In recent years a lot of people have had to learn how to stretch a dollar in order to remain financially afloat. One item that everyone has to spend on is food; and knowing how to purchase cheap foods and make them taste good can save a family of four up to $100 a week. I am going to describe here some of the cheaper foods and how to make them work for you.
The cheapest and most useful foods are:
Concentrated orange juice
Rice is probably the most economical food out there. Purchased rice produces five times its volume in boiled rice. With the going price for rice being $2 a kilogram (90 cents a pound), a pound of cooked rice can be produced from 18 cents of rice. A 25-pound bag of rice, selling for $20, will produce 125 pounds of cooked rice, which can last a family of four for two months.
The best thing about rice is that, while it is in itself bland, it can be made to taste anything you want it to taste through the use of seasonings. Whether you use olive oil, or spices such as cayenne and cumin, you can cheaply have a delicious meal for a very cheap price. Whether you have spiced rice by itself, or if you are having rice as a side with a main meal, it is one of the most economical and most flexible foods that you can have.
Potatoes are also one of the cheapest foods. A going price for potatoes is 50 cents a kilogram (20 cents a pound). Potatoes can be cooked in any number of ways. Whether you serve them mashed, bake them, or cut them and fry them, potatoes can also be made to taste however you want them to taste. Once again, using olive oil and spices like cayenne will give you a tasty dinner for very cheap.
Lentils, like rice, make a much larger volume when boiled than they are when purchased. Since lentils are filled with protein, they make an excellent substitute for meats. Like rice and potatoes, lentils lend themselves to embellishment with oils and spices. A simple meal of
rice and lentils with oils and spices can make a tasty and filling dinner for the family for about $1 to $2 for the entire dinner.
Pasta makes about twice the volume boiled than purchased. The price for cheaper pasta is about 60 cents for half a kilogram (50 cents a pound), which will result in 25 cents per pound of pasta cooked. With pasta sauces being not the cheapest foods to be found, the best way to have pasta for cheap, like rice and potatoes, is with olive oil, spices or butter. Or it can simply be served by itself.
Beans are sold in different varieties, from baked beans to kidney beans. The usual price is about $1 a pound. While not as cheap as rice or potatoes, beans are however affordable. And because beans contain a lot of protein, they can take the same role in the meal that is usually occupied by meat.
The best thing about muesli and cereals is that they last for a long time. A breakfast is a small meal, and a pound of muesli can be made to last a family of four for a week.
Lettuce is the cheapest green vegetable that, besides being cheap, is also healthy. Serve as side for dinner.
If you insist on purchasing meat, sausages are the cheapest meat out there. A kilo of sausages is about $5, which is equivalent to $2 a pound. The sausages can be boiled, fried or baked. A good way to have sausages is with rice and ketchup or barbeque sauce.
Not a regular food, pumpkin can however be a very tasty and cheap addition to diet. Pumpkin soup can be delicious, as can baked pumpkin. For something different, buy pumpkin and either make pumpkin soup or cut it into pieces and bake it in the oven. Baked pumpkin and baked
potatoes makes a very tasty dinner for cheap.
Milk powder makes 10 times its volume in milk. A 1.5 kilogram (three and a half pound) bag of milk powder, which usually can be purchased for $7, will make 15 kilograms (35 pints) of milk, or 20 cents per pint. This can be used to provide the family with a cheap side to meals, a snack drink, or served for breakfast with cereal.
Concentrated orange juice
500 milliliters of concentrated orange juice, which sells for $1, makes 2 liters of orange juice. A pound of finished orange juice can be had for 25 cents. Orange juice can likewise be a side to meals, a snack drink, or served for breakfast with cereal.
It is well known to diet watchers that drinking water is good in preventing obesity. It fills the stomach with something that does not add to your body mass. If water is too boring to drink by itself, tea can be useful. Tea, unlike coffee, can be very cheap, with a box of 100 tea bags in some cases being available for $2 to $4. This money will last two weeks to a month, depending on how many people are drinking it and how often.
Also it is possible to save on food by looking at specials in supermarkets; by going to discount stores; and by going to open-air food markets. Having one's eyes open to clearances and specials will result in still more savings on food.