Friday, March 29, 2013

Budget Lunches

The average daily food stamp benefit in Indiana in 2014 is about $4.16 per person. I usually try to break that down as $1.00 for breakfast, $1.25 for lunch and $1.50 for supper, and the extra 39 cents a day (about $11.70 per month) to cover things that you have to buy more of than you need that month, like a jar of mayo when you just need part of a jar. I can usually squeeze supper out for about $1.50 by using what's on sale, but sometimes the sales just don't cooperate and I have to go over. Fortunately there are several quick and easy lunches that run less than $1.25 and so leave some extra for supper. Here are some examples. 

Salad. A can of tuna is 69 cents at Aldi. Add a couple of tablespoons of mayo (about 7 cents), a chopped carrot (about 15 cents), a bit of pickle relish (about 10 cents), and some lettuce (99 cents a head for iceberg lettuce) and you’ve got a big lunch for about $1.20. Or make the same kind of salad with hard boiled eggs instead of tuna. With four eggs it will come to about $1.05. Or a cup of chicken, from the leg quarters at Walmart, for about $1.20. 

Soup. A cup of homemade bone broth (you are saving all of your bones and making broth out of them, aren’t you?), half a pound of frozen vegetables (spinach and broccoli are best, or whatever you have or is on sale, so let’s say 65 cents for half a pound of broccoli from Marsh, since we know they have broccoli), some cream or milk (21 cents for half a cup of half and half at Aldi), a couple of tablespoons of grated cheese (25 cents at Aldi), and some seasonings and you’ve got a big hearty bowl of soup for about $1.15 if you use homemade bone broth, or $1.40 if you use canned chicken broth. Or you can just buy canned soup and stay around $1.00, though you never know what’s really in it.

8/1/14 - Sliced Frittata with Tomato Sauce, German Pancakes, Baked Peach Pancakes

7/18/14 - COTTAGE CHEESE ZUCCHINI PANCAKES. Less than $1.00 per serving topped with fruit on July 18, 2014, using big zucchini from the Farrmers Market to make BZM (BASIC ZUCCHINI MIXTURE), which you can make during the summer when the big zucchini are cheap and plentiful and then freeze until you need it when they're not. Even cheaper if you use HOMEMADE YOGURT. Get your yogurt starter from the Hub.

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