Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

How to Feed Two People Five Dinners with $13 and 1/4 Lb of Beef

Sometimes I get tired of spending money, even if it is to buy food.  That might be my politically correct way of saying that sometimes there isn’t a lot of money to spend on food.  And Mom, before you ask, Yes, I would ask you for help if I needed 🙂

But really, it IS nice to not have to spend a lot on food.   I haven’t really gotten into the money aspect of food on purpose.  A lot of people think that eating from a CSA or the Farmer’s Market is always going to be more expensive than going to the grocery store.  I often hear people saying something along the lines of Oh, I went to the Farmer’s Market and spent SOOOOO MUCH.  Well, here’s a secret, you can also go to the grocery store and spend SOOOOO MUCH. Both of which I used to do, until I started paying attention to what I was buying.  Just go shopping at the Farmer’s Market with the same attitude (and list!) as the grocery store.  And Yes, have an extra $5-10 in case something you weren’t expecting looks SOGOODIHAVETOHAVEIT!  Even if you spend a little bit more than at the grocery store, at least the whole holy cow, how did I spend all the money at the market guilty feeling, won’t be as bad.

The Farm

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of ways to spend more money eating real food (yes, I know, define real food, I’ll be skipping that one fore now).  For example, milk.  Milk from a farm is always going to cost more than milk from a grocery store, why? The farmer is limited to the number of cows that they can actually care for and milk and has to charge accordingly.  Grocery store milk comes from giant farms who have money to invest in large feed areas, industrial sized milking machines, and hormones to make the cows produce more milk.

Meat: same idea as milk, so yes, meat directly from a farm will cost more than going to the grocery store.  Unless of course you happen to live near a large scale meat factory that will sell directly to you.

BUT, you don’t have to blow your entire budget on food, hence the ten meals for cheap post.  So, wait for it… wait for it… your mind might be blown when I tell you how easy this is:

STEAK QUESADILLAS (with cost, let’s talk about transparency)

  • 1/4 lb Flat Iron Steak (1.92)
  • package of tortillas (2.99)
  • 1/2 cup mix of black and pinto beans (made from dry beans .35)


  • salt and pepper (50? if that)
  • soy sauce for marinade (.20)
  • garlic clove (.20)
  • olive oil for marinade (.20)
  • 1/2 onion (.75)
  • 1 tomato (1.00)
  • pepper (.50)
  • block of cheese (4.00)

Total? 12.61

Season the beef with olive oil, salt and pepper, soy sauce and crushed garlic overnight.  Cook the steak. Cut up the steak.  Assemble quesadillas with a little shredded cheese on a tortilla, topped with a few pieces of steak, some beans, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, chopped peppers and add a little more cheese, top with another tortilla. Or only put the filling on one half of the tortilla and fold it over to make a moon – I find this way easier to flip.  Fry the quesadilla in a pan until one side is toasty, then flip and fry until the other side is toasty and the cheese is melted.  These are good, really good, I know because I had one for dinner every night this week!


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One thought on “How to Feed Two People Five Dinners with $13 and 1/4 Lb of Beef

  1. Every week when I look at my grocery bill, I can’t believe how much meat costs. We are really moving to more plant based meals and it really helps.

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