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If You Were Broke For The Week, What Would You Buy?

I had to cut back to part-time hours at work because I am getting my master's degree, and we are having one of those weeks where we don't have much until payday--$50 for food to be exact. I already spent it, but I bought what many would consider luxury items. I was thinking about it and though that surely I am not the only one who would spend their last penny on things like good bread for toast, imported butter, coffee, real cream, and wine.

It made me curious about how others would do it, if you only had $50 to spend, but had some food in the pantry, what are your "must haves" to get you by until pay day?

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  1. big question is if I was paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. If I only had $50 bucks for groceries to last a week and had a well stocked pantry/freezer I wouldn't even sweat it. I would buy what I wanted/needed. $50 bucks is more than enough for a week for the two of us.

    Now if that $50 bucks had to last 2+ weeks I would probably spend the bulk of money on good, fresh produce since my pantry could keep the meals well rounded. I budget accordingly and when I have money I take advantage of stock up sales, my vacu-sealer and freezer to help save money by buying in bulk. In addition I also always have things like pasta, rice, beans, grains , flour, sugar, crackers, snacks, etc in the pantry. Honestly I could live off my pantry/freezer for a good month or more. I could always take the time and make my own good bread, rolls, dough, etc with what I have on hand.

    But good fresh produce I shop for every couple of days so I would take a good portion of that $50 to get my fruits and veggies. Local heirloom tomatoes if its summer, local apples, acorn and butternut squash in the fall, small fingerling potatoes from the famers market. Oh and fresh local eggs from the family down the street.

    1. Eggs, pasta, a couple good cheeses, Greek yogurt, asparagus and my dirty secret addiction: Diet Coke.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Kat

          Eggs for sure. One of the cheapest sources of protein, they taste good and are versitile

          1. re: Kat

            Definitely Diet Coke. I cannot survive without it.

          2. You are SO not alone. I'd prioritize good coffee, good cream, good eggs, nice fresh greens of some kind and cheese. I'd rather live with fewer ingredients and eat clean.

            1. If the freezer/pantry is pretty bare, I'd buy a couple boxes of pasta and a few jars of sauce, some kind of protein, whatever's cheapest... chicken breasts, ground beef, ground turkey, whatever. I'd also get some frozen veggies, since they're generally cheaper than fresh, although I'd do fresh if I could swing it. I'd also buy some english muffins and peanut butter, for breakfasts, and some bread and lunchmeat for lunches if I don't have leftovers to eat. If I ate eggs I'd buy those. Oh, and diet coke here too :)

              But I'd be pretty set since I have a very well stocked freezer and pantry. So, I'd use the $50 to buy the fresh veggies/fruits and other fun stuff like cheeses and wine.

              1. I would have to assume that my wife is away for the week, otherwise the scenario just doesn't work. We have credit cards and she is not afraid to use them rather than eat cheap (and unhealthy).

                Assuming I have some bare essentials (milk or canned milk, butter, spices, etc.,A large bag of macaroni, two large cans of diced tomatoes, about a pound and a half or so of ground beef, cook the ground beef, cook the mac, drain both, mix in about a cup and a half of milk or can of evaporated milk and a stick of butter, the cans of tomatoes, and ground beef. season with salt and pepper and heat through. Childhood comfort food and money stretcher.
                Five pounds of potatoes and two big yellow onions for potato soup, another childhood favorite.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PotatoHouse

                  Yum. I love those childhood favorites. That macaroni dish sounds so good.