Category Archives: Food stamp allotment

Santa Fe Bean Corn Salad

Healthy & frugal

Healthy & frugal

Make a dressing with the juice of two small or medium limes, 1/4 cup oil (I use olive oil,) 2-3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of taco dressing. [you can make your own taco seasoning with 2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, and 1/8 tsp of following: garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt] Let the dressing sit while you combine:

black beans (15 oz. can or 1.5 cups of cooked)

corn kernels (15 oz. can or 1.5 cups cooked)

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I slice in half the grape tomatoes–but I would use whatever is in season for the best flavor.)

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

After you have mixed the rest of the ingredients, pour the dressing over the salad and stir. Let it marinate for a couple hours (or days) before you serve. This can be served cold or at room temperature.

Weekly Menu/Cost for Single Adult

As requested, here is a weekly menu plan and cost for one person. This project was made easier by the fact I had eaten down the pantry just before going on a week-long trip to meet my granddaughter. Here is the food that was in the house when I returned:

The empty fridge welcomed me home.

That’s chicken breasts thawing on the top shelf.

from the pantry

from the pantry

Then I went shopping and spent $33.62. Here’s what I got:

2015-04-06 14.48.21


Monday:   B–oatmeal with Nutella, a banana. L–Turkey and lettuce sandwich on rye, apple. D–(I didn’t feel like cooking) two bags of cheddar fish and yogurt.

Tuesday:   B–oatmeal with Nutella, a banana. L–turkey, avocado and lettuce sandwich, apple. D–salad with grilled chicken on top. Snack–free candy at work.

Wednesday:   B–yogurt, banana, two eggs and toast. L–salad with grilled chicken. D–can of soup, apple. Snack–a latte.

Thursday:   B–oatmeal with Nutella, banana. L–turkey and avocado sandwich, apple. D–ate at restaurant (Mongolian Beef.)

Went back to the grocery store and spent $18.12.

ingredients for lime-chili salmon and southwest bean salad

ingredients for lime-chili salmon and southwest bean salad

Friday:   B–2 eggs, toast and apple. L–can of soup, celery & carrot sticks with bean salsa. D–Lime-chili salmon,  sweet potato mashed.

Saturday:   2 eggs and toast. L–apple, celery & carrot sticks with bean salsa. D–Southwest bean salad (made with black beans, corn, tomatoes, green pepper, lime juice, cilantro and taco seasoning.)

Sunday:   2 eggs and toast, apple. L–salad with salmon on top, a side of mushrooms sautéed in butter. D–Southwest bean salad.

I gave some limes and cilantro to a friend. Still left to eat: 2 salmon fillets, 4 eggs, a cup of tomatoes, 2 cans of soup, 1 and a half jars of Nutella, half a box of oatmeal, 2 cans of coconut milk, a jar of spaghetti sauce, a package of pre-cooked rice and three pieces of bread.

So, about $50 for one person for the week.


Saturday Menu

Sometimes the best laid plans…..

Here’s my story: Saturday is a work day for me, so I ate my usual oatmeal and Nutella at work, and had a cup of tea at home. [ .38 ]

I packed a lunch to eat in between seeing patients.

Apple  .34 Egg  .29 Prunes  .21 Tomatoes  .33 Cheese  .60 Crackers  .30

Apple .34
Egg .29
Prunes .21
Tomatoes .33
Cheese .60
Crackers .30

And I was planning on having more bean soup for supper. But, I had only gotten into the cheese and crackers part of the lunch when my brother called me. He and his wife and their two foster sons were travelling from Chicago to St. Louis and their car had broken down about 5 miles from my office. What are the odds? It is 297 miles from Chicago to St. Louis–so the chances of them breaking down on my doorstep are astronomical. Yet here they were. What then occurred was a Laurel & Hardy routine….unpacking all their stuff from their car to mine, getting their car towed, unpacking their stuff at my house, keeping two 8- year-old boys entertained, trying to find a rental car…..finding a relative to drive up from St. Louis, keeping the boys entertained…, by the time we had a plan and it was starting to come together, it was 3pm and no one had eaten. My beloved brother insisted on taking us all out to eat while they waited for their ride.

My food costs for the day: $1.28…but you can’t plan for this kind of day.

Friday Menu

Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal .15, 1 tablespoon Nutella .13, tea .10. Total: .38

Lunch: Subway sandwich .96, 5 grape tomatoes .33, 6 prunes .21, yogurt .39

Lunch $1.89.

Lunch $1.89.

Dinner: Another bowl of Thai Chicken



Total for the day: $5.04

Thursday Menu

Breakfast: 2 eggs over easy .58, 1/12 of baguette .04, tea .10

2015-03-26 09.37.06

breakfast .72 total

Lunch: I liked the Thai Chicken so much, I made it again, this time without broccoli, since I didn’t have any.

2015-03-26 12.23.40


And then my boyfriend treated me to dinner out. So my total food costs for the day:  $3.15. If I had paid for my own dinner, it would not be looking so rosy.



Wednesday Menu

Breakfast was two slices of breakfast pizza and a cup of coffee that was provided by my employer for a meeting. It is certainly the least healthy thing I have eaten so for this week.  Cost-0.

Lunch was the rest of the spinach/egg thing and black bean soup.

Spinach & egg =1.69. Bean Soup=.16. Total=$1.85!

Spinach & egg =1.69.
Bean Soup=.16.

I also had 1/4 cantaloupe .25.

Lunch $2.10


Cheese, crackers and grapefruit

Cheese, crackers and grapefruit

Cheese was .60, the crackers plus some I ate later in the evening were .30, grapefruit .35= $1.25.

Later in the evening I ate 2 small chocolate bars I had bought to make hot chocolate .80.

