A lot of people ask me, "How can you live off $7 of groceries a week" or "How do you actually make an entire meal out of all that?" Well, it is actually quite simple. Since I have been couponing for almost 3 months now, I have a great stockpile built up of soups, rice, pasta, canned vegetables, condiments, frozen meats, chicken stock, etc. I buy lots of meats on sale or manager's special, and when there is a great deal I stock up on meats and freeze them until I need them that day. I also have a lot of coupons for frozen vegetables so I get them anywhere from free to 30 cents a bag usually.
We typically eat healthy or organic when possible, so grilled chicken, side of pasta and vegetables may be our meal for the night. The chicken may have cost 50 cents (discounted down, used coupon on) and the vegetables and pasta were free. So for 50 cents, we have dinner and lunch the next day- cheap and healthy. We do buy lettuce, spinach, lemons, tomatoes, etc. in bulk at Sam's Club in the winter and in the summer at the Farmer's Market, but they usually last us awhile. We also have a small garden in the summer so that supplies us with fresh vegetables as well. Once you get a stockpile built up, you will begin to see how easy it is to prepare meals with what you have. I thought it seemed impossible at first when I was told about it as well.
Below are two stockpile meals I have made this week:
Chili- I used canned Hunt's tomatoes (free), canned Rotel (free), canned beans (50 cents) and turkey (less than $2 for 1.5 lbs) that had been frozen to make this. All I had to do was dig in my freezer and stockpile shelves to find my ingredients. The only things not in the stockpile were the spices, and in the summer, all of them except the chili powder will come from my garden. Voila! Easy, yummy dinner. This fed us for a few meals and I could freeze excess.
Hot Dogs w/Pasta Salad: I grilled up hot dogs (Ballpark, 100% beef) that had been frozen from a BOGO (buy one get one) sale that I had a coupon for. I paired this with pasta salad (5g fiber, whole wheat)- the pasta was free (Kroger Mega Sale+ doubled 50 cent off coupon) and the Italian salad dressing (Publix Penny Item) was free. All I had to add was some basil and dill, both of which in the summer will be free from my garden in a month!
Once you build up your stockpile you will be amazed at how you can easily feed your family healthy, inexpensive meals.