Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Few Frugal Dishes


I don’t know about you, but all this talk about our failing economy has me worried. There isn’t a lot I can do, but one place where I know I can save some money and help us get by on less is groceries. We don’t usually live very frugally, but when push comes to shove, I know we can make do with a lot less than we are doing now. In fact, I’ve slowly started to incorporate some of these frugal dishes over the past month or so to help keep the money I spent at the store under control despite rising cost of food.

One of the dishes I turn to when I need to make a cheap but filling meal (that’s also healthy) is a soup made from beans or lentils. For that matter, any type of soup is a great way to fix a frugal meal. You only need minimal amounts of meat to make it taste great and you can add plenty of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables to make it healthy. Add some beans or lentils for added fiber and protein and some potatoes, pasta or rice to make it more filling and voila.. you have hardy meal.

My second “trick” for inexpensive meals is to buy less meat and use beans and other legumes like lentils and peas instead. Beans are a great source of protein. Sure, this takes some getting used to and I don’t think we could ever completely give up meat, but there are some good bean recipes out there and we are comfortable replacing the meat with them a few times a week.

If you haven’t cooked with beans much, especially with dry beans, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a lot easier than you may thing. Yes, beans do take a while to cook, but you can have them simmering away at the back of your stove while you go about your day. If you’re not going to be at home during the day, you can also cook them in a crockpot.