Total  $4.15.

Tuesday Menu

Breakfast: 1/4 cantaloupe .25, 1 cup oatmeal .15, tablespoon Nutella .13, tea .10 [.63]

Lunch: I made subway sandwiches out of a whole grain baguette that was marked down to 0.49.

5 sandwiches from baguette, top two have mustard for me and bottom three are plain for the youngin.

5 sandwiches from baguette, top two have mustard for me and bottom three are plain for the youngin.

Cost of one sandwich is .96. Add to that a yogurt at .75 and apple at .34 for a lunch total of $2.05.

easy to pack for work

easy to pack for work

Dinner: Spinach (left over from the sub sandwiches–1.69) garlic .07, olive oil .05, shredded Parmesan (the last 1/5 of the wedge–.99) 2 eggs .58.

This is two servings. So for tonight--1.69.

This is two servings. So for tonight–1.69.

Add in 1/2 bowl of Bean soup….

Spinach & egg =1.69. Bean Soup=.16. Total=$1.85!

Spinach & egg =1.69.
Bean Soup=.16.

Total for the day:  $4.37.

Monday Menu

Breakfast was 2 eggs over easy (.58*) 1/12 a baguette that I found marked down to .49–so, .04 for my breakfast piece, 1/4 cantaloupe .25 and tea .10.

Breakfast cost .97

Breakfast cost .97

Lunch was another bowl of the Thai chicken $2.63.

Thai Chicken

Thai Chicken

Dinner was black bean soup .32 (olive oil .05, beans .80, 1/4 clove garlic .07, onion .25, 2 carrots .33, 2 celery stalks .33, salt and pepper .10= $1.93 for 6 servings.) and an apple .34.

Nutritious and frugal!

Nutritious and frugal!

Total cost of food for the day $4.26.

*the eggs were free-range from Target at $3.50 for a dozen.

Eating Healthy & Cheap

I thought we had put this topic to rest a couple of years back, but yesterday I was told emphatically that it is difficult for the poor to eat healthily by someone who is not poor and has not tried to eat frugally for many years.  The media say, “It’s hard” and without personal experience to contradict it, is believed.

By previous posts, I have demonstrated how a family can eat healthy food frugally. Now that it is mostly me, I’ll show how one person can do so. I will post daily for the next week my menus and cost of food. Photos and recipes as I have time.


Breakfast: Fancy English Breakfast tea that I bought at T J Maxx a month ago, is .10 a tea bag. Oatmeal (1 cup dry-0.15) with 1 Tablespoon Nutella (.13) and 1/4 cantaloupe .25. Total cost: .63

I keep the Nutella in my drawer at work and bring in the oatmeal. I mix it with hot water in the work kitchen.

I keep the Nutella in my drawer at work and bring in the oatmeal. I mix it with hot water in the work kitchen.


Can of soup-$1.19 and hot chocolate made with 8 oz Almond milk (0.31) and a 1.4 oz melted chocolate bar (.40) Cost of lunch– $1.90.


Homemade Thai Chicken and vegetables (this recipe made three servings): 3 chicken breasts (2.25), 1/4 clove of garlic(0.7), onion (.25), 2 carrots (.33). 3 celery stalks (.33), 1/2 crown broccoli (.70), 13.66oz can coconut milk (1.29), red curry paste (1 oz. at .88*), pre-cooked wild rice packet (1.79.) So each serving is $2.63.

Thai Chicken

Thai Chicken

Total cost of food for Sunday $5.16.

*all food purchased at Aldi and prices from receipts unless noted otherwise. Red curry paste was from Shop N Save and if memory serves was about $3.5 for 4 oz.


Last week of the New Link Menus

Monday: Meatball sandwiches with baguette bread(4.32) and steamed broccoli (0.75) with a pat of butter (0.02.)   Dinner=$5.09.

Tuesday: We got lucky. Middle son had the cross country awards banquet–seniors to bring drinks. So, we brought a couple bottles of soda (on sale for 0.99 each) and ate a feast of pot luck foods and fried chicken. Youngest ate canned ravioli 0.69. So dinner cost $2.67. Woot!

Wednesday: Kids were gone, so I ate the meatballs and sauce leftover from Monday. No bread. And an orange. So no added cost.

Thursday: Big spread at mom’s house. Our contribution is Greek Salad: romaine lettuce $1.99, tomatoes $0.60, Feta cheese $1.00, half a red onion  $0.19, and Katamara olives that I got on sale 6 months ago $1.50-total for the salad-$5.28. We also brought cranberry relish: cranberries $0.99, orange $0.44, cup sugar $0.19-total for the relish $1.62 and 12 Cinnabons that I bought as a fund raiser for the Speech club $36. And yes, I know that $3.00 per cinnamon roll is ridiculous. I could make a whole batch for that. That $36 is not coming out of the food budget though, I took that money out of the extracurricular activity budget.

Total for Thursday: $6.90.

Friday: Kids were gone all day after breakfast. I ate leftovers all three meals–no extra $$$ spent.

Saturday:  Lunch was pork loin $8.46 (2 of them,) Corn & bean salad $3.36  and steamed green beans ($1.49) with butter ($0.04). spinach salad ( spinach 1.79, feta $1.00, tomatoes  $0.60, olives $1.50.) All of the leftovers still present in the fridge were also served and every bit was eaten. Yeah! Total: $18.18.

Appetizers: crackers (0.63) and brie (1.50) & crudités (0.38) and hummus ($1.00) and Merlot ($6.49) Total $10.00.

Dinner was chicken pizza $4.34

Most expensive day of the year so far–$32.52.

So even with the holiday, we only spent $ 324.18  well under the $497.00 alloted for a family of 3. See? Totally doable.