I just wanted to give you a few tips and tricks for stretching your food.
Our family is bigger than most so there are a few things I have learned over the years to stretch a few items.
- Tuna Fish- we all know that a can of tuna fish does not go very far. Especially when making a sandwich. We use 3 cans and make 20 sandwiches! First, you don’t drain the tuna. then add quick oats to the tuna. Add the mayo and relish (whatever you like). Stir it all up and give the oats a chance to soften. The mayo and water from the tuna will soak up into the oats and it will taste just like the tuna. The kids don’t even know (unless you tell them. shhh!)
- Sloppy joes- Boil some lentils for about an hour. Brown meat, add lentils and your sloppy joe mix. We make ours with BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, a little brown sugar and some worchestire sauce. lentils are very versatile. They have a very similar texture to hamburger meat. They can go into taco meat, soups etc.. and the texture is very similar to ground beef. Yummy, right? Think of all the protein.
- Taco/Burrito meat: We mix the refried beans right into the ground beef and season. The kids are less likely to just eat refried beans and they always want the meat so when we combine them, we usually have left over.
- We use meat sparingly and have lots of vegetables and rice/potato/pasta. This helps keep our food budget low.
- Ramen Noodles: they are a great dinner. You can use the noodles to make low mein (the easy way), or make a hearty soup by adding meat and vegetables.
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoid pre-made dinners: everything can be made from scratch. Sometimes we get used to buying things liked cooked chicken strips or meatballs. Plan on making them yourself. You can do this weeks in advance (just freeze the meat). Then, you get to control the what is in it. No surprises! Even Hamburger Helper meals can be made out home.
- Consider making your own bread. It really doesn’t take long. I will post a great recipe, it is quick and very easy. Many of my kids can make bread easily on their own.
- Try not to eat out. We eat out once in awhile but rarely with the whole family ($100+ at McDonalds just isn’t worth it). Try and look fir recipes from your favorite restaurants and make them at home.
- . I will be posting more about this later. Being creative saves money.
So these are just a few things we do that help keep our grocery bill to about $1000 a month.
what are your tips and tricks to saving money on food?