Got $15.00?

By re1ndeer Latest Reply 2011-06-30 03:15:28 -0500
Started 2011-06-22 19:06:49 -0500

What if you only had $15.00, a week to spend on groceries?
What would you buy, and still stay safe for your Blood Sugars?

There are a lot of people out there, that this is all they could spend, after paying for their medications, and other bills.

I've been thinking about this and it is quite hard to come up with a variety to eat for the week.

So, What would you buy?

147 replies

NavyNerd 2011-06-30 02:15:21 -0500 Report

Milk 1.25 this week, 12 eggs here is 1.39, frozen/canned veggies at 50 cents/can or 89cents a bag. That leaves you with enough to buy a thing of oatmeal 1.69 and a 2 bags of rice 1.29 each (been there, ate on less when I was in college. Ramen was my thing then, though.) With $15 and coupons I can do more though.. I'd add a bag of chicken to that. I feed 5 people (sometimes 7) a cat, dog, and lots of tank critters on about 100 bucks a week now, because I have to, but I also have to deal with a gluten allergy and a lactose allergy and an egg allergy. Coupons are my saving grace for the grocery budget here..

re1ndeer 2011-06-30 03:15:28 -0500 Report

You did some serious buying here, and prices are relatively the same accross the country. Great use of the $15.00, and I believe you with coupons you could probably buy more. Thanks for your response.

VickieF 2011-06-28 16:24:31 -0500 Report

I just thought about something. I don't know why it did not occur to me eirlier. 5lb. bag of potatoes ($4.00), a pack of tukey bacon ($4.00), a large bag of dry beans ($3.00), a dozen eggs ($2.00) and 2 loave of bread ($2.00). Total ($15.00). Take the bacon and cut it in half. Half of it goes in the pot of beans when cooking for flavor. 5 Potatoes either fried or put in with the beans when they are close to being done. The potatoes and eggs along with a bit of bacon makes good omlets. And now for the freebee. go out in the yard if you have one and pick dandilion greens. Ask your neibor if you can pick theirs too. When you get a nice big bowl picked clean and cook them with a little bit of the bacon. They go very nice with bean soup and potatoes. And danilions are just about every where. Bread can be used to make omlet sandwiches, and is so good torn up in the bean soup or used to sop up the juice from the bowl when beans have been eaten.

re1ndeer 2011-06-28 18:14:15 -0500 Report

Wow, how inventive, sounds delicious! Thanks for the reply.

VickieF 2011-06-28 22:28:20 -0500 Report

My Gramps' favorite meal was Bean soup, fried taters a couple of wedges of onion and greens. Poke greens, turnip greens, musterd greens and dandilion greens. Darn I miss him.

Drees moma
Drees moma 2011-06-27 21:18:31 -0500 Report

Aloof of bread, probably lunch meat turkey,and the rest on fruit and vegetables. I've had recent experience trying to live on about $70. A month for food. That's only a couple of dollars more. And that was winter.

gramme 2011-06-26 08:34:51 -0500 Report

I don't know how you can buy groceries for $15.00 a week, maybe 15.00 a day..I think like some of the others..that maybe they would need to cut back on things that aren't neccesities

re1ndeer 2011-06-26 08:38:47 -0500 Report

You don't know about the SHARE program? We here can buy a group of groceries (minium for $15.00) and you get meat.

gramme 2011-06-26 08:51:59 -0500 Report

we have a food pantry here that you can get free groceries for a week.. but you get what they give you

sweething 2011-06-25 10:26:07 -0500 Report

I'd have my kids in the free breakfast and lunch programs (they run year round) and not be too proud to get the reduced price senior citizens Meals on Wheels for myself. Some people stretch that meal to cover a light supper. The $15 woulld be used to supplement food pantry supplies. Like fresh fruit and veggies (end of the day purchases at farmer's markets, many don't want to take the stuff back home). Or reduced price fruit and veggies from the stores (slightly overripe can be used for cookiing). I'd buy peanut butter, chicken, cottage cheese (lowfat), milk, and whole wheat bread.

re1ndeer 2011-06-25 11:23:35 -0500 Report

Thank you for your reply.

