Monday, June 21, 2010

Lowering the budget further

We did so well this past two weeks I have decided to lower the food budget even lower. I am going to lower it $50 each paycheck and see how we do. I found a great list by green cheapskate on the 50 best foods for under $1 a lb.

50 foods under or around $1 a lb

•Apples - One a day keeps the cheapskate away.
•Asparagus - HUGE store special at 99 cents a pound during Easter week. I bought 10 pounds, blanched it, and then froze it.
•Bananas - Potassium for pennies.
•Barley - A tasty alternative to rice and potatoes.
•Beans - Canned or dried. Kidney, pinto, navy, black, red, and many more.
•Bok choy - Steam and serve with a little soy sauce.
•Broccoli - Yes, a store special. Usually closer to $2 per pound.
•Bulgar wheat - Try it in pilaf or a tabouleh salad.
•Cabbage - Green and red. I like mine fried.
•Cantaloupe - No, sorry, I can't; I'm already married.
•Carrots - Raw or steamed. Rich in carotenes, a healthy antioxidant.
•Celery - Stir-fry it for a change.
•Chicken - Whole or various parts, on sale.
•Chickpeas - AKA garbanzo beans -- mash 'em up as a healthy sandwich spread.
•Cornmeal - "Polenta" is all the rage these days, but I loved it 40 years ago when Mom called it "cornmeal mush."
•Cucumbers - Try peeling, seeding, and steaming with a little butter and salt.
•Daikon radish - My new favorite raw veggie.
•Eggs - Don't overdo them, but eggs provide high quality protein and still cost about $1 per pound. (Plus, there are many eggscellent things you can do with the shells.)
•Green beans - Frozen, but fresh are sometimes on sale for under $1 a pound in-season.
•Greens - Kale, mustard, turnip, and collard greens are rich in vitamins and a good source of fiber. Here's how I cook 'em.
•Grapes - Store special at 99 cents a pound.
•Grapefruit - Bake with a little brown sugar on top for a healthy dessert.
•Lentils - Perhaps the perfect food -- healthy, cheap, and versatile. Think soups, salads, sandwich spreads -- and those are only some of the "s" possibilities.
•Liver - Chicken livers usually cost under $1 a pound, and sometimes beef and pork liver can be found in the DMZ ("Dollar Maximum Zone").
•Mangoes - High in fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.
•Milk - Yep, on a per-pound basis, milk still costs well under $1 a pound.
•Napa cabbage - Delicious steamed or raw in a salad.
•Oatmeal - The good old-fashioned "slow cooking" kind ... that takes all of five minutes.
•Onions - Try baking them whole in a cream sauce.
•Oranges - Frequent sale price when in-season.
•Pasta - Store special at 89 cents a pound -- I nearly bought them out!
•Peanut butter - Special sale price, but stock up because it usually has a long shelf life.
•Pork - Inexpensive cuts of pork frequently go on sale for 99 cents per pound or less; sometimes even ham during the holidays.
•Potatoes - White and red, Baked, mashed, boiled, broiled, steamed.
•Pumpkin - Yes, you can eat the same ones you buy as holiday decorations, and they usually cost under 50 cents a pound.
•Rice - White for under $1 a pound; brown, a little more expensive but better for you.
•Rutabagas - Hated them as a kid; can't get enough of them now.
•Sour cream - 99 cents on sale, but long shelf life, so stock up. My cucumber awaits.
•Spinach - Frozen (but Popeye doesn't care).
•Split peas - Add a hambone and make the ultimate comfort soup. Try it in the crock-pot!
•Squash - Try baking acorn squash with a little brown sugar.
•Sweet corn - Canned or fresh on the cob, in-season. (Try this recipe for summer corn fritters.)
•Tomatoes - Canned are often better than fresh to use in cooking, and occasionally you can find fresh on sale for under a buck, in-season.
•Turkey - A popular bargain-priced, loss-leader around the holidays -- buy an extra bird and freeze it for later.
•Turnips - Make me think of my grandparents, who always grew them.
•Watermelon - Whole, in-season melons can sometime cost less than 20 cents a pound if they're on sale and you find a big one.
•Wine - Well, at least the stuff I drink -- a 5-liter box (approximately 11 pounds) for about 10 bucks, on sale. (BTW, the beer I drink is even less expensive per pound.)
•Yams/sweet potatoes - One of the healthiest foods you can eat, and usually available year-round for under $1 a pound.
•Yogurt - 8-ounce containers on sale, two for $1.
•Zucchini - OK, they're a type of squash (above). But I love them so much they deserve their own place on the list. Plus they look great in pantyhose.

I have to be honest we have never tried some of these veggies but I plan on trying one of them atleast each paycheck. Not only will it save us money but will be tons healthier for us. I thought it would be alot harder to still stockpile cutting the budget so much but by incorporating more veggies and fruits in the diet, I have some leftover to make other things like freezer jams or drying veggies in my dehydrator for later use. I have yet to take on the bean challenge, which is on my to do list this next 2 week period. I have a ton of beans and lentils (dry) which I am going to make up in freezer portions. Just need to gather a few more facts on preparing them.
I am also going to start in August making my own baby food and freezing. I have huge lists I want to take on this summmer, Making my own cloth diapers and mama cloths for after the baby gets here, Burp cloths etc. I have also made each of my children a baby quilt so need to get started on that too!!! Hope you are having a great first day of summer, Michelle


Lisa B. said...

WoW! You are super busy woman!