Believe me, I know. I live in one of the many houses in Baltimore that relies on oil heating, so that means I have to purchase oil every winter at about $3.50/gallon (and I have a 175 gallon tank). Needless to say cold weather = constant stress and penny pinching!
I know many of you are doing the same. And so often we think cutting costs means cutting nutrition. But the good news is this: eating on a budget does NOT mean you have to eat Ramen noodles! Most of the recipes on this blog are budget-friendly (mostly cuz I am broke), but here are a few where you get a lot of bang for your food buck.
Breakfast – Southwestern Scramble
- A dozen eggs: $1.25
- Pre-cooked bacon (use about half the pack to feed four): $3.00
- Salsa (use about half the jar): $1.39
- Avocados (use about 2): $3 (this would be the splurge)
- Mexican Blend cheese (instead of Pepperjack): $2.99
Lunch – Magic Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground turkey: $1.25
- TVP (what’s that?): For the amount I use here about $0.50
- String cheese: About $0.75
- 1 egg (for the egg white): About $0.10
Dinner - Taco Casserole
- 1 lb. ground turkey (I get the regular fat kind and drain it myself after cooking): $1.25
- 1 can black beans - $0.69
- 1 can tomatoes & chiles - $0.69
- 1 envelope taco seasoning - $0.25
- 1 can fat-free refried beans - $0.89
- 1 bag Mexican blend cheese - $2.99
To save money in this recipe, use a tablespoon of vanilla pudding mix instead of vanilla sugar-free syrup.
- Cream cheese (5 oz.): $0.95
- 1 egg: About $0.10
- Greek yogurt (2 oz.): $0.33
- Crushed cereal (for crust): About $1.00
- Optional – Sugar-free jelly for topping (2 tablespoons): About $0.50
- Optional: Protein Powder: (for the kind I use – 2 scoops): $1.44
These are just a few of the budget friendly options on BF. In general here are some budget saving, protein amping tips:
- If you can get TVP in bulk, buy it! It increases your ground meat sauces and acts as a binder for things like tuna cakes and meatballs. At my Whole Foods, it costs $1.99/lb.
- Don't buy extra lean ground meat unless you are really sensitive to fat. Instead, buy something like 80/20 and drain it yourself (and make sure to rinse out the excess fat in the pan while doing so)! You come out just a wee bit higher in fat than the lean stuff but the cost reduction is dramatic.
- Make simple meals made of ground meats, beans, etc. shine with one splurge ingredient. That might be Greek yogurt or a special cheese - you decide! You'd be amazed at how one small splurge makes a meal feel decadent.