Eating Cheap but as Well as Possible
by Diane Conlinn, March 20, 2001
Eating cheap but well.. okay I somewhat learned the art a long time ago.
First of all, it can be cheaper to bake your own bread, but sometimes it is more expensive when you consider energy costs as well. So, in order for it truly to be cheap, I used to grind my own grain. I used honey for sweetening which I bought by the 5 gallon pails from farmers and I bought my milk as pet milk from a local dairy, which usually included the cream. Additionally, if you look around there are places you can buy eggs as well. This all involves a little planning. If you start to raise your own chickens for eggs, you'll have to pay for the grain to feed them, and I would suggest keeping your egg shells, grinding them down and adding them back into the feed for the chickens to help them have enough calcium. Once chickens start laying they usually lay an egg a day. So, figure out how many eggs you use a day and get that many chickens.
Raising a small garden helps, I usually plant small green onions, and garlic bulbs, as well as raise spices. If you get a lot of rain in your area and water prices are reasonable, and you have the time to putter around a small garden can save you money. But...be ready to can. And that is a chore.
For meals...I like to make various pasta meals.
Pasta and spinach. Cut up some onions, garlic, and saute in about 1 tbsp of olive oil until translucent, then throw in fresh spinach, greens or other items, you enjoy such as zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, grean beans, carrot gratings. Then cook about 1.5 ounces of pasta per person toss this all together and sprinkle a little cheese on top. Fairly cheap and fairly nutritious.
Fajita: One package of fajita mix, a little teriyaki sauce. Cut up 3 different colors of pepper and saute with onions, garlic, and an 1 ounce or two of meat. Sprinkle the fajita sauce, and continue sauteeing, and then put a little teriyaki on for flavoring. If you like it a little hotter, add a little red or black pepper, salt to taste.
This tastes great with fried rice, or with just plain white rice. Cheap, nutritious and tasty.
My favorite cheapie for two people. Throw a chicken in a crockpot, cover with water, lots of ginger, and some sage. And cook until done. Strip the chicken of the meat, save the juice, and cook various things during the week. You can have chicken soup with carrots and potatoes. Chicken noodle soup. Chicken and rice. Chicken sandwiches, Salad with chicken, etc.
Fresh fruit, can be eaten fresh or cooked and drizzle chocolate sauce on top (Peaches, pears, work well with this). Also making your own banana pops. Take old bananas dip in chocolate sauce. then freeze. Tastes great.
Anything you make with hamburger can be switched to turkey meat. So bake a turkey, or buy or grind your own turkey meat, and you can have turkey hamburgers.
Buy a good vegetarian book and you will find that there are great bean meals such as lentil loaf, eggplant parmigiana, grainburgers, add a little mustard or homemade thousand island and voila, tastes even more special with that homemade bread.
Last piece of advice. When I was living on next to nothing I always bought on sale a case of something I disliked such as beets or turnips. And when hard times came, I always had something to eat, because you can bet I still had those beets or turnips still in the pantry. This served two purposes for myself, 1) we had something to eat 2) a great reminder not to get myself in this predicament again.
I am not a lawyer, thus, if you have questions, about this please check with your attorney. Thanks.