Making Those Grocery Dollars Stretch
Ideas for Making Your Meals a Little Less Expensive
It's tough to feed a family on a budget. Especially in today's economy when prices keep going up, but your paycheck isn't necessarily getting any bigger. Fortunately, there are ways to stretch those groceries and make them go a little farther.
I am the oldest of six kids. As a child, there was never enough money to go around. I grew up watching my mother regularly take next to nothing and turn it into a feast. Those memories have continued to help me feed my family over the years. Here are a few of her tricks:
- 1) Make hamburger stretch a little farther by adding ground turkey to the mix. Of course, be careful to cook thoroughly so no one gets sick. If you want to stick to beef for ground beef recipes, buy the inexpensive ground beef that has a higher fat percentage, but drain and then rinse with hot water.
- 2) Cheaper cuts of meat can be used in finer recipes if you take the time to marinate.
- 3) Invest in a slow cooker. Not only will this save you time (and the temptation of frequenting fast food establishments when you're in a hurry) but many less expensive cuts of meat are made sinfully delicious by the slow cooking process. Slow cooking recipes are usually easy to make bigger by adding additional vegetables, or making the recipes saucier which allows them to be used as toppings for rice, noodles or biscuits.
- 4) Speaking of biscuits, they are easy to make with any pre-made biscuit mix, and even economical in the little cans that you just have to pop open and bake. These make a quick and tasty breakfast for kids when you add a little peanut butter, jelly or honey. And they're fresh!
- 5) Sandwich night was just not an option for my mother, but she didn't have a Panini maker and I'm pretty sure she hadn't ever had a quesadilla. These are great options that are both inexpensive and quick. Want something a little more substantial, add a bowl of soup.
- 6) We have recently started doing "Meatless Monday" at our house. At first, I was skeptical. Are there really that many meals I can make without meat? Absolutely! And they are satisfying too! Pancakes (at times scrambled eggs too) for dinner. Quiche, which is quick and easy to make. Lots of options here!
Go on, be creative. Try a few of these ideas and I bet you come up with a few of your own.
Sources for Budget Recipes
- Healthy Budget-Friendly Recipes | Eating Well
Affordable meals for under $3 per serving from EatingWell. These budget-friendly recipes are great for the budget-conscious eater. Eat healthy and cheap!
- Budget Recipes | Taste of Home Recipes
Need budget recipes? Get low budget recipes for your next meal or gathering from Taste of Home.