Another meal that can “stretch” the groceries is goulash. My mom would make goulash with a little bit of ground meat and leftover vegetables.
Brown 1/2 pound of ground meat (beef, pork, turkey or chicken), add leftover vegetables or some mixed vegetables of any kind, elbow noodles about 2 cups for a family of 6, a can of diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes cut up, and cover with water. Add some garlic powder, pepper, salt, oregano and thyme for your taste. Cook over low, until noodles are cooked. Some addition water may need to be added as the noodles absorb water during cooking in order to keep from scorching, but too much water and you have a good soup.
When I make goulash, I always think about a specific time my mom made goulash. I was ten or eleven years old. After meals, mom would scrap any food us kids left on our plates into a bowl for the family dog. This one specific time mom made goulash, as she put some on my plate, I mentioned it looked like “dog food”. Mom gave me a dirty look and said, “If you think it is dog food, you do not have to eat.” I quickly apologized and said it looks and smells good. Which it did. I was very careful about what I said concerning my mother’s cooking after that meal.
We did not grow up with abundant money. There were times the pantry was slim. Mom would go grocery shopping once a month, and the food purchased would have to last all month. She tried to be creative with some of the meals towards that end of the month. The last resort was beans without meat.
Hope you enjoy.