Cooking On A Budget: The Bare Necessities of Life

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Bare Necessities of Life

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I have been doing some article reading about how people are spending their money and what cutbacks they are making in this rather dismal economy. In the top categories the research is finding that even those making a 6 figure a year salary are double thinking how they spend and what they spend their money on. The cut backs in spending across the board from the wealthiest to the people like you and I are: going out to dinner less often and eating at home. Many are relying on getting recipes for dinner on line.
That is the focal point of this web site - giving you well thought out recipes that are easy on the food budget as well as showing you how to create left over make over meals and help you to get started on your way to creatively planning dinners around what you already have available.
Outside of the bare necessities of paying the mortgage or rent, the utilities and the insurances and taxes; the one stand out is food. To me feeding your family should be number one as I have said in other posts.
What are the bare necessities of a grocery budget? Here is my top ten list:
  1. Proteins (meats, poultry, seafood)
  2. Vegetables
  3. Fruits
  4. Starches (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread)
  5. Dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, eggs, etc.)
  6. Juices
  7. Food for pets
  8. Health and Beauty products (shampoos, soaps etc.)
  9. Laundry, paper and cleaning products
  10. Snacks

Build your dinners around the top two items on the list and go from there. Spend as much as you can on the top three items - the healthiest choices.  Fill in and round out with starches and dairy products and juices. Of course we can't forget our pets - beloved family members. Numbers 8 and 9 go with saying.
Notice that snacks are last. Those are the items that are the least essential. You can make lunch snacks using fruits and vegetables and crackers and cheese or jello, pudding and yogurt.
If you are buying cereal for breakfast think of ways in which you can make a snack from it. With cereals like a granola - find a bar recipe and make your own.  If you buy a box of granola bars, they generally come 10 tops to a box and cost at least three dollars per box. Purchase raisins and nuts in bulk at your food warehouse and have at the snack making!
Be inventive and include ideas from your kids. With left overs like meats create sandwiches and soups and stews and use them as a lunch.
How ever you slice it - you can budget your way through and feed your family great food.
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