colorglass 2011-06-25 14:59:06 -0500 Report

to be honest I do not really know. When I was not a diabetic it was easier. I would buy food that would last for many meals . just to have something to eat probably be top ramen it doesn't cost alot to eat and you can add other things to make it different. I will keep you in prayer I hope that things change for you

Pynetree 2011-06-25 09:33:38 -0500 Report

Well, I think you'd do as they've done for years…one meat, one eggs, one bread , veggies, beans, cereal, &Milk. Main meat becomes dinner and lunch sandwiches,Eggs are breakfast and lunch omelets with veggies. Beans are added protein to stretch when the meat thins out. You get good at it after a bit. You can get 6 - 7 dinners/lunches out of a cheaper cut of stew beef, or a stewing chicken. A bit boring, but you learn to be creative.
Actually, it's a much healthier way to eat…can't afford to buy the chips,cookies,soda,cakes, etc. that is a luxury you can't afford .
Count your Blessings!

re1ndeer 2011-06-25 00:02:36 -0500 Report

I want to Thank all of you that have responded to my discussion. Some of you did not get the point I was trying to make.

I was looking for simple ways to use the foods you received from the market for $15.00 to stretch to make it through the week. Some families even with children, this is all they have. And they have to make 3 meals a day for 7 days.

I truly appreciate all forms and opinions given on this subject. Some of you said you would buy different things weekly, but did not explain on how you would use the items.

Others of you went into great detail on how you would make soup, or other items to stretch.

I also, would like to thank some of the members who shared their stories, on how they survived with little or no money for the week.

Thanks, for taking the time to respond to my discussion.


Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-25 11:27:02 -0500 Report

I would have posted more on how I prepare the ingredients but sometimes I have very plain tastes. I will eat canned beets straght from the can, with a hard boiled egg as the protein for a meal. Cream cheese and crackers with carrots and apple as another meal. When I had my garden before I lost my home last year, I would add some fresh sage, rosemary and thyme to the cream cheese. A chefs salad with whatever I have on hand and want thrown in. Mix cottage cheese, yogurt, and peaches as a meal.
A meal might be soup or stew or hash. When I had my pressure cooker (maybe it is in a box in our little storage unit or maybe it had to be left in the house when poeple packed what would fit in the unit while i was in the hospital) I used it to make the best corned beef when it was on sale after St. Patrick's day. I have been one of those who has had to make the dollar stretch, both in the past and currently.
I don't know how I would use hypothetical weekly bargains, it would depend upon my hypothetical frame of mind.
Do I want comfort food? Most liikely chicken with a little soy sauce, ginger, garlic and onion and steamed broccoli followed by a dessert of warmed canned peaches. Before diabetes came into my life I would have included rice and the peaches would have been turned into peach cobbler (made from flour, sugar, milk and a pinch of salt and of course cinnamon. Or hash made with fried sweet potatoes or butternut squash and pork.
Do I need something that can be fixed in a hurry because I overslept and am running late for an appt? I would grab some cheese, carrots, nuts and eat as I go. If it is Tuesday evening and I am heading over to Mom's (AKA The Cake Lady) for her carb extravganza then all I need is cheese or nuts to give me enough protein since there wiill be almost none with her meal. But enough family and fun to make up for any trouble picking my way through the carb landmines.
The tuna could appear mixed with a little mayo, garlic, onions, and pepper on a plate with tomatoes and broccoli. Or maybe it would taste better stright from the can or pouch wth a few crackers and sliced green peppers.
Do I want Italian, then some poached chicken with slightly warmed fresh crushed tomtoes, garliic, onion, and oregano (unfortunately not fresh picked from my former garden) with steamed or sauted spaghetti sauce. Or ground beef, browned with garlic, onion, oregano and fennel. Then and dark red kidney beens ad heat through.
If I want soup it could be egg drop made with chicken broth, green onion, peas and mushrooms not on my original list but maybe cheap enough to have been able to purchase). Or Minestrone made with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, onion, oregano and chicken broth.

re1ndeer 2011-06-25 15:25:33 -0500 Report

Thank you for giving a variety of meals that can be made with little or no money. And thank you for your response.

