How do you frugally feed two teens and not stunt their growth?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by SweetT, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    My grocery bill has gotten seriously out of hand($400-$500 per month) and we are semi-vegetarians. Me and my oldest (my youngest doesn't eat meat anymore) only eat meat or Saturdays and/or Sundays, and that's some low-cost chicken or fish, and we have roast about once a month. Other than that, we have meatless meals consisting of a starch and vegetables and perhaps meat substitutes (Boca crumbles, tofu, veggie dogs, etc.). My girls take their lunches, so that's included in the $400-$500 per month. However, out of that $400-$500, I'm still mostly buying my lunch! Fridays are generally pizza night, where they have a store-bought cheese or veggie pizza.

    Oh, $16-$24 per week goes on Silk soy milk. I will start going back to Trader Joe's or somewhere where I can get half-gallons of soy milk that doesn't have to be refrigerated until open for about $2.49. Currently, I am paying $2.98 to $3.59 per half gallon of milk. Lately, they've been complaining of being soooo hungry.

    My goal is to get down to $250 per month. I don't understand how it's so hard since we are not buying alot of meat. We also cannot do alot of processed foods and make dinner biscuits and rolls, and desserts from scratch.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Khalyal

    Khalyal New Member

    I couldn't keep food in the house. I could never get it less than $100 a week for the three of us. I mean it was like feeding a small nation as far as quantities consumed.

    I did a lot of pinto beans, chicken legs when they were on sale, cube steaks, rice, canned veggies. For treats we'd fry flour tortillas lightly and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar and pretend they were elephant ears from the fair.

    Also, when it's not holiday season, you can usually find turkeys on sale. A turkey dinner, then turkey legs in the oven fair-style, then turkey soup.

    You can do the same with a ham when they're on sale. Ham dinner, ham sandwiches, ham soup.

    I see that you are avoiding meat for the most part. Anything you are eating, whether vegetables or meat, can be wrapped in a tortilla which is very cheap and makes it more filling. Growing boys can handle that kind of extra calorie input.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/17/2007]
  3. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Rice pudding can really help fill up a teenager's hunger pains.

    Grocery prices have risen at an alarming rate over the past 1 1/2 months. I don't know why----

    I'm envious that you can feed your family for
    $400-$500/month. A gallon of milk is over $4.00 at my local grocery stores. I keep saying, "How can milk be more expensive than gasoline???" The milk is pasturized, but the gasoline had to be pumped out of the ground, refined, loaded in a tanker and cross the ocean, unloaded, and shipped all around the US. Now how can a cow eating grass and grain produce such expensive milk? I just don't get it.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/18/2007]
  4. pasara

    pasara New Member

    as you can ask the millions of poor around the world the cheapest type of food that still packs a punch are rice and beans. burritos, tacos, bean soups, baked beans and corn bread, are all things that please a teens palate, make them healthy and strong and cost just pennies. do you have a pressure cooker? worth the investment especially if you are veg. or mostly veg. Presto makes a good one for daily use that is not too expensive. then don't buy canned beans, but get dry beans and make yourself. $250 is still a pretty lofty goal i think, unless you have your own garden. the best way to save on your grocery bill is to grow your own food in the summer and learn to store it for winter. good luck!
  5. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    I feel your pain- I have 3 boys at home and a daughter. I'm going to try TVP to stretch with ground beef....spaghetti, tacos, chili......hopefully that way, the TVP will take on the flavor of the beef. Cheese has gone sky high too- it's a little cheaper at Costco, but I can't always get there. I guess I just try to shop the specials, but I'm sure you do too. Good luck!
  6. kellyann

    kellyann New Member

    Tuna casseroles are great. Chicken pot pies are great too. You can make those easy off the recipe on the back of bisquick. You can even substitute the chicken for tuna and make tuna pot pies. you can barely tell the difference.
    Chili is great, throw pintos in a crockpot, then use turkey ground meat, great stuff!

    Ground turkey can be substituted for ground round and is so much healthier and cheaper.

    I raised housefull of teens, I have 7 kids in all. But at one time I had 4 teenages in the house! Talk about eatting machines!

    Eggs are always good protein, and lots of fresh fruit.

    Whole grain cereals are good, or the flavored oatmeals that come in the envelopes. I love apples and cinnamon myself. My kids always loved the instant cheese grits too, but of course we are from GA, haha!

    Take Care!
  7. laceymae

    laceymae New Member

    Potato soup is really good with corn bread. Fried potatoe with weiners or polish sausage cut up in it.

    We eat a lot of pinto beans, brown beans, 15 bean soup...these are all the kind that you buy in bags and either soak them in water and cook them....I put mine in the crock pot early in the morning and they are done by supper time.

    We eat pizza alot. homemade. Take a small can of tomato sauce and add spices to make your own pizza sauce. There are all kinds of veggies that you can use for toppings.


    BILLCAMO New Member

    from one of the "older fogies" that used to do it this way:

    Let them get a job and contribute some food & money to the budget.......That helped me learn a lot about lot of things.....including how to budget things after I moved out on my own.... ;>)

    Blessings ,

  9. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    The oldest (my 15 year old) would probably flunk out of school. She stresses over her schoolwork enough without a job. If I could find a Saturday job for her, however, that would be great.