This is a lean week for you since you will not get paid for another few days. You're low on pantry items and you spent most of your check on bills while the rest went towards savings. You have a few twenty dollar bills but you don't want to spend all of the cash you set aside. But the family needs to eat and you wonder how you can feed them on a tight budget. Here are some meals you can prepare that cost less than $20.
Spaghetti with tomato sauce and vegetables
Spaghetti is economical and you can buy tomato sauce and canned vegetables on sale. After you boil a pound of spaghetti, drain it and add to a medium bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over the spaghetti then add your favorite spices and herbs. Add three cans of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato paste and three cans of other vegetables such as peas, carrots and green beans.
Scrambled eggs with tuna
Eggs and canned tuna are economical and you can serve this meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In a medium bowl combine five to six eggs, a half cup of heavy cream, a dash each of salt and black pepper, and a few green onions. Pour into a heated skillet and cook until eggs are done. Right before you turn the heat off, add two cans of tuna then serve.
For under $20 you can buy one or two whole chickens if they are on sale for the week, and you can use the staples you already have in your pantry as side dishes. To make the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium baking pan place two whole chickens and rub olive oil over the chicken. Then rub cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt and cumin on the chickens. Cut two red onions and place them around the chickens. Add a half cup of diced carrots and a cup of chicken broth. Cover the chickens with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Two packages of semisweet chocolate chunks generally cost between three and four dollars, and eggs do not cost too much money. In addition, you might already have flour and butter in your pantry. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and while the oven heats, combine the melted chocolate, a half stick of butter, two teaspoons of vanilla, a cup of sugar, two eggs and a cup of flour. Mix well and place the batter in a greased square pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Spinach and macaroni salad
Frozen spinach is cheaper than fresh spinach so you can save money using this kind of spinach for the recipe. You can defrost the spinach in the microwave before putting it in the bowl to make the salad. In addition to the spinach, add three cups of cooked elbow macaroni, one-third cup of Parmesan cheese, a few teaspoons of salad dressing and some green onions. Mix well and serve.
These meal ideas will not hurt your budget and when you combine sale items you buy with the foods you already have at home, you will create delicious meals.