VickieF 2011-06-24 20:22:49 -0500 Report

You know I think that a lot of us Older folks forget that some of the younger generations were never tought how to cook from scratch. For us it was what we learned from our parents and grandparents. But even then some of our parents were working and to tired to teach us, or sometimes they might have been to ill for whatever reason.
It might be nice if we shared a simple to fix recipie with them.
Mine would be the chicken and dumplings that my Grandmother used (Yes, she like short cuts too lol). For one to two people, boil two skinless chicken breasts in a large pot (or lg can of white chicken meat. Do not drain.)(after the chicken is cooked well) adding salt and pepper and bulion to taste turn the pot down to simmer. Open a can of biskets, Tear the biskets into four to six pieces droping them in with the chicken. put lid on the pot and leave for five minutes. Remove lid and carefully turn the pieces over replace lid for aprox. three minutes. Done and very tasty. Recipie cost about $3.50-5.00 Should feed two people two-three meals.
By the way I do know there is a recipie site on here, but sometimes it's just nice to play outside the box. LOL

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2011-06-25 01:43:58 -0500 Report

Every one of my kids can cook from scratch. I guess it's because I was a stay home mom & when they were growing up they watched me cook. I make everything I can from scratch. I also taught them the tricks of cooking.

k7k6c7 2011-06-25 20:52:47 -0500 Report

Your kids are lucky. We never starved but try as she might my mother could sit and watch a pie bake and still burn it. :)

re1ndeer 2011-06-24 23:27:45 -0500 Report

Thanks VickieF, you are so right, the older generation learn to cook from their parents and grandparents. the younger generations, I think could not get by without a microwave. Thanks for the quick recipe for chicken and dumplings.

dietcherry 2011-06-24 20:32:16 -0500 Report

Thank you for sharing that Vickie-very thoughtful of you! You are absolutely right about newer generations not being taught how to cook from scratch. I was a latchkey kid growing up; Mom worked 2 jobs and we ate a lot of processed foods or fast food.

dietcherry 2011-06-24 20:39:19 -0500 Report

Oh and it wouldnt hurt my feelings if I NEVER saw another box of Kraft macaroni and cheese or a can of Chef Boyardee as long as I live!

MewElla 2011-06-24 20:28:37 -0500 Report

This sounds mighty moist and tasty..thanks Vickie.

VickieF 2011-06-24 21:08:37 -0500 Report

Thanks all. I cried last week when I made them and finally got it to taste just like Grandmas' LOL Funny isn't it? I mean somehow when we cook something that Mom or Grandma or Dad, no matter how hard we try we can come close to the taste but seldome ever get it just right. LOL

sewinggranny 2011-06-24 17:24:26 -0500 Report

My dear hubby and I stay on a budget and we manage to buy groceries but I am a stocker (not a hoarder) when things are on sale. I also use coupons to save money. My paper runs me $15.00 a month but I save more then that with the coupons I use. For instance this past week my groceries were $96.00 but when I got thorough with taking off the $10.00 for spending $50.00, my coupons, my $5.00 off for purchasing different items I ended up spending out of my pocket only $41.00, granted I do not do that good all the time, but its nice when I can. Some weeks I only go to the store for bread and milk and others I might spend $100.00 but most of the time my food budget is $50.00 a week, it averages out to that. It is only two of us and in the summer grandchildren come to spend time with us. I mostly cook from scratch, for instance tonight we are having pork roast that I caught on sale, gravy, creamed potatos and sliced cucumbers and tomatos I got from a local farmer. The rest of the pork roast will go in the freezer to become pork bbq in a week or so and some of it will become pork and gravy over rice or noodles. Leftover mashed potatos will become potato cakes for tomorrows supper ( add 1 egg, about a tablespoon of flour a little diced onion and pat out into cakes and fry until nice and brown on each side) leftover tomatos and cucumbers will be added to part of the onion from the potato cakes add macaroni, mayonise and salt and pepper, and make a homemade macaroni salad. I also keep a maragarine bowl in my freezer and any dab of gravy, meat, leftover veggies, onions, beans, even pork and beans go in it. When it gets full I make soup sometimes I just add a little beef and broth and tomatos and thats all I need to add and sometimes I do not need to add anything to it. There are many ways to save money wash only full loads of clothes, turn the heat down and the air up. We keep our central air set at 78 when we go to bed at night we have a rotating floor fan at the foot of the bed running that helps keep us cool. In the winter time if I get cool in the house I put on long sleeves. Sorry this is so long but just wanted to say there are so many ways to save and cut back.

