Menu for week of 7/25 - 7/31 Desperate times $30 to feed family of 4 for 1 week.

I was perusing some message boards that I am a member of and the question posed was:

You have $30   What kind of nutritious foods that satisfy your hunger would you buy?  You have the staples: flour, sugar, oils, spices etc.

Here is my response and the breakdown.  All prices are what I can buy here currently (not using coupons etc) in south central Arkansas.

These are our everyday low at several different stores- a dollar store, a box store, 2 regular grocery stores & an off price store. I realize not everyone can get these prices, I've lived in many places over the years and here in south central AR I think this would be the best use of our $.

It is not the healthiest menu, but has some variety and is not living on just ramen and mac&cheese either.

I would bake snacks, breads, biscuits and muffins with the supplies to supplement meals and fill hungry tummies. If I had a few more dollars I would buy fruit & veggies, whatever was in season.

I am also assuming I have the condiments and spices I need, only buying the specific ones needed for recipes (salsa and Italian dressing).

Without more info, I based this on serving 4 people 3 meals a day

$1 rice This gets us 3 12 serving bags
$2 1 bag ea black beans, pinto beans, split peas* (65c each)
$3 pre-cooked rotissarie chicken (Kroger has the cold ones in the deli section knocked down to $3, if you buy it hot it is $6.99)
$1 corn or flour tortillas
$2 2 dozen eggs
$3 4 bags frozen veggies (68c each) 1 chopped onion, 1 mire poix mix, 1 cali blend, 1 tri pepper & onion blend
$1 2 cans veg- green beans & corn (50c each)
$2.50 12 oz bacon
$2 chunk cheddar cheese
75c hot dogs (68c Bar S brand)
75c 1 can evaporated milk
$1 1 lb ground turkey
$1 3 pks corn muffin mix
$1 salsa
$1 2 cans pork & beans
$1 pasta
$1 Italian dressing
$1 oatmeal
$1 applesauce
50c 1 can mandarin oranges
50c 1 can tomato sauce
$1 margarine
$1 popcorn

(3 meals) Oatmeal made with evaporated milk & applesauce
(1 meal) Poached eggs and toast, mandarin oranges
(3 meals) Pancakes or waffles

Lunches & dinners:
(1 meal) Beanie weenies- 1/2 pk hot dogs, 2 cans pork & beans, 1/3 bag frozen onions

(1 meal) Rice & pinto beans- cook all beans- seasoned with 4 slices bacon, 1/3 bag frozen onions- save 1/2 for refried beans

(1 meal) Refried beans served with 1/2 pk tortillas, salsa, cheese & rice mixed with salsa

(1 meal) Chicken fajitas made with chicken breast, pepper & onion blend, 1/2 tortillas

(1 meal) Tex mex casserole- ground turkey, salsa, corn, 1 box corn muffin mix, cheese, tomato sauce

(2 meals) Split pea soup*- split peas, 1/2 bag mire poix mix, 4 slices bacon

(1 meal) Mini corn dog muffins- 1 box corn muffin mix, 1/2 pk hot dogs, cheese, little honey if you have it

(1 meal) Pasta salad- pasta, cali blend veggies, Italian dressing- serve with corn muffins

(2 meals) Chicken & rice, make broth with bones & dark meat and 1/2 bag mire poix mix, cook rice in it.

(1 meal) Omelet with cheese & salsa

(2 meals) Black beans & rice, salsa


Baked goods, popcorn

*Lentils can be substituted for split peas if you don't care for them.

Can you do better?  What can you buy cheaply in your area - and what kind of meals would you make in this situation?
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