Our family sat down to Sunday lunch. Nothing fancy, but there was plenty and it was reasonably healthy.
Earlier that morning, I’d put one extra large chicken breast in the crockpot with lots of liquid, turned the heat on high, and let the meat cook until it fell apart. It transformed into a creamy meat-speckled sauce. At lunch, I boiled noodles, added them to the crockpot and gave a quick stir. The main course was ready.
A side dish of bright green English peas was ready after just a few minutes in boiling water. I quickly sliced fresh oranges into wedges for dessert and lunch was done.
While my family ate, I scanned the table and did grocery math in my head (something I hate to admit I often do, but I suspect lots of mothers do it.) I added up how much I knew I’d invested in the meal on the table. My tally came up to just under $5 to feed my family of 3 and there would be enough food left over to eat dinner.
Dollars can get tight during the holidays for lots of families and there are plenty of ways to eat well on a budget. Consider some of these ideas to save time and save money during the coming weeks.
Make a casserole. A few ingredients go a long way when combined in this all-in-one dinner.
Use a crockpot. A tougher, less expensive cut of meat can be transformed into a tender dish with minimal effort. Put it on before you leave for work and dinner is ready when you come home.
Beans. Dry beans offer tasty protein and their cost is minimal. Want to break the pinto beans and cornbread routine? Try beans a different way like refried bean enchiladas or 15 bean soup.
Stir Fry. Making stir-fry is a yummy option for a meal and a great way to use more economical sized portions of meat with lots of quickly cooked vegetables (low cost veggie options include shredded cabbage, sliced onion, or frozen green peas or corn kernels.) Go light on the oil when cooking for the healthiest dish for your family.
Happy holidays and enjoy budget friendly, healthy dinners with your family during the coming weeks.