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PUDGYPUDDLEPIG SparkPoints: (1,491)
Fitness Minutes: (185)
Posts: 21
1/3/13 8:52 A

Thank you so much for this article, it helped with some of the difficulties I was having.


FALCONGIRL2010 Posts: 148
1/2/13 4:02 P

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.

LOBSTERGRRL SparkPoints: (4,941)
Fitness Minutes: (2,497)
Posts: 373
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. emoticon

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
12/29/12 10:04 A

Soup is a really good dollar stretcher. It also freezes and reheats really well.
Lemon Lentil Soup

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
hummus- spread on bread, crackers, vegetable dip, chip dip
roasted chickpeas
chickpea curry
bean burrito

Oatmeal is fairly inexpensive. You could use it as a simple bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or as an ingredient.
fruit crisp
oatmeal pancakes
oatmeal muffins
oatmeal bread

SPKRAUSE Posts: 543
12/27/12 4:29 P

Thanks, Coach Denise.

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:

[1] Big batches, often then divided into single-serving portions. Economy of scale.
[2] 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.
[3] 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.
[4] Eggs and sardines. Complete proteins, versatile, inexpensive.
[5] Vegetables in season; otherwise frozen veggies. Affordable and packed with nutrition.
[6] 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').

BIZZY-LIZZY SparkPoints: (1,140)
Fitness Minutes: (12)
Posts: 13
12/26/12 3:18 P

Great tips! Thanks for sharing ;)

ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (80,307)
Fitness Minutes: (26,270)
Posts: 3,519
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.

SP_COACH_DENISE Posts: 42,544
12/26/12 1:24 P

Here's an article about eating healthy on a budget:
. There are also some other links to helpful articles near the bottom of that page.

Coach Denise

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
12/26/12 12:16 P

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.

MUFFINSANDMOCHA SparkPoints: (378)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 72
12/26/12 12:09 P

Hello all

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

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.

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