$70 Low Cost Menu for 4 to 6

My $45 menu has been so popular that I’ve taken a shot at another one. I tried to duplicate the $45 price tag, but it was just too hard. Instead I’ve developed a relatively low cost menu. This one has much more meat, a few more fruits and veggi

es and a greater variety. I hope this one will prove to be as popular as the first. If you need more information about packing lunches see Lunch Box Basics & Lunch Box Food. For even more information about this menu, to ask questions about it or to leave feedback, go to the Hillbilly Housewife Blog.

You may also want to take a look at the ebooks and resources provided by Living On A Dime – their ebooks are well worth the small fee they charge for all the money saving tips and ideas that you will get out of them. I usually make up the money I pay on the ebook within less than a week (often in one shopping trip) from purchase. Take a look and see for yourself at LivingOnADime.com.

Menus
PDF File (right click; save as)

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Sunday Bacon; Eggs; Biscuits; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Meat Loaf; Instant Mashed Potatoes; Green Beans; Plain Muffins; Iced Tea Ramen Noodles; Thinly Sliced Veggies like Carrots & Onions; Iced Tea Leftover Muffins & Biscuits with Margarine & Jelly; Milk for children; Hot Tea for Adults
Monday Cornmeal Mush; Shredded Cheese; Margarine; Toast; Jelly; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Meat Loaf Sandwiches; Carrot Sticks; Ranch Dressing; Applesauce; Milk Boston Baked Beans; Macaroni & Cheese; Coleslaw; Fresh Bread, Margarine & Jelly; Iced Tea Cinnamon Toast; Milk for Children, Hot Tea for Adults
Tuesday French Toast; Syrup; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Beanie Wienies; Coleslaw; Butter or Jelly Bread or Cinnamon Toast; Milk Salmon Patties; Rice; Creamed Peas; Biscuits; Canned Pineapple; Iced Tea Garlic Bread Sticks; Milk for Children, Hot Tea for Adults
Wednesday Rice Pancakes; Syrup; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Egg Salad Sandwiches; Carrot Sticks; Ranch Dip; Applesauce; Milk Cowboy Beans & Rice; Steamed Carrots; Tender Cornmeal Muffins; Iced Tea Garlic Bread Sticks; Milk for Children, Hot Tea for Adults
Thursday Hot Rice Cereal; Toast; Margarine; Jelly; Milk; Hot Tea; Tuna Salad Sandwiches; Celery Sticks; Ranch Dip; Canned Peaches; Milk Simple Taco Meat with Homemade Tortillas; Shredded Cheese; Shredded Cabbage; Buttery Peas & Rice; Iced Tea Doodle Bugs; Applesauce; Milk for Children; Hot Tea for Adults
Friday Cornmeal Mush; Shredded Cheese; Orange Juice; Margarine; Toast; Jelly; Milk; Hot Tea Bacon & Egg Sandwiches; Canned Peaches; Carrot Sticks; Ranch Dip; Milk Hamburger Pinwheels; Macaroni & Cheese; Broccoli; Iced Tea Cinnamon Toast; Milk for Children; Hot Tea for Adults
Saturday Plain Pancakes; Syrup; Milk; Orange Juice; Hot Tea Ramen Noodles with Sliced Hotdogs & Veggies; Milk Red Beans & Rice; Cabbage Fried in Bacon Grease; Corn Bread; Iced Tea All the Good Leftovers

