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August 7, 2006

Poor People Food

**draft** I had one of those curious moments and looked up “poor people food” in the various search engines and I got nothing good. I expected to see a list and then links to recipes. I guess there’s no such thing as “poor people food” just as there’s no such thing as an “oatmeal diet” so lets make it up (the reason for doing this list is to come up with the foods/recipes and such so we can eat a little better/tastier and a little more cheaply — we’ve been getting a little too crazy with our food budget). There is a bad connotation around “poor people food” but I also think that some of the best and most creative food around is based off of the need to eat cheaply — gumbo, collard greens, and red beans are rice are perfect examples. If all goes well I’ll turn this into a book. breakfast

  • oatmeal
  • grits, polenta
  • chilaquiles

lunch/dinner

  • gumbo
  • red beans and rice
  • ramen noodles
  • macaroni and cheese
  • mashed potatoes
  • quesadillas
  • hummus w/ pita bread
  • fried rice (rice w/ some meat or vegetable)
  • casseroles (?)
  • cheap meats and fish: skirt steak, snapper, mussels (in season), catfish

If you got other suggestions, comment or send me mail :) — Update 11/1 There’s a Thrifty Food Plan issued by the USDA. On the low-end, a single adult male can eat on $4.84 a day, females $4.37. On the high end, $9.42/$8.50 a day. They also have a recipe book. I don’t think their plans are really good though. The way we all cook and eat is make a big meal and then have left overs for the next day or two, in other words the same meal more than once either once for dinner and again for lunch, or two or three dinners of the same thing.



82 Comments »

  1. so glad to find this website! Hubby is laid off and on disability. I have not worked in 15 years since I didn’t have to and wanted to be at home with our three kids. Now I am scrambling to find a job with not much luck and feed our family. I am looking for any and all ways to provide food for next to nothing. :)

    Comment by S — June 22, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  2. Dependent on where you live, you can find those huge cans of spaghetti o’s at the dollar tree. Also at the dollar tree: 24 pack of popsicle tubes…yummy. Top Ramen is always good too. Aaaaand powdered milk if you’re really really poor. But sometimes they have whole milk at the dollar tree too.

    Comment by Abbey — August 4, 2010 @ 11:44 am

  3. I have been caring for my ill mom for the past 3 years 24/7 so i had no income. She has recently passed and i have 4 months more of school till i will rejoin the work force. So being frugal with money is the only way to go… I have been in the habbit of using left over items from one dish to make a new one. For instance when i make greens i use smoked turkey or ham hocks. i then take the hocks and turkey wing and pull the meat off the bones. with that i then make what i call garbage can rice.
    I make white rice and add things to it such as the meat above i will add mixed veggies and 2 hardboiled eggs. All the add in goodies i chop up kind make like a house syle fried rice from the chinese resturant. It is very tasty too and you ccan be creative as you like the reason why i call it garbage can rice is becasue the little leftover items i have in the fridge will go in there too instead of the garbage can less waste. so in the end i have saved alot and i love the taste and so did my mom.

    Comment by sue — August 24, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  4. These are some very good ideas! I am a newlywed and my husband and I are both students so we basically live off poor people food! I would like to share a couple recipes of ours. Tater tot casserole- 1 lb. ground beef, 1 lb cheddar cheese, 1 can french cut green beans, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 chopped onion and 1 lb of tator tots. Cook the hamburger and mix with green beans, onion and mushroom soup, cover with tator tots and cheese. Cook @ 375 for 1 hour. Feeds a family of four for about ten bucks. Ramen Noodles go far and you can get a pack of 5 or 6 for 2 dollars at Dollar General. Mix with veggies and soy sauce for an Asian flavor! Fry ground beef, onion, bell pepper and diced potatoes together for a cheap easy meal, really tasty! Fry hamburger with onion, mix with bbq sauce and wrap in eggroll skins and deep fry…tasty! Hope you try our recipes!

