Stretching That Food Dollar...

Roasted Chicken and Potatoes... - Roasted Chicken and Potatoes...
@twoey68 (13662)
United States
July 21, 2008 8:22pm CST
With the sky high prices of groceries now and the insane stretching of each dollar it would seem that more ppl would need to find ways to stretch out their groceries. In a time when pre-packaged, pre-prepared and convenient foods not all of us know ways to make meals stretch further. I'm actually somewhat of a convenience cooker. I never really learned to do all the cooking from scratch and stretching meals. I know one really simple dish I make for Hubby it's Roasted Chicken and Potatoes. You simply put chicken legs and quarters into a roaster, cut up some potatoes to go in with it and mix about 1 cup of BBQ sauce with warm water in a jar with a lid, shake it up, pour it over the chicken and potatoes, add about a cup more warm water, drizzle a little BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken and potatoes and add some basic seasonings. You cook it at 350 till the chicken is done and the potatoes are tender. Hubby loves it and you can add onions when you add the potatoes if you want to. I always keep chicken legs and quarters in the freezer so if we're tight at the end of the month, we have it. My Mom is a great food stretcher and I wish I'd paid more attention when I lived at home. What are some of your gotta staples to keep in the house? What are some of your food stretching, money pinching dishes that you know how to make? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
18 people like this
50 responses
@Opal26 (17694)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Well my food stretching is usually done with chopped meat which is my boyfriends favorite. I buy a double package of meat. I spilt it in 1/2. I will make 1/2 into a meat loaf. The other half we will have hambergers, hamberhelper, sloppy joes. Then when the meat loaf is left over and we're sick of it I will sometimes turn that into meat sauce for spaghetti and meat sauce so that none of it goes to waste. I am doing the same sort of thing with the london broil I made this past weekend. My boyfriend had 2 meals of it and tomorrow I will make some frozen veggies with rice, add the meat with some terriaki sauce in a stir fry. Again, no wasted meat.
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I am using more beans and rice these days. We love potatoes but they have gotten pretty high. i like to make chicken thighs with cooked rice and put some cream of mushroom soup over it. I'm the only one that eats veggies so I just get them frozen. I don't get the ones with the sauces though and I get the store brand. I usually shop at Aldie's. They are really cheap. I made a big pot of chili yesterday and we will eat on that for a bout 3 or 4 days. Tomorrow I will make some corn bread to go with it. I also make what my granddaughter call buttons in chicken broth. It is like dumplings and noodle crossed. add some potatoes and we have a meal for several days.
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Potatoes here are still somewhat reasonable but that's apt to change I'm sure. I hadn't thought of chicken and rice casserole...I used to make it and had forgotten about it :) We don't have an Aldie's near us but we have several discount stores that we go to off and on. The buttons in chicken broth sounds good...how do you make it? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
2 people like this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
22 Jul 08
1 cup flour 1 egg 1/2 egg shell of water only I add a tiny bit more water to make the dough softer. Then I dip a teaspoon in the broth to keep the dough from sticking, then get a little less that a spoonful of dough and drop it into the broth. cook until done.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I've tried dumplings a time or two but they always come out gooey and gross kind of like wet uncooked goo. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but it's definately something. I'll have to try yours and see if they turn out better. Thanks for sharing. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
2 people like this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
22 Jul 08
There are quite a few food stretching ideas out there. The first and most obvious is- Cook it yourself at Home. Also be very careful what you buy with your food dollar. Read the labels. Never buy anything previously cooked. Each time the food is cooked some nutrients are leached out and Lost. One of the worst deals in cooked food is Breakfast Cereal. Ready to eat Breakfast Cereal has very little food value, and for this reason is an expensive food. Natural Oat Meal makes a Great tasting and nutritious Breakfast. Don't buy the Quick-cooking, get the Old-Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal and cook it for Breakfast. Get recipes for most anything on the Net, and learn to Cook!
2 people like this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
A doctor recently told me the same thing that regular breakfast cereal is terrible for you not to mention that milk here is almost $4.50 a gallon. I'm not big on oatmeal but I do like malt-o-meal so I may need to start having that sometimes. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@mouse27 (1156)
• Canada
22 Jul 08
i've become really good at making something to eat out of nothing it always seems to amaze my hubby. he'll look in the fridge and say we need to go shopping and then next thing you know i'm whipping something up that would be enough to feed an army
2 people like this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
LOL Man, I need that skill :) **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
We're not particularly good at the food stretching thing, and we eat a lot of the convenient food as well. I do make a few things partially from scratch, though pretty much everything I cook involves some prepared foods. The best way we are able to stretch our food dollars are to buy a lot of store brand stuff. It may not be as good as the name brand stuff, but with a well stocked spice cabinet, it can be edible, and sometimes even tasty. :)
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I tend to buy alot of the store brand too. Every little bit helps and with things getting worse more ppl are going to be turning to store brands, discount stores and any other money saving things. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
It might benefit you to go to your local library and check out a few books on cooking. With the millions of books published out there, I'm sure there are at least a few that center around cooking delicious meals while on a budget. That said, I wish I could help, but as I live at home I rarely do the cooking for the household, so I don't have many other ideas to share. Best of luck to you, though!