Shopping List

2009 Prices 2006 Prices Items
14.28
2.04
3.33
1.98
8.87
1.35
2.17
2.00
DAIRY
20 quarts (4 pounds) Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
3 pounds Margarine
3 Dozen Eggs (2.5 dozen in 2009)
8 ounces shredded Cheese
6.40
2.00
1.64
1.960.88
1.50
1.16
6.90
.97
.90
1.20
5.00
.89
1.19
.69
MEATS & PROTEIN
5 pounds ground beef
14 oz can Salmon
2 6 ounce cans Tuna
2 pounds Great Northern or Navy Beans
3 pounds Bacon Ends & Pieces
1 pound Hot Dogs
1 pound Pork or Turkey Sausage
1 pound Kidney Beans
0.92
0.92
2.68
0.56
1.92
0.69
1.86
3.04
1.87
2.00
1.23
1.50
1.00
1.00
1.00
2.00
.90
1.77
1.00
1.50
1.76
2.00
2.00
1.30
1.00
.69
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
1 pound Frozen Peas
1 pound Frozen Broccoli
2 pounds Instant Mashed Potatoes
2 – 15ounce cans Green Beans
3 pounds Cabbage
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
40 ounce jar Applesauce
2 12oz Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
3 pounds onions
5 lbs carrots
1 Bunch Celery
29-ounce can Peaches
20-ounce can Pineapple
3.50
3.98
1.06
1.50
0.96
1.00
1.92
.88
1.33
.60
GRAINS & STARCHES
3 pounds Long Grain White Rice (5 lb in 2009)
10 pounds All-Purpose Flour
2 pounds plain cornmeal
4 boxes Macaroni & Cheese
6 packs Ramen Noodles
0.98
0.93
2.24
2.38
.77
.62
1.50
1.88
BAKING
Baking Powder
3 packets Yeast
12 ounces Molasses
5 pounds Sugar
1.88
1.57
1.48
0.52
0.96
1.82
0.98
0.82
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
1.00
1.00
1.00
.50
1.00
1.50
1.00
.50
.25
.50
.50
.50
.50
CONDIMENTS & SEASONINGS
Pancake Syrup
Ranch Dressing
Jelly
Yellow Mustard
Ketchup
Mayonnaise
Worcestershire Sauce
Hot Pepper Sauce
Salt
Black Pepper
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Cinnamon
1.84 1.00 MISCELLANEOUS
100 count Tagless Tea Bags
$89.26 $70.19 Total

NOTES

As with all of my recipes, I include plenty of milk for growing children and pregnant or nursing mothers. Orange Juice is served every morning but Thursday. On that day there are 2 other fruits served in addition to raw cabbage which is very rich in Vitamin C. The menu assumes 1/2-cup of orange juice for each person every day that it is served. This is a relatively small serving. To make it look like more you can add a couple of icecubes or some crushed ice to the cup. If you have a supply of small juice cups, now is the time to put them to use.

Since this menu is based on a limited number of ingredients, a few accommodations must be made.

  • All of the bread is homemade using the Overnight method.
  • All milk is reconstituted, and margarine is used instead of butter.
  • For the recipes that call for dried onion, substitute a small amount of finely chopped fresh onion.
  • For the recipes calling for fresh garlic, substitute a small amount of garlic powder instead.
  • In any recipe calling for shortening, use margarine instead.
  • In any recipe calling for oil, use melted margarine or liquid bacon grease instead. The flavor and texture will still be good. Plain muffins (Sunday) are especially good prepared with bacon grease.

Desserts haven’t been included in this menu, but if you’d like to have some, there are several listed under Miscellaneous in the Recipes below.

Daily Work

Saturday Night:

  • Mix up a pitcher of orange juice, a gallon of milk and a gallon of Tea. Put them into the fridge to chill.
  • Mix up the meatloaf and press it into the pan.
  • Prepare the kitchen for tomorrow and go to bed.

Sunday:

  • Wake up early and do your Sunday School Lesson.
  • Prepare a hearty breakfast for everyone and do up the dishes.
  • Go to church.
  • When you get home put the meatloaf into bake right away. Then change clothes and set the table.
  • Mix up the Muffins and put them into bake.
  • Prepare the mashed potatoes and boil the green beans. Serve the hungry family with a smile on your face.
  • Before going to bed prepare a batch of Overnight Bread and put it aside to rise.
  • Put 2 pounds of small white bean in water to cover and allow them to soak overnight.
  • Look over the beverages and prepare more as needed.

