You know, I read all this stuff all the time about how to cook cheap, and what to cook to keep on a budget... Well, maybe my family is just plain jane and likes the old fashioned stuff, so I find it easier than most I guess.. don't really know, but for me, 5-10 bucks for one meal for the family is alot of money..Heres the way I do it, may not be the healthiest, which might be why it costs others to stress over the budget, but we make do.
I buy my meat in bulk at the local grocery store that is day old. We have ate it for years now, has not killed us yet, so I do not expect it to. I usually get a whole freezer load of meat for 30-50 bucks. That includes hamburger, steaks (filet minons and ribeyes and new your strips) roasts, pork chops, ground sirloin, and cubed steak. I buy 4-5 packs of chicken leg and thigh pieces, around here you can get a big package of this for 2-3 bucks, and can easily use one package for 2-3 meals. And that takes care of our meats.
Secondly, I can and freeze my vegetables. We do work in the summer, all summer long, and then I have fresh, homegrown veggies to do me all winter long. I canned 120 quarts of green beans this past summer, and we have nearly went threw them this year. (hubby loves em)
I buy flour, corn meal, cans of cream, and big ole bags of tators, and I cook from scratch. We eat pinto beans and corn bread, gravy and biscuits, roast with potatoes and carrots, we have good home cooked meals, and it doesnt cost me 5-10 bucks a meal to do that. Now thats just me, my hubby likes the homemade stuff, and me being the somewhat skilled cook, we eat well, and the food tastes good, and it does not have all the additives and fillers that the stuff out of the store has in it.
I myself will take homemade anyday over store bought. I make all our desserts, breads, beans, noodles, gravy's, all from scratch, and we seem to enjoy it more. Heck I can get 5-10 pans of biscuits out of a five pound bag of flour, a little shortening, a can of cream, and some time and effort, and that would feed us many many meals of biscuits and gravy, and it would only cost me about 4 dollars to do it. Know why? Cause I use the cheapest things I can find to bake with, and make it all from scratch... get alot more, alot better food, for alot cheaper. Me and my husband could eat well off 100 a month before I started couponing, so now that I use coupons, we literally are eating for pennies a meal!!
Just thought I would share that, if anyone is interested in learning how to get back to the basics and cook stuff from scratch, let me know.. I can help you learn. I did not always know how to do it myself, but with the desire to learn, I got very good at it, and now at family dinners, or church dinners, I hear everyone asking, hey did Wendy make that, I want some if she made it... kinda makes ya feel good!