Friday, May 8, 2009

Budget Recipes

Well, I've been doing a little sewing but I can't find the darn cord for my camera to hook it up to the computer. I think one of my lil' stinkers took off with it and hid it somewhere. LOL* Unfortunately I have no pictures, but I do have a couple of recipes to share.

Last night my Dad and I got to chatting about how difficult it is to feed a family of four on a budget. I am a stay at home Mom, and very fortunate to be able to do so. We are by no means wealthy, and I think the only reason we succeed at doing so is because we have learned to be very thrifty, and to spend only what we have (not what we think we have or wish we had!). I've just begun to really start "coupon shopping", although many of my more experienced Mommy friends have been coupon clipping and combining coupons and sales for years to save. In any case, I've been very interested (for obvious reasons) in meals that can feed the whole family for cheap. Here are a couple recipes we eat often around here, and how much they cost us to make.

A Cheap Quilting Mom's Loaded Potatoes for Dinner
(Total cost under $5)

-6 to 10 small potatoes (I bought two bags of Green Giant Small Potatoes at buy one get one free at 1.99 each. So it cost me under $1 for the potatoes for this meal.)

-block cheddar cheese, sliced (I had cheese, so it didn't cost me at all for this - however when I had bought the potatoes, they had block cheeses on sale for 99 cents, so I figured a dollar for cheese on sale or with a coupon for this meal.)

-2 Tbs. of butter

-1 pckg. bacon, cooked (My bacon was purchased on sale 2/$3, so $1.50 for an entire package of bacon, and I still have one in the freezer to use for another meal.)

-a dollop of sour cream for topping (I shop at Aldi's or Save-A-Lot and usually sour cream costs me around $1.29 for a container.)

***Bake potatoes at 375 degrees until soft and cooked through, about an hour. I wrap mine in tin foil for baking and place on a cookie sheet in the oven. Once cooked, cut each potato in half, and scoop out the insides into a bowl. It helps to hold the potato halves with a clean dish towel so you don't burn your fingers! Add butter to potatoes in bowl and mix together well. Scoop potatoes back into the potato shells and top with cheese slices and bacon. Toss all the stuffed potato shells back into the oven until cheese is melted, around 12 minutes. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a little salt to taste, and eat!

For the kids I just leave off the things they don't like, and usually both of my girls will eat the bacon and cheese on the side, so this is something we all can eat. These are so filling they are an entire meal for our family, but you could add a salad and a vegetable like broccoli and make a nice big meal using these as the main dish too.

A Cheap Quilting Mom's Pasta Salad for Dinner
(Total cost under $6)

-1 box tricolor spiral pasta, cooked (I usually buy mine at Walmart for $1)

-1 block cheddar cheese ($1 on sale or with coupon at larger chain stores, usually around $1.29 at Aldi's or Save-A-Lot type of stores)

-1 block mozzarella cheese (I look for the same type of deals as with the cheddar)

-Italian Dressing (Aldi's or Save-A-Lot stores usually have a good tasting brand for $1 to $1.29)

-1 pck. sliced pepperoni (Walmart has packaged pepperoni slices for $1)

***Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Preferably one you can cover and toss in the fridge. Cube mozzarella and cheddar cheese and add along with pepperoni to pasta. I do not measure how much Italian dressing to add, I just pour it on until everything's coated. I don't like a very strong dressing flavor in my pasta salad, so you'll want to add yours to your own tastes. Mix everything together and toss in the fridge to chill, then eat!

This is another dish that makes so much we'll eat it for a meal for one evening. Wednesday is our gymnastics night, so what we do once in a while is make this pasta on Tuesday and eat it as our main course, and then on Wednesday get a $5 pizza from Little Ceasar's and have the leftovers on the side. (A good way to stretch a pizza to feed four people!!! Add a salad or some leftover pasta salad!)

Sooo, there's a couple of things we do to stretch a buck to feed a family of four on one income, and during a recession. I figure the way things are going, maybe this will be useful to someone out there! LOL* I will take some pictures and post some more recipes when I have time if anyone out there likes them. :)


QuiltedSimple said...

Thanks for some great quick easy ideas!

Holly said...

I can't totally relate. I have to plan my meals for two weeks at a time. It makes it so much easier. And no one has to ask what is for diner. The list is on the frig.

Juryizstillout said...

Very cool, thank you.

Hey, you might try you usb port if you have a cord on your computer for it. It fits my camera. Just an idea...

Teresa said...

Great recipes. Both my daughter and daughter-in-law are stay at home moms and around your age. I admire you all so much and appreciate that my young moms are able to keep their kids at home. Keep up the good work - the investment in your children is worth it!

Anonymous said...

Hello Valerie, thank you for the recipes....always on the look out for something new to try...Warm Regards Lyn