    Comment by Rebecca — October 7, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  5. I have a website which gives menus and recipes and shopping lists for all meals for a fortnight for one person for $55 Australian.

    I find the food of the South of the USA very filling and cheap. I have a Skinny Man Jambalaya on my site which isn’t very expensive. Thank you for all the ideas above.

    Comment by Maggie — November 16, 2010 @ 4:26 am

  6. Hi Everyone, I read with interest some of your meal suggestions.In jamaica we make good use of canned corned beef, canned jack mackerel in tomato sauce, sardines,fresh and canned peas and beans, baked beans etc. Canned corned beef and canned mackerel can be a real meal enhancer when sauteed with fresh onions, garlic, pepper and thyme. Can be combined with simple steamed cabbage or vegatable of choice and served with any kind of staple eg: rice, potatoes, noodles , polenta, sweet potatoes or simple dumplings made with flour and water and boiled.Liver sauteed with onions, garlic,peppers and any other herb you like is very good served with cooked rice.Purchase the chicken backs in the supermarket to use in soups or curries. Really cheap and very tasty when seasoned nicely.Stews with cheaper meats such as turkey necks make excellent ,cheap, nutritious meals that can go a far way to satisfy a families needs.Too often we get caught up on traditional cuisine when there is such a lot more ways to prepare perfectly edible foods sometimes forgotten.I really hope my little post is of some help.

    Comment by Margaret — December 5, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  7. do good to poor peoples

    Comment by anil — February 7, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

  8. Well-off people are always lecturing poor people to “eat healthy,” but these people have never had to eat on a working poor’s income, fixed income or food stamps budget. Just a few years ago, I could easily eat fairly healthy on as little as $30 a week…today, (2011) it’s nearly impossible to eat healthy on $50 a week! Went to buy some kale for a recipe, and it cost more than 2 thick-cut pork chops! How insane is that? I need diabetic-friendly recipes, but most of these empty-headed twits whom publish recipes are 110% ignorant about the unbelievably high cost of not only food, but exotic seasonings and oils, and even how many tools, cookware & special appliences real, ordinary people trying to survive out here in Reality-Land, actually have!

    I’ve found some healthy, more or less affordable recipes in the Fix it & Forget it slow cooker cookbook for diabetics, but finding cheap, healthy recipes is nearly impossible. In many cases, the price of fresh veg is outstripping the cost of meat! “virgin olive oil” costs more per bottle than a couple of NY strip steaks! And the horror of it all, is how many millions of Americans who aren’t in our shoes, genuinely are patently stupid about the plight of millions more whom are genuinely suffering and need help finding healthy, genuninely inexpensive recipes. These people’s idea of “cheap” recipes is so ridiculously impractical and budget-stripping, as to be both laughable and scary to me…none of these people would live a month on what they think “cheap” food is, if THEY had to buy on a fixed budget (mine’s $50 a week, which, where I live, often translates to $75 a week, due to excessively high food prices at accesible food markets–I can’t afford a car to go shopping around for bargains with, LOL). It’s disgusting, the jerks who put out all these unaffordable, unrealitic recipes….when will someone publish REAL recipes?

    Comment by Nancy — February 12, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  9. I found this blog through google and the comments are perhaps the most interesting bit. I’d love to find a forum on “poor people food.”

    I grew up poor…Now that I’m older (and still poor – a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and nearly $40,000 in debt later) I have learned a lot about how to cook healthy food on a budget. It CAN be done. It takes work. It takes time. There is no easy way to do it, there is no “whip it up in 10 minutes” after a 10 hour shift way to do it. It takes time and a commitment to health to cook well cheaply.