Monday:

  • Make Breakfast and pack the lunches.
  • After the breakfast dishes are done put shape the bread and allow it to rise. When it has doubled in bulk, bake it as directed.
  • Prepare the Baked Beans using 1 tablespoon of prepared yellow mustard instead of the dry mustard called for in the recipe.
  • After the beans have finished baking set aside 3 cups for supper on Wednesday night. Serve the rest for dinner tonight. Save any leftovers from tonight for lunch tomorrow.
  • Prepare the Cole Slaw using 4 cups of shredded cabbage and allow it to chill until dinner time. Half will be for dinner tonight and half for lunch tomorrow.
  • Look over the beverages and prepare more as needed.

Tuesday:

  • After making breakfast heat up any leftover baked beans with 5 or 6 sliced hot dogs. Slice the hot dogs thinly so they will go further. The remaining hot dogs will be used for lunch on Saturday. Simmer the beanie weenies for several minutes and then put them into pre-heated thermoses for lunch. Pack everything else with a cold pack to keep it cool and fresh until lunch.
  • Prepare the Garlic Bread Sticks. Set half of them aside for snack tomorrow, and serve the other half for snack today. They are very good.
  • When you make dinner prepare enough rice for dinner tonight and breakfast in the morning. 2-cups dry rice, cooked in 4-cups of water should be enough.
  • Before bed boil 4 to 6 eggs for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • Remember to check the milk and iced tea and prepare more as necessary.

Wednesday:

  • Make Rice Pancakes using the rice leftover from yesterday.
  • After serving breakfast make egg salad for lunch and pack the lunches with a cold pack.
  • Serve leftover garlic sticks for snack. They are good cold.
  • When you make dinner prepare enough rice for dinner tonight and breakfast in the morning. 2-cups dry rice, cooked in 4-cups of water should be enough.
  • Use the 3 cups of beans you set aside on Monday for supper tonight.
  • Prepare the dough for Overnight bread before going to bed.
  • Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.

Thursday:

  • Prepare Hot Rice Cereal using rice leftover from yesterday.
  • Make Tuna Salad in the morning using two 6-ounce cans of tuna. Pack the lunches with a cold pack.
  • After you do the breakfast dishes divide the bread dough into 4 loaves and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk. Bake as directed.
  • Make up a batch of homemade tortillas for dinner tonight and put them in a plastic bag. Store them in the fridge until needed.
  • Prepare a batch of Doodle Bugs and chill until snack time. Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
  • To make the Simple Taco Meat fry up a pound of ground beef and use a fork to smash it into small bits. When it is brown drain off the fat. Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir until the meat is sort of dusty looking. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 1/2 cup of water. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until thickened. Serve on homemade tortillas with a little bit of shredded cheese. Instead of lettuce, top the tortillas with finely shredded cabbage. It is very good. Almost better than lettuce in fact. Pass hot sauce at the table for them who like it spicy.
  • To make Buttery Peas & Rice prepare rice in the normal way using 1 cup of dry rice and 2 cups of water. Add 1/2-teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons of margarine and 1 cup of frozen peas right before you put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.

Friday:

  • After breakfast fry up some bacon and eggs for lunches. Pop the yolks so they will be thoroughly cooked. Pack the lunches with a cold pack for freshness.
  • Before bed look over the beverage situation and prepare more as needed.
  • Also set a pound of kidney beans to soak overnight.

Saturday:

  • Prepare breakfast in the morning as directed.
  • Afterwards simmer the kidney beans for an hour and then proceed as directed. Chill until supper time.
  • To make the cabbage just slice it and fry it in bacon grease. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make the cornbread and reheat the beans at dinnertime.
  • Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
  • Clean up the kitchen and get it ready for the rest of the week.

Recipes

Breads & Cereals
Old-Fashioned Overnight Bread Biscuits (use margarine instead of shortening)
Homemade Tortillas Tender Cornmeal Muffins
Pancakes French Toast
Doodle Bugs Corn Bread
Rice Pancakes Hot Rice Cereal
Plain Cheap Muffins Cooked Rice
Cornmeal Mush Quick & Easy Garlic Bread Sticks
Main Dishes
Fred’s Favorite Meatloaf My Favorite Meatloaf
Hamburger Pinwheels Cow Girl Beans
Boston Baked Beans Rock Bottom Salmon Patties
Red Beans & Rice
Vegetables
Coleslaw
Miscellaneous
Short Bread Cookies Snickerdoodles
Quick Sugar Cookies Blondies
Homemade Brown Sugar
Perfect Iced Tea Reconstituting Milk

You may also want to take a look at the ebooks and resources provided by Living On A Dime – their ebooks are well worth the small fee they charge for all the money saving tips and ideas that you will get out of them. I usually make up the money I pay on the ebook within less than a week (often in one shopping trip) from purchase. Take a look and see for yourself at LivingOnADime.com.

