Are you and your family having hard times?
Most likely you are. If not, you may have friends that are having tough, financial times.
High unemployment + rising prices = hard times
My degree is not in nutrition, but I believe we can agree that we need to find ways to nourish our bodies with food, preferably good-tasting and health-sustaining food.
My credentials are a little common sense and more than 30 years of feeding my family, as well as possible, on the smallest dime possible.
I’ll address hard times: feeding your family on as little as possible.
Rules for thrifty cooking:
Basics are best.
My basic ingredients include flour, sugar, salt, cornmeal, oatmeal, baking powder/soda, spices/herbs, oil/shortening, bouillon/broth, dried milk, eggs, vinegar, and basic fruits and vegetables.
Learning to cook from scratch using basic ingredients will save you BIG bucks, is healthier, and many times includes traditional comfort food you will enjoy.
Learn to bake bread. I have a recipe for “no knead” bread that easy peasie and it’s delicious (stay tuned, I’ll post it soon).
Practice making scratch biscuits, cornbread and pie crusts. Try making homemade flavored oatmeal for the kids’ breakfasts, instead of pricey store-bought cereals.
Try creating homemade soup or stew using a variety of vegetables and experiment with various spices and herbs.
Experiment with making a simple casserole or stir-fry, using different combinations of ingredients and flavorings.
Beans, rice and pasta.
These should become part of your regular go-to staples. They are cheap and can stretch any meal far beyond the usual menu ideas. If you avoid beans because of the intestinal distress they cause, please know that the more you eat them; your digestive system should adapt…(less intestinal distress). Beans are cheap, tasty, and healthy!
Many sauces and toppings can be created for serving over rice or pasta; these items can bulk up soups or be the basis of warming and nourishing casseroles.
Do you know how to cook brown rice? I have a perfect recipe. (I’ll post my recipe soon)
Meat is usually the most expensive part of any meal; to save money, get away from the “meat-n-potato” mindset when planning menus. Less meat, mixed and stretched with sauces, vegetables, broths, beans, rice and pasta, etc. will give you similar satisfaction, and good taste, for a lot less money. It’s healthier too!
As an example, I have a favorite Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable meal that can stretch a ½ pound of chicken for 6-8 servings.
If it’s on sale, buy plenty!
This may be obvious to most people. If your grocery budget is very tight, start small on stocking up on sales, but start. Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season and therefore lower in price. Pay attention to grocery prices so that you’ll know what a good price is.
Use your imagination.
I’d like to suggest a shift in your thinking when planning meals; rather than thinking, “What sounds good for dinner tonight?” begin to ask, “What do we have here that needs to be used up for dinner?”
Are there any leftovers in the fridge that could be included in a casserole? Any veggies that need to be included in a pot of soup? A sauce you could make to serve over rice or pasta? Plenty of possibilities!
Use your imagination to create a tasty meal using a little bit of nothing can even be fun!Pin It