How To Stretch Your Grocery Budget

Tips for Making Your Money Last:

When you have a limited income, you need to make your money last. You have to stretch the money you do have to make it last until the next payday. One way to make your money last is to stretch the products you buy to make them last longer.

Here are some great money saving tips I have found for stretching your grocery budget so your money will last longer.

Stretch your grocery budget the Frischy way!

Stretch Your Food Budget:

Make your food budget stretch by extending your food and using fillers.

Stretch ground beef or turkey by mixing it with stale bread crumbs, cracker crumbs or oatmeal. You can even use the dregs at the bottom of a box of unsweetened cereal to extend your hamburger meat. Just crumble it up well and mix it well with the meat. If you need a binder, try a well-beaten egg, some milk or a dab of worcestershire sauce.

Stretch soup by adding additional vegetables, noodles or rice. Extend a can of cream of chicken soup by serving it over rice or mashed potatoes. Serve canned stew or vegetable beef soup over a bed of mashed potatoes.

food-budgetYou can save money by skipping sugar-laden fruit drinks, but if you are still buying them dilute them by adding more water. If you do this gradually, your family will not notice.

Adding more beans to recipes provides additional protein and fiber while extending the number of servings at a relatively low cost. Even canned beans are very cheap protein. If you start with dry beans, they are even cheaper.

Keep a container in the freezer to collect your leftover vegetables and scraps of meat. Even bits of leftover sauces and gravy can go in. Once a month or so, use the contents to make a soup.

Remake leftovers into another meal. For example, yesterday’s hamburgers or meatloaf could become the meat in tonight’s spaghetti sauce. Put beef stew in a crust and make a pot pie. Baked chicken can become chicken casserole or chicken salad. Our grandmothers used to serve mashed potatoes one night and potato cakes the next.

Leftover cooked cereal can go into a loaf of bread to eat with dinner.

Stretch Your Grocery Budget With Nonfat Dry Milk:
See How Powdered Milk Can Make Your Money Last.

Nonfat Dry Milk is a great bargain for stretching your food budget. There are so many ways to use powdered milk and buying some will make your family healthier and keep money in your pocket. What could be better?

Let me start by saying that I hate the taste of powdered milk. Some people can get used to the taste and drink it all the time. I tried doing this when I was a poor college student and was never successful. I did find some ways to use this product though, and it saved me a lot of money over the years.

powdermilkWhen I was in college, one of the challenges I had was refrigeration. I found I could mix some nonfat dry milk with cold water and put it on my cereal in the morning. The taste was a little different, but it was acceptable. This allowed me to eat breakfast in my dorm room and save my meal tickets.

Another strategy is