    I spent two months living out of a backpack on a mountain in costa rica with a family that fed themselves (two adults and one child) and three adult volunteers on $60 per month. Food costs are about the same as in the US there. They owned no microwave. No electricity. No running water. They used a lot of onions, garlic, olive oil, rice, lentils, oatmeal (real, not instant), bananas, and plantains. Of course we can’t get plantains in the US as cheaply and we can’t grow huge batches of bananas in our backyards in many places BUT we’ve got other options – potatoes and apples, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. And without electricity, we spent our time cooking, working, and socializing. In two months I grew very close to the people there since we worked together to cook meals (divided up chopping and cleaning duties)…so yes, it is possible to cook cheaply without putting garbage into your body and into the environment. It just takes time.

    With no electricity, there was no refrigeration, no way to save cheese, eggs, or meat. So we didn’t eat them. They aren’t a necessary part of anyone’s diet. I enjoy meat myself but lived fine on a vegan, gluten-free diet for that time and felt very healthy. We didn’t have refined sugars, we didn’t have a lot of packaging to dispose of,

    Comment by Helen — February 21, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  10. Maybe to make food from scratch is the way to go. Instant gives me the creeps, what are all those ingredients they list on the lable. I am from South Africa and here the difference between rich and poor is immense. An average farm worker or domestic servant earns about R1400 -R2000 per month. Keep in mind that we buy a 10kg bag of potatoes for R35 and a loaf of bread will set you back R7 and then one of the biggest shocks of my life-one ,single pomegranate for r30. How do we survive-we plant gardens. On a plot the size of a door you can feed a family of four. We make from scratch-don’t understand the labels on supermarket food. We keep chickens and we help each other. A wonderfull story to me is a lady in Cape Town that made a vegetable garden in front of her house on the pavement. Here hungry people are encouraged to help themselves to to the vegetables. I have lots of from scratch recipes if anyone wants them

    Comment by Sandra — March 1, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  11. Sandra and anyone else: I’d love to get all the healthy low cost recipes I can get. My biggest problem in being able to feed my family healthy and low cost is that my husband’s stomach will not allow beans and he is allergic to fish..Being originally from the South that poses me great difficulties as we lived alot on beans and fish…Any help would be appreciated…

    Comment by Debra — March 19, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  12. You can check out some poor man’s and quick & easy recipes on my hubpage… Think casserole… that’s the main dinner dish for a poor man trying to feed a whole family, especially if you’re worried about getting various food groups & nutrients in there. Toss some half cooked rice or raw noodles in w/ some condensed soup (your choice) hopefully some meat, but you can always settle for something like *cream of chicken soup*, don’t forget some veggies, canned or frozen & bake until the meat & or rice/noodles are done. You would be surprised at the variety you could do with this simple meal.

    Another cheap and easy one I have recently used, has to do with using mashed potatoes as a base and then just some big can of chunky soup or beef stew, or tear of some cheap chicken nuggets and toss in some corn (like a bowl from KFC) on top. This is another one my family actually enjoys. :-P

    Comment by Laura S. — March 21, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  13. Me and my boyfriend are 18 and 21 and we live in a tiny house in the hood. I don’t know the first thing about cooking but here are some suggestions for NON-COOKS. Almost every grocery store has frozen dinners: ten for $10. Also the little microwave frozen burritos are about $3 for a six pack. There’s this stuff my friends make all the time called spread and it’s pretty much anything carby and meaty that you find around your house, in a pot. For example: Spanish rice a roni, ground beef, slim Jim, and eezy cheese. ‘Nother example: ramen noodles, scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, and lunch meat. Yet another: Mac and cheese, hot dogs, barbecue sauce, and tortilla chips for texture. I think you get the point. I know it’s hard to go from healthy-ish food to stuff that sounds like it might as well be a salt-lick, but you gotta do what you gotta do. We have saved up so much money eating like this, that we can afford to do the things we like to do without stretching our limits. Like rock climbing and movies and concerts and such. :D
    We have been living together like this for a little over two years and couldn’t be happier. (no we don’t have diabetes) sometimes it’s good to struggle. Gives you somethin to live for.

