(Closed) What are your low cost weekly meals?

posted 7 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
1744 posts
Bumble bee

@Miss Joker:  4.99 roasted chicken from costco.  Eat warm with veggies/potatoes first night.  With leftovers make chicken noodles (add carrots/peas etc), chicken salad (with mayo/celery etc, or make ceasar salad with chicken.  Or use the scraps for a chicken alfredo.  Then boil the bones for good homemade stock as a base for the chicken noodle or other soups.  We’ve gotten 6 meals out of one chicken, of course this depends on amount of sides and appetite.

Pasta meals can be inexpensive.

Ground  beef was on sale recently so I just made a batch of meatloaf and divided it into 5 small loaf pans (enough for 2 servings).  Probably < $3.00 (per small pan)  for all the meatloaf ingredients.  We ate one the day I made it and froze the rest for easy dinner other times.  

Again with costco.  They have pork SIRloins for about 1.50/lb.  They come individually packed, but you buy a pack of 4.  Season and brown then roast to ~160.  It’s hard to beat that price.

We eat breakfast at home, buying Oatmeal in the big tub rather than little envelopes.  It does take a little more time/organization in the morning, but not much.   When I make waffles on weekends I freeze the leftovers.  It just takes a few minutes in an oven to crisp them up.     

We avoid buying Lattes etc. 

Post # 5
970 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

Stir fry with noodles or rice. Noodles are like $2, veggies are whatever you want to pay around $3, with or without chicken or tofu. With teriyaki sauce or homemade peanut sauce. We used to add sprouts to in when we lived in Japan as they were like 40 cents for a big bag. In Canada they are like $2. Makes about 5 servings, so FH has it for lunch. 

Chili is cheap because it makes a lot. Canned beans, corn, chicken or beef, mushrooms. Serve with toast. 

Pasta with homemade sauce and shrimp or chicken. Can add mushrooms or spinach. For the sauce I use mushroom soup, cream cheese, basil, oregano, garlic. This meal is about $7 for 5 servings. 


Post # 6
3274 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We’re college students so we’re on a tight budget. I buy 5lb bags of chicken from wal-mart and $1 alfredo packets and we have chicken alfredo often. I make tacos and hamburger helper a lot too along with fruits and veggies. Our monthly groceries are under $100. 

Post # 7
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

We’re a $50/week grocery bill couple in a major city (where grocery prices are inflated).

We do three pasta nights, two rice nights, a potato night and a pizza night every week!

And then all you have to worry about is the spices (which are cheap–check the dollar store), meat (get whatever’s on sale), fruits and veggies.

We devote half our budget to fruits and veggies every week!

And since sale fruits/veggies fluctuate, you build different meals every week. Like cilantro and carrots were on sale last week–so I made a whole bunch of Asian fusion meals!

Post # 9
970 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

View original reply
@Miss Joker:  Exact same as us. I eat breakfast and lunch at work for nearly free. He tries to bring leftovers and limit buying lunch once a week. He got bad and was spending $500 a month on lunches! 

Post # 11
1926 posts
Buzzing bee

Do you have an Aldi near you? I get about a week’s worth of food for around $30 if I’m super careful. 

Post # 12
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I second Costco shopping…it really cuts down on overall food costs, and the quality is fantastic. I love to cook gourmet meals, too. Costco is the way to go for good quality meat…the lamb is fantastic, in particular. I agree with the rotisserie chicken…when I want an easy meal, I just make black bean, diced tomato (fresh + a bit of water if in season, canned if not in season), corn, and rotisserie chicken “stew” over rice. Obviously add some spices, onion, garlic, etc. to that, too 😉 It usually lasts a good 3 meals for 2 people. Consider where you are shopping and how the cost compares to other places….I love Trader Joes for cost, but Costco for cost & produce quality. Lastly, consider some veggie-only options. Eliminating meat from some of your dishes will help save money. I love to make a veggie curry dish sometimes. Or shakshuka. Message me with your email address if you want some specific recipes!!

Post # 15
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I love this topic!! Fiance and I go to the store once a month for our major trip of $150. We spend an extra $20 bi weekly on essentials that go bad fast, like milk and such. That means we come in at $45 a week, and just under $200 per month!

Anyway, I have tons of tips for you and other bees! I always buy in bulk, as it really does save money! On our monthly trips we buy up to 8 boxes of cereal! Fiance eats a bowl almost every morning. We buy two 3 lb packages of ground beef per month, and freeze them in 1 lb portions to use throughout the month. We also buy a 10lb bag of frozen chicken every month (costs about $12). Canned chicken and canned seafood are also some good, fairly healthy options. Fresh produce can also be frozen to keep it fresh longer!
I utilize store promotions, store-specific coupon programs (in indiana we have meijer and kroger who both offer store coupons if you sign up, which is free), and outside coupons! Sometimes coupons come in the paper, but I also use coupons.com to get good deals. 
As far as meals, we do an overwhelming majority of our meals as all in one, combining a meat and vegetable and usually a pasta or rice. Some of my favorites are: chicken, vegetables and noodles with Alfredo sauce; ground beef and vegetables with cheese sauce; ground beef, stewed tomatoes, cheddar cheese soup, and potatoes (makes a “cheeseburger skillet casserole”); canned tuna with cream of mushroom soup and noodles; Mexican chicken casserole; tater tot casserole; Polynesian pineapple chicken over rice; and many more!! We are also advocates of frozen food (we eat a frozen meal about once a week), and some of our favorites are fish sticks, breaded popcorn shrimp, Salisbury steak, white meat turkey, and many more! We also love, love, LOVE crock pot meals!! 
Sorry for such a long post, and I hope it helps!! Fiance and I also eat a spinach salad with fresh peppers at least 3-5 times a week. We are both runners, and I am a Zumba instructor. We are in prime physical health and love to eat, so most of our meals are pretty healthy and VERY filling! If you want any specific recipes or anything else don’t hesitate to let me know!! I am proud to call myself the Queen of Quick, Easy, Nutritious meals! I work 40 hours a week and also go to college full time, along with fitting in at least 10-12 hours of exercise a week, and none of my meals EVER take more than an hour to complete…except the crock pot, of course 😉 

Post # 16
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Miss Joker:  we always have potatoes and we mash some up and pour a chunky soup over it. I love it! Also, one of my faves is taco salad. It’s cheap for us because we always have tomatoes/salsa/sour cream/shredded cheese in the house. We usually get iceberg lettuce( cheap) and taco seasoning or just use cumin to flavor and some black beans. And now i am headed to kitchen.

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