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Pippin1968 04-06-2009 04:00 PM

Low Budget Ideas?
Hi everyone. Seeking good meal ideas for a veeeery tight budget this week. Any ideas?

HappyisNow 04-06-2009 04:01 PM

Eggs eggs eggs! This is what I stick with when I want to save a bit of money.

tubby2 long 04-06-2009 04:36 PM

I am not sure just how tight your budget is, but here are some ideas:
This week most grocery stores have sales on pork and turkey, for Easter.It is easy to find a pork loin for $1.69 a pound, and turkey for .99 a pound. You could buy either one of these for less than $10 and have enough meat for the week. Eggs are a good value, and there are many ways to cook them. Tuna in the can, often on sale for less than $1 a can.Cheese to mix with the eggs and tuna, brick is cheaper than shredded, ususally $2.50 for a 8 oz brick.Sometimes they are on sale 3 for $5. My local grocery store has butter on sale for $1.39 a pound this week. That is a deal! So, for $20 you could easily eat for a week-

Here are some recipes- egg casserole:
beat 6 eggs with a little milk, cream or half and half (if you do not have any, it is fine without it) Add some cheese, any kind that you have will do. If it is brick, cut it up into cubes, about a cup. Add anything else you would like, ham, onion, pepper, mushrooms, leftover meat , ect.. Mix it all together and bake in a casserole dish at 3:50 for 45 minutes. After it cools a little, you can cut it into squares- enough for 12 meals! Lo carb and very good!

Mexican chicken:
I use boneless but you could use any part of the chicken (or turkey)
bake in a shallow pan for 30 minutes. Add some Salsa- check for a lo carb variety- and some cheese. Cook for another 20 minutes and you have a nice Mexican Chicken dish

Chicken salad stuffed tomato

take some of that leftover chicken (or turkey)mix it with mayo and chop it up (food processor works well ) I use a little onion too. Hollow out a tomato and stuff it with the chicken salad. You can eat it just like that or broil it for 10 minutes.

Spinach Salad

Buy a bag of spinach (I got it on sale this week) and mix it with whatever fresh veggies or meat that you have leftover from another meal. Makes a good healthy meal-I put hard boiled egg on mine, cheese, mushrooms- Whatever kind of lo carb dressing that I happen to have-

If you have a crockpot, you can put almost any kind of meat in that, and let it cook all day. When I buy a pork loin, I buy a large whole loin. I cut it into 3 roasts. I usually use one of them for bar b q pork. I cook it in the crock pot all day, on high. I use KC Masterpiece lo carb sauce. So for about $5 I have enough bar b q pork for at least 6 people, and it is very good!

You could do the same thing using chicken legs, they are usually very reasonably priced- after the chicken is all cooked, just take the bones out. The meat will fall off the bone as it cooks.This crock pot meal could be made for about $3-$4

Buy whatever fresh green veggies you can afford- often frozen veggies are on sale for $1 a bag. Brocolli, cauilliflour, green beans, spinach, are all good choices-

I would not spend $$ on processed packaged foods. I think your money- even if you only have a very little, will go further if you buy "whole" foods. :)

Good Luck! I am sure you will be able to manage lo carb on a budget-

jacksmixedtape 04-06-2009 04:44 PM

None of this stuff is organic, but I'm on a tight budget too, lately.

Found some hot dogs for $.88 at Kroger, and cottage cheese for $1.50. They both make wonderful quick meals! Toss some cinnamon, sweetener, and walnuts in the cottage cheese. You could also add fruit.

You can find wild salmon burgers and angus burgers at CostCo and Kroger (just the beef burgers). Cook up one of those in some coconut oil and toss it on a bed of spinach with hot sauce, ranch, etc. Canned salmon is cheap, too. Just prepare it like a tuna salad!

Beans aren't super low carb, but a half cup with a good portion of shredded cheese and some Mexican spices make a yummy meal. Serve it over shredded lettuce and fresh tomatoes.

Eggs in the form of frittatas or crustless quiches are always a good option.

If you can eat oats, 1/3-1/2 cup with sweetener and peanut butter makes a delicious breakfast.

Best of luck to you!

daisyHair 04-06-2009 04:44 PM

I buy chicken thighs and wings (love wings with lots of Tobasco)..
very affordable.

Also like mentioned lots of eggs.

You might look around and see what several stores have on sale for bulk meats..
I just got a very good deal on bulk ribeyes.

Lylotte 04-06-2009 04:48 PM

get your flyers out or look online and see what is on sale and try to create meal ideas with the sale items in mind.

In the same week something like broccoli can be, $1.20, $0.99 $0.88 etc.. just have to find the sales and be willing hunt or go to more than one store.

Also go through everything you already own and see what 'parts you are missing so you can use up the most of what you already own.

Plan ahead and stick to it and you'll be just fine!

