9 Must Have Items For Feeding Your Family Frugally
Let’s talk economics, shall we? … … … chirp
Nah, let’s not. You could go over to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to review the steady rise of Consumer pricing, but you probably are already living knee-deep in that information first hand.
Times are tough, prices are on the rise, but mouths still need to be fed; am i right?
You can’t do much about how much gasoline your family needs for transportation, or the cost of soccer registration, or the amount you pay in taxes, etc etc. One thing we can do to ease the financial strain is look for ways to stretch our grocery dollar. Whether you buy local, organic, or run of the mill generic, there are some must-haves that will be inexpensive ways to get the most out of your food budget!
1) Dried Beans
Dried beans are simply filling, easy, and so very inexpensive. Do you enjoy a big pot of bean soup? One week I was grocery shopping and I went to grab my go-to bag of bean soup mix. No seasoning, just your standard mixed dried beans. It dawned on me and I quickly did the math… could I save even more? Yes! I spent only 3 times what I would have paid for that bag, bought 5 individual bags of beans, ended up with 5 pounds instead of 1, and went home and mixed them myself! (kidney, lima, pinto, split pea, black bean) Also, cooked beans are my favorite to have on hand for a quick and easy no-meat option; bean burgers and bean dips to use with raw carrots and toasted pita bread. Don’t pour your bean stock down the drain! It can be used later!
2) Lentils and Split Peas
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My family quickly grew to love both when I found them on multiple “Super Foods” lists. Extremely inexpensive, so very healthy for you and a tasty side that goes with anything.
3) Root Vegetables
I often use carrots and turnips as fillers. They easily compliment chili, strew, and soup and they make them s t r e t c h ! Sweet potatoes are a weekly event at our home. I adore anything I can pop in the oven and pull it out with amazing taste – no help from me. 🙂 Another super healthy, filling, inexpensive item!
4) 100% juice frozen / canned
Exchange your containers of juice, sodas and/or trendy flavored water for canned juice! I’m a firm believer in 100% juice as opposed to concentrate, and if it’s 100% how can you go wrong for a fraction of the cost compared to other prepared beverages!?
I use cabbage as a filler, much like I use root veggies. Cabbage is fiber-rich and has a mild taste – a great choice to stretch a week’s meals. If I don’t end up using all of it, I whip up a nice cole-slaw. And everyone’s happy. Today’s Dietitian gives some great nutritional information on cabbage.
A staple, right? Well, keep it on hand! Again, whether organic, different grain flours, whatever your preference is … it’s a snap to whip up a pizza dough! I just used my sourdough starter and made a quick little garlic, ricotta & cheddar pizza tonight to go with salad. A 5 lb bag of regular flour sells for $2-$3 and has 20 cups of flour in it. A dough recipe that generously makes 2 pizzas calls for 6 cups of flour. The toppings don’t have to be complicated, but consider the math… one bag of flour yields 13 pizzas!
7) Fat Back
Yep. That’s right! For any bean soups (which we eat once a week) fat back is an incredible way to add flavor without the expense of meat. It’s removed before consuming, and everyone loves the taste! I paid $3 for a section of fat back and cut it into sections appropriate for my cooking needs and put it in the freezer, wrapped in waxed paper and a brown paper bag. Hey… Gramma did it!
8) Whole Grains – Brown Rice, Quinoa, Oats, Barley etc
There’s nothing like a little side of rice spruced up with lemon and cilantro! Add barley to soups. Make up some oatmeal ahead of time and have on hand for busy mornings!
Whether you keep hens or not, eggs are a very nutritious and frugal option. I have chickens, but even if I didn’t I’d certainly be buying eggs to keep up our weekly egg casserole tradition! My recipe is different every week so we never get bored… and it’s a hearty meal for minimal money.
What items help you get the most out of your hard earned money? Please share! – We would like to know! Will you be adding any of the items mentioned here to your list? We’d love to hear from you!