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Comments

  1. says

    After starting to type I realized I am commenting on an older conversation. However, just in case someone is reading I’ll go ahead and share. Several years ago our family of then six was given groceries by a mother of 15 every Friday afternoon. There was always a variety of food. Sometimes fresh fruit and vegetables were included. I believe that the woman was participating in a gathering program. The foods were past due date so could no longer be kept in the stores but were still good. Perhaps other people have the same sort of program available in their area and could utilize this for their own families. It couldn’t hurt to ask the manager of groceries, delis, and/or restaurants what they do with the foods that are still good but must be tossed out due to regulations. The most they can say is no. Also, there might be people who would consider bartering or trading services in exchange for food goods. At one time I received two gallons of fresh milk as payment for piano lessons. Oh the delicious eating that rich, wholesome milk provided our young family! I would never have been able to afford this if I had to pay for it with money. Organizing, decorating, clerical help, babysitting, barbering, manicurist, cleaning, yard work, computer work, and many other skills could be traded for food. There may be someone with more eggs than their family can use who would be delighted to pay for lessons in whatever your skill set is with eggs. This can be adjusted to fit any situation. I know that I personally would be overjoyed to exchange homemade bread or some other service in return for guitar lessons for my children. After years of living on less, MUCH less, I have found that altering my perspective and realizing truth is essential. What is the real need in this situation? I don’t need more money. My family needs food. Food is the need not money. Realigning my focus and thoughts to view each situation clearly and accurately enables me to see possibilities I would otherwise miss. I can not feed my family on the amount of money available, but God can. I just have to listen and look for His provision. If I’m looking for money when I need food, I will often miss the provision of food because I was too busy looking for the money to buy the food myself. Anyway, this really isn’t relevant to the discussion so I will close. Just wanted to share about the gathering and bartering/trading. Thank you for your time.

  2. says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this menu. I am horrible and meal planning. I wish you had several of these $70 menu’s or even higher just menu’s period available. I would use them all. Thank you for your hard work.

    • Kat says

      One quick trick I picked up is to make variations on fried rice.

      Perfect for use with leftovers!
      Make sure your rice is cooked and cold. I like to use day old rice for this.
      Plan on 1 cup rice per person.

      I add one egg per person. Make eggs in a bowl like you would for getting ready to scramble them.

      You can use any sort of fresh veg for this like carrot, green beans, cabbage, peeled broccoli stems, etc. Make the veg into bite sized pieces. Hard veg like carrot and green beans need longer cooking time so add them first. Cabbage is fast so add near end. You can also use already cooked vegetables just add them at the end. Some people use frozen vegetables for this. If you do use frozen no need to thaw just add to pan. Plan for 2 cups vegetables if cooked and 4 cups if raw

      In a nonstick pan put 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Heat on high heat.eggs. Fry eggs and break up into smallish pieces. When cooked remove from pan.

      Add 1 tablespoon and a half of vegetable oil. When oil is hot add Flash fry for a few seconds 1 clove fresh minced garlic (if you have it) and 1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger (if you have it) and 1/2 diced onion. When onion is a little soft (in about 5 minutes) add any uncooked vegetables into the pan. When those vegetables are crisp tender add the rice to the pan. Stir fry the rice til it is hot.

      If you are using cooked or frozen veg add it now. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and shake on some black pepper. Stir it up again. When rice look a bit dryer then add the egg back in. Ready to serve.

