Valdosta Daily Times


October 6, 2013

Surviving the government shutdown...

is good practice for the zombie apocalypse


VALDOSTA — Manwich: 1 can of Manwich, 1/2 a pack of ground beef, hamburger buns.

You can take the other of your beef and use it to cook Manwich. It is a cheap meal that two people can eat off of for two days, or can feed four to five people for one meal.


Chicken Salad: 1 pack of boneless chicken tenders, celery, 1 red onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Cook the chicken in a skillet and season only with salt and pepper. Dice the cooked chicken and mix in a bowl with mayonnaise, 1 stick of chopped celery and some chopped onion. Mix in just a little bit of lemon juice. You can eat the chicken salad on a sandwich or with saltine crackers. Two people can get two lunches and two dinners each out of one batch of chicken salad. If you buy another pack of chicken, you can make another batch with the remainder of your ingredients because one batch does not use an entire onion or an entire bundle of celery.

Hamburger Helper: Ingredients vary by type.

If you use the hamburger helper that calls for ground beef, you can get away with using only half a pack here as well. The other ingredients usually consist of milk, water and butter; so really, you get more bang for your buck when you buy one pack of meat that you split and two boxes of Hamburger Helper.


Grilled Cheese and Campbell’s Tomato Soup: Bread, mayonnaise, butter, milk American cheese and tomato soup.

If you buy the large can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, it is enough for two to three people. I like this meal because milk, bread, mayonnaise and American cheese are things that I always have in my pantry anyway. That’s important to keep in mind. You don’t want to buy an ingredient so specific to one meal, that once you use it, you’ll never use it again. For example, from this meal list, I am already using mayonnaise in my chicken salad and milk in my Hamburger Helper.


Biscuits & Gravy: 1 can of Pillsbury biscuits, 1 pack of instant gravy mix, 1/2 a pack of ground sausage.

For this meal, you will need to buy one pack (or tube) of ground sausage and cut it in half like the beef. Cook only half. I chop up my sausage like I do when I cook ground beef for Hamburger Helper. Once the sausage is cooked, you mix it in with the instant gravy you cooked and you pour it over an open-halved biscuit. If you double up on your gravy mix and biscuits, you really have two meals because you’re not using the entire pack of sausage. This meal also calls for no “fancy” ingredients; you just use milk in your gravy, which you’re already using in two other meals from this list.


Those are just some of the meals in my arsenal of budget eating. The point is to buy ingredients that you can recycle into other recipes. I try to stay away from fresh fruits and veggies when I’m trying to save money because they are perishable.

You will get more servings and better longevity out of frozen vegetable sides.

Also, I know I don’t need to go on and on about how important couponing is. Many of you already clip coupons, but in case you need a refresher course, here is a link to my coupon article:

 Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany.

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