Are you feeling the pinch of higher food costs? Eating on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or good nutrition. Use these shopping and cooking tips to stretch your grocery budget to feed your family healthful meals for less.
Plan to Save
Plan your weekly menu and shopping list around items featured on sale. When the deals are hot, purchase extra amounts and freeze or store for later use. Get creative and plan theme dinners like Mexican night that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you’re making quesadillas, tacos, fajitas or enchiladas, Chi-Chi’s® Tortillas come in a size and variety to meet your needs. Look for new omega-3 fortified Multi-Grain and fiber-rich Whole Wheat Fajita Style Tortillas.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
Stretch standard four serving recipes into six servings or more by adding affordable and nutritious ingredients like whole-grain brown rice, beans or frozen vegetables. Then, store the leftovers for another superfast meal or freeze portions for up to four months. Each half cup serving of rice costs about ten cents and supplies over 15 essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber, potassium and iron. Simply microwave Uncle Ben’s® Ready Rice® Pouch for just 90 seconds and you’ve got two cups of cooked rice to eat on-the-side or add to casseroles like this recipe for Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas. Ready Rice® Pouches come in seasoned and plain varieties including Whole Grain Brown and new Jasmine and Basmati.
Do it Yourself
Cutting corners in the kitchen may cost you more at the checkout. Limit purchases of convenience foods and heat-and-eat meals and opt to prepare meals from scratch instead. When your favorite recipes call for cheddar cheese, try Cabot® Vermont 75% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese and shred, cube or slice it yourself. It’s made with one percent milk and contains 75 percent less fat than regular cheddar with all the flavor. Unlike some reduced fat cheeses, Cabot® melts to a creamy texture when heated. Try all of their award-winning varieties including Extra Sharp White, Pepper Jack and individually wrapped slices.
Make it Meatless
If meats and poultry make up the largest part of your grocery bill, consider making a meatless meal once a week and watch the savings add up. Dishes that feature plant based protein like beans, lentils, nuts or soy are economical and may also lower your risk for heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer. Use drained and rinsed Weis Quality Black, Cannellini, Pinto or No Salt Added Dark Red Kidney Beans to make chili, soups or casseroles. Is this protein-rich superfood new-to-you? Experiment with a different type in your menu each week.
Take stock of your refrigerator before shopping to prevent double buying. For pantry items with an extended shelf life like canned and jarred foods, dried pasta, rice and noodles or herbs and spices, check the “use by” or “best by” date to determine whether replacements are needed. When stored in a dark, cool and dry space, The Spice Hunter® All Natural Dried Herbs, Spices and Salt-Free Seasoning Blends retain their flavor for years. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes and new types of cuisine to liven up healthful home-cooking.
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