I'm a bit tight myself until pay next Wednesday and husband decided to take a week off! He eats way too much when he's home all the time. ekk!!

Best of luck!

Madam De Leon 04-06-2009 06:09 PM

Pippin, if you're still living in Reading Pa (as your profile indicates), you have two Aldi stores there - check the store finder on their website for directions.

Their prices on meat and produce aren't super fantastic (usually about like the moderate "on sale" prices elsewhere), but prices on everything else are absolutely outstanding.

8 oz blocks of cheese (cheddars, mozz, jack, colby-jack) - $1.29
8 oz blocks of cream cheese - 79 cents
24 oz jars of salsa - last I bought one it was $1.49 (no sugars or starches in the ingredients either)
large eggs - 99 cents/dozen
dill pickles - $1.39 (no sugars or starches in the ingredients)
4 oz cans of tomato sauce - 25 cents (no sugars or starches in ingredients)
4 oz cans of sliced mushrooms - 49 cents (no sugars or starches in ingredients)

This is just a sampling of what's available. There's lots more, all at fantastic prices... just be sure to read labels to make sure there's no sugars or starches added.

VesperLynd13 04-06-2009 06:26 PM

I love going to CostCo and getting ribs, drumsticks and wings. There is this Asian supermarket near my house that has really good prices on cuts of beef too.

Lylotte 04-06-2009 07:34 PM

Man food is cheap in the US!

sugarless4life 04-06-2009 07:45 PM


Originally Posted by luckylychee (Post 11798674)
Eggs eggs eggs! This is what I stick with when I want to save a bit of money.


Make some turkey soup! 2 turkey thighs, one onion, a few celery stalks and a bag of carrots cooked with water, salt, garlic and pepper. You can add some dreamfields elbows if you want ! Cheap and it goes far too!


steady 04-06-2009 07:47 PM

chicken quarters (legs and thighs)
canned tuna or salmon
deli meats on sale
turkey wings
I make soup- onion, carrots, cabbage and celery.

Off topic..Pippin I grew up in Reading PA!!!

ebonyeyz28 04-06-2009 09:59 PM

Ditto what everyone else has said! Definitely check out uses for eggs - egg salad, quiche, scrambled eggs (I love breakfast for dinner), etc., and chicken is your friend! I always try to check out the "ethnic" markets in my area because the prices on chicken, beef and pork are just so much better than the standard markets. If I'm not mistaken, there's a sticky on the boards about cheap LC eating but, if you can't find it, just do a search because that thread is FULL of recipes and ideas for those of us on a tight budget...I know your pain! :hugs:

MarcyDarcy 02-14-2010 08:07 PM


chiody 02-14-2010 08:11 PM

Just this afternoon, a smaller local chain market had chicken quarters for only .39 / lb. in 10 lb. packages. That's a lot of meat for the buck. Just have to watch for the sales and take advantage when appropriate.

Lisa Lou 09-12-2011 08:16 PM

I'll buy whole chickens and such and do the butchering myself. That will save you a bit of money.

bettyee 09-13-2011 02:16 PM

"Tuna in the can, often on sale for less than $1 a can."

Tuna is expensive. Don't believe me? Do the math. Drain a small can of tuna so you only have the meat. Weigh the meat. You'll find there's less than 3 oz. Multiply that out to make a pound and figure the price of cans in your area.

FindingMyWay 09-13-2011 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by Lylotte (Post 11799752)
Man food is cheap in the US!

I was thinking the same thing.

sweepy 01-16-2012 10:05 PM


jijane21 01-17-2012 07:36 AM

Def lots of eggs, and more eggs! Chicken legs are usually inexpensive and tasty. Eggs. Look through local circulars and find some meat on sale. Eggs. Whole chicken, boiled = yummy soup! Eggs. Get some cream cheese, pickles, some cheddar maybe. Did I mention eggs?!

BobbiOh 01-17-2012 08:36 AM

Buying the cheese in 1lb blocks. Do the slicing and shredding yourself. It's $3.48lb near me.

MsWoods 01-17-2012 08:48 AM


Originally Posted by bettyee (Post 14999971)
"Tuna in the can, often on sale for less than $1 a can."

Tuna is expensive. Don't believe me? Do the math. Drain a small can of tuna so you only have the meat. Weigh the meat. You'll find there's less than 3 oz. Multiply that out to make a pound and figure the price of cans in your area.

I get the great value brand tuna pouches at Walmart for $0.82/ea. They are more convienient than cans.

I now only buy Jenni-O Turkey dogs because they are $1 at Walmart, and only 70cal/1g carb

Eggs are really not cheap anymore. It's about $6 for 36 here. But it's always a go to because it's still cheaper than meat. You can make oopsies, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs, egg/hot dog casserole, tuna patties.

Go to dollar tree if you have one. Pepperoni and salami hormel pouches. Turkey creek pork rinds are a life saver. Also, our Dollar tree has a frozen food section and you can get frozen veggies, some dairy, and fish.

