you don't have to use the most expensive meats -- you can use chicken thighs or legs, turkey, tuna fish or salmon, lean hamburger, pork shoulder roasts, beef pot roast, stew beef, shoulder ham, pork chops, sausages, chicken franks, liver, eggs, cheese, and beans.
Here's a sample weekly menu; just sub in what you can afford ...
SUNDAY: roast or baked chicken/turkey with veggies
MONDAY: pot roast or ham or pork chops/steak
TUESDAY: leftovers dinner; or soup or stew
WEDNESDAY: pasta &/ hamburg meal; or casserole
THURSDAY: chicken super dogs or bean pot
FRIDAY: favorite fun meal like HM pizza; or BBQ
SATURDAY: fish & chips & coleslaw; or optional day
When we lived at home with 6 kids + parents; we had a roast beef or pork; or ham; or chicken or turkey on Sundays -- and made a stew or casserole on Monday out of the leftovers. I always made pasta & hamburg meal on Wednesdays (i.e. spagetti & meatballs).
Here are some of our favorite quick meals for families ~
-- chicken-veggie stew with dumplings
-- hamburg/onions/pasta in mushroom sauce.
-- shepherd's pie: with veggies & mash
-- hamburg hash: onions/beef gravy + mash/veggie
-- pork chops/onion in mushroom sauce + tators/veggie
-- baked chicken pieces in HM BBQ sauce/ with rice/veggies
-- hamburg patties/onions in tomatoes + mash + veggie
-- sausages/onions + tators/cream corn/coleslaw.
-- hamburger steak/onions + sliced tomatoes + tators
-- bbq ribs & chicken w/tators & coleslaw
-- meatloaf w/mash/peas & carrots
-- franks/onions & beans OR mash & veggies
-- cabbage rolls; or mock casserole
-- picnic/shoulder ham with potato-carrot scallop
-- veggie-beef stew with tea biscuits
-- seasoned liver & onions, corn/mash
-- chili bean pot with veggies
-- creamed salmon on toast or salmon patties
-- tuna &/ cheese pasta casserole
-- quiches; frittatas; omelettes w/homefries/veggies
-- stuffed pitas & tortilla wraps
-- stir-fries with rice & veggies
-- hm hot dog pizza (Sat)
-- sloppy joes (Sat)
-- fresh fish my brother caught
-- BBQ: steak, pork chops, chicken thighs, burgers, hot dogs, bangers (big sausages); corn/tators
I try to have 2 veggies; or sliced veggies; or salad with dinner meals: ie coleslaw or romaine salad or a mix of both. I had a salad of just sliced cukes & tomatoes last night. As for being low-carb, you can make those meals and just eat the meat & veggies or salad; or just have a small serving.
ECONO TIP ~ I buy the more expensive meats when they are on sale, and in bulk -- i.e. steak, chicken breasts, thighs (for BBQ), lean pork chops, back spare ribs, whole or cut-up chickens, turkeys, roasts, super chicken dogs, lean or xtra-lean hamburger, and bangers (large sausages). That way we save money, but still afford to eat the best meats too.
Chicken thighs, cross-rib/blade or sirloin steaks, rib/end pork chops, bangers, super dogs, and hamburgers are great for the BBQ. Just buy extra when they are on sale, and put them in your freezer.
Our family ate most of these meals regularly, and we were not over-weight until we started eating junkie snack foods in between the meals.