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Author Topic: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!  (Read 4651 times)

Liana

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How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« on: October 05, 2011, 04:24:43 PM »
Share your cheap recipes! I'm lazy and I like to cook like once a week and then just eat that for a week with cheap meals in between, like chicken breast from a big ol' bag of frozen chicken breasts I done got at Target or a sweet potato I threw in the microwave and mashed with a fork on the plate inside the potato skin and now it's mashed sweet potato!!!
 
I have some stuff I make, but mostly it's "dump shit in a pan. Hope it tastes good." I'll try to organize my thoughts and write it down and how much it all costs!

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 04:47:19 PM »
I spy a new section of the forum. Well there is one extremely easy way to shop with $20 or less (with a smile!) Move back in with your parents and get them to buy everything for you. Works like a charm. xD

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2011, 05:21:25 PM »
Oh! so, I just figured out some really cheap recipes that are quick, take only one pot because my bf and I are lazy.

Spaghetti:  This is a little different take on like spaghetti because I guess you could like get the bottled sauce but I'm allergic to something or other they put in there so it's not an option for me.  So what my bf and I like to do is for 20 bucks, we get one of those spaghetti pack spice mixes, three pounds of some of the super fatty ground beef, tomato paste, onions to make the sauce more fancy, noodles and frozen garlic bread.  I usually can find all of that for about 18 dollars and this meals feed both my bf and I for like a week.  18 dollars for a week is pretty awesome for two people.

Chili Verde:  this is also really simple.  You get pork butt (which is actually the shoulder.  idgi at all) because that stuff is really cheap, like $1.99-3.00/ pound, and some bottles of salsa verde.  You cube the meat and brown it in a pan and dump in the salsa and let it simmer for like 10 minutes.  And then serve it over rice.

My bf and I eat white rice almost every meal that we eat in.  I know, I know, I'm Asian and that's just what we do, but really it's such a cheap filler.  And you can do things with old rice like chop up some bacon, crack some eggs, add some salt and pepper and fry it all up and bam.  You have fried rice.  We always do things like curry rice which, I didn't put here because some of those Japanese curry bricks are expensive, but... man I really need to think about more what we make lol.  Also, none of this is healthy.  Mostly because it's hard to get my bf to eat veggies and so we just make frozen veggies off to the side and I eat those XD  I'm sure other people have awesome living on a budget healthy recipes XD

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 05:56:37 PM »
For me, I wait until supermarket sales go on. With 20$, I usually get 14 michelinas for 14$ and 6$ worth of drinks. This will last a week, assuming I consume 2 per day and a few sips of whatever mixed with water, or tea I bought. XD

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 12:16:50 AM »
oh!  not really a cheap recipe but, I thought I would share some of my cheap booze secrets because well, I like booze XD

Meet Espolon.  I'm a huge tequila fan, and everyone and their mother likes to drink Patron because of the name.  To be honest, for the price, I think that it's overrated.  So, I worked at a liquor market where they had us try a whole bunch of tequilas and this one blew me away.  It was like a 50 dollar tequila back in the 70s but they reintroduced it to the market at $20.  So, it's like the high quality without the high price tag.  http://www.americancocktails.com/pages/backbar/espolon-reposado_tequila.php  it may not feed me for a week, but it for sure makes me smile for $20.

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 12:39:52 PM »
I find that it's almost cheaper to eat fresh a lot of times.  Shop the sales and get a big bag of frozen meat of some kind, slice up a veggie, and stir fry.  It's really satisfying and cheap too.


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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 10:11:58 AM »
Aldi. Aldi, Aldi, Aldi. They've changed from what I remember as a kid...a lot of the no-name brand food is as good (or better) than name brand. Great for eating healthy, too, because ramen and pb&j aren't super nutritious for every day but who can afford HEALTH BRANDS food at regular markets. Cheap bags of chicken, cheap fruit and veggies (just make sure it looks super fresh), whipped yogurts for 50 cents, cheap soy milk, light string cheese, cereals...even very good baked chips, blue corn tortilla chips and hummus. Cheap REAL vanilla if you want to bake. Cheap olive oil for searing.

Minute rice is my friend, also broth when you find it on sale. Try to go low sodium unless you're cooking a big pot of nourishing stew (don't want it flavorless). But rice in chicken or veggie broth and spices makes a nice side.

Tuna casserole. Like 2 cans of tuna mixed in with rice and peas and a can of cream of celery (or whatever you like) soup. Little bread crumbs on top. Cottage cheese. Not super unhealthy, makes a big pan, share with roomie.

Rice and black beans. If you can afford it, add cilantro and lime. Add a bit of lettuce and tomato. Have with corn and chips and salsa. No meat, makes a TON of food and is filling withut being fatty or heavy. Think naked burrito.

Gourmet spaghetti. You can no meat it. If I have romas or a bit of salad spinach, I'll saute them down before adding jar sauce. Or you can do bell peppers, mushrooms...if you have any leftover veggies about to turn. Toss your drained spaghetti with a bit of pesto before adding sauce (a $3.50 or so jar can last ages, and it amps up your $3 box/jar pasta meal like whoa.)

Eggs. Used to hate breakfast food. But so cheap. Eggy bread and turkey bacon. Scrambled and toast. Mix up with hot sauce one day, with parsley and parmesan another day. "Fry" up an apple or have warm cinnamon apple sauce with it. Lots of flavors, can stretch it out.

Soups. Like stew, very cheap stew meat sauteed and add broth and whatever frozen veggies are on sale with a bit of tomato paste. Add elbow macaroni. Or buy cheap chicken thighs, and bake them up. Shred meat after it's cooled. Cook down celery and carrots and add watered broth (make your own if you can stomach boiling bones to add to thin it out and also for the curing cold goodness). Mix flour and water and drop little bits in. Chicken and dumplings. Pot lasts for days.

