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Archive for the ‘Budgeting Tips’

Things to Keep Around

Never be afraid to have different items to spice up your dishes!


Things To Keep Around

Eating well on a budget means shopping smart. One of the best tips I have is to make sure that you buy items that can be made many different ways and used in multiple dishes. For example, milk can be used to make a white sauce from scratch, is a key ingredient in “helper meals” and is essential for cereal at breakfast time. Here is a list of ingredients to always have around the house and a few suggestions of how they can be used.

• Eggs: can be cooked multiple ways including soft/hard boiled, scrambled/omelets, key for French toast
• Bread: Always good for sandwiches and such.
• Deli meat: use for sandwiches, omelets, or salads.
• Tomatoes: these can add character to any dish, especially pastas.
• Potatoes: use to make multiple side dishes.
• Milk: again, use for “helper meals” and pasta sauces
• Butter: another key ingredient for multiple dishes.
• Pasta: cheap and easy starter for a creative meal

These are just a few ingredients that are great for creating simple and easy meals at any time of the day. Adding extra ingredients of your choice allows you to create a creative meal that reflects your personal cooking style. Personally, I enjoy creating funky pasta dishes full of flavor. Get creative and get cooking!

Finding Great Deals

Here is a slideshow of different products from different stores that I have found to be great buys.  Remember, that going to different stores to buy different products will ultimately save you money.  The stores that I got these items from are Meijer, Wal-Mart, and the Dollar Tree in Bowling Green, OH.

Shopping Smarter

When cooking on a budget, it can be very difficult to make good quality and delicious meals.  Here is a simple tip that I have learned over the past few years while being a college student: Different stores sell different items for less!

  • Stores like Wal-Mart are good for packaged food like tuna, milk, pasta sauces, and “meal” helpers.
  • Actual grocery stores, like Meijer here in Bowling Green, are good for inexpensive deli and butcher meats because they have those departments which cut out middle-man overpricing.
  • Discount grocery stores, such as Aldi, are always a great place to get items like olive oil, different vinegars, and packaged veggies (celery, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms)
  • Dollar stores, such as DollarTree, is great for buying condiments, drinks (pop, juice), and miscellaneous cooking items such as oven mitts, spatulas, etc.

*Look for hidden gems! It’s surprising what only costs a dollar!

Shopping for quality ingredients at a reasonable price is certainly not easy.  However, when you take the time to learn products and stores, it helps save money much easier.  Always remember that you can find recipes online to cater to the ingredients that you may already have, or that are inexpensive.  Good quality meals can come from any type of ingredient.  All you have to do is get creative!

Here are a few photos of different meals that I have made that cost less than $15 to serve multiple people. Remember that it is easy to make meals your own.