      This is super cheap and has many variations. Sometimes I add BBQ sauce instead of soy sauce, sometimes I add ketchup and a few teaspoons of grape jelly (blend it together in a bowl before adding), sometimes I add a shot of orange juice to give an orangy flavor. Can use any cooked meat, bologna, ham, leftover meatloaf, sausage too. Can use almost any vegetable that does not have a lot of water (zucchini is a disaster! and if you use tomatoes take out the seeds and juicy bits first)

      Sometimes I add some curry powder to it or chicken bullion powder (don;t add soy sauce or any salt if using chicken powder as it is already salty).

      From start to finish it takes me about 15 minutes to make this. It is a great way to hide leftovers ha ha ha

      When I am dieting I use more egg whites and fewer yolks and also smaller amount of oil and cooking spray. Also when I am dieting I reduce the amount of rice and increase the amount of vegetables to maybe 6 cups raw or 3 cups if already cooked or frozen veg.

      Happy cooking.

      Then

  3. says

    The link to the overnight bread goes to the Family bread. It doesnt say anything in the recipe about letting it set overnight. How does that work?

    • The Hillbilly Housewife says

      Thank you for letting me know, Vicki. The link was indeed wrong. I went in and found the recipe that was supposed to link there. It was quite a mission as the recipe had a different name. “Old Fashioned Overnight Bread” was a more descriptive name for what is the “Kingdom of Heaven Bread.” Now the link goes to the right recipe. Thank you again for the heads-up. I sure appreciate it!

  4. says

    oh I’m so excited to try your menu. I’ve gotten so bored with my current menu. It’s wonderful that the price is so affordable. I’m combining your $45 dollar menu with your $70 one to do an every other week for the month. Thanks for your hard work and time to allow us to use it.

  5. Rachel says

    I recently used the hamburger pinwheels recipe but added my own twist to use what I had on hand. Instead of ground beef, I used bulk breakfast sausage. I added some shredded garlic-herb cheese. These were *wonderful* served with marinara for dinner! Then the next morning they were a great grab-and-go breakfast – kind of like a breakfast sandwich. I was thinking they’d also be great served on a plate with a white/country gravy.

    Hope this helps someone who might have slightly different ingredients on hand but would still like to use the recipe!

  6. j says

    i love your $45 and $70 (old prices) menus. i was wondering if you were up to making a couple of $100 (current price) menus? i think it would really help to have a few different weekly menus handy, so that when things are really lean you can turn to the emergency menu, but when finances allow, you can turn to a more “normal” menu that’s still frugal for those in need.

    i was directed to your site years ago and still come back for ideas. i’m in canada so things are much more expensive here, but you can still use the ideas and principles to save you money especially if you are able to find good sales.

    • Kate says

      Oh, yes, that would be lovely. I truly appreciate your menus and hard work. A current version if you were up to it — or even just two different weeks to alternate — would be amazing!

      Thanks again so much.

  7. Momof6boys says

    I live in alaska and I would love to purchase this complete menu and post the prices. $.69 for a doz eggs!!!! I pay $5 a dz!

  8. Lori S says

    It would be lovely if all the recipies for the $45 and $70 menu were printed in a booklet or even an e book so as to aid in not having to search for them….I sooo love these ideas they are so helpful thank you….

  9. Heather says

    WHERE are the fresh fruits and veggies???? No way my kids would go for this type of menu. They love their salads with greens, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli. Lots of fresh fruit as well – bananas, berries, oranges, pineapple, watermelon, apples. I guess this is why my grocery bill will never be this low…..probably not even the produce section of my grocery receipt!!

    • The Hillbilly Housewife says

      I understand your concern, Heather. You do want to serve a balanced diet, complete with lots of fruits and veggies. This menu is meant to give families on a very limited budget some ideas to get by from paycheck to paycheck without empty bellies. If a family finds itself in the situation that requires them to stretch each dollar as far as possible, these menus will get you by.

      If a family must follow a low cost menu to be able to feed the family, it makes sense to add fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible. Finding fresh produce at a reasonable price is a task, to be sure, but not entirely impossible. If you have a friendly farm or market, one solution is buying bruised or ‘not perfect’ produce. Also, the ‘humble’ fruits and veggies are healthy, too. Celery, onion, carrots, potatoes, collards… all good and often cheaper than peas, tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, etc. Also, a bag of baking apples are just as nutritious as Granny Smiths, and much less expensive.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Heather.