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
22 Jul 08
We don't buy prepackaged food at my house. We cook everything from scratch. It also helps provide compost for our compost pile, so we can later put it on our garden to grow our own veggies. we raise our own meat, so we don't have to buy that at the store. We raise our own eggs, and grow our own fruits and veggies. So our grocery bill is down to the things we don't have on the farm - milk, cheese, flours, butter, and anything we can't grow in our climate that we still want to eat.
@devilsangel (1821)
• United States
22 Jul 08
A few good meal ideas are baked or broiled chicken and rice. It's filling and it streches. Also you can never go wrong with Hamburger helper or tuna helper meals. Sure it's not from scratch but it requires very little and produces a whole lot. I've also figured out that shopping in bulk helps a whole lot too. I tend to shop at wholesale warehouses instead of gorcery stores. You can also find really easy recipes on-line for 10-30 min meals. Happy cooking.
2 people like this
@lilybug (21182)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I have been using less meat lately. I still cook meat with almost every meal, but there is less meat and more rice, pasta, beans, and veggies. Casseroles are a really good way of stretching food. Right now I have a lot of rice, beans, pasta, canned veggies, canned condensed soups, tuna, and cereal. I always have some fresh fruit and veggies too.
2 people like this
• Australia
22 Jul 08
We always have plenty of mince and sausages in the freezer. Also, we have baked beans in the cupboard. I have a simple dish that uses sausages and baked beens, so if I have to cook (hubby does it usually), then I will use those. We are finding that while we are spending a little more on food at the moment, we are still not spending as much as a 5 person family, and there are 6 in mine.
2 people like this
@twallace (2675)
• United States
22 Jul 08
There will be more of a strain coming for the grocery store prices. Watching the news to day and they stated that it will still be going up on some products. That was something that I didn't really want to hear but that is what abc news was talking about before I left that house. I just hope that things will get better soon. I do know how to make a few things from scratch. But there are still things that I would love to learn how to do. Making bread and cakes from scratch I would really like to do but right now I'm just getting by with the simple things. I also cook leg quarter and I like to season them and then cook on the Georger Foreman grill or either just bake them. They come out good both ways.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jul 08
I just make big meals and then put the rest in Tupperware, it lasts a few nights at least. I also make a big pot of chicken soup or chili, chili is awesome because you can eat it different ways and there's a bunch of it that will last a few days. chili mac chili spaghetti (just use the chili as sauce) chili dogs those are dishes i use with the left over chili. I also get canned foods, boxed dinners, and snakes and the dollar store to save money, because usually after that there isn't much else we need from the grocery store.
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Other than Beef Stew Hubby isn't a big soup person although I love it. He does like to make his Chili though which he is the only one that eats it LOL I've never heard of chili spagetti...my Mom makes chili mac so I'll have to ask her how to make it. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
oh chili mac is simple just make macaroni and cheese like you'd normally would and then after mix in chili, and chili spaghetti is like that too, you just make spaghetti and instead of using regular sauce you use chili, I seen it on a cooking show and steak-n-shake serves it.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Those sound pretty good...I'll have to try them. I remember one of our foster kids mentioning Tater Tot casserole but never found out how to make it. That's another I'd like to look up. Thanks for sharing them. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
22 Jul 08
We always have corn bread, beans and rice int he house. Locally, you can get beans .99 a lb (if you buy them loose), sausage goes on sale for .99 lb (green onion, Italian, Cajun, etc all home made!), corn bread is a quarter. YOu make a pot of bean with 1lb of sausage, do corn bread one day and salad the next. For three of us we get 2 dinners out of it. Other meat stretching ideas: meatloaf, soup (you could do this easy with your left over chicken; use it for meat in the soup and the bones to make broth), lasagna.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
My Mom is like that...certain things she just always seems to have on hand. It seems like I can never do that. I'm always running out of things. I would like to find a way to make meatloaf where it comes out really good...mine always seems so greasy from the meat. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jul 08
My mom taught me that when making meatloaf, either you'll have to drain it during baking, or you could put a piece or 2 of bread on the bottom of the pan and it will soak up the grease!