    Comment by Sara mitchem — April 17, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  14. Potatoes: buy the cheapest sack, relatively, and when you feel like a snack just stab the crap outta one with a fork and put it in the microwave for like four minutes depending on the size. INVEST IN GARLIC SALT. And if you happen to have milk, pour some in and make mashed tatoes. If your sick of microwaves at the moment, rub a potato in olive oil, salt, and pepper, wrap it in tin foil, and bake.
    Cereal: if you don’t have milk, you can crumble it up and put peanut butter or honey in it. It’ll make a bowl of cereal bar stuff. Just cereal and honey is kinda wonky tasting, but you can add a little flour, or be creative. At Winco/FoodSource you can pour your own bag of cereal and pay the weigh-in cost. CHEAP!
    Ground beef: if you are lucky enough to have a FoodSource or a Winco, I suggest buying a giant ten pound tube of
    it and dividing it into one pound bags with the date written on them. That’s what freezers are for! <3
    Red beans: make a big crockpot full of chili beans and two-three people can eat it for a week. Seriously I never get tired of it. Mines almost fat free cause it's made with ground turkey. And lots of peppers!
    Jello: you can mix sour cream in it when you make it, and it makes it a little more filling. It also ups the portion amount.

    Comment by Sara mitchem — April 17, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

  15. Okay last poor people rant for tonight;
    If your family is of the smaller persuasion (more specifically couples with no kids, or older kids) I highly suggest that at least one person in the house works in the foodservice industry. Alot of times, restaurants throw out food that isn’t quite expired, but can’t be sold to picky people. If your boss is cool and understands your situation, he’ll probably just give it to you. Or if he tells you to go throw those cookies or something away and they still look good to you, just sneak them in your car or in a bush on your way out to the dumpster. Haha I’ve had to do it a few times. Every little bit helps. I know it’s not a recipe, but its solid advice that keeps us doin what we do.

    Comment by Sara mitchem — April 17, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

  16. I volunteer at a soup kitchen. Our Manager/chef is great, I get fed for the lunch meal, and I am allowed to take food home too (lunch bag or leftovers). When I do this, I feel like I am giving back, helping, and not just looking for a handout.

    Comment by Marie Barendt — June 17, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  17. Immitation Crab meat- $2.50
    (Fetechini Alfredo) Pasta Roni- $1.08
    Large can veggie- about $1.25

    Saute’ the crab meat in butter and add it to the pasta once it’s done… My family (of 5) loves it! You really can’t beat $.97 per person!

    Comment by Ashley — August 16, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  18. What is wrong with most all of these ideas? None, or very little include fresh fruits and veggies. That is what half our meals (according to the new food guide) are supposed to come from. But how can you afford them when your food budget is $75/week and you have kids?? My husband has many health issues, can’t exercise, and has been told to “lose weight” “give up carbs” etc. We can’t afford to give up carbs, they are the cheapest thing. We barely eat any meat. Even frozen veggies are getting expensive – when you are trying to eat a lot of them. Our government should be addressing this problem. Michelle Obama thinks our country has obese kids now, wait until a year or two of the “poor people’s diet” affects those kids!

    Comment by Amber — September 21, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  19. I have a family of 5. Two of them being boys..requiring lots of food. So I make meals that can be leftovers. I will make cheese or chicken enchiladas w/ brown rice and beans. Then use those for lunch the next day. Or veggie lasagna with a salad or frozen mixed veggies. Beef, potatoes, spinache, and onion “bowl” for breakfast. Then the leftover beef use for spaghetti for lunch the next day. Rice and beans, shredded chicken and cheeese bowl…mmmmm. cheap and inexpensive. No one has any clue how to feed a family on a poor man’s diet until he experiences it themselves. I am stay at home mom( for now) and my hubby is the soul provider,we are on a budget. And even though it rpeat of meals no on is going hungry and no one is complaining.,ur own tortillas and breads are impotant. There is alot of work going into some things but well worth it and much appreciated when you hear,”I’m full”. I think no one has any clue to providing a “poor mans meal” to a family until you have personally done it yourself. May God bless you all!

