When it comes to budgeting I am always thinking of ways to make healthy, yet inexpensive, meals for my family. I have few simple guidelines I turn to in order to make sure I don’t break the bank on our everyday meal plan. It isn’t that I am trying to cheap out on my family, I am just trying make sure we can eat well everyday while still meeting our budgeting goals. Here are my ideas for inexpensive meals for busy families to help you stay on track!
Idea #1: Dry Grains & Pastas
- Dry grains like quinoa, couscous, and oatmeal are easy to buy inexpensively. They also make a great basis for many, many meals. I swear by serving things like fish (more expensive) on couscous or noodles (less expensive) to create a balanced meal that is on par budget-wise.
Idea #2: Double and Freeze Sauces & Stocks
- When I make things like tomato sauce or chicken stock I double or triple the recipe and freeze half of it. This way the frozen sauce can be easily thawed on busy nights and it can be paired with simple cooked pasta or a pricier cut of meat or fish. This saves so much money in the long run because nothing goes to waste and on the days when you are left with the last bits of your grocery run you can always pull it together with a great, pre-made sauce from the freezer.
Idea #3: Make One Dish Meals
- The sheer scale of a recipe can make all the difference. For example, one single pot of chicken tortilla soup is far less expensive to make than a roast chicken with two side dishes. It is also far less expensive to make one large pizza with vegetables than small individual salads, loaves of bread and meat. To save money on any given night go for a large dish made with a few ingredients that everyone will love. Things like soups and pizzas are also great because you can throw in nearly anything that is left in your fridge!
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