Food blog Cheap, Healthy, Good is all about stretch food frugality very, very far, while keeping the meals tasty and leftover-friendly. An older post illustrates how one roast chicken can make 17 meals for a total of $US26.
Blogger and serious home economist Kristen Swensson bought a 3kg Purdue roaster chicken for $US6.92, less than $US20 worth of other supplies over a week, and gave herself some rules for cooking dinners and lunches. Swensson went for no repeats or very similar dishes on the menu, used as many pantry goods as possible, and tried to add as little fat as possible to the plates. How'd it turn out?
Victory, for the most part. I ended up cooking five distinct, delicious, largely healthy dinners with PLENTY of leftovers. And miracle of miracles, there were no duds in the group. (Thanks, online reviewers!)
However, I did go $US0.86 over budget. I'm okay with that, though. Between what we consumed each night and ate for lunch the next day, that $US25.86 made 17 full meals, which works out to $US1.52 each. That's less than a cup of Starbucks coffee, so … aces.
While obviously the prices won't exactly match in Australia, the general concept is still impressive. You can grab all of Swensson's recipes, her full shopping list, and read her notes on every recipe at the post, helpfully dug up by Boing Boing. If you've found your own miracle budget-stretching food, tell us how you work it in the comments.