Planning a Grocery List?

I'm a single guardian with a little brother to take care of and I am also going to college. It is ust the two of us. We have a decent budget of 150-200 bucks to spend a month for food. Lately, I've been lazy and we have just been eating microwavables, mac and cheese, speghetti, rice w/ (eggs, spam, bacon, etc), and sandwiches....


I've decided it's time for change, so my question is, what does your average grocery list look like and what meals do you use those ingredients to make? I know it's a lot to ask, but i'm clueless on cooking.

So what I'm looking for is some common groceries to buy and common meals to make.


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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

this depends upon what you already have at home to work with also.
And what types of meals you like and such.
I have a family of 6 with 2 teens, and 2 under 2 years old!

For our basic week we have:

speghetti and a salad
chicken and rice and a veggie
Sausage and Mac n cheese and mixed veggies
Beef n Broccoli stir fry type thing
Chicken with pasta and a veggie.

Weekends are so hectic, we don't really have sit down meals. But I keep quick things around like hotdogs and microwavable meals and sandwich makins.


So, I guess you need to start with a menu, before you create a grocery list.. and make it things that you both like and will eat and that are easily made.

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By (Guest Post)
September 2, 20050 found this helpful
grocerylist and menu
1 week free trial ... works great, very inexpensive preperation for great

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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

He'll eat whatever I COOK HIM! LoL

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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

I always make sure I have fresh vegetables as well as a few frozen choices so I can serve 2 at each supper. I also make sure there is fresh fruit available each day. Applesauce is nice and not very expensive. I buy a whole chicken and cook it up and get many meals from just the one chicken, making sure I freeze what I will not be eating within a couple of days.


Turkey can be treated the same way and makes many varied meals. It is currently recommended that people eat many different fruits and veggies each day, about 1/2 cup each. I wish you the very best and I hope this helps, along with other ideas and suggestions.

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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

make a list of what your little bro likes to eat in the protein, veg and carb areas.
Select one from each list and make it for dinner.
You could also ask him to help you decide what would be a good lunch, breakfast, dinner and write them down for sample menus. Just remember that a green and yellow veg should be served with dinner and that processed food is usually loaded with sodium and preservatives.

You could plan to get 2 meals out of one cooking session by serving the protein on Mon. and Wed. and just having different veggies.
Or turn Mon. meatloaf into an addition for Wed. chili. Turn Tues. baked chicken into Th. chicken salad. Little shortcuts like that make meal planning easier. One you have a two week menu worked out, you have done the hard part.


You could divide each day of the week into a protein.
For example:
Mon. beef, Tues. poultry, Wed. vegetarian, Th. soup, Fri. fish, etc.
I'm proud of you!!

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By Joan in CT (Guest Post)
September 2, 20050 found this helpful

I first check my grocery ads and see what's on sale and adjust my list accordingly. I keep a piece of paper on the fridge and each time i use up a staple i put it on the list so i don't forget. Here are a few simple and inexpensive tasty meals.

Hamburger with Beef Gravy

In a skillet cook 1 lb ground beef - cheap's ok.
Add onions if you desire. When cooked add 1 can beef gravy with enough water to just make it the consistency you desire. Add 1 can/frozen pkg cut green beans. Heat until hot.

Place over cooked, fork mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice already cooked.

Hamburger with Tomato Soup

Cook 1 lb hamburger same as above. Add 1 or 2 cans tomato soup as you please. Add 1 can/frozen pkg whole corn kernels. Heat till hot. Serve over potatoes or slices of bread even. Some mix elbows in it for a spaghetti like meal.



Cook 1-1/2 hamburg in skillet. Onions if desired. Add 1 lg. Can crushed tomatoes, 1/2 uncooked rice, chili powder to taste. Simmer until rice is cooked. If its too thin add some tomato paste. Too thick add a little water. When suits you put in 1 lg can kidney or white cannilenni beans with juice. Heat till hot again. Eat like this or cook elbow macaroni and serve it over that. Serve with salad or another veggie or piece of fruit.

Boiled Chicken

Cook one frying chicken in a pot into which you can just fit it in. Add enough water to just cover it along with 2 cubes of wyler's chicken bullion cubes (only wyler's brand)

Bring to boil, simmer till chicken is really tender and soft. Make sandwiches for more than one meal. Cook potatoes over which the juice is placed (yummy) and chicken on side. And veggie or salad.


Homemade Hash

Boil potatoes (about 2 lbs). Crush in skillet with potato masher. Add 1 or 2 cans of corned beef (not the already cooked canned corn beef) make sure you pull apart somehow the corned beef as it must be distributed amongst the potatoes pretty evenly. Add a little milk. Cook on med heat till pretty well browned. Not enough milk add little m ore. Too much milk - pour off and cook some more to dry it out some. Don't forget to add salt and pepper while its cooking. Serve with fried eggs and toast. Yummy. Ps i should have said the corned beef is in cans usually near the canned meats and its usually in a rectangular can that has rounded edges. Clerk will show it to you.

Macaroni and Cheese

Cook 1 lb elbow macaroni as directed on box. Pour off water when macs are almost done and rinse in hot water. Layer 1/3 macs in bottom of bowl. Sprinkle evenly on top one 8 oz pkg of shredded cheese. Add 1/2 of remainder of macs. Again add evenly one 8 oz pkg of shredded cheese. Add rest of macs.

Pour milk in until it comes to about one inch from the top. Sprinkle bread crumbs lightly on top of cheese to form a nice brown crust. Cover with foil and cook in preheated oven of 350 till it starts to bubble and cheese and milk have melded together. We love extra sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheeses mixed together and then spread. We like lots of cheeses. Experiment. Can add 1 one pound can of formed ham that's been cubed into the macs and spread evenly before starting to place in bowl. So much better. Serve with salad.

