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  2. Meals on a Budget
  3. Introduction

How many times have you gone to the store just to pick up a few items, only to end up paying $40.00 at the checkout, and for only one bag of food? Read on and you'll learn how to shop in a grocery store, plan meals, write lists so you won't run out of food unexpectedly, and make a few meals out of practically nothing.

Some thrifty cookbooks offer recipes for entrées that cost less than 50 cents a portion. While it is possible to feed your family on that, or less, look closely at some of the recipes. Many have calorie counts for main dishes that are 200 or 100 calories or less per serving. It's very difficult to feed a family, especially growing children, on that number of calories; children simply will not be satisfied. They'll come looking for snacks an hour after dinner, and there goes your plan and your budget.

The price per serving in this book, for all but seven recipes, is less than $2.00; many cost less than $1.00 per serving. Recent issues of popular magazines offered budget meals with a cost per serving of $2.50 or less, and a popular fast — food restaurant is bragging that you can feed your family for less than $4.00 a person. These meals are a deal! And each entrée recipe has at least 300 to 600 calories per serving, so you know your family won't be hungry again a few hours after dinner is over.

To cook successfully on a budget, you must follow a few rules. Making and abiding by a grocery list is one of the most important. Having a list in hand helps reduce temptation, and will keep you focused on your goal. When you're busy comparing the prices of two kinds of chopped canned tomatoes, you'll be less likely to think about the freshly made chocolate chip cookies beckoning you from the bakery.

In this book, you'll find tips on how to avoid the traps that grocery store designers set for you. (Look high and low on the shelves because the most expensive products are placed at eye level.) And you'll learn how to get the best value for your money with a little secret called unit pricing.

The Leftovers section is very special. Remember that each of those recipes can be used as a template for almost any leftover food. Make a quiche with leftover cooked chicken and broccoli one week, then an omelet with some cooked ground beef and Cheddar cheese the next. That's one of the secrets to efficient budget — minded cooking: using your imagination and having fun in the kitchen once you learn basic recipes.

The cost for each recipe was figured using NutriBase Clinical Version 7.0. To get the best representative cost for each ingredient, price lists at SimonDelivers.com (now CobornsDelivers.com), YourGrocery.com, and Peapod.com were used. Sale prices, discounts, and coupons were not included in the calculations, so you may find that prices in your area are higher or lower than those stated here. Every cook is different and so is every kitchen. These recipes were developed with cost savings in mind. Each recipe has the cost per serving, and many have a note to make the recipe more special and expensive if you want to splurge. Let's cook!

  1. Home
  2. Meals on a Budget
  3. Introduction
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