Turning a $6 ham into 24 meals

I bought a ham.  And it is the most glorious ham ever.  Why?  It cost me only $6 for 6lbs of it.

Here’s how it fed me and Brian:

Note: Some common calculations:

  • Eggs are ~20 cents/egg given $2.40 a dozen
  • Slice of cheese ~15 cents given a 400g-450g block for $4.29, and I get about 6 slices from 100g
  • Rice ~30 cents/pot, assuming I make a pot of rice every day and a half and knowing that a 40lb bag of rice for $25 lasts me 3 months.  One pot of rice contains 3-4 servings.
  • Slice of whole wheat baker’s bread ~10 cents given a loaf for 1.79
Sept 1:

  • Dinner for 2 –  with leftover rice, corn on the cob, carrot sticks ($1 for 2 cobs of corn, $0.15 leftover rice, $0.10 carrot = $1.25 + meat)

Sept 2:

  • Breakfast for 2 – in English muffins, with egg and cheese ($0.13 a muffin at $0.75 cents for 6, $0.20 per egg, $0.15 slice of cheese = $0.50, so $1 for both + meat)
  • Lunch and Dinner for Brian – with sidekicks and broccoli ($1 for sidekicks, $0.25 for broccoli florets = $1.25 + meat)
  • Lunch for CF – in a bunwich, with cheese and lettuce ($0.25 for bun, $0.10 for lettuce at 89 cents a head, $0.15 slice of cheese = $0.50 + meat)
Sept 3:
  • Lunch and Dinner for Brian – 4 sandwiches ($0.80 for bread, $0.20 for lettuce at 89 cents a head, $0.15 x 4 slices of cheese = $1.60 + meat)
  • Lunch for CF – in a bunwich, with cheese and lettuce ($0.25 for bun, $0.10 for lettuce at 89 cents a head, $0.15 slice of cheese = $0.50 + meat)


  • 7-8 servings of split pea and ham soup using the bone for stock ($2 for split peas, $0.40 for carrots, $0.40 for celery, spices $0.20, free sample of chicken stock = $3 total or about $0.41 cents per serving)
  • And about 6 servings of ham remaining in the freezer.  I could keep going, but I don’t intend on eating more ham for the next few days!!
So from a $6 ham, I got protein for about 24 servings of food.  Adding vegetables, starch and fruit (which I didn’t list, but typically costs 30-50 cents a serving and is added to breakfast and lunch), and then rounding up a bit, my typical ham-based* meal cost about $1 and some change.  And THAT is how you swing a healthy grocery budget for 2 for $200/month, with extra left over.  😉
Of course you could make this cheaper, for example by making your own bread or by using garden vegetables.  You can also make it more expensive by buying fancy breads or organic vegetables.  But I think we strike a pretty good balance between health and finances.
*You can do this with any protein on sale.  For example, turkey often goes “on clearance” after the holiday.  Cook it up and slip it into meals and soup, like I did with the ham and add seasonal veggies and fruit.
Posted in: Food and Grocery, Minimalism and Frugality

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