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Low Budget Cooking/Costs

Can't locate my original post with low cost meals, oh well. Anyway, I will begin my cooking for a women's shelter next week. I need to submit a grocery budget, as low as possible, to cook for 23 women. Question, what shall I prepare and how much will it cost? It's for one meal per week (dinner). Thanks.

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  1. are you cooking bfast, lunch or dinner? that would help with suggestions. thanks, and thanks for helping out the shelter!

    1. Minimal meat and fresh veggies cut costs, not healthy, but cut costs.

      Suggestions:
      Spaghetti with meat sauce
      Garlic bread (using regular bread)
      Salad with sliced tomatoes

      1 package of spaghetti @ 1.00 (feeds 4 per package) x 6 packages=6.00
      10 pounds of ground beef=16.00
      1.00 Jarred pasta sauce (1 jar feed 3 people) x 8 jars=8.00
      1.00 Bread for garlic bread (1 loaf feeds 15 people) x 2 loaves=2.00
      2.00 for bag of salad (feeds 4 people) x 6 bags=12.00
      4.00 for tomatoes=4.00
      2.00 for each bottle of salad dressing (5 different bottles)=10.00

      Total estimated cost for 23 people: $58.00

      I praise you in your work for these people. Keep up the good work and post here if you need more help. I will post more ideas when time permits.

      1. WOW, this post is sure nice to find. I did finally find my original post to look at low cost menu ideas. I decided on Baked Ziti, which looks right along the same lines that BellaDonna suggested. The pricing really helps. Thank you so very much. I'm sure this will get easier as I continue to cook for these ladies.

        1. I'm just curious to find out if you are the only one cooking for all 23 women. I've been in the same boat. If you are doing it solo...the most difficult thing I realized was that I didn't have enough pots and pans to cook everything with and I had a difficult time keeping things warm to bring to the shelter.

          Another simple and low cost item would be a big pot of chili and cornbread:
          To make 3 pots of chili- -
          3 cans of diced tomatoes @ 1.25 each x 3=3.75
          3 cans of crushed tomatoes @ 1.25 each x 3=3.75
          10 pounds of ground beef=16.00
          6 cans of kidney beans @ 0.65/each=3.90
          6 cans of pork and beans @ 0.65/each=3.90
          3 large onions=3.00
          chili powder=3.00/bottle
          Fresh habernos=0.50
          Jiffy cornbread mix 0.33/box (one box feeds 4 people) x 6=1.98
          Total cost approx. $40.00

          Chicken Soup (4 pots)
          4 fryer chickens @ 4.00/each=16.00
          4 bunches of celery=5.00
          4 bunches of carrots=5.00
          5 cans of chicken broth per pot x 0.40/can x 20 cans=8.00
          10 pound bag of potatoes=5.00
          Approx. cost $39.00

          My calculations may be off as it is very late in my time zone.

          1. If you start by checking the sales and bulk items and make your menu's around that you may do better on pricing. You can usually get lower priced items for braises. Pork roasts are usually pretty cheap. Sometimes you can get chuck roasts on sale and they are fabulous for stews and pot roasted stuff.