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Friday, December 10, 2010

Lunch For 4: 60 Cents

After arriving home from the boy's speech therapy yesterday we were all hungry. I don't know if it was the hard work the boys put in or if it was the cold weather and falling snow. Whatever it was, we needed something to fill our grumbling tummies.

So imagine my despair when I realized we were out of lunch meat, out of macaroni and cheese, out of soup, and out of leftovers. Besides the dinners that I had planned out there wasn't a whole lot left in the cupboards. I knew that I would be doing my grocery shopping on Friday or Saturday but I thought we could scrape together a few lunch staples...everything that we had on hand involved long cooking times. Nope, those weren't going to work.

I was tempted to run to Hardee's to pick up a few hamburgers. Besides not wanting to bundle three kids up again, I especially didn't want to spend the money. With Christmas this month and being a bit behind on the budget after some bills I just didn't want to spend $5-$10 on one meal. I put my thinking cap on instead.

I saw the bag of rice in the cabinet and knew what I would be making for lunch. I ate this growing up and my kids love it. After all was said and done, this lunch (for 4 people) cost us a grand total of about 60 cents (which, if you're keeping track, is 15 cents per person). You can't get any cheaper than that.

Sweet Rice

Cook rice as directed on package. When done cooking, spoon into bowls. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (according to taste) and pour milk on top. Enjoy!

Another variation is to omit the cinnamon and put a little cocoa powder on the rice instead.

I haven't met many people who have tried rice this way and many people turn up their noses at the suggestion of fixing it this way but it is delicious. It tastes almost like dessert but is healthy for you and really does fill you up. I did run across this recipe in a depression era cookbook (the only difference was they suggested adding butter too) so we aren't the only ones who eat sweet rice! It would also make an excellent warm breakfast meal. Frugal, healthy, and delicious...a winning combination.

I'll be doing several more meal ideas for a family of five under $5 in the coming weeks and months.

Following: LifeAsMom


  1. I love to have rice, sugar, and butter!! I have never tried it with cinnamon but I think next time I have rice I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We used to eat this as a child for breakfast with leftover rice.

    We eat a lot of meals for that price at my house!

  3. I like adding raisins to mine! I also have been known to add a vanilla pudding mix in rather than sugar or cinnamon. Yum!

  4. Elizabeth:

    This is what I eat when we have leftover rice. Sometimes I make extra rice just so I can have it. I don't put milk on it though. This is a great quick meal and it is warm on those cold days.

    Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.

  5. Sounds great, kind of like a healthy rice pudding. Yum.

  6. We always had that with leftover rice growing up, only we used butter instead of milk! My husband thought I was nuts the first time I served it to him ;-)



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