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Inexpensive, multi-purpose foods
Affording food can be hard on a tight budget, but there are some foods that can help your meal money go further.
Potatoes are a great food to have available. They’re quick, easy and versatile. They can be seasoned in many ways to add variety. Potatoes can also be used in shepherd’s pie, fried in patties, rolled around meat and deep fried, even used to thicken stew.
Like instant potatoes, rice is easy and versatile. Rice can be seasoned in many ways for variety. Rice can be added to soup, stew, beans and other foods to make it more filling and serve more. Rice can be a base for numerous meals and is very inexpensive. (Real dry rice is usually cheaper in bulk than instant rice.)
Jiffy Mix or similar products make a great addition to any cabinet. It’s amazingly versatile. This mix can be turned into pancakes, cookies, cake and many other dishes. There are even websites dedicated to recipes exploring the wide variety of foods that can be made from the mix.
Sliced bread isn’t just for sandwiches. In addition to expected uses like French toast, grilled cheese, etc., you can also get more creative. Try making bread pudding, eggs in a basket, or even your own stuffing and croutons.
Salsa is good for more than just dipping. You can make salsa into new types of dip and salad dressing by mixing it with mayo, ranch or creamy Italian. Salsa can be pureed into a sauce, served on rice or added to tomato sauce for added kick. Salsa can easily be used to perk up many meals.
Dry beans can be used in tons of ways. Boil them for use in soups, stews, rice dishes and wraps. They can be mashed for twice-cooked beans or to be used as a thickener in stew.
Look at recipe sites online and you can start to get a good idea of what foods can be used in multiple ways. In addition to the foods listed here, chicken and ground beef can also be very versatile. Do some research and you’ll likely come across others. Keep these foods on hand and learn to make good use of them, you can save money by buying in bulk and buying fewer products.
Remember, creativity is key when you’re living on a budget. Learn how to use foods in new ways and you’ll be able to save money and have a more interesting meal lineup at the same time.