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I never heard of the bread on the bottom...it doesn't affect the meatloaf? I'll have to try it and see how it turns out. Thank you. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (28804)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I've noticed that no matter what I do, I can't spend less than $200 a week at the grocery store. At best I can do $150, but that usually means I've forgotten something. I recently went through a phase where I was doing everything homemade. Including bread! That really didn't seem to help because instead of spending $2 on bread each week I was spending about $10 on flour, sugar, butter, etc. What I will usually do is shop at the wholesale club each week. I will buy my meats and drinks there because they are much cheaper, plus I get so much more. I feed a family of 7, so buying meat in bulk really helps. Each package of meat I buy will usually get us 2 or 3 dinners, so instead of buying 7 different meats a week (one per day) I can just get 2 or 3 a week and come up with different ways to prepare them. Preparing home cooked food is easy! If you have a slow cooker you can do almost anything from scratch. Toss a pot roast in the slow cooker, add veggies like potatos, onions, carrots, celery. Add a cup of water and some salt and pepper and voila, 8 hours later you'll have dinner. I'm really big on flavor, so I will usually buy some Mccormick seasonings. They make a good one for pot roast in the slow cooker. You could also add a can of soup, for instance pork chops with cream of mushroom soup. Add some stuffing and a bit of water too and you've got almost a full meal. You want anymore ideas, just let me know, I've got tons!
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I am just learning how to use a crockpot...it takes some getting used to though. I'll have to go through my Taste of Home mag's and see what I can find. I like baking too but find that I spend more on the baking supplies then I do just buying it outright. I'll have to keep working on it. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
Eventually it will get to a point where you have the majority of your ingredients, and just need to buy them occasionally as you run out. I do prefer the taste of home baked cookies and such over the store bought most of the time, plus many times I already have the ingredients on hand. I only went through a ton of flour when I was baking a loaf of bread a day. With 7 people, we go through a lot of bread. It's much easier to just buy it than bake it all the time. Now my ingredients are lasting longer, so if I choose to make cookies I can because I already have everything I need.
1 person likes this
@bdugas (3584)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Rice is the one thing we always have on hand, it stretches the food servings. BEing from Louisiana the last 17 years it is on the table at every meal. We eat a lot of stews like shrimp stew, chicken stew, one thing about it about anything will make a stew, thicken the gravy and put it over rice. We have chicken legs and thighs always, there is baked, fried, boiled, barbequed, we always have beans, goes over the rice, plenty of can vegetables, make vegetable soup. Corn bread, all kinds of seasonings, a little seasoning can change the whole taste of certain things. Onions, bell peppers, garlic, we use these at the start of every thing, makes a roux which is what makes the gravy. I think if you would get a cookbook and use it you could find all kinds of recipes better yet just try googling it on here to look for food that stretches the budget.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Thanks for all the ideas...I've heard of a roux but never tried one. I'm not a huge gravy person but Hubby loves it. I love making cornbread but it tends to come out on the dry side...I'll have to practice more. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
Im the cook around here.....and i HATE it. My husband wont pick up a pot or pan though, so I have no choice. With groceries getting so high, I discovered a store called ALDI..at first i didnt like it because its mostly generic brand, you have to either buy your own bags, or bring your own, and you have to pay a quarter to get a basket--but you get it back when you return it. So, I started bringing my stash of walmart bags with me and I discovered that even though its off brand stuff (some of its not) most of the packaging is very similiar to the regular brand, so i figure they are made in the same place. Ive saved money by shopping there and buying what I can there and then if they dont have something I need (like fresh veggies/fruit and certain meat) ill pick that up at walmart. Aldi has a gallon of milk for under $3! Anyway, thats how I save..im not very good at stretching food, but I try with making a menu.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
The closest Aldi's to us is about 30 miles from us so if someone else is going then I try to go along but most of the time I end up using our local stores. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Twoey you wrote to sedel That your meatloaf is always so greasy. Try using ground turkey or a better grad of hamburger to get a less greasy meatloaf. For meat loaf I use the 90% lean hamburger or ground round
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
She suggested bread on the bottom too so I'll try that and your idea also and see how it turns out. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
I shop at Aldi's. Nothing stretches a dollar like that store.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I wish we had an Aldi's near us...there is one about 30 miles from us but with the cost of gas I don't go unless someone is already going up there for something and I can go along. They do have pretty good prices though. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Jul 08
I don't do the cooking, my husband does. He does miraculous things with only a little money. One thing that I can attest to, whether I am with him and we eat together, or whether I'm in Canada and I have to rely on my own way of geting food (I oudln't cook my way out of a tin can so I tend to eat ou a lot) when enterting a store we make sure NOT to buy any more than we planed o buy when we went in there. No use spending a truck load of money on stu that we really don't need.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I wish my Hubby could do all the cooking but then I probably wouldn't eat much of it b/c he uses ALOT of spices and things like onions, mushrooms, peppers...all things I won't eat :) **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@carolscash (9503)
• United States
22 Jul 08
With pricesthe way that they are it is getting harder to find ways to stretch the food dollar. I have quit buying potatoes since they are so expensive and I try to replace them some with macaroni and stuff like that. I wish I had some tips for you but I really don't.
1 person likes this