re1ndeer 2011-06-24 18:51:27 -0500 Report

Thank you for your reply. Some people don't have $50.00 to budget for food for the week. I'm glad that you do. And I'm glad you can stretch your meals after spending the $50.00 for your food.

sewinggranny 2011-06-24 19:28:02 -0500 Report

I was just saying there were other ways to cut back I realize some people do not have $50.00 to spend on food I have been there myself, but I have always managed to make ends meet. My grandparents raised me to be frugal. I shop at the goodwill and most of our furniture was bought second hand or given to us. In fact the only thing I can think of that we bought new was our mattress and box springs and our television set. (Which we bought in 1985 and its still going strong) I don't buy containers to put leftovers in I use the jars that my mayonise, spaghetti sauce etc. comes in. My computer is made up of different parts that came from yard sales. Some of it was given to me. I hang my clothes on the line instead of using the dryer. My grandmother had a saying, "There are people that can live on $5.00 a week and there are people that cannot live on $5000.00 a week!" She was right!!

re1ndeer 2011-06-24 23:32:49 -0500 Report

Thank you for your reply, I was just stating this because my thoughts were those people who have lost jobs, and really had to cut back to bare minium and was looking for ideas for them for purchasing food for the week.

Aaron1977 2011-06-24 12:28:05 -0500 Report

I'm not trying to sound cynical - but if you only have $15 per week for food - then you need to speak to a financial advisor. Somewhere in your life there is potential for reducing expenses to increase your food budget. Cancel your cable bill, drop the data plan from your Iphone, move into a cheaper place, get a less expensive car, cancel the lawn service and mow it yourself, start buying your clothes from Goodwill or garage sales. There are a zillion ways to save money.

It makes me sick when I hear people complain about how they don't have enough money for medicine AND groceries - but then they drive away in their Chevy Tahoe. Or they can't pay the rent but they have a Iphone, Ipad and Laptop all with wireless internet.

We are all diabetic and we should know that food and meds come before luxuries like cable and internet. Just my 1 cent. (it would be two cents but I'm trying to save $)

teach054 2011-06-24 13:32:31 -0500 Report

Good thoughts but some of us work from home and are required to have a cell phone, internet and a landline. In the past I have feed my family of 3 on $50 a week. Money is all relative to what are beliefs are. If we belive that food and meds are important then it will come first. If your clothes are important then they come first. Each person sets their own list and then usually complain that their is not enough money for their lesser items.

Aaron1977 2011-06-24 21:37:24 -0500 Report

Best reply to my comment yet! You are exactly correct - if you want to know what someone's priorities are in life - look at their checkbook. Everyone has their own choices of what to spend their money on. And everyone has their things they will spend a premium on…

re1ndeer 2011-06-24 14:03:53 -0500 Report

Thank you for your response, I totally agree. And eventually they will be doing away with the land lines and everyone will have to have cell phones.

Sonya Slim
Sonya Slim 2011-06-25 05:30:08 -0500 Report

This is really quite simple: There are things you need and things you want. sometimes it is hard to figure out the difference

kittenpurr1 2011-06-24 13:32:27 -0500 Report

If one can afford a financial advisor- they can probably afford food. Not everyone has nice rides, and internet, and just my 411 on this, we need phones to call doctors, b/c the pharmacies may need to call us back, or the doctor may cancel an appointment, some people ride the bus, so it takes them twice as long to get places, and it would be nice knowing, you didn't make a trip- just to find out it was canceled. We need medications because we are sick, and it cost money to ride from yard sale to yard sale, how do you know they will have just my size at the yard sale? Perhaps, they use the internet to search for jobs, my thing is…one doesn't know, until they have been there. No one plans on growing up to be homeless. No one plans on their house burning up, perhaps they can't afford renter's insurance, now they are at a total loss, no one says, "Hey I want that to happen to me." Ya think?

re1ndeer 2011-06-24 14:06:19 -0500 Report

Thank you kittenpurr1, for your response, true not everyone can afford a financial advisor. I so agree with everything you say.