Macaroni Salad - Basic Recipe

Cook and drain 1 lb macaroni. Rinse with cold water to cool. Add 1 can/frozen. Pkg peas and carrots after draining the juice. Add mayonnaise to taste. Additions: add can of tuna fish or sliced hard boiled eggs for protein, or other veggies as desired. Chopped celery is good. Easy to do and tasty

Potato Salad

Cook about 2-1/2 lbs potatoes and at same time cook about 5-6 eggs till hard boiled.

Dice real small one onion (optional) dice 3 celery stalks. Easiest if potatoes are cubed about one"by one"before starting in cold water. When potatoes and eggs done peel eggs while real hot (use rubber gloves) crush with fork like for egg salad or with pastry blender (easier) - add to potatoes while both are really hot and mix a little bit. Add mayo while hot and mix well. Add onion and celery and mix a little bit. Be sure to be adding salt and pepper while mixing to your taste. If you have extra hard boiled eggs, peel and slice on top of potatoes. Best if let to cool over night in fridge to allow all flavor to permeate. Some people don't mind potato skins and don't peel. Up to you. If you do not cube potatoes before hand, you must cut them up while real hot. I don't advise this.

Beef with Onion Soup Mix and Tomato

In oven proof cooking dish, metal or glass, rectangular or square and not too big, place one envelope of onion soup mix. Add I can tomato soup on top. Place sliced pieces of beef (about bite size or little larger) on top. Cook in 350 degree oven till all tender. Serve over bread, potatoes, rice or noodles. Serve a veggie or salad.

I hope this helps you. Took me a real long time to type this and I know you will appreciate it. Right?

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By christi (Guest Post)
September 2, 20050 found this helpful

you should join many_mouths_to_feed group on yahoo groups. we have been discussing this and their have been some wonderful tips and recipes. I am going to put a couple of recipes on here for you to try. I am on a budget of 260 a month for two adults and a teenager.

taco mac n cheese

pound and half hamburger browned and drained
2 3/4 water
you may want to cut these recipes in half for just the two of you though in my house we love leftovers.
one and half to two pack taco seasoning
4 ounce velvetta cheese cut into cubes
2 cups elbow macaroni

mix browned and drained hamburger, water, taco seasoning in skillet bring to a boil, pour in macaroni and turn to medium low. cook till macaroni soft, about 10 minutes. then put in cheese stirring occasionally till melted.

Bacon Baked Chicken

4 slices bacon
4 chicken breasts, deboned
1 pint sour cream
2 10 3/4oz cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap uncooked bacon slices around deboned chicken breasts and place the
breasts in a baking dish.

Mix sour cream and soup and spoon the mixture over chicken. Cover dish
with foil and bake for 1 hour.

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By Cate (Guest Post)
September 3, 20050 found this helpful

I just joined and three weeks later my house is respectable and I am planning my menus and having much more luck with my shopping, buying enough for a week at a time. My menu for the next week is:

Spaghetti Bolognese

Chicken & bacon pasta & Veg

Steak stir fry

Bubble & Squeak topped Cottage pie

Salmon, rice & veg

Sausage beans & mash

Roast pork

Hope this gives you some ideas, I've found loads of great recipes on the web recently e.g. Trout with Tomato Sauce, Tomato and vegetable Stew, stuffed marrow. has some great recipes too.

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By evelun bricker pittsburgh,pa (Guest Post)
September 3, 20050 found this helpful

hi, i found this site that might help:
good luck to you!

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By Fran Marie (Guest Post)
September 4, 20050 found this helpful

My niece hit hard times recently and she was brought food by a local church member.

This member bought a ton of food from a Angel Food Ministries site for $25. There are many distribution sites in the US. One is right up the road from me.

They also have specials in addition to the monthly menu. This month is either 8-8oz Rib Eye steaks or 18-4oz chicken cordon bleu for $18 . You must buy the $25 lot, though.

This should be enough food to get you through a month with the addition of ramen noodles and pbj sandwiches.

Be blessed!

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By Minh (Guest Post)
September 4, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you very much!! You all been very helpful! It really means a lot to me.


i've decided to go with hamburger helpers, mac n cheese (variations), homemade hash, chicken variations with rice, cereal, curry, sandwiches, spaghetti, lasagna, and chicken wings.. which will now be the standard in this house... any objections... then they can cook/starve.

Thank you all very much!

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By Becki (Guest Post)
September 5, 20050 found this helpful

Try . The author is a nutritinist and my family loves the book. You can also order a menu program from her that is excelent and low cost. The food tastes great and she includes shopping lists with the menus. You can also get a free sample from the website to test drive it before you would buy it. I recommend it to all my friends and family.

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By Louise (Guest Post)
September 6, 20050 found this helpful

I had a family of 5 until my 3 kids grew up and married, we use to eat a home cooked meal 3 times a day because I was a stay at home mom, [one or two would walk home for lunch every day] so I came up with this recipe for FAST.

Take Campbell's vegetarian soup, and a can of water for each can of soup, put it on to boil for a few minutes and throw some uncooked Hamburger meat in it, cook til the Hamburger is done. add salt and pepper to taste and you have a delicious meal in minutes. I always form my hamburger into patties when I get it and place Freezer paper, wax side up against the meat, between the patties, this way they will pull apart easy. the meat can be put in the soup while it's still frozen but you have to break it up into small chunks [however you like it].

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