...mostly I eat breakfast food and peanut butter and a sub on the go these days but do as I say not as I do. Crock pot meals or magazines/websites with $5 meals have good sites, too. I get bored with cooking just for me, especially pasta - bake a pasta dish, it's very cheap but then you realize you've eaten pasta like 4 times in two days and your pants hate you. Rice does me better usually. Even just seared fish from a bag on rice with a little vinegar. Cheap. I eat canned peas like a freak. In everything. Bulks it up.
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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 12:07:51 PM »
Addendum to eggs: Here is a way to make amazing delicious sosososo bad for you eggs courtesy of my grandmother.

Make some bacon in a pan. When you're done LEAVE THE GREASE! and cover it up like you would with a deep fryer. Now when you do eggs they will cook in the grease and taste like bacon.
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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 11:33:57 PM »
I do that all the time, Amanda!

Also, save your bacon grease for frying other things. I run them off into a cup that I keep in the fridge for this. Popcorn is THE best when you buy the big bags of kernels and pop them in a pan with bacon grease. So much better and cheaper (just a little makes a TON) than the boxed popcorn in bags.

One of my favorite quick and cheap recipes that uses up leftovers is fried rice. Make some rice, put an egg in it, soy sauce, and then anything you have left over in the fridge--vegetables and meat both work and most combinations taste good. If you make enough, it'll last several days as well.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 11:37:30 PM by Kapparin »

Liana

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 01:48:46 PM »
Tuna casserole. Like 2 cans of tuna mixed in with rice and peas and a can of cream of celery (or whatever you like) soup. Little bread crumbs on top. Cottage cheese. Not super unhealthy, makes a big pan, share with roomie.
I HAD THIS SHE MAKES IT GOOD I actually make tuna casserole all the time. What I USED To do was pasta, alfredo sauce, mushrooms, and a shitton of cheese on top. That's cheap but bad for Mr. Thighs XD What I did last time was whole wheat penne, two cans of low sodium mushroom soup, milk, one tuna can, cooked mushrooms and onions in olive oil, and some random spices (mostly basil). Less delicious but better for me and made a LOT more casserole- had to throw some away, but that's my fault for not freezing it. I want to keep playing with the spices to give it extra flavor.

I am also addicted to peanut butter and honey sandwiches with bananas. Lately I've been investing in organic honey and peanut butter + 7 grain bread for the little extra health boost since this can become a daily thing XD

Eggs ARE amazing. I like to boil them because I snack and I will snack on whatever is available int he house except for almonds because I over almonded. Two hard boiled eggs is like a mini meal and much better than grabbing candy from my brother . . . Eggs also go in ramen and make it taste. Well different, at least. Breakfast in general is super cheap. Got to love turkey sausage!

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 03:01:17 AM »
Over almonded :D
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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 11:22:01 PM »
I discovered Trader Joes in California recently and I am very pleased. For around $10 you can grab some good meat, soy sauce, and garlic powder, and make stir-fry beef to last you what will seem like a delicious eternity. I literally think James and I cooked it one day and only ate that cooked in various ways (Beef and eggs, beef sandwich, beef with fried rice) for an entire day and it came out to around $15 overall??? And there was a ton of ingredients leftover except for the entire... Beef part which got kinda pricy. But I ASSUME THIS WORKS WITH FROZEN CHICKEN TOO and you can buy that shit by the shitton.

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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 10:46:09 AM »
I'm gonna add a note to stews. My step-Mom's family is Slovak. She made some kind of odd, homey dish with cabbage and ham. Soudned gross. Left me some. It was really flavorful and nice, and a good nourishing soup/stew for having a cold (like I do). Would have worked better with chicken, but I think the ham made it taste richer.

Anyway. Cabbage, potato, carrot in broth. So cheap. Easy as hell. Put in hot stock. Leave it alone. If you have meat, throw it in. If not, add some spices. Could probably even add a bit of tomato paste, for extra anti-oxidants. Not bad at all. And fills you up, with very very low cost food.

She also made a turnip and apple bake. That needed work, but the idea is sound. Boil turnips until soft and mash them, bake with apples. Brown sugar on top. Or just cook turnips and eat apples. Also cheap. Also filling.

edit: Damn. The soup thing was no broth. Just hambone in water, with cabbage and carrots and potato slices. It really cooked down very nice and flavorful. Good with bread and butter and cottage cheese.

Another cheapy food, dunno if I mentioned it before, is baked kielbasa. I hate sausage. But slice kielbasa in angled pieces, like bruschetta (ugh, I'm such a faux Italian carb whore). COVER in BBQ sauce, a sweeter one. Make it swim. It bakes so yummy. one package makes a TON and it's very good with buttered potatoes. Or even just a baked potato.

Or you can make a big thing of frozen brocolli for under $2, cover with a little parmesan from dollar store or aldi and a little butter.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 11:38:36 AM by kibats »
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Re: How to grocery shop with 20$ and a smile!
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 07:34:02 AM »
I'm jumping in on this one.  We would make Ramen Taco Salad.  It's easy to make one serving, or several. 

Just make the ramen noodles, sometimes we'd flavor the noodles with the packet, but that's not necessary.  Cook some hamburger meat, dice a tomato and get some cheese.  Then just layer it on.  It's rather yummy.  And if you do it this way, you can make enough for just one person without a problem.  (That's always my problem.  It's just me and if I make a lot, it goes bad because I forget to eat it the next day!  LOL!) 
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