Aaron1977 2011-06-24 21:32:18 -0500 Report

Do a google search on personal finances and you can get a ton of info on how to manage your personal finances for free.

re1ndeer 2011-06-24 13:15:06 -0500 Report

All I'm saying is those whom have lost their jobs, and possiblity of losing their homes. Have to cut back, on everything. But, still have to pay for their lights, heat for their homes, maybe some have mortgages and their medications. Not everyone has internet, or cable T.V., because they can't afford to do to wages, some only make a low pay scale. Some only live within their means, and still can not afford to buy groceries.
This was to think of others out this country that are starving. And to think what they do to buy groceries and feed themselves.
This was not to those of us who have internet , cable t.v., etc.
Sometimes we have to think of others before we think about ourselves for once.

Aaron1977 2011-06-24 21:30:54 -0500 Report

My reply clearly struck a nerve with a lot of people. Wow. My intent was only to get people to think about how much money they spend on non-essential items. As a type 1 since I was a child - I've never been able to budget my finances without the $100 - 200 per month for diabetic medical supplies. I would love to have that extra money to spend on a nicer car or whatever. You know what I mean?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-24 06:32:50 -0500 Report

Lettuce, broccolli, carrots, green peppers, raddishes, tomatoes, green beans, beets, apples, sunflower seeds, nuts, tuna, chicken ( or other meat if it is on sale for less), yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, chickens, dried beans, canned no sugar peaches, spaghetti squash, butter squash , sweet potatoes, crackers, peanut butter. Would be on my list depending on current prices. Pasta, rice, potatoes, and corn mess with my BG so they would not work to stretch the budget. It would vary which of the safe list items I would buy from week to week based on cost and availability.
It was much easier to stretch the food dollar before I was diagnosed with diabetes. At least for now I do not have any other medical diet restrictions, just food allergies to watch out for.

sewinggranny 2011-06-23 20:18:45 -0500 Report

Buy a chicken, make three meals out of it. Save the breast for chicken salad, use the legs, thighs for chicken and dumplings and take the rest of the chicken and debone and skin it and either make soup or cook some rice in the broth. Buy beans, rice, eggs and pasta. Buy hamburger. Look for frugal sites online for recipes. Cooking from scratch is the key. Homemade cornbread, biscuits, pancakes, gingerbread, soups, beans all are good ideas.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2011-06-23 09:24:04 -0500 Report

I read this yesterday & had to think about it. I am a surviver; My husband & I raised 4 children with only one income. I was a stay at home mom for 30 yrs. Finances were always tight and I have literally bought groceries many times with onlly $15.00. The key is to keep main things in your kitchen like flour, cornmeal, beans- brown & white , powdered milk, powdered eggs, rice, seasonings like salt, pepper, paprika, onion salt, garlic powder & salt, beef & chicken bouillon cubes. Condiments - Suger free syrup, ketchup, mustard, ect.
Make meals that can be for two days. Make homemade foods like pancakes instead of boxed mixes. Homemade vegetable soup is good and can be a two day meal served in different forms. I make my soup with brocolli & cauliflower & carrots & potatoes with frozen mix of corn, green beans. I make a beef broth with beef bouillon. The first day we would have vegetable soup & wheat crackers and the next day I would use the leftover soup to make vegetables over brown rice. Somehow I was always able to come up with healthy meals and my main key to that was the things I said. If I didn't have main things in my kitchen then the meals weren't so healthy!!!

MarkieMarkie 2011-06-24 13:54:47 -0500 Report

Teresa Rpse… you are so wonderful… I've not talked to a financial advisor myself as Aaron suggested; however, I do work for 2 of them and I can tell you… if they would pay me the way they advise other people with their money, there would be no need for a budget. I too have bought groceries with $15.00 and I would like to point out your suggestions seemed like they came right from my kitchen… the best time for some people to judge is when they aren't hungry… the worst time to judge is when you are, but then you're really not judging, your hoping for help. It is hard sometimes having little eyes look at you wondering what they are going to eat… you've paid the necessary bills, house, water, lights, gas, babysitting bill, no I don't have cable or Internet… I use the computer at the library or work… I have 4 TV channels that I seldom watch… the car payment to make sure I have a way to get to work… and I thank God for the TANF money and FS that I get for the children and their Medicaid… I have no insurance… but we get by. So far we have all had enough to eat… but some weeks can be lean.

