Back in 2012 we wrote an article titled 5 Foods That Will Help You Stretch Your Food Budget. That talked more about individual items, although one could look at soup as a multiple foods item. Still, we thought it was time to update this list a bit. So, here are 5 more food ideas for you, more about full meals.

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1. Spaghetti sauce. We couch it under spaghetti but truthfully, you can use spaghetti sauce for lots of different things. Truth be told, if you know how to make a spaghetti sauce from scratch you could probably save a lot more money than we can. Still, spaghetti sauce is one of those things that, if you make it in bulk, you can have it last for a very long time, whether you decide to put it in the refrigerator to eat through the course of a week or freeze some for a later time.

2. Chili. Once again, you could start with a tomato sauce of your own making and either use your own chili spices or chili mix of some kind. If you add meat and beans it makes it heartier, and making something to eat it with, such as rice or even spaghetti (I sense a theme) it will spread further. Once again, you could eat off it for the week or freeze some.

3. Hamburger. We don’t mean the one pound of hamburger that costs at least $3.99 a pound. If you have the space you can get sizes of 6 pounds or more usually for $1.99, and in some places like outlet stores it might cost even less. Six pounds of hamburger comes out to 24 quarter pound burgers, but you can also use portions of it for your spaghetti sauce or chili if you like meat in your meals. Some outlet stores sell even larger portions; buying in bulk, if you have the space, always makes sense.

4. Pulled pork. As expensive as ham seems to be, what costs way less is pork, especially big pieces of meat like pork shoulder. If you go to the right store you can get a 10-pound slab of pork for around $8.00. If you take that and put it into a slow cooker, within hours you’ll have enough pork to eat off for more than a week. Mix it into things like chili or soup, or flavor it up with some barbecue sauce and eat it with bread or rolls, and you’ll have a lot of meals at a very low cost.

5. Cake. Yes, I’m tossing some dessert in here; who doesn’t like dessert? The thing about cake is that it actually costs very little money to make, even with frosting, and you can freeze it easier than you can pie. If you take an 8-inch round double layer cake and cut it into 12 slices, they’ll normally come out around 4 ounces each, which is plenty of cake (for some even that might be too much). For less than $10, you have a very affordable dessert that keeps giving.

By the way, if you have a large family then obviously these meals won’t spread as far. But they’ll still cost you less, even if you want to add vegetables to the mix. By the way, the reason vegetables weren’t added to this article is because some of them perish fairly quickly unless you’re buying frozen.

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