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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Five Tips for Frugal Meals

One) Practice the art of breadmaking if you don’t already and serve delicious homemade bread with all your meals (the recipe for no knead bread is super easy and takes a lot less yeast). It’s a trick restaurants use. If you fill up on cheaper bread, your family can eat less of the more expensive meat. Stretch your meat budget!
Two) First courses are healthy and frugal. Spending time as a family over a meal will strengthen your bond and more expensive entree portions can be a lot smaller. First courses could be bread and soup in the fall and winter or bread and salad or inexpensive finger vegetables such as carrots and celery with ranch dip in the summer. Bread can be served with butter or margarine, but experiment with making some of the Mediterranean bread dipping oils, usually based on healthy virgin olive oil and salt. Delicious!
Three) Plan your weeks meals out before hand and shop accordingly. Cook ahead of time for those busy, tired days.
Four) Eat more out of your pantry. Plan your menus accordingly to rotate your food storage.

I like to go to farmers markets a little bit before closing and dicker. I got two huge bunches of carrots for a quarter last week! There’s always good deals on the veggies left that farmers don’t want to take home. Check out the local food coops. Sometimes that can be a great deal. If you have a green thumb, consider container gardening or cultivating a small bed in your yard. You can save big money on produce in the summer. Do you have a fruit tree or trees? Learn to can that abundance of summer produce for the colder months like our grandmothers did. My grandmother’s relishes were prized through the county and we feasted the entire year on her jellies and jams
Bonus tip on beverages: Get back to drinking water instead of unhealthy sodas and drink mixes. Ice tea and coffee are fairly frugal, as is good old fashioned lemonade from reconstituted lemon juice. Stretch your gallon milk budget by saving a gallon container and stretching a whole milk gallon into two with mixing with half nonfat powered milk. They won’t be able to tell the difference!
Originally posted 2008-08-14 12:04:00.
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