    Comment by Irene — September 21, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

  20. I concur that most of the suggestions here include processed foods. I also agree that fresh fruits and vegetables, especially organic/pesticide-free, can be very expensive. How about trying to grow your own vegetables? Let’s look to history and efforts in both world wars to create ‘victory gardens.’ Some vegetables are especially easy to grow, like chard, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes.

    Comment by Grace — September 27, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  21. Poor folks food. French: la cuisine au poivre. Lots of ideas in classic food. Being in New Orleans eat lots of beans. Don’t have to be fancy. Current favorite is Garbanzo Beans (aka. chickpeas or chichi beans in Italian. Soak ’em, boil ’em up and throw in some salad oil and pepper (pizza pepper flakes or black pepper doesn’t matter. Hot is good. Cold just as good. Mash up good for dip or to fill tortillas or spread on bread. Cabbage is cheap and always welcome, plain boiled just fine, with a little vinegar great. Same with other greens.
    I could go on but definitely check out ethnic markets. Some have gone upscale lately but not all. My market in the black community is fantastic. Asian markets tend to be either dirt cheap or ridiculously expensive depending on their clientele. Same with hispanic. I’m a big cornbread fan, cornbread and beans is regal. Save your fat from bacon and boiled chicken-you can cook with it. I save all my sausage and beef drippings as well-keep them refrigerated and they last a good while. Hint-a lot of steak houses render their fat trimmings from beef and render it and add to their fryer grease-that’s what makes some of thir fries so good. You can also re use those animal fats at least three times before you need to discard it. I also have a few herbs which are invaluable in adding heaps of flavor. A packet of seeds will give you a bumper crop so only use what you need this year and save the rest for another year-they do last. I have basil because I use it the most. I also have rosemary, thyme, and mint. rosemary is woody, just strip off the bottom leaves and stick the naked part in the ground and you’ll have a plant. Gotta be a fresh plant-store bought packets of herbs don’t propogate well. Mint-just put it in a glass and put in water-when it gets roots plant it and it will go crazy. Treat thyme same as rosemary. If you can divide a clump from a neighbor you’re already way ahead of the game. Here’s a link with some good ideas: http://www.deltablues.net/recipe.html A lot of soul food sites are good. Italian recipe sites are also very helpful. Italian isn’t just tomato sauce, pasta and cheese. Mexican posole is worth the effort and expense. Throw together a jambalaya with rice and whathave you-that’s the way it started. Scramble vegetables with eggs. I’ll try to add more later if you like.

    Comment by charles fortner — October 1, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  22. My momma grew up orphaned, poor, Mexican, and female during the Depression in Charlotte, Texas. She ate beans three times a day for years. As a result, I saw her put a small amount on the end of a fork into her mouth just once. She spit them out into a napkin instantly, stating, ” They still taste the same.” She went back to her Porterhouse with a zeal. She did have some dishes from that time though that stayed in her quiver. Chillequilles are cut up corn tortillas, browned and soft till the get a little taste, with salt and pepper of course. Crack some eggs in and scramble. If you’re cool you toss some cheese in and put the lid on till it melts. Works everytime anytime. 50 cents for the tortillas, 2 dollars for the eggs. Buy the 80 pac of tortillas at the Mexican store and fry them until soft. Pat them dry and alternate them with a little cheese and a can of green salsa in a baking dish. 350 for 20 min and you have enchiladas you cut like lagsana. For the side dish take chorizo, cook it in a little oil, and stir in a can of refried beans.7 bucks and whatever the cheese costs. Shoot, give every body a fork with a weinie on it and tell them to cook it over the burner on the stove! Ma heats the flour tortillas over a flame and everyone rolls their own condiments in. Fun and a teambuilder. For desert warm flour tortillas with cream cheese and jam, butter and jam, bananas and peanut butter, or PB and J. Remember that flat bread is the food of people in a fix, from the old testament till now. Keep your head up.

