I have gone to the library used book sales and have purchased some Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks. They are older ones, but have good recipes for great meals, desserts and ways to stretch a budget.
I also continue to cook a large meal and freeze some of it in individual meal containers. My husband is a truck driver and gone several days to 10 days at a time. He is able to eat a home cooked meal and saves a lot of money eating out. He also collects points on several cards when filling up his truck that allows him to eat out with little or no money when he wants a restaurant meal. I also make homemade banana bread in smaller loafs that he is able to take with him. (They freeze nicely)
I do a lot of baking from scratch. I know there are some that don't do this but it is economical, especially in hard times when money is tight. I have a stockpile from the past that helps and just have to replace when low.
By kellymbr from Idaho Falls, ID
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I think everyone, whether living alone or in a family, would like to make the food budget stretch. Here are some ideas that may help. Thanks to those who contributed tips.
Beware of little expenses; a small leak
will sink a great ship. Benjamin Franklin
Buy family packs of meats such as ground beef, chicken,
or pork chops when they are on sale. Split the packs into
whatever is a serving size for your family, wrap in plastic
wrap or Ziploc freezer bags and freeze for use in future
When you prepare a meal, try to make double the amount
of the main course, and then freeze the second half for
another meal on a busy day.
Some people find it worth the time to wash zip type bags
hang them to dry, then reuse them.
Purchase beans, rice, cornmeal, oats, and other legumes
and grains that your family eats, from co-ops or farmers
markets, in 20-25 pound bags. This saves on the food
budget in the long run. You can get 5 gallon storage
buckets with tight fitting covers from deli's or grocery
stores that carry bulk foods to store the beans in. The
grains should be stored in a freezer. This not only keeps
the vitamins intact but also kills any weevil or moth eggs
that may be present.
Save the juice from pickles and put in baby carrots,
chunks of broccoli or cauliflower, even hard-boiled eggs
or whatever you like. Store in the refrigerator. After a few
days, you will have an inexpensive alternative to the expensive
pickled veggies at the store.
Buy cheese in large blocks and grate or slice it yourself.
Cheese can be stored, well wrapped, for several months
in the freezer with no damage.
Save your bread bags and use them for storing leftover
muffins, slices of cheese, and many other purposes; this
saves on buying storage bags.
Have a buffet style meal once a week or whenever the
leftovers are taking over the fridge. Pull out all the leftover
Using vinegar in the dishwasher can save lots of money. It
can save money on rinse agents and expensive dishwashing
detergents. Buy the cheaper (generic brands) of dish-
washing detergent and use it with one cup of vinegar. Pour
one cup of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher, add
the detergent as usual, turn it on and your dishes come
out really sparkling clean.
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