Food For the Frugal

foodMy family is frugal. My husband might call it a different word, perhaps closer to “cheap,” but I prefer the word frugal. After all, I’m not out to pinch every penny and use old t-shirts as toilet paper. I’m just trying to keep it so we have money at the end of the month, not more month at the end of the money. One of the largest ways I try to do this is through our food allowance every month. The trick, though? Eating anything other than ramen, spaghetti, or hamburger helper every night for dinner. With a very tight budget, every little cost-cutting tool is needed.

I’ve found a few meals that fit in with a frugal meal plan, but it’s still incredibly difficult. I’ve found that lentils, regardless of what recipe I use, usually make enough for two or three meals afterwards. Fantastic! And pastas, being so cheap, are another great alternative. Until… you try to get whole wheat, because Lord knows I can’t attempt gluten-free on this budget, as much as I’d like to. Shockingly, making #2’s food at home has helped save some serious cash, as well. And, we don’t necessarily eat meat for every meal. I know, it’s so un-American of us.

So, how do you frugal families out there make it work? Do you stick to chicken thighs, or are you a bean fanatic? Do you avoid pork? Do you search for those lesser-loved cuts that sell for cheap? What are your secrets for quick meals? Crock pot meals? Hearty meals for the husband to take to work the next day? Do you use canned quick steps, or make your own? And for you parents of babies, do you have any tips for a homemade baby food attempter?

Any and all comments much appreciated. 🙂 Here’s to the frugal among us! May our wallets be never empty, and our tummies always full!

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5 thoughts on “Food For the Frugal

  1. Ok, I live in Brazil (but I’m Canadian). We are missionaries with an organization called, YWAM and we don’t have any regular stable monthly income. So, we can’t be tossing money here there and everywhere. Beans and rice are a staple here for lunch everyday. Supposedly the combination of the two give you all the amino acids you need. Rice and beans together are a cheap way to go. We also eat meat, but just a little at a time. Like the size of a fist or the palm of a hand. Of course there are the veggies and salad too, but it’s good to get what’s in season or buy them at places where you can get the best deal. Also, homemade snacks, like cookies and cakes and all. And all kids love popcorn.
    Thanks for the post.
    =)

    • Thanks! Do you have any recipes for great beans and rice? I remember mission trips to the D.R. and how awesome their beans and rice are. 🙂 I’m guessing Brazilian rice and beans are similar.

      • I’m sooooo sorry for taking so long to get back to you on a recipe. Here it is:

        Ok first the rice. Mince 2 cloves of garlic first. Then heat about a tbsp of olive oil or any oil actually and add the garlic. Saute it for about 30 seconds to become aromatic. Then add 1 cup of rice and mix to coat it with the oil and garlic. Then add the 2 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt and some type of mixed herbs (like mrs. dash) or 1/2 a bouillon cube.
        Simple eh.

        Now for the beans. We buy dry beans here and soak, then cook in a pressure cooker. I guess that’s not too common elsewhere so what you could do is soak about a cup of beans (some type of brown beans or black beans) overnight. Then cook them on the stove top until they are nice and soft. In a separate pot heat about 1 – 2 Tbsp of oil or olive oil. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 onion finely chopped, 1/2 a bouillon cube and 1 tomatoes finely chopped. Saute for a bit until onion is translucent. Add your beans, salt to taste and maybe a little Mrs. Dash or other type of seasoning you like. In our part of Brazil we like to put fresh Coriander toward the end of cooking and maybe 1/2 tsp of cumin.

        You’ll have to let me know if you tried it out. Hope you enjoy.
        Blessings =)
        Staci

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