There are very few people who would disagree that the cost of food has increased and has taken a much larger bite out of your daily budget in just a couple of years ago. In a stable economy, food prices don’t fluctuate much from month to month. So, we get used to living on the same food budget. Nowadays, it’s difficult to predict food costs from week to week. It’s very possible that you may run through your allocated monthly food budget within three weeks. It’s quite clear that a new strategy and better organization is required, if you hope to make the food money last the entire month. We’d like to present you with several ideas for cheap yet healthy recipes that are tasty and tempting to you and your family.
Every cook has a portfolio of favorite recipes. During flush times, you might not have been as concerned about the cost of serving a great steak several times a month. Just a few years ago, you could get a beautiful juicy ribeye for about $6-$7. On a recent shopping trip, I checked out the steaks and was absolutely floored to see that the decent size ribeye steak will now set me back to $13-$16. This got me to thinking about how I could serve tasty, cheap, healthy recipes more often than not, so I could stretch my food budget through the entire month.
Grilling up a nice ribeye steak makes you feel like you’re enjoying a well-deserved treat that everyone loves. However, today it’s harder to justify the price of that steak. One cut of beef that is still relatively inexpensive is, a good old Chuck roast. If prepared correctly, that chuck roast is super tender and actually has more flavor than the steak. All you need to do is to just slice up a couple of onions, a few carrots, some beef broth, season with thyme, and place this marvelous wonder in the Slow Cooker. Bake a few potato wedges in the Oven, seasoned with fresh rosemary. Warm some bread in the toaster or simply toss some dinner rolls on the griddle and here you are. Your cheap, healthy recipe for half the price plus leftover is ready to tantalize your taste buds, add some gravy made with the broth, and you’ve got a great meal.
The learning point here is to review your favorite recipes and look for ways to substitute less pricey ingredients for the expensive ones without sacrificing taste.
Another strategy for making cheap, healthy recipes that tantalize the taste buds is to stock your pantry with staples such as whole-grain pastas and rice which can serve as a base for a number of one dish meals, that are nutritious as well as taste good. Stock up on sale items and freeze them. For example: It’s much less expensive to buy one of those economy 10 pound bags of chicken hindquarters and freeze them in dinner sized portions than to buy the smaller packs of thighs or legs. The same goes for beef. Buy in quantity when the item is on sale. You can also find great deals at your local wholesale club. To store these food items in bulk, you may need an extra freezer in the garage.
As you dissect cheap healthy recipes, you’ll notice that they have a few basic components in common: simple ingredients combined with a variety of colorful produce, bits of meat, and the right seasonings. If you need some help on the seasonings, go to the library or online resources to get up to speed. You’ll be astonished at the magic a good combination of seasoning can do for the most ordinary of ingredients.
Veggies and fruits have become quite expensive as well, but it is possible to still serve them, economically, in adequate quantities. Always watch for the sales. Look for bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and carrots, stock up when they’re in season, and spend a little time slicing and dicing. Flash freeze the mushrooms on a baking sheet. For the rest, fill meal sized freezer bags with about one third parts of water with a dash of lemon juice, then add in the vegetables, and throw them in the freezer. Defrost when you’re ready to use.
Serving tasty, cheap, and healthy recipes is easy with the right shopping and storing methods. You’ll soon have that food budget tamed.