Click here to go to the East Texas Food Bank's web site.
Scroll down for some Tips and Recipes to make your budget go further.
Stretching Your Food Budget
7 foods to stretch your budget
1. Dry beans: Canned beans are certainly convenient when you're time pressed, but dry beans are a more economical choice. Soak them the night before and plan several hours of simmering time on the stove.
2. Rice: Rice and beans are a staple food around the world. Switch your family to brown rice and you've upped the nutrient and fiber content over plain white rice. And the good news is that healthier brown rice is generally the same cost as white.
3. Whole chicken: The boneless, skinless chicken breast has become ubiquitous at most supermarkets, many of which no longer employ meat cutters on the premises. But if you buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself, you'll not only save money, but you'll also get a more chicken-y flavor. Throw the carcass in a soup pot with diced carrots, celery, onions and parsley and let it simmer on the stove to make homemade soup stock.
4. Greens: Collard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard and kale are among the least expensive vegetables in the produce section, but they provide a big nutritional bang for your buck. Greens are easy to prepare; wash leaves well to remove any grit, remove tough stems and chop. Steam or sauté and serve, no added fat required.
5. Peanut butter: A kid-friendly favorite, peanut butter is a versatile protein source that spans the gamut from main dishes (such as Thai Peanut Noodles) to desserts. But there's no need to get fancy. Spread on bread it's a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay.
6. Eggs: Eggs are a healthy and inexpensive protein choice.
7. Cheese: When shredded cheese is on sale, it's a great convenience. Without sales, though, chunk cheese is usually cheaper and stays fresher longer. Individually wrapped cheese slices are also more expensive per ounce than unsliced.
Budget Friendly Recipes
Costs are approximate, and can vary weekly based on sales. Condiments are not calculated into the costs. Serving sizes are based on US government figures.
1 cup cooked beans
cumin, garlic powder, chili powder
2 oz cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup diced tomatoes
Heat the beans and combine the beans, cumin, garlic and chili powder and mash, if desired, or leave whole. Divide between two tortillas. Roll up and serve. To make the rice, stir the rice and tomatoes together and heat.
Cost Per Person: $0.77
1/2 c. margarine
3/4 c. sugar
1 medium egg
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 2/3 c. flour
2 T. white sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure the dry ingredients and set aside. Thoroughly mix the margarine and sugar. Add egg and then the sifted dry ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet; bake 7 to 10 minutes, until slightly browned.
Cost per cookie: 7 cents
Vegetable Fried Rice
2 c. dry rice, cooked and cold
3 T. oil
1/4 onion, diced
2 carrot , diced
1/2 can peas
4 T. soy sauce
In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the rice. Stir in remaining ingredients and serve.
Per serving: .78
4 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 onion, diced
4 potatoes , diced
2 T. oil
1 c. milk
In a saucepan, cook the celery, carrots, onions and potatoes in oil. When potatoes are nearly tender, add the milk and simmer several minutes. For a creamier soup, process half of this mixture in the blender and return to the pan.
Per serving: $ 1.06
Oatmeal in the Slow Cooker
4 cups water
2 cups quick-cook or regular oats
Optional seasonings: sugar, cinnamon
Place ingredients in the slow cooker and cook over night. Makes 6 servings
Cost per serving: $0.34
Make-Your-Own Instant Oatmeal
½ cup quick-cooking oats
2 Tbs powdered milk
Process these ingredients in the blender to a powdery consistency. Place in a plastic bag or covered microwave-safe container, if desired.
To prepare, add 1 cup water and microwave 2 minutes. Add any optional ingredients(cinnamon, applesauce, raisins), stir and enjoy.
Make a lot of the dry mix, package and store for early-morning use!
Cost per serving: 0.41