Oh Walmart has bags of frozen cooked shrimp for $5.

krow134 01-17-2012 09:27 PM

I decided I wasnt going to buy a hundred dollars worth of stuff.....well not that I was....but anyways......

This week I bought:

A dozen eggs to which I hard boiled and peeled 8 of them for breakfast for the week. I bought a package of turkey bacon and fried up 10 slices.

a pack of 5 hot sausage and a container of cottage cheese for my lunches at work.

A got a bag of chicken that I baked and packaged separtely. I got a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower. And I also grabbed a small bag of salad mix and some sunflower seeds for it.

For snack I got sugar free jello cups and I also grabbed a thing of peanut butter for that spoonful makes me happy moments.

All in all I spent about 20 bucks extra for this, but alot of it will go for next week also. The turkey bacon, the chicken, the sunflower seeds, and the rest of the eggs. So I think I did pretty good. Now I will also eat what my family eats too. I bought steaks for one night, pork chops for another.

I learned first round of atkins years ago, if I dont have food ready, I tend to stray with the well this meal will be ok mentality. I also learned if I stick to some of the same old same old meals I do better too. When I start adding in tons of cheeses or get fancy with making low carb pancakes or thing like that, I spend alot of money for things that will lead to me not being happy and wanting the real thing..........I guess I kinda follow the JennAgain ways from back in the day. It worked for her, and I tell you it seems to work for me too!!

I tell you though when money gets really tight. I will make soups that will last a week or so for me! I make a polish kelbassa soup I grew up eating and I tell you, its cheap and tastes so good!!! Its just water, cabbage, kelbassa and veggies of your choice with a little ketchup to turn the water a little reddish. I think the whole soup costs about 5 bucks and like I said I can eat it all week! I also make a stuffed pepper soup, which is cheap too!! Its ground meat, 1 green pepper, and chopped up cauliflower (pretend rice) with onion soup mix and a little ketchup. Another 5 dollar soup that I can eat all week!

And when worse comes to worse.......just like someone mentioned.....eggs!! I will make scrabbled eggs with veggies, fried eggs and bacon, eggs salad with sunflower seeds (for crunch instead of crackers, you wont miss the crackers!!) and so on!!!!!

When money is tight you dont have to get fancy. There is times I dont really buy extra for me. I will make my family say like chops, au gratin potatoes and greens beans....I will have all but hold the potatoes and add an extra scoop of greens beans!

Edit to add: I found at the dollar store, salmon in a pouch. I bought these and I use one package with an egg and some garlic, salt and pepper and fried it up like a burger. I got 2 nice patties from the one pouch, 2 meals!!! I have one with a salad and it was such a cheap good meal!!

Shancopp 01-17-2012 09:35 PM

there's a sticky at the top of the page for budget ideas too!!

watcher513 01-18-2012 02:57 AM

Eggs, 1.29/dozen this week at Walgreens.

synger 01-18-2012 07:26 AM

I get whatever meat is on sale at the lowest price that week, and plan three or four meals around it. Some weeks that chicken wings (I roast them), some weeks it's pork butt (crockpot, then shredded), some weeks it's beef roast, and some weeks there's nothing below $3/lb. *sigh*

sophiethecat 01-18-2012 09:23 AM


Taco salad

This: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ju...e-chicken.html

Madger 01-18-2012 10:29 AM

Chicken thighs are my favorite and cheap.

Coleslaw 04-08-2012 07:32 AM

I'd suggest eating more vegetarian food with eggs and cheese. Own brands, special offers, reduced to go stuff stashed in the freezer. Dunno about the US but in the UK ready prepared frozen veg can work out cheaper than fresh, as no waste. Using discount stores. How about farmer's markets ? Buying direct from farms ? Foraging if you live in the country (do things like stinging nettles, wild garlic and sorrel grow in US??). Taking up fishing/hunting. Keeping a few chickens if you have room. Windowboxes full of herbs. Making one bed of your garden a veg bed. Tomatoes and strawberries in hanging baskets.

Lori37 04-08-2012 08:44 AM

I've been switching to Tofu a lot lately to save money. Once you get used to the taste you start to really like it and even crave it! I make up stir frys with tofu and it just absorbs the flavor. I can make 1-2 meals with $1.80 worth of tofu or spend $2 and get the organic stuff. As opposed to $5-7 a meal for ground turkey/beef.

Shop at farmers markets for your produce. Go towards the end, and you can usually talk them down in price since they are wanting to get rid of everything so they don't have to pack it up!

Horsetrainer110 04-08-2012 08:44 PM

I've bought frozen chicken filets by the bag....cheaper than buying fresh chicken and they are actually very good grilled. Frozen fish filets....I buy tilapia. There is a lot of meat in those bags and they last awhile!

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