Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cooking on a budget

Lately, our grocery bill has seemed to skyrocket. It is not uncommon for me to spend 180 dollars a week for food. I still remember a few short years ago when 100 dollars was plenty. There are several factors, including the price of food and growing tummies in my growing boys! So I'm been trying to take a look at my menus and trim some money where I can. I did find a list of frugal recipes online. Most of them have been good. Let me preface this with a couple things: 1) My kids eat like kids. They are not big into rice, beans, and all the yummy things I love that are inexpensive. 2) On the same note, I don't want to serve chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for every meal. So planning is just a little tougher with these things in mind. But I found a recipe that EVERYONE seems to love, including the kids.

I LOVE Chinese food. (So do my kids!) I would eat it almost everyday if I could. I found a recipe on the above mentioned website, and tweaked it. Here is the result. Close to Chinese, but alot cheaper.

It's actually pretty easy.

Ramen noodles, the oriental flavor - (I buy 5 packages...but 2 of my kids only eat the ramen... if I were feeding Steve and I, I would probably be able to get by with 1 package)

Some type of protein. I happen to love tofu that is 'browned' in a skillet (fried in oil)

Veges- I used 1 package of frozen broccoli and 1 package of fresh baby bella mushrooms that I quartered



I cooked the ramen noodles and drained them. While the noodles were cooking, I browned my tofu (you could cook chicken or beef chunks if you so choose for your protien) When my tofu was done, then I added my veges and stir-fried them. In a separate bowl, I wisked together 1/2 c. of water and 1 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch for each packet of ramen (So in my case it was 2 1/2 c. of water and 7 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch) and wisk that together with your seasoning packets from the ramen noodles. Add this mixture to your tofu/vege stirfry. Stir until thick and bubbly. Serve over ramen noodles. I REALLY like this recipe. It's a sort-of close knock off to chinese and you pick your veges and such. And, it's not expensive. And it gets a thumbs up from all my kids. Win-win situation!


Shelly said...

Jill -- I have to try your recipe -- it looks good and sounds fairly simple, too! Thanks for sharing!

Carla said...

LOVE your post! Thanks for the link. Groceries are expensive! Hubby & I were just talking about ways to save $$ on them.

Kristen said...

I love how your mind works...very adaptive and inventive in every situation. What a fabulous meal you put together!

Sherri said...

Awesome! And I love that it is ingredients that most people should just have on hand!!

Tyler said...

Great idea!! I will definately have to try.

Diane, Tyler's mom

Keesler Chaos said...

Hey, I added the pics from the pool to our blog if you want to gab them!

Keesler Chaos said...

I mean GRAB them!

Lisa said...

Oh that looks so good! I am on a total chinese food kick lately!

By the way....we had ramen noodles with carrots and celery tonight. Cheap and easy. And the girls ate it...which is a plus.