There are a lot of things we buy which are completely for the sake of convenience when, in fact, we could use up would-be wasted foods and make them in mere minutes ourselves. Paying for bread crumbs is the perfect example of one of these frugal living food budget blunders.
Why pay at least $2 for a package of bread crumbs when you’ve most likely got a few slices of stale bread kicking around or crusts that weren’t eaten by finicky eaters. Even if you don’t need to make bread crumbs right away, you can always pop these crusts into the freezer until you do. Then, when you’re about to make eggplant parmagiana or meatballs, toss those dried up pieces of bread into your blender or food processor and blitz them into fine little crumbs.
You can even season your bread crumbs if you like with dried herbs and/or garlic powder. This frugal living friendly tip takes little time and the result is always far better than the store-bought version.
For All You Vegetarians: Keep Food Cost in Check by Skipping the Faux Meat
If you’re a vegetarian or you enjoy meatless cuisine from time to time, you’ve likely seen or even tried the faux meat options that are available at most grocery stores. Meatless sausages, veggie ground round, cold cuts and even faux turkeys are available, to name a few examples.
The thing about these faux meats is that when you break them down in terms of their nutritional value, they’re not conducive to frugal living. Take a look at the back of one of those packages and check out what’s being used to give the item that ‘almost meat’ taste. It’s a little scary.
There are so many healthier, more affordable meat alternatives out there that there’s really no need to buy these faux meats. Beans and lentils are filling and packed with protein. They’re also inexpensive. Use these wholesome foods to make your own burgers, lasagnas and spaghetti and save your money.
Food Cost Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters
A picky eater can not only be frustrating, but it can also be costly in terms of time and money. Just think about it: every time you toss something your child didn’t eat or you prepare a separate meal, you’re using more time and money.
For the sake of your frugal living efforts, the best case scenario would be to nip this picky eater thing in the bud as soon as possible. With that being said, you can’t rush these things and sometimes you’ve got to just let it run its course. There are, however, more frugal living friendly ways to deal with a picky eater in the meantime:
*Don’t force a child to eat something they claim to not like: you’ll only waste time and money preparing other food and tossing what they wouldn’t eat.
*Especially with small children, give small portions first so that they’re not overwhelmed and turned off by the sheer amount of food they ‘have’ to eat. Start small and then, if they eat everything on their plate, they can always have more.
*One popular mealtime solution for picky eaters is to cut prepared foods up into small, bite-sized portions. So, for example, if you’re having trouble getting your child to eat their lunch at school, try cutting a variety of healthful foods into bite-sized pieces for a more snack-like lunch. Small pieces of meat and cheese, crackers or squares of bread or pita, cut up fruit and veggies and dip all work well.
When you find a way to fill your picky eater’s belly with nutritious foods—the first time–you will watch as your food cost declines and you suddenly have more time to do other things than fight with a three-year-old over broccoli.