Your Best Budget Meal Recipes and Tips.......Please
Wow, prices in NE for food are rising as a type. Any ideas on how to still provide tasty meals for a family of 4 would be greatly appreciated.
Just about everyone is worried about rising food prices these days and seeking solutions to cooking on a budget. For evidence, see these recent threads on just this topic:
Sorry Sydney... I didn't mean to be snippy. I have participated in most of those threads that janniecooks listed. It gets boring reading and writing the same stuff.
Usually I like a new thread on the same basic subject. It just seemed like we had just finished a thread a couple of weeks ago.
I tend to look in the reduced aisle of the grocery store. Whilst money was very tight I relied on my freezer to stretch out the life of the food I did have. Quite a lot of the items that get reduced are perfectly good and can be frozen for future use.
Being a savvy shopper can make a big difference to what you can get for your money. Know where is the best place to buy meat and vegetables for your budget. Have a shopping list that you can stick to and avoid 'special offers' that you don't need, it's a common tactic for stores to put on specials to get the shopper to spend more. Take advantage of coupons too.
Agree about savvy shopper. I also like to have 2 lists. First is a basic inventory of what you always keep in the pantry, fridge and what you are out of or low on this week. That way you aren't running to the convenience store to buy a tiny bottle of soy sauce or a stick of butter and paying three times the price. Try to keep up your inventory utilizing the next tip. Find out what's on sale at the store you're headed to that fills the inventory needs and also appeals to you to cook this week. You may have to go to more than one store a week and that doesn't work for everyone. I try to shop around for the best deals of the week and they may be at Whole Foods! Of course when doable go to Farmers Markets or a Farmstands for local produce and let your purchases be the backbone of your recipes for the week.
But you've got have a plan.
Do you have an Aldi near you?
They are what's called a "hard discounter" - they sell groceries cheaper than any other grocery store, including Wal-Mart.
Eggs and potatoes are my best friends. I slice up and saute some smoked kielbasa, add some onions, green pepperes, celery, then slice up and add some leftover boiled or baked potatoes. Once everything has browned, I crack eggs over the mix and stir around until the eggs have set. I serve it with a nice salad. I find it's a filling and tasty meal.
Spaghetti Frittata. I combine leftover spaghetti with some eggs, cheese, maybe some veggies or meat. Heat up some butter in a skillet and add the spaghetti mixture. Cook until set and flip over, first add a little more butter to the skillet. You can either finish the frittata by covering the skillet and lowering the temperature or by baking it in a 350 degree oven. I prefer the oven because the frittata has a more crispy exterior. Top with spaghetti sauce, if you like.
Soup season is coming. I get a couple of smoked ham hocks, cook them in a good-sized pot. When their cooked, I take them out and cut up the meat and put it back into the pot along with dried peas and diced raw potatoes. Once the soup is finished, I add in some sliced-up hotdogs. My mom called this "soldiers' soup".