June 02, 2010

What can you feed a family of five for $50.00?

This is what we ate:

I shopped at one store, Fred Meyer, with a list and $50.00

My list:

2 Rotisserie Chickens (I could have saved $2.00 to cook two whole chickens myself - but having them already cooked was worth the extra money to me - see "work" below)
Corn (frozen - 2 bags)
1 Bag of frozen normandy veggies
potatoes (not organic - but God is still good)
fresh fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas)
Can of Chili (family size Stagg's)
2 lbs Monterey Jack Cheese
4 avocados (they were on sale)
1 onion
corn tortillas
2 organic tomatoes (they were on sale)
1/2 cabbage
very nice sourdough bread (a splurge)
ham ~ (nitrate free)
crumbled feta cheese (on sale - buy one get one)

Total: $54.00 (it was the bread that put me over)

I was blessed to have in the pantry:

10 grain cereal
rice milk/powdered milk
dry beans
One pound ground sausage in the freezer
2 loaves of whole wheat bread in the freezer
Maple syrup
Shredded Coconut


  • You need two big pots. One for the beans, one for the chicken bones.
  • Cook the beans. (I do the quick soak method - bring pot of beans to a boil and boil for two minutes. Cover pot and let sit for two hours. Drain soak water, cover beans with fresh water and cook beans according to instructions)
  • take all the meat off of the chickens, discarding the skin and fat. Divide the meat into three parts for three meals.
  • Divide the cheese into four parts for four meals.
  • Put bones in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then simmer for a couple hours to make several jars of chicken broth.


Lunch and Dinners

Tortilla Soup
Refried beans and chips
Chicken Tacos
Chicken gravy and mashed potatoes
Chili Soup
Grilled Sandwiches with sliced tomatoes and carrot sticks
Pasta/veggie casserole
Grilled Chicken quesadillas
Asian Noodle Soup
Fried eggs with beans and tortillas
Beans and rice

Breakfasts and Desserts

Hot wheat cereal w/ honey
French Toast
Eggs and Toast
Banana nut Pancakes
Banana bread
Coconut Cookies
Fresh Fruit
Rice Pudding
Don't forget the BODY BALANCE! When you get the nutrition you need, you eat a lot less. Our family does not snack. We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with no snacks in between.


Each of these meals is completed in under 30 minutes.

Chicken tacos.

Heat the corn tortillas on a hot iron skillet. Wrap them in aluminum foil and a clean kitchen towel. Put the wrapped tortillas in a warm oven while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a skillet, heat the beans (2 cups with a bit of the liquid) and shredded chicken (1 part) together. Season with garlic, onion, cumin and salt and pepper.

Prepare toppings: Shredded cabbage, chopped red onion, feta cheese, avocado, chopped tomato and put them out on the table for the family to serve themselves. Cut up a melon or cantaloupe as a side dish.

Pull out large platter and take warm tortillas out of the oven. Fill 15 tortillas with a tablespoon of the chicken bean mixture. Serve immediately.

We have three small children. This means, 2 tacos and fruit for the kids, 4-5 tacos and fruit for the Mr. and Mrs.

Tortilla soup.

In a pot, and according to your tastes, heat shredded chicken, beans, corn, chopped cilantro, water and one large jar of chicken broth. Add seasonings. Garnish with shredded jack cheese, avocado, crumbled toasted tortillas or chips.

Chili soup.

In a pot heat can of chili, jar of chicken broth, and frozen corn. Garnish with the "usual" - cheese, onion, and avocado. Serve with chips or warm corn tortillas.


In a heavy iron skillet refry the beans. Sprinkle the jack cheese and season with garlic and cumin and chilies (or whatever you want). Serve with chips, avocado, feta cheese, chopped onion, salsa and a side dish. We usually have carrot sticks, or fresh fruit or maybe some corn on the cob.

Chicken gravy with mashed potatoes.

In a deep skillet make a nice gravy. I make mine with whole wheat flour, vegetable broth (organic) and seasonings. Add last portion of shredded chicken. Serve with mashed potatoes and a raw side dish. We had cantaloupe/melon


We actually ate for two weeks with this food. Most likely because of a well stocked pantry full of dry bulk foods. God is good. May He bless you and your family meals this week.


  1. That is just amazing! I'm trying so hard to make a small grocery budget even smaller. It's difficult when we each have different dietary needs and I'm not used to planning meals out so well. Thanks for sharing this, is gave me some ideas!

  2. Kristi~

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this. We rarely eat out so that has helped us immensely with our food budget.

    Happy day to you.

  3. Um - Laura - i noticed in your mammoth sized grocery list for only $54 - that you only had one meat listed and it was chicken - so as much as I think you certainly know how to shop and stretch $54 - I can't help but think of how those four giant new york steaks you could have gotten instead would have tasted. :-)

    Love you.

  4. P.S. I LOVE tortilla soup - and going to Toledo's is too expensive so I am going to try your recipe as soon as I am done moving.


  5. Wow, that is amazing and your menus sounded *delicious*! (o:


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