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#1 of 7 Old 05-02-2007, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my boyfriend and i have hit a VERRRRY dry spot in our finances, and we need to save a bunch of money. we have decided we need to be more economical with what we purchase food wise...plus i want us to be more healthy. any advice fro what to buy at the store that will be cheap, healthy and go a long way? i was thinking that beans and grains are cheap if you buy in bulk, and then we get our veggies at the farmers market every saturday...but what theheck do youdo with them to make it exciting and different every night?cookbooks that would help me? i am so NOT the cook, but my boyfriend is working a crazy seasonal job until july and i really want to help him out by having dinner ready for him, rather than the poor guy doing it when he gets home from a 10 hour shift...i am at a loss because it needs to be cheap, healthy and quick and easy because my ds doesn't sit quietly, he likes to be held, and i can't cook with him in a front carry in our sling....i feel so frustrated.:
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#2 of 7 Old 05-03-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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First, maybe try a back carry in the sling?

Then, find a book called "The Quick Recipe" by the editors of Cooks Illustrated. One of my favorite series' of books!...anything that Cooks Illustrated has put out has been great so far!

Anyway, you're right, beans and grains are cheap. Meat is cheap if you buy it at the right time of year, and on sale (so, for the coming year, pay attention! You can get turkeys cheap at thanksgiving to christmas, hams cheap at easter, lamb too, you can check out your local farms (ask around at the farmer's market and somebody'll know) about who sells cows, and split one with another family or two or three or four...it's waaaaay cheap that way! Pork, too.)

Farmer's market is less expensive than buying organic at the grocery store. Conventional is even less expensive. If you're looking at being in a sqeaky tight budget, look into which fruits and veggies you'd MOST benefit from buying organic and try to stick to THEM, and buy the rest conventional for a while...

If you have space, GO BUY YOURSELF some SEEDS! and plant a veggie garden! Check out the square foot gardening book from the library, and a book called something like "how to grow more veggies than you can imagine in less space than you thought possible..." and you'll learn how to grow lots in a minimum of space. Growing stuff can be a LOT of work, but it can be easy, too, and when you look at the cost of seeds as opposed to the cost of the number of veggies it'll grow...you get the point.

check out the "How do you figure out how to meal plan" thread, too. It has a lot of great ideas!

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#3 of 7 Old 05-07-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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You could look at the menu plans at http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com

You'll probably want to use substitutes for things like bacon grease.

Catholic Homeschooling mama to DS (6), DD (4), twin DDs (2), DD (7 months), and someone new 7/31/10!
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#4 of 7 Old 05-08-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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You might want to check out this website:

http://www.angelfoodministries.com

When I was a struggling single mom, we ate a lot of bean & cheese burritos/quesadillas (with either black beans or refried beans), chili and homemade soups, and breakfast foods (eggs, omelets, oatmeal, etc.). Also, if you really get in a tight spot financially, canned soups are not exactly healthy but can go a long way for just a little bit of money.
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#5 of 7 Old 05-09-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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Also, check out grocery store ads - they compete and have awesome prices on produce, meats, milk, etc often! Eay whatever is cheapest! You can eat really healthy and cheap by doing this
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#6 of 7 Old 05-19-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. . ." is not a cheap cookbook, but it is such an investment! It is the one cookbook I would cling to if all my others were tossed out. It has super creative and EXTREMELY delicious recipes that, most of the time, come from the combination of a couple of humble ingredients.

Maybe you could find a used copy. . .

It is a wonderful idea starter and can help you figure out how to use all the seasonal, and usually more affordable, local bounty close to you.

Good Luck!
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#7 of 7 Old 05-25-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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Oh, wanted to add - check out www.recipezaar.com - WONDERFUL recipes on there and many have pictures and ratings.
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