets, yes they do sell things like frozen pizzas and lunch meat!)

None here.

To put it into perspective, have him compare the FUEL value of his food to yours. Vitamins, etc. It's like shoes. If you buy a $5 pair of shoes that lasts 3 months and a $30 pair of shoes that lasts five years, which is the better value?

Very true!

that was my first thought

a whole chicken which can feed two people for possibly 2 plus meals costs a little over $4 here; a cooked chicken (roasted) is about $5 plus.

Cole slaw, I bought it already chopped (the Dole from a chain grocery store, you probably could get it even cheaper chopped up from the local bodega cost about $4 -- I bought a bag of white cabbage, bag of red, and a bag of shredded carrots), put a little mayonnaise and vinegar in it, golden raisins. it made a huge tub that will last as a side for a bunch of meals.

I still have some black bean compote (has diced tomatoes with mild chilies in it, garlic, onion, cumin), the beans were about 70 cents, I'd guess the tomatoes were about $1 maybe $1.50 (the compote will feed 2 people for about 2 meals)

that's pretty dang cheap, tastes good, is really healthy.

the farmers markets here can be twice the price if not more of the regular grocery store, unfortunately.

Great advice!

Asian markets are really my price saver.

Although I am jealous of some of the offerings in So Cal that are super cheap. My mom took me to Fraser Farms and I was a bit shocked at the prices there and there are other similar places in So Cal. I also went to a 'grocery outlet' while I was there and picked up a few things for cheap.

Why didn't you tell me you were going there :mad: Angie and I shop there often...weekly...the one by the theater? The best bread ever! :hug:

rice and bean bowl with ff sour cream, fresh veggie salsa, some olives, avocado if you splurge lol - so filling you'll burst, good for you, and costs pennies.

i buy a lot of frozen junk myself- but if you look around you can buy the right frozen junk. and sure it might cost a bit more - but not only are there health implications but frankly- if i was going to eat Ramen and Chicken Nuggets - I'd have to eat a lot more junk too to feel full. So it might be cheaper but I know at least I would be eating more of it.

Rice....beans...avocado...throw in a tortilla or 2...3 and some hamburger...I got dinner! :)

I know its out of season, but it sure sounds good right now -

15 bean soup and homemade cornbread! WAY cheaper than hotdogs and mac & cheese.

Soup is never out of season for me! :D

SunshineCA
07-22-2009, 03:24 AM
EZ!!! :lol: I walked right into that 1! :lol3:

kaplods
09-18-2009, 12:10 PM
I thought I'd resurrect some of the eating cheaply threads, since it's always such a pertinent topic, especially in the current economy.

I was wondering if anyone else has noticed a return of "economy cuts" of meat. Hubby and I were shopping yesterday, and I found a couple items in the meat department that "took me back" because they've almost disappeared in recent years.

Pork neck bones. I considered buying them, because they were fairly lean, and I've been craving barbecued ribs. I resisted though, as 99 cents isn't really a bargain when you're paying for mostly bone, and "fairly lean," when it comes to pork, generally isn't all that lean. Still, I haven't seen these in stores much in the past few years.

Bulk "fresh" variety chicken parts. I bought two 3 lb "family" packages, because they were only 99 cents a lb for breasts and thighs. Legs and wings (sold separately) were also 99 cents/lb, but breasts and thighs have a higher meat to bone ratio, and I don't find those often at under $2 per pound.

At Aldi's, I can sometimes find frozen chicken pieces (usually only legs or sometimes wings) for less than $1 per pound, but at the Super Walmart yesterday was the first time I've found mixed packages of thighs and breasts so cheaply.

Usually I break the packages down into meal-sized portions, but this time I just stuck them in the freezer. We also bought a beef roast (it was hard to find a store with beef on sale, but we did). With the move in two weeks, we're making meals do triple plus duty - cooking once and eating for 2 to 3 days, so we have more time for packing.

EZMONEY
09-18-2009, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the "bump" Colleen....

chickybird
09-19-2009, 01:17 AM
looking at his menu and everyone else's, I have to speculate he's convicing himself he's saving money AND time. Maybe he just doesn't want to cook that much.
And we eat pretty cheap at my house too. Especially now that we don't eat out nearly as often:)

Mickeypnd
09-19-2009, 01:28 AM
this is a wonderful thread for girl whose living on her own for the first time, with no idea what to buy for her healthy lifestyle.....

lizziep
09-19-2009, 03:15 AM
also glad this got a bump- literally JUST finished an argument with hubby about whether or not it's cheaper/better to get some fresh stuff to make dinner out of or the frozen steam in a bag/toss in the wok type dinners we've been eating a lot of lately.
We're saving every penny for getting our house and taking a new look at food costs. i think it's cheaper to buy some fresh stuff and crock pot it all day- with just as little effort as a steam bag of frozen junk. he disagrees.

Any good cheap dinner suggestions?

yoyoma
09-19-2009, 03:57 AM
It's easy to make a healthy cheap meal if you base your entree on legumes. A hearty bean, lentil, or pea soup is pennies per serving. For soups, frozen veggies work fine and they are often cheaper than fresh (not to mention less work). Right now we have some healthy home-made chili made with a little lean ground turkey and kidney beans.

I also always use chicken carcass to make home made soup, so that extends the number of healthy meals you get out of a roast chicken.

But I agree that it is short-sighted to focus on the cost of food because in the big picture you are saving so much more by eating healthy.