    Comment by Roberto — October 9, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  23. Check out Clara’s Cooking from the great depression. (Google it) Also keep in mind local food pantries and soup kitchens. Don’t be too proud to go. Lots of people do these days. And sometimes it’s really good eats. If you don’t know where to begin ask a clergy man. There’s lots of free stuff out there for those of us who really need it.

    Comment by Denise — January 31, 2012 @ 3:51 am

  24. I think it depends if you are temporarily poor (but previously well fed and you know this is just for a short while then the money will come in again) or if you are long-term, chronically poor. Because if you eat some of this “poor people food” it will give you health problems — some short term, and some take awhile to show up. Here’s the thing. If you know it’s just short term, then eat some pasta; it’s cheap. However, you really need to learn that our bodies were not built to live off so many refined carbs, and to the extent possible, supplement your diet with the following nourishing foods. (Carbs make you obese, diabetic, give you arthritis, bloating, alzheimer’s, heart disease, etc.). Good foods to eat, as much as you can: fresh veggies, meat, eggs, homemade broth made from bones, full-fat dairy (lowfat and nonfat dairy are unhealthy). Butter. Please avoid processed food as much as you can. It is expensive and unhealthy. Cook from scratch. You do not want to develop expensive health problems, which you most certainly will, if you attempt to subsist on grains, pasta, bread, cereal, rice, legumes, sugar. Also… sugar and carbs create food cravings — that’s right, they make you HUNGRY. If you eat more fat, your hunger will go away. You will not need to eat between meals. You will be healthy. Do not believe the USDA guidelines. Those are written to support corporations. Animal fats are the way to go. Avoid vegetable oils like canola, corn, safflower. They are poisonous. Eat butter, not margarine. Sickness is expensive. Health is good economy.

    Comment by Dani — February 2, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  25. I wanted to add — I am a struggling single mom and have learned by experience, the hard way. My 3 kids are hungry teenagers now. But what I have learned is that vegetarianism is not natural for humans. Most vegetarians I know are young and idealistic. Most folks my age (middle aged) are not vegetarians — and plenty of them are former vegetarians who learned the hard way. We are meant to eat meat. So, try very hard to do this. If you avoid processed foods, cook from scratch, do not waste food, do not buy junk, you can do it. Eat lots and lots of vegetables. You don’t really need to eat fruit, except some occasional berries. Eat some nuts. A small bowl of hearty beef stew will satisfy you a lot longer than an huge plate of spaghetti. And you can make enough beef stew for four people with a small beef shank (includes the bone). Brown it and simmer in water with vegetables for a couple of hours until the meat is tender. Include some turnips in this stew — better for you than potatoes. For breakfast I advise skipping the cereal and toast, and eating some eggs cooked in butter or bacon fat. If you buy bacon, save the fat in your freezer to use to cook eggs in. For lunch, have a salad with some meat in it, for example cook up a pound of ground beef with taco spices and make a taco salad. If you plan your menus in advance, you will buy what is necessary and not buy what is unnecessary. Stop eating sugar. It is poisonous and makes you hungry between meals. You can do this. If you can try some of the things I suggest, you will feel healthier and happier, more able to cope with your situation, it will help your diabetes and obesity if you have those problems, you will have better energy. I hope you try it.

    Comment by Dani — February 2, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  26. @Dani,

    Your info is not completely accurate. It is perfectly healthy to eat beans, legumes, and lentils, along with moderate amounts of brown rice, or whole wheat tortillas. There are many healthy people in this world who are vegetarian, and you sound very uneducated about a meat free lifestyle. You can make a lot of tasty and low carb dishes out of beans, which are healthy. Have you ever made black bean burgers? Delicious, and far less suspect than eating steak, which can be tainted unless you know exactly where you meat is coming from.

