Healthy, Budget-friendly Menu Ideas to Survive the Shutdown

Well, week one of the Shutdown, and no idea of how many more we’ll have to endure, before it’s over. The Shutdown really sucks!

Although, I’m not an impacted federal worker, I do have family and friends who are, and my thoughts and prayers are with them. The more time it takes to pass a budget, the longer impacted workers have to survive without a paycheck.

Anytime a situation occurs like a layoff or loss of job that reduces the family income, it is a time to go into survival mode. Having gone through two layoffs in five years, I know it takes a lot of discipline and creativity to get through this period.

However, my past experiences have shown me that having limited resources can really kick your creativity into high gear. Many of the meals I made, for a family of six, cost less than $5 – $10 total. With that in mind, I’d like to share some of my menu ideas that proved to be winners, during my unemployment:

  • Salad topped with chicken, or fish
  • Salad served with baked potato (topped with broccoli)
  • Pita bread sandwiches stuffed with salad and chicken, or fish
  • Flatbread pizzas and salad
  • Salmon or tuna salad hoagie sandwiches
  • Veggie omelette and hashbrowns (breakfast foods are great for dinner)
  • Raisin bread french toast and scrambled eggs
  • Spaghetti with ground turkey meatballs
  • Penne pasta with chicken & broccoli in alfredo sauce
  • Penne pasta with Italian turkey sausage and vegetables in spaghetti sauce
  • Stir-fry vegetables over rice or noodles
  • Spinach, broccoli, or vegetable medley quiche (use frozen vegetables)
  • Turkey chili
  • Jambalaya with Italian turkey sausage (use frozen or canned vegetables)
  • Chicken and rosemary dumplings soup
  • Hearty chicken soup with egg noodles

I’ve only listed a handful of menu ideas that helped me get through a rough patch. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you too! If you want the recipes for any that are listed, send me a comment and I’ll post the recipe.

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