It seems I'm taking in the homeless people of the world lately. I've had a friend and her five year old boy living with me for the last seven months or so. Was rocky at first, but it's been WONDERFUL for a while. It's actually very helpful having another helping hand in a home when your hubby is disabled!
Now my daughter and her family have moved back in. She's going back to school and he's working at the state prison here to get a few years under his belt so he can qualify for a job at the agency hubby and I retired from before we left Florida. So they'll be here two or three years.
In the meantime, none of them have income at the moment, so I'm trying to support everyone on my unemployment. Eek! Aside from people food, there are two infants on diapers, one on formula, as well as a house full of pets and they aren't going anywhere. So it leaves very little for people food money. So I'm hoping you all have some good ideas on inexpensive meals that will feed a lot of people!! Oh - and no pork for my friend's religious reasons.
So far I've got spaghetti. I can do a pot of sauce in the crock pot and let it cook all day. It usually doesn't cost too much for a big jar of sauce, jar of maters, jar of 'shrooms and a box of spaghetti. Chicken is also on the list. I can get quarters or legs pretty cheap. I can grill them or boil them and make a big pot of soup for lunches. Hubby puts them in a big baking dish covered with rice and cream of mushroom soup and bakes it in the oven. But those are about the only cheap ideas I have.
Re: Need ideas for cheap, nutritious meals for 8 people!
Whoa! So nice of you to help everyone out when you are facing your own struggles. I know how it can be hard, we are living on one income right now (mine) since hubby is disabled too and can't work. We just got custody of his 15 year old sister, who's never been known to conserve anything so it's been FUN (major sarcasm) teaching her that.
Have you thought about making your own spaghetti sauce? It's actually a LOT cheaper than buying the jarred stuff. I just get a big can of tomato sauce for about $2 from costco and I can make 4 meals out of it. I just add some italian herbs for flavoring, and freeze.
Things that have been really cheap are crock pot meals, casseroles, and soups. I have found a lot of good soup recipes at allrecipes.com. The "delicious ham & potato soup" is pretty inexpensive and can be doubled easily. Also, I like to do beef & noodles with mashed potatoes - buy a beef pot roast, put in crock pot all day with some meat tenderizer on it, add beef broth, then when you get home boil noodles, drain a good portion of water, add beef/broth, serve over mashed potatoes. I usually just use the potato flakes and not real potatoes though. SO much cheaper. This usually feeds a LOT of people. The three of us get about 3 meals out of it.
Also, you could do a stir fry - rice is really cheap and easy! Just add some seasonings, canned veggies and chicken.
Also, I've discovered that stuff is so much cheaper at places like Aldi's...I got a great price on a gallon of milk, real butter was only $2 instead of $4 at Kroger, and they had some decent produce. That has really helped cut down on our grocery bill.