Where on earth do you get cheap quinoa? That stuff is expensive here. It makes the mental "gourmet" list in my mind.
We don't do grocery store meat, so shopping deals isn't possible. We don't do dairy in the winter (breathing issues in my 3 year old, only in the winter) so tons of my usual food ideas and meal ideas are gone. Things do NOT taste the same without cheese! We do a lot of lentils and quinoa because I really really really hate beans. I can handle black beans or adzuki beans in moderation or mixed well with other things (ie, black bean chocolate cake!) Kidney beans are hte most vile bean in the world. I hate baked beans. I don't really like rice. I'm definitely not falling into the beans and rice humdrum thing because those are both things I don't like. We do lots of soups, stews, and curries. Lentil shepherd's pie, tofu fried rice, etc.
A lot of the food we eat now is on the cheap side anyway (lots of pb, homemade bread, lots of pasta dishes- carbs carbs cabs) but I'm trying to eat better- veggies, proteins, whole grains- and that's pricey. And I find the total absence of dairy to be really difficult... it's really hard to make a good quinoa burger (soooo goood!) if you're not loading it up with cheese. Everything is bland.
I guess I'm learning, though. I'll figure it out.
Ftr- I don't buy grocery store meat (excepting that turkey) either. That's not the deals I meant. Anything boxed or even fruits and veggies I really shop around. The money I save doing that allows me a little flexibility in other areas. But, yeah, no dairy IS hard.