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Inexpensive meals that stretch


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I am trying to reduce my grocery bill, and still eat somewhat healthy well-balanced meals. So I'm looking for ideas.

Tonight I made stuffed cabbage (a LOT of it!!!) The ingredients probably cost about $15 and it will feed our family of four 4 - 5 meals.

Two large heads of cabbage

3 lbs ground beef

1 1/2 cups rice

2 eggs

two onions pulverized in the bullet

a mess of garlic cloves pulverized in the bullet

a couple handfuls of fresh parsely pulverized in the bullet

fennel seeds


red pepper

dill week

salt to taste

One large can tomato sauce

two smaller cans diced tomatos

Basically, I par boil the cabbage and pull the layers of leafs off as they soften, placing them in a colander to cool

mix the ground beef, uncooked rice, eggs, onion, garlic, parsely, and seasoning together then roll in the softened cabbage leaves

pour tomatoe sauce, one can diced tomatoes and 3 cups of water in the bottom of a VERY LARGE roasting pan (one that comes with a lid is best). roll a small handful of the meat mixture into an oblong shape and then roll cabbage leaf around it and place in pan seam side down. Layer these next to each other and on top of each other until you couldn't possibly fit another one into the pan. Poor the other can of diced tomatos on top with about 1/2 cup water.

bake on 300 for about 1 - 1/2 hours with the lid on. Back another 1/2 with the lid off.

Its a bit of work - but well worth it, and it can freeze the leftovers so you don't have to make it that often.



Still cooking - - mushroom beef barely soup - without the mushrooms cause Sushi won't eat them

Cost is roughly $12 and I expect to get 2 - 3 meals for our family of 4 (more if the kids don't like it :) )

1 roast - am guessing around 3 lbs (Ox tails are really good for this soup also, but they cost a lot more)

1 package manechevitz (sp) pea and barely dried soup mix (throw away the seasoning package - their seasoning is gross)

1 1/2 - 2 cups barley (depending on whether you want it thick or thin)

two turnips diced

two parsnips diced

a package or two of diced fresh mushrooms if your family will actually eat them

two onions well diced

a mess of chopped garlic cloves

3 - 4 beef bullion cubes

7 cups water

throw it all in the slow cooker til its done.

Edited by Abigail
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If you like beans a good side dish would be pinto beans or black eyed beans. I cook up huge pots of these and freeze about 3-4 bowls each time so we have some to eat on throughout the coming week. It's really convenient.

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