  10. Monique says

    Thank you for this. For the firs two weeks in Jan I’m going to have to feed my whole family on under $20/day This menu is a godsend, even though I *know* some members of my family will choose to not eat the offerings (that’s their problem not mine..their bellies will be empty, not mine)

    I like this one better than the $45 one because you include the links to your recipes at the bottom of the page makes it easier to look and cook.

    I am going to substitute the white flour for whole wheat and the white rice for brown though. Just for the extra fiber.

  11. gretchen says

    I have shared these menues with friends over the years-the $40 and this one. recently I have learned that if you live in a large city with any asian or hispanic markets you have a great resource for inexpensive foods. I recently purchased a 6lb bag of turbinado sugar for 10.00 and the fruits and vegetables are quite a bit less expensive. spices are really cheap-even though sometimes you have to really look at the package to know for sure what it is :)

  12. deborah says

    My ddl turned me on to this menu a long time ago. It was a life saver. We had visiting missionaries in our home (mom dad and 5 kids). We stacked ‘em up like cord wood but I was at a loss as to what to cook! We were flat broke. I used the $70 menu for the first time the week this family was with us. I received SO many compliments on the food and especially the bread. I had to increase the amounts because with our family the total amount of folks at the table each meal/snack was 10-12. Thanks for all the help! God bless you!

  13. Anthony Souls says

    13.68- Instant Dry Milk, 64oz
    3.50- Butter
    4.00 Eggs
    2.50 Cheese
    10.00 Ground beef
    3.00 Salmon
    1.40 Tuna
    1.40 Navy Beans
    4.00 Bacon
    1.00 Cheap Hotdogs
    2.00 Turkey Sausage
    .80 Kidney Beans
    1.00 Frozen peas
    2.00 Frozen Broccoli
    1.50 Instant Potatoes
    1.60 Green Beans
    1.50 Cabbage
    1.80 Tomato Sauce
    3.00 Apple Sauce
    3.00 Frozen Orange Juice
    2.00 Onions
    2.00 carrots
    1.50 Celery
    2.00 peaches
    2.00 pineapples
    4.00 Rice
    4.00 Flour
    2.00 Corn Meal
    2.50 Mac and Cheese
    1.50 Ramen
    1.00 Baking Powder
    3.00 Yeast
    3.00 Molasses
    4.00 Sugar
    1.50 Pancake Syrup
    1.50 Ranch
    1.50 Jelly
    1.00 Mustard
    1.00 Ketchup
    1.50 Mayo
    1.00 Worcestershire
    1.00 Hot pepper sauce
    .50 Salt
    .50 Black Pepper
    .50 Chili Powder
    .50 Garlic Powder
    .50 Cinnamon
    2.00 Tea

    111.68- 70= 41.68 – 26 (reusables: salt, pepper, butter, etc..) = 15.68 over budget – 5 (food estimates from personal experience) = 10.68 over budget.

    Yea, unless you have all of these items already, you would have to initially pay close to 100 dollars instead of 70 by my estimates (perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think so: that’s even taking away 10 dollars for flaws in pricing). I don’t see how this would work in a real world if you are shopping at a major chain such as Walmart or some other cheap retail. Is coupons being used or prices being calculated only on used portions? How can 5lbs of ground beef cost 2.00 in any reality? It costs about 2.00 a pound at it’s cheapest and highest fat content. A lot of these foods are so unhealthy as well looking from the ingredient: cheapest sausage, cheapest hamburger, cheapest eggs, cheapest butter, etc…. What you save would probably end up costing you later in health. I don’t know… Doesn’t seem realistic to me. Perhaps you can clarify so it makes sense.

    I know that these are 2009 prices but still… I don’t think that even in 2009 you could buy 5lbs of hamburger for 2.00. That’s like 40 cents a pound? LOL.

