During these tough economic times people are searching for ways to make ends meet, specifically managing ways to make the dollar go farther. The costs of store bought items seem to increase almost on a daily basis, forcing some to cut back on eating habits such as, among other things, substituting organic foods for genetically produced foods.
Buying non-brand foods subject many to wonder if they are buying something that is inferior to brand name foods. This is not necessarily true. Name brand manufacturers often let stores such as Safeway, Albertson’s, Smiths, et al to put their store label on the cans making it more affordable. Another noticeable fact is that whenever we buy packaged items, meats, etc, the quantity we are getting these days is less than before and still we are paying the same price, or perhaps in some foods, even more.
Not everyone enjoys eating certain foods. Not everyone has the same tastes, so with that in mind, I offer several suggestions that one might entertain to ease the pocketbook.
Making meals that last a week is a tough sell but it can be done, and the taste of certain dishes is not necessarily compromised. For example with breakfast, take biscuit, topped off with sausage and gravy with a smashed clove of fresh garlic. Granted not everyone is fond of sausage, for that matter, white gravy or garlic, but, this dish does stick to one’s ribs, and the garlic lends itself providing much healing powers for the body. Making biscuits is easy but if you’re not into baking, substitute the biscuit with toasted bread and pour the sausage and gravy on top and you’re all set.
How much sausage and gravy should one make to last a week? This depends on how big of an eater you are. I consider myself a healthy eater and thus buy 2 lbs of mild sausage, and make the gravy proportionate to the amount of sausage used. I prefer to make my 2-3 biscuits fresh daily.
For breakfast, the following items tend to eliminate the need to eat something before eating lunch or dinner. It is a good idea to remember that a combination of protein and healthy carbohydrates will help you feel full longer:
- Pancakes, waffles, both with fruits
- Biscuit and gravy
- Oatmeal with either brown sugar, or cinnamon
- Avocado with toast with slices of tomatoes
As far as lunch or dinner is concerned, I’m one of those who cannot go without having meat with my dishes. It does not matter if its chicken, beef, fish, alligator, or whatever, I have to have meat along with other side dishes. Basically I’m a meat and potato man, but I don’t necessarily have to have potatoes with my meals. I do enjoy eating rice, pilaf, etc.
One tends to save money by buying in bulk. The shelf life of grains and pasta is great, years in fact, whereas buying pre packaged potatoes have a relative short shelf life, but if kept longer it’s okay to make and consume the potatoes but it won’t be as tasty.
Canned vegetables, fruits, sardines in oil, saltine crackers and many other can foods can be kept for up to 2 years.
For dinner, I keep in mind of maintaining a combination of protein and healthy carbs when using homemade prepared foods that will last me a week. For example, I sometimes prepare spaghetti with meatballs made with hamburger or sausage, or a combination of the two. For the sauce, I’ll either prepare it or I’ll buy it already made in the stores. I can make a large dish of lasagna that will last me for a week.
Another meal to consider is making a large pot of stew. Stew can be made in many ways, prepared with your choice of vegetables, meats, or what have you, and it will last a long time.
For me, I enjoy eating meat dishes with 1-2 veggies accompanied by rice or potatoes, balancing it out with a side dish of cubed fruits that serves as a dessert.
Occasionally, when I feel still full, I’ll eat a light dinner. For example, I will have items like avocado dip made with lemon juice, diced onions, and some crushed garlic. People ask me, why do you use garlic in most of your foods? The answer is simple. Almost whatever you read about the effects of garlic has on a human body, it’s always good. It has medicinal powers, if you will, health promoting properties – specifically, anti-oxidant, antibiotic and digestive properties. Garlic is a good source of vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Another example, I sometimes eat sardines, oysters, or the like, packed in oil, accompanied with saltine crackers. I like oil because for its all-around benefits, bottom line, I want the biggest bang for the buck. Oil gives me an abundance of vitamin B-12, Omega-3, vitamin D, and a bunch of other stuff as opposed to sardines packed in water.
© 2013 James Ian MacIntosh all rights reserved