    Comment by Jo — February 22, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  27. @Dani,

    There are a lot of healthy Hindus in India who abstain from meat, and who practice yoga. It sounds like you think people should only eat according to your construct, and fail to realize there are a lot of healthy people who live long lives as vegetarians. Loma Linda is a city in the US with one of the longest life expectancies, and the people there are Seventh Day Adventist, and eat vegetarian. They started doing it years before the FDA, just like the Hindus in India, and many traditional Chinese who preferred not to eat meat.

    Comment by Jo — February 22, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  28. My husband and I are living on $13/hour, with a mortgage obtained when I was working at a job making double that. I can’t work anymore, and the mortgage is about 70% of his take home pay. Our only bills are utilities and internet, but those things can add up. Still, I manage to feed us very, very well, for about $50-70 a week. It could go even lower, if it had to. So far, I haven’t had to go there. We don’t do without anything, but oh boy do I shop the sales like a crazed woman and study recipes all the time. My husband can’t have high sodium, so I have to buy a lot of fresh or frozen vegetables. Meanwhile, I’m allergic to a lot of grains, fruits and vegetables, so being a vegetarian is NOT an option. I have to eat meat to keep from being bored to death–and to keep from dying. I hardly ever spend more than $3/lb on it, though. What’s crazy is that, a lot of times, meat is far cheaper than vegetables, because I can make meat go a lot further, but, sometimes, meat is just plain cheaper per pound than vegetables, too. I got a whole chicken for 57 cents a pound last week, got three meals from the meat, and the carcass went to making a stock. One bell pepper that week was 68 cents, it didn’t come anywhere near being a pound, and it lasted for only one meal! Finally, I always buy some on sale meat in my price range when I can afford it, even if I don’t need it that week. I can always use it later, and if we have an unexpected bill or expense, I’ve got food in the freezer!

    Comment by Aquaria — March 2, 2012 @ 2:46 am

  29. I am a senior living on a ridiculously small amount of money. Cookbook: The Frugal Gourmet has a recipe cooking chicken Chinese style which saves cooking fuel. Fuel is a food cost which must be considered when poor. I also make lots of homemade cream soups using carrots, broc,or zukes. I buy a quart of cream every month not only for the soups, but sauce for pasta, rice and for my oatmeal. The cream costs $4.19 a quart and lasts the whole month. Homemade baked custards (joy of cooking) popcorn is a great snack especially for those teens! I have been making the no-knead bread – however 425 degree oven for 1 hr. 35 mins is way too much propane use. I use to eat meat or fish once a week but now twice a month. I appreciate all the great food ideas on the posts. Is anyone besides me tired of your friends and relatives talking about all the great food they eat while you struggle? If you can stay away from canned foods-do! Not healthy at all. Those who are doing mostly veggies be sure to read up on the amino-acids for complete protein. Corn, rice and beans is complete eaten together. Blessings to all of you~

    Comment by Claudine — July 29, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  30. A cheap meal is a box of au grautin potatoes cook with a can of span.
    Also, mix a little hamburger with Rice-a-Roni

    Comment by Anita — September 21, 2012 @ 10:25 am

  31. Eggs and potatoes
    Ramen and eggs
    cheapo hot dogs inside a bun, wrapped in aluminum foil, bake in oven. yummy
    canned fruit is sometimes cheaper than fresh, same for veggies
    bake your own brownies instead of buying them

    spaghetti with sauce & parmesan cheese ( I buy it from Dollar Tree for $1)
    pork is sometimes on sale, is cheaper than chicken and certainly cheaper than hamburger meat (ground beef) which USED to be so cheap
    chicken quarters often cheap
    rice with left overs thrown in, like Chinese fried rice

    Comment by Dani — February 10, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

  32. * I meant to say about the cheapo hot dogs, put a nice slice of cheese (you can buy it sliced at Dollar Tree for $1) it will melt and is really delicious

    Comment by Dani — February 10, 2016 @ 3:17 pm

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