Healthy inexpensive family meal plans w/o cooking?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle, Health, Fitness & Food' started by vejichan, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

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    Hey everyone. I need suggestions. Its been a tough 3 years but my stove doesnt work anymore and i cant afford a new one. I am supporting a wife and two kids. Struggling to make bill payments. Any ideas of healty inexpensive meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner for my family? Oh..my rice cooker still works.
    Regards
    David
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Grab a slow cooker/crock pot for $20 or $30. Just throw the ingredients in and it'll do all the work. You can make stews using the cheapest cuts of meat and vegetables. Depending on the model rice cooker you have, some have a slow cooker mode.

    Then there's always the "non cooked" or raw stuff. Most fruit, vegetables and nuts don't need to be cooked.
     
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  3. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    I agree with Max. This is the best route, even if you can't afford to spend the money on one at the moment.

    Also, do you live in NYC or upstate?
     
  4. thraxil

    thraxil cylon

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    Depending on the model, a lot of what you can do with a slow cooker can be adapted to work with a rice cooker.

    If you have an electric kettle, microwave or anything to boil water with, making porridge from oats is an incredibly cost-effective and nutritious base for breakfast (add some fruit or nuts and you're good to go).
     
  5. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    Rice, oats, black beans, and lentils are cheap and nutritious. Slow cooking stuff, especially brown rice & lentils, can make for cheap 1-pot meals.
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I lived for years eating beans and rice. A can of beans is about $1, but if you can buy dried beans by the bag, you can save some money. Rice is super cheap. You can try different varieties as you get bored: black beans/turtle beans, garbanzo beans/chick peas, black eyed peas, kidney beans, wax beans/green beans, etc. All cost about the same. Lentils, IMO, are a little more trouble to cook properly, but are also cheap and work well as a protein source to contrast rice or grains. You can also switch up rice for barley, oats, quinoa, etc., but rice is generally cheapest. Potatoes are less nutritious, generally, but can also be substituted as a cheap alternative for a little variety.

    Keep in mind that although this is a staple food, you'll still need vitamins, which are not very present in any sort of unvaried diet, so you'll need fresh fruits and other vegetables to go along with that.

    Or, if things get really tough, you can go with my diet from when I was at the university: good ol' cup-o-noodles. Not sure what those run nowadays, but, back in the 90's, a cop-o-noodles averaged around $0.29, so, even though it's not the most filling meal, the amount of full it gets your stomach per pennies spent ratio is quite high. If you have an electric tea kettle or coffee maker or even a hot enough hot water tap, you can make cop-o-noodles in about three minutes. Kids also seem to universally love cup-o-noodles. But, I would highly recommend only using those once a week or maybe twice.

    My bachelor days consisted of a lot of microwave cooking. I profess that you can cook just about anything in the microwave (you can't bake bread in it, though). Just because there are no directions for microwave, doesn't means, by any measure, that you can't cook it in the microwave. My first microwave was bought at a yard sale for $5, and it still works. If you play with the time and power settings, you can heat up anything that involves water, no problem.
     
  7. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    pasta is a great option too. you can cake make a ton of great pasta dishes with a pack of pasta very few ,cheap ingredient. but you'd need a hotplate or something
     
  8. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

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    Crockpot. You'll get addicted to using it.
     
  9. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Great advice so far. Your stove might be shot, but is it possible to pick up a hotplate on the cheap?

    Not sure what the prices are like in your area, but since people are obsessed with white meat chicken, the dark meat, drum sticks and thighs, are ridiculously cheap per pound here. Eggs are stupid-cheap, too, and there are so many ways to use them.

    To add to the suggestion about soups & stews, learn to make a stock. Simmering those bones and veggie offcuts together, you can make a good backing to those soups & stews with stuff that would otherwise be thrown away.
     

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