Struggling to feed the family? Wanting to stretch your grocery budget and feed your family for less that $50 a week? April from ASimpleLifeToo.com has great ideas!
As many families look to reduce their bills, either due to economic conditions or a desire to be better stewards of their money, one area seems to be a struggle… Food! Americans and others in the first world have such an abundance of food, thousands of food choices, and – shall we say – entitled pallets. We really don’t want to change our habits and budgets if it means suffering.
I admit that this is truly where our family is. We want to still enjoy eating while saving money.
In figuring out how to be more frugal with food costs, I started looking to second world cultures and cultures that eat on less that we do. Then, I thought about the kind of foods our family loved and liked, and came up with a few different cuisines to start trying out.
One of the results is this week’s $50 menu: Caribbean Week.
Caribbean Inspired One Week Menu
- 3 mornings of rice porridge with tropical fruit
- 3 mornings of oatmeal with tropical fruit
- 1 morning of eggs and leftover jerk chicken (see dinners)
- 2 days of Jamaican veggie pie – see meat pie recipe under dinner
- 2 days of fish curry and rice
- 2 days of coconut rice with tropical fruit and fried plantains (recipe note: 1 can coconut milk = 1 1/3 cups coconut milk)
- 1 day of leftover Caribbean beans and rice (see dinner)
- 2 nights of Jamaican meat pie, with a green side salad
- 3 nights of Caribbean beans and rice – recipe modifications: used dried beans instead of canned, use only 1/2 an onion and 1/2 bell pepper, use bell pepper instead of scotch bonnet peppers, substitute water for the chicken broth, triple the recipe.
- 2 nights of Jamaican Jerk Chicken, veggies, and rice – quick recipe: 4 tbs jerk seasoning, 4 tbs oil, 2 tbs vinegar, 2 tbs sugar – marinate chicken for 2 hours or more, grill, broil or bake.
- 3 – 4 plantains – $3.00
- 3 – 4 mangoes – $3.00
- 5 lbs bananas – $2.75
- 1 Dozen Eggs – $1.75
- 1 half-gallon coconut milk – $3.25 – note, half of this will be used in two recipes and the rest is to splash on the breakfast cereals in the morning if so desired.
- Curry powder – $1.00 – just get a little bit from a store that carries spices in bulk. Curry paste will add more flavor and heat, but will go over the $50 budget ($4 to $6 for a good paste)
- Ground ginger – $1.00 – just get a little bit from a store that carries spices in bulk.
- Jamaican jerk seasoning – $1.00 – just get a little bit from a store that carries spices in bulk.
- 2 onion – $1.00 1 garlic clove – $.50
- 1 small head of cabbage – $3.00
- 3 bags of frozen mixed veggies $4.50
- 1 lb ground turkey sausage – $3.00
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs white fish – $5.00
- 1 head of lettuce – $1.50
- Tomatoes or cucumbers – $2.00
- Fresh parsley – $.50
- 2 lbs black beans – $2.00
- 2 bell peppers – $2.00
- 3 lbs chicken $6.00
- Rice – basmati and jasmine are two favorites
- Common spices and seasonings (i.e. parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme).
Variations Over the Budget
- Curry paste – $5.00
- 1/2 gallon milk for cereals – $3.00
- Nuts to add to fruit and cereals – $6.00
- Use chicken broth instead of water for curry and/or rice and beans – $4.00
Find more $50 menus at ASimpleLifeToo.com.
April Schroader left a career in the Tech Industry to become a stay at home mom… Three children later and one on the way! Follow her journey as she learns to transition from a yuppie life to a simple life at her blog: ASimpleLifeToo.com.
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