Dirt Cheap Budget Meals-What To Eat When You Are Broke

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Can you use some ideas for dirt cheap budget meals? The price of groceries continue to rise and they will continue to go up. It’s really sad to hear more and more families are depending on food stamps and even needing to go to the food bank to feed their family. Our local Southern Utah Food Bank just reported they are really low on food to give out to those in need.

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I’m aware of a few churches who are delivering food to those who need it and as well as meals being prepared for others. In my neighborhood, we have a few elderly people that do not have the energy to prepare meals for themselves anymore.

It’s nice when we can take a plate of food to those couples who could use a hot meal once or twice a week that they don’t have to prepare. It’s actually a blessing to those of us who drop off meals and see the smiles of those involved.

When you’re younger you don’t realize sometimes how the elderly deal with lack of energy to clean the house, shop for groceries or cook a meal. If you are aware of a family in this situation, they will love a hot meal occasionally. Some also have very limited funds for groceries. Trust me, I know.

If you make a lasagna, freeze half of it for another meal. Do the same with chili, soup or just about any meal. It not only saves you time but money as well.

Let’s break down my dirt cheap budget meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Just so you know, I raised my family on all of these meals, putting Mark through school with four daughters. Life is good when you eat at home I promise.

Buying Tips

  1. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when in season, (they are typically cheaper and taste better)
  2. Buy case goods on sale (purchase only what you will eat)
  3. Use coupons for food items you will eat
  4. Check out the meat department to see if they have a buy one get one free option (know your prices to make sure its a good deal)
  5. Look at the end of the meat aisle for discounted meat (I have picked up meat for 75% off the regular price several times, freeze some for later)
  6. Buy oatmeal, eggs, bacon, and sausage in bulk. Freeze the bacon and sausage in family size portions
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Skills To Learn

  1. Learn to make bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, and French bread
  2. Learn to make biscuits and crackers

My favorite dirt cheap budget meals are set up for 14 days, then the menu starts all over again. You can do this if there is something you don’t care for, then substitute your own meal.

Dirt Cheap Budget Meals

Breakfast Meals

Week One

Sunday: Pancakes, sausage links, and orange slices

Monday: Oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins, apple slices

Tuesday: Waffles with bacon strips, with applesauce

Wednesday: Egg bites (scrambled eggs made in muffin pans), hash browns, and mandarin oranges

Thursday: Scrambled eggs, toast, and tomato slices

Friday: Puffy Pancakes, bacon, sliced pears

Saturday: Fried eggs on English muffins with ham slices, cheese, and sliced peaches

Week Two

Sunday: Poached eggs on toast, steamed broccoli, and sliced tomatoes

Monday: Ebelskivers (my recipe) with ham slices, and applesauce

Tuesday: Bagels, cream cheese, cheese slices, and sliced apples

Wednesday: Deviled eggs, toast, and strawberries

Thursday: Toast with peanut butter, and sliced peaches

Friday: Cereal with sliced bananas and a hard boil egg

Saturday: Egg bake (my 5 Favorite Recipes), hash browns, sliced pears

Lunch Ideas

Week One

Sunday: Tuna salad on bread or crackers, pickles, celery slices, and applesauce

Monday: Ham slices with cheese on toast, carrot sticks, and sliced pears

Tuesday: Bean burritos with or without cheese, salsa, and carrot sticks, tomato slices

Wednesday: Turkey slices on bread with celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, and apple slices

Thursday: Rice and beans, salsa, carrots, and sliced peaches

Friday: Steamed rice with broccoli, carrots and green onions and mandarin oranges

Saturday: Quinoa made with the broth of choice, chopped onions, bell peppers, and sliced oranges and grapes

Week Two

Sunday: Tuna salad on crackers with carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper strips and grapes

Monday: Chicken salad on bread with pickles, olives, carrot sticks, and apple slices

Tuesday: Egg salad on bread (my Egg Salad Recipe) with lettuce, celery sticks, peach slices

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Wednesday: Bacon and tomato sandwiches with carrot sticks and strawberries

Thursday: Grilled cheese sandwiches with celery sticks and cucumber slices, and grapes

Friday: Ham fried rice with frozen peas, carrot sticks, and sliced tomatoes

Saturday: Vegetable soup with homemade French Bread and apple slices

Dinner for the Family

Week One

Sunday: Lasagna, with a tossed salad and apple slices

Monday: Costco baked chicken, baked potatoes, green beans, and sliced peaches

Tuesday: Hamburgers with Homemade Buns, pickles, chips, carrot sticks and sliced tomatoes

Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade Dinner Rolls, tossed salad with chopped tomatoes

Thursday: Potato Soup with French Bread, tossed salad with chopped tomatoes, and sliced apples

Friday: Tacos with hamburger, cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatoes with apple slices

Saturday: Homemade pizza (my Pizza Dough recipe), tossed salad with sliced pears

Week Two

Sunday: Chicken and Broccoli Casserole, steamed rice with orange slices

Monday: Manicotti with a tossed salad, sliced pears

Tuesday: Pulled pork (pork tenderloin with barbecue sauce in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low) on rolls, tossed salad, sliced apples

Wednesday: Baked Beans, cornbread, jello with fruit and celery sticks

Thursday: Spaghetti with marinara sauce, meatballs, French Bread, tossed salad and sliced pears

Friday: Clam Chowder, broccoli pieces, tomato slices, and mandarin oranges

Saturday: Chili, corn bread, tossed salad, sliced apples

Snacks

Popcorn

Caramel Corn by Linda

Celery with peanut butter

Celery with cream cheese

Deviled eggs

Cheese sticks

Sliced cucumbers with ranch dressing

Homemade Cookies

Cake

Rice Krispie Squares

Homemade brownies

Apples

Oranges

Pears

Strawberries

Boiled eggs

Cinnamon Rolls

Please let me know how many of these dirt cheap low budget meals you are making right now or have in the past. Let’s teach our families to sit around the table for dinner, now, not next week. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.

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8 thoughts on “Dirt Cheap Budget Meals-What To Eat When You Are Broke

  • October 5, 2018 at 11:15 am
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    Thanks for sharing this Linda! Will be printing this out and sharing. Love all the information you share!

    Reply
    • October 5, 2018 at 3:57 pm
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      Hi BDN, you are no nice! Let’s save money together! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 1:55 pm
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    One of the meals I make now and then is Breakfast Burrito. You can put anything in them. Eggs
    meat and cheese. You can add veggie’s or not. I get a package of tortilla wrappers and use for
    breakfast or lunch or supper.
    I work at a convenience store and we sell Donuts, if we have any left we box up and sell the next
    day for cheaper. They are just as good and you can freeze them and they will last just thaw and eat.
    Also I check my local Walmart for breads and sweets they bake to much of the day before. You can get a
    loaf of French bread that is a day old for 70 cents ( price depend on area). You can buy a few loaves and put in the freezer. People today need to realize day old doesn’t mean old, nasty, stale items.
    I over heard one lady customer in my store say ” Oh day old, we don’t want those” that is a bad habit
    to teach your kids.
    Check for Buy One and get one free offers too. On the back of our receipts from some stores
    are coupons for meals discounted or a free item. See if your area has those. I also use Ibotta
    and get money back on items I buy at the Grocery store. I get to chose what Gift cards I get in
    return. I usually get Walmart and get more Groceries.
    I learned Budget meals from my mom and Grandma. We make Macaroni and Tomato Juice.
    Just cook the pasta, drain and while draining add the tomato juice to the pan, add butter, salt and pepper then add sugar to cut the acid in the tomato juice. Add the pasta back in and heat till pasta
    is hot again. We have made meals on that or added meat to it or as a side. I have other meals but
    don’t want to write a book in a small area.

    Reply
    • October 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm
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      Hi June, oh my gosh we could be best friends! I love all your ideas!!! It sounds like we were raised very much the same way. You can write a novel if you want, I LOVE reading all my readers comments, questions, and tips!! Keep up the good work, I think that is really sad someone would say, don”t teach your kids that. They NEED to teach their kids to save a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar and more! Good grief! Let’s hope he or she learns what its like to frugal!! Even some of the very rich and wealthy are frugal.Linda

      Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm
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    I love the picture of the mini egg/veggie dish. Is there a recipe for them that I missed?

    Reply
    • October 5, 2018 at 4:11 pm
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      Hi Linda, I basically grease a muffin tin. I use my Magic Bullet to mix up the eggs and then pour them over the vegetables, meat, or cheese that I have chopped and put in the muffin tins. I use different items every time I make them. You fill the muffin tins full because they barely rise. Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Here are some I use with Pre-made Crescent rolls. https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/easy-homemade-spinach-quiche/ Have fun making them, Linda

      Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 7:36 pm
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    We used to just add a can of whole peeled tomatoes to cooked macaroni. Continue heating until the tomatoes are hot, then serve. Was always a great filler and tasty with a little salt and pepper to taste. Seeing the other comments reminded me of that.

    Reply
    • October 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm
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      Hi BDN, oh my gosh, that is exactly like what my mom used to make!! Great tip! Linda

      Reply

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