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Cost-effective meals: One day living below the poverty line

Save some coin with these cost-effective meals, equalling to about $7 in total.

By Eshun Mott

Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Start at a bulk food store and end at a discount grocery provider, and careful shopping should lead you to enough food for these three healthy and frugal meals for your family for $7.

Creamy Oatmeal With Dates

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Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp powdered skim milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

Directions

  • Combine water, powdered milk, dates, cinnamon and salt in a medium pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Add oats, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15 min or until oats are cooked and liquid has been absorbed.

Makes 4 Adult Servings

Simple Split Pea Soup

Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried split green peas
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Put peas in a bowl with enough water to cover and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat.  Add onion and carrots and sauté for 8 min or until softened.Add garlic and herbs and saute 1 min longer. Drain peas and add to pot along with water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover pot, turn heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour 10 min or until peas have completely broken down. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 Adult Servings

Lentils & Cracked Wheat

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Think of this as a sort of savoury protein-laden risotto, and serve with a side of whatever vegetable you can buy with your remaining change.

Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 tbsp powdered low-sodium (MSG-free) chicken bullion
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup cracked wheat

Directions

  • Heat oil in a pot on medium heat.  Add onions and sauté for 10 min, stirring, until onions are lightly golden.
  • Add water, bullion, lentils and wheat and bring pot to a boil. Cover pot, turn heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 min or until lentils and wheat are tender and water has been absorbed (you can add a little more water to loosen if needed to reach desired consistency).

Makes 4 Adult Servings

This article was originally published on Apr 17, 2014

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