    Take care, I spake my mind :P

    • jen says

      In 2013, It’s more like a 100 dollar menu.and it has helped many families get by. It is an EMERGENCY MENU and some people miss the point. We live in a nice house and we are going from paycheck to paycheck. Some weeks are very tight. I use this menu as a base and add a few things, move things around and make it my own.

      Every family hits hard times of some kind, count your blessings first, then take up your cross and move on!

      • Liz says

        I agree with you Jen! We live paycheck to paycheck too. I was just working on an emergency menu here because it’s EXTRA tight this time around. I need some fresh ideas. I am so grateful for the idea sharing and the blessing that I can plan a menu!

  14. Jolene says

    I recently took the challenge of trying this for our family of 6 I went by the grocery list omitting seasonings and condiments and also corn meal. I bought everything at aldis. we rarely drink milk. so I bought 2 gallons at 2.49 each. my total came to 90.27 I was sort of bummed lol. but we are gonna try this menu this week and see how it goes. thanks for all you do :)

  15. Elizabeth says

    I live in south Texas and since there is basically only one chain of stores beside Walmart, the food prices are high. I noticed prices for some items and we pay so much more down here. For example, chicken costs approximately 3.99 a pound, eggs are at cheapest $1.89 a dozen, milk is 3.99, ground beef sells for at cheapest 4.69 a pound, round steak is about 5.49 a pound, beef fajitas are 7.99 a pound, cheese is about 5.00 a pound. Get the picture? If I make my family meatless dishes, maybe we can swing by, but we cannot afford to eat meat everyday and this really sucks. Rice, beans, frozen veggies, bananas, bread, oatmeal, frozen orange juice, are regulars, but this can get boring. I know people here who have moved to towns that are on the outskirts where they are able to plant gardens, have chickens for eggs, etc. I am seriously thinking of doing the same. Also, we were talking to relatives about going halves on a cow. Down here you can purchase a cow from ranches where they package the meat and then you can freeze it long term. Sounds like a plan.

    • says

      If you enjoy beef, sharing a cow with family members is a great idea. I remember my parents doing this a few times when I was growing up. We had a freezer full of meat and were eating well year around.

      Food as definitely gotten more expensive around here as well. It’s getting harder and harder to stay on budget as prices go up.

        • Heidi says

          This basically IS a $100 menu in 2013. I am not complaining that it states the old price–I am THRILLED to have this. We don’t just fall back on it, we USE it all the time, and we even usually tweak it and skip stuff and only have one thing at a meal (instead of sides) because we are very, very low income, with 7 children here. Two are adults, but I just don’t see them leaving anytime soon. Some of us are gluten-free, too, so we just adjust what we have to.

          I’d stop complaining and listing the current prices–the “Hillbilly Housewife” was doing us all a favor in 2009 to update the list. It is probably still the cheapest way to eat–so just keep the current list and use it. She needn’t update it because she cannot change the prices, and why should she change the menu to only carbs EVERY meal to save money?

          Thank you, Hillbilly Housewife! You are awesome.

  16. Ozark Mama says

    We are having a tight month because we had to fill up our propane tank and our house insurance was due. I decided to try this menu and the 45 dollar menu again but we are using real milk instead of powder and butter instead of margarine. I already some of the stuff like cinnamon and mustard and salt and pepper and other stuff. We went to Aldi’s and bought the stuff we needed for both menu’s and only spent $128.00. Hooray for Aldi’s!!

  17. Russell says

    Where do you get your groceries because everything you have listed there comes no where close to the prices you advertise. I live in Mass, are we just 3-5x more expensive then where you shop?

  18. Ila says

    I love this menu, and the $45 one, but I am in such a tight pinch that I can’t afford hardly any of this. I know that the prices are out dated, but I am begging churches to help me feed my family. I would like to see a menu plan based on the food boxes that places give out. I don’t know what to do with so much canned food.
    Anyway, the whole purpose of my post was to inquire about possibly updating the prices of the 2 menu plans to current prices. I would say using walmart is the best bet since most people shop there,

    Thanks for all your hard work, I know that I use some of these recipes often.

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