My question there is how does a financial advisor advise on very little money? They are looking at portfolios that have large sums of money so they too can make money and that is a fact.

As always Teresa Rose, thanks for you good advice… you my dear are never cynical, but always full of positive ambition, joy and love… thank you again. You are wonderful!

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2011-06-24 15:02:52 -0500 Report

My husband & I had it really tuff when we were raising our children. We took them to church and we taught them good values. Our television was the park or the beach or playing hide & seek in the dark house with flashlights. We dressed our children with clothes that others had given us and passed the clothes down accordingly. We did good to buy shoes when needed & christmas was always a struggle. I bought $5.00 Barbies months before and made a box of barbie clothes for each daughter and made furniture from plastic canvas and yarn & my husband built a bookshelf from used plywood & I painted it to look like a house inside & out. I also made furniture from cardboard and fabric. I made clothes for my kids as well & remade clothes. We would buy our sons things little at a time. We rarely ever had a phone & no one in our family ever helped us. I was a stay at home mom. If I would have paid a baby sitter to watch my kids I would have just broke even so my best option was to stay at home & Love & enjoy my kids. Often we went to work with my husband when he was wiring and building log homes. He would pick up the wood scraps & I would sand the blocks & stain them & the kids loved playing with those blocks while we were working. We had alot of family time together and I wouldn't trade those times for anything. God is my financial adviser!☺

MewElla 2011-06-24 15:55:19 -0500 Report

You and your husband taught your children invaluable lessons for life which I am sure they all remember to this day…This was a truly touching story of your early life and how you handled it with God as your financial adviser. God Bless You..

teach054 2011-06-23 09:04:10 -0500 Report

Only $15 a week I would first purchase a whole chicken, eggs, flour, onion, powdered milk, dry beans and carrots. The chicken I would cut up and cook the back, neck, gibblets and make a broth, The meat part would make a chicken salad or stir fry, the broth would be used to make chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles, the rest I would get creative with.

VickieF 2011-06-24 03:28:41 -0500 Report

I would very much like to know how you make your homemade noodles. I know I could find a recipe else where, but I think recipies that have come from old family recipies taste so much better. Please share it with us.

teach054 2011-06-24 13:20:52 -0500 Report

1 cup flour, salt and pepper to taste, 1 whole egg or two egg whites, and enough water to make a stiff dough. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Divide dough into 4 chunks, roll out thin on a floured surface. I use a pizza cutter to cut the noodles into strips. Drop into hot boiling brooth. Repete with the other 3 chunks. After the 4th one is finished put on lid and turn off burner. The noodles will be finished in about 5-8 minutes. And ready to serve.

VickieF 2011-06-24 20:04:53 -0500 Report

Awsome! Thank you, Teach. I am going to try it this weekend when my grandson is over. Sounds great.

spiritwalker 2011-06-22 22:37:00 -0500 Report

Keep it simple, veggies,beans,whole grain bread,eggs,cheese and fruit. If you can put
in a garden or visit a local farmers market. They have better prices. You might also
check with local churches and see if they offer SHARE. Its a program where you pay
around 20. your receive a weeks worth of food. You must put in some volunteer
hours to be in the program.

2011-06-22 22:12:51 -0500 Report

Well since I'm already an organic gardener & I plant all my own veggies (I am a complete vegan. Do not consume any fruit, or any type of carbs.) as it is, I don't purchase anything from the market. I eat what I grow, & grow what I eat. So I guess I would put that money aside & use it for "seed money" I know that sounds strange,but that's exactly what I would do..

re1ndeer 2011-06-22 22:23:22 -0500 Report

Thanks for your reply. Does this include breakfast, lunch and dinner for vegies?

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