Your Questions About How To Live On A Tight Budget Food

George asks…

How to live off $20 – $30 a week on food?

Hey im on a really tight budget and i need ideas for really cheap recipes. But i dont eat many veges so need quick simple and easy.
Ideas for cheap breakfast, lunches and dinners?

I also live in New Zealand so dont have some of the things you guys might.

richmama answers:

$20-$30 a week for one guy should be no problem, you just have to be creative.

Your first week or so will be the toughest as you begin to stock up on staples, After that it will get a lot easier over time since you have the bases already.

Things to buy whenever you see them cheap whether you need it or not.

dried pasta
ramen noodles (similar to pasta, but a cheaper brick o noodles)
anything canned

all of those things will keep nearly forever in the pantry, and you can use rice and pasta with just about any bit of leftovers you may happen to have in the fridge.

2 eggs, scrambled and tossed with some white rice and sauteed green onions makes a great breakfast for under a buck.

Now you live in NZ, so you probably have access to a lot o markets and foods that we don’t. If you shop in larger markets get to know the folks in the meat/seafood department there. Just stop and chat for a few minutes about the specials when you are in. That can go a long way towards getting better deals, and knowing what is on special.

With meats always look at the other options. Most markets will be happy to break down packages for you if you ask. If you need mince look at some of the other cuts for a decent price per pound. Many markets will gladly grind any cut for you. It may sound silly to ask for 1/2 lb of the stew beef minced, but it can save a dollar or two.

If you are purchasing chicken, seriously consider purchasing whole birds to cut up yourself. Once you know how this takes only about 10 minutes. You can often purchase a whole bird for the same price as a couple of breast fillets. If you boil the carcass you get a great stock for later, and can usually pull enough meat off of it to throw in some rice and make a great chicken and rice dinner.

One of the biggest keys is to know what is available in your area, and where to get it. Take some time to look around and talk to people while you are at the market. You will be amazed at the things you may find.

Hope this helps!

Richard asks…

I live alone and pay a lot of bills. How do i eat healthy on a budet?

Where do i go to buy the cheapest foods. What kind of food are best for breakfast, lunch and dinner, on a very tight budget? Which foods are healthy yet a cheap approach to eating so i can not really be a health nut but not go through the day malnurished?
My budget i guess was 50$ a week and that is just too much i think i wanna find a way to reduce it.
My budget i guess was 50$ a week and that is just too much i think i wanna find a way to reduce it.

richmama answers:

Fresh veggies are the best. And relatively cheap.
Basic whole grain bread, eggs, cheese, pasta, sauce, potatoes and rice and you have meals for days and days on v. Little cash.

Avoid brand names. Avoid empty calories (and wasted dollars) on over packaged foods with lots of white flour or sugar that will just make you more hungry later.

For dry goods that will last a while, go to a big box store and buy in bulk. It does save money.

Make a big batch of healthy hearty soup/stew from a favorite recipe and freeze it in individual baggies for easy meals. Can cost next to nothing if you stick to the basics.

Oatmeal makes a great breakfast becuse it sticks to you and keeps you fuller longer. Drizzle some honey on top. Add a piece of fresh fruit and you’re good to go for less than a dollar.

Dont waste your money on bottled drinks. Drink water. Pay for food. Its a hundred times healthier too.

Spices can make ordinary ingreadients great. Steak seasoning, thyme, fresh ground pepper, chili flakes, oregano, etc are all good additions to the basics.

And invest in multi-vitamins. Seriously. They rock.

Linda asks…

Getting married on a tight budget, looking for ideas.?

I am getting married on September 23rd of this year. We are on a tight budget and are looking for ideas on how to have a nice wedding without spending a fortune. We are doing everything ourselves. Outdoor wedding will be nearly impossible as we live in Louisiana and we have horrible weather year round basically. Just any ideas on decor, food, etc. etc. would be great. It’s our first marriage so we don’t even know where to begin.

richmama answers:

Do your own decorations. You don’t have to do anything crazy, maybe just some nice centerpieces on the tables and some white christmas lights with tulle wrapped up around them. This would be for the reception. For the ceremony, maybe just pew bows on the first three pews. Those you can make yourself pretty easily. The church will probably already look nice, so you may be able to get away with a couple of flower arrangements for the front of the church. It will be simple, but look nice!

For the reception, rather than hire a DJ, make your own CD’s with music to dance to. This will cut costs a great deal! See if the reception hall has a stereo system that you can play the music through. By making your own CD;s, you’ll have all of the songs you want, and not the chicken dance or electric slide!

If you have a friend that takes good pictures, ask if they will take the wedding pictures for you. I took pictures for my nieces wedding and they came out great! Not only did she get great pictures, but I gave her all of the negatives and proofs (this was before digital cameras!) That is a bonus because many photographers do not let you keep all of the proofs.

Get your family to help.. Make favors, invitations, etc! The more you can do yourself, the less expensive the wedding will be!

Hope these help!

Donald asks…

I put too much salt on my food, how to fix it.?

I do not want to throw away the food cause I live on my own and on a tight budget, but I put too much salt on my eggs and grits this morning and it tasted ok but too salty. How can I fix this mistake? Can I add parsley or something to tone down the taste?

richmama answers:

Add more eggs (only really works if eggs are scrambled) and grits, then divide the portion in half and eat some today and some tomorrow.

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