Definitely soups & stir-fry are the best budget helpers. You can literally throw any veggie in your fridge into a base and have a meal within 30-60 minutes. Use water, broth, bouillon, tomato sauce, whatever. Same with stir fry, just throw all vegetables in a pan and cook, serve over rice. For meat I always buy the big 'family-packs' and freeze what I won't use immediately. Way cheaper by volume. Just be sure to label with what it is and a date to avoid finding it 2 years later with freezer burn... Breakfast is almost always an egg on toast or wrapped in a tortilla with some salsa. Quite delicious. You can add black or re-fried beans for extra filling power or to make it a lunch instead of breakfast.
Fitness Minutes: (2,190)
372 12/30/12 5:57 P
Thanks for posting that article, Coach Denise... it was very helpful! Cooking once & freezing is a great timesaver as well as a money saver! I also like to shop from a list, sticking to my meal plan for the week... then I don't come home with strange but good-looking things I didn't need. Also, I just discovered smoked turkey necks- excellent for stews & soups, & super cheap! There's tons of recipes online.
Soup is a really good dollar stretcher. It also freezes and reheats really well. Minestrone Lemon Lentil Soup Fassolatha
Beans & lentils are cheap and filling. You can buy canned (already cooked) beans but dry beans aren't that difficult to prepare. red beans and rice chili hummus- spread on bread, crackers, vegetable dip, chip dip roasted chickpeas chickpea curry bean burrito www.justbeanrecipes.com/inxblt.html
We are not exactly struggling, but we live on a pretty tight budget. And affordable eating and cooking has to account for time and money. For us workable strategies include:
 Big batches, often then divided into single-serving portions. Economy of scale.  The slow cooker or Dutch oven, good because (a) it doesn't take much time on your part and (b) you can make big batches of things. Part of this: beans; baked beans, soups & stews, overnight slow-cooked oatmeal.  Dry bulk items. Especially: lentils! (and beans). Lentils: lots of protein and insoluble fiber, and they combine flavor-wise with all sorts of things. Pair them with brown rice, quinoa, barley or the like and serve steamed veggies on the side.  Eggs and sardines. Complete proteins, versatile, inexpensive.  Vegetables in season; otherwise frozen veggies. Affordable and packed with nutrition.  Get things you won't waste. And when things are less-fresh but still usable, make: (a) pizza, (b) soup or stew, or (c) quiche (or as Alton Brown likes to call it: 'refrigerator pie').
Fitness Minutes: (12)
13 12/26/12 3:18 P
Great tips! Thanks for sharing ;)
Fitness Minutes: (19,739)
1,160 12/26/12 2:22 P
That's a great article, Coach Denise. I get boneless chicken breast at 2.00/lb. There are so many ways to prepare it. I like it sauteed and topped with salsa. Serve it on a bed of cooked spinach and add a side of brown rice. I buy bagged kale to use for salads and add to soups and casseroles. Dried beans are less expensive than canned and provide protein. I make a simple vegetable soup using a large can of crushed tomatoes, a can of water, and a large bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I add 1 or 2 handfuls of kale and a bag of dried beans after they're cooked. I season it with oregano and black pepper. Easy and healthy. The last time I made pasta, I added egg whites and chopped spinach to the sauce. That adds protein as well as a veggie and is inexpensive. I find that cooking a larger cut of meat, such as a turkey breast or a ham saves me money. It may seem more costly at first, but I get several meals from them including sandwiches as well as having meat for other soups. If I can't use it all, I freeze it in some broth to use later.
I will be starting a Raw Foods on A Budget bootcamp at the beginning of the year.
I would start with looking at fruits and veggies in season. They can be a lot cheaper. You may also want to look into a CSA next year or even go to a farmers market. Again the food will be in season and is usually cheaper.
check the recipes on this site or turn on the menu planners to get some ideas. I don't use them because they have nothing to do with my lifestyle of choice, but you may get some ideas.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
72 12/26/12 12:09 P
I need help My husband and I are REALLY struggling financially I'm finding majority of recipes I make anymore contain some form of pasta or bread Also, they are a bit unhealthy I like recipes with 5 ingredients or less if possible EASY AFFORDABLE
If you have a favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack idea that is super easy and affordable please either reply here or post it on my wall.
Page: 1 of (1)
Other Recipes & Cooking General Discussion Topics:
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.