There are many ways to stretch a dollar at dinner time. Usually these meals are the most expensive because many families think they need to eat meat with their meal. One way to make the most of your grocery dollars is to either incorporate meatless meals or to get creative with your meat a few meals a week.
Here are a few meatless meal ideas.
- Fettucini alfredo
- Bean and cheese burritos
- Black bean soup
- Beans and corn bread
- Breakfast for dinner
- Loaded baked potatoes
- Pizza (cheese and veggie only)
- Chef salad (skip the ham)
- Greek salad
- Grilled cheese and tomato soup
- Open tacos
Adding one of two meatless meals to your weekly menu can cut your grocery bill, and your family might be delighted with breakfast for dinner.
Another way to save money is to stretch your meat. Some families feel they must have some sort of meat with their meal. You can achieve this with recipes where meat is not the main dish. Casseroles, pastas, and salads are great meals that use meat as a side.
- Mexican Chicken Skillet
- Steak and Wild Rice with mixed veggies
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Pink Pasta with Grilled Chicken (add 1 sliced grilled chicken breast to the recipe)
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Chicken Pot Pie
If your family must have meat as a main dish, consider cheaper cuts of meat. My family has grown to love chicken legs, which are significantly cheaper than chicken breasts. Purchase a whole chicken, cook it in the slow cooker all day, and then save the broth for chicken stock. Pull the meat off the chicken for use in many meals to come, casseroles, pot pie, chicken salad, etc. You can get 3 or 4 meals out of one chicken.
Try substituting ground turkey for ground beef in you meals. I substitute turkey for beef in tacos, chili, shepherds pie, and sloppy joes, just to name a few. Any meal where the meat absorbs the flavor of the sauce is a good start for substituting.
Consider starting your family’s meals with a salad. It will help fill everyone with healthy vegetables before the main dish arrives.
Drink water with meals. Juices, milk, teas, sodas all raise the price of a meal considerably.
Serve smaller portions. I am not suggesting starvation. But rather serve smaller portions to start and if your family is still hungry they can have seconds. Smaller servings for kids can mean less food in the garbage after meals.
Incorporating even a few of these ideas will help cut your weekly grocery bill. If your family is hesitant make the changes slowly, don’t overwhelm them with your new menu plan.