When you have a big family, it can be tough to make the grocery budget stretch. Focus on grains, beans, and meatless meals to make family dinners more cost effective. Here are four budget friendly recipes that will fill your tummy without making your waistline expand too!
1. Beans and rice
Get back to your Hispanic roots with a spicy bowl of beans and rice. There’s no right or wrong way to make this classic, protein-packed dish. Simply start by boiling a pot of rice and dried red kidney beans. Then, season the mixture with your favorite spices, such as cumin, garlic, and black pepper. For extra flavor, add sauteed red bell peppers and onions after the beans and rice are softened.
2. Taco casserole
Have leftover seasoned beef from last night’s dinner? Make the meat stretch by baking it in a taco casserole. Line the bottom of 9″ x 13″ baking dish with pre-made biscuit dough. The rolled tubes of dough are less costly than frozen or fresh-made varieties. Then sprinkle the meat over the dough, add a can of seasoned black beans and a can of diced tomatoes, and top the casserole with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes for a hot, gooey dinner that’s easy on the wallet.
3. Vegetarian chili
Going meatless can make a huge impact on your grocery bill. This weekend, plan to make a big pot of vegetarian chili. The key to making budget friendly recipes, such as chili, extra hearty is the right ingredients. For this, use several types of beans and lentils to give the chili a thick texture. Try a mixture of kidney, black, pinto, and northern beans plus one or two varieties of lentils. Add in a few cans of diced tomatoes, a chopped onion, and your favorite combination of seasonings for a spicy, meatless dinner. Don’t forget the dried chili peppers!
4. Lentil soup
Soups are a great way to use vegetables about to expire or make use of discount produce at the grocery store. Start by simmering lentils in chicken or beef stock. As they soften, add chunks of carrots, celery, onions, and any other vegetables that need to be used. Fresh tomatoes, corn kernels, and cilantro add color and flavor to the inexpensive meal.
You probably have the ingredients for several budget friendly recipes waiting in your pantry at home. Soups, goulashes, and casseroles are easy to assemble with canned meats, starches, and vegetables. Get creative and put those jars and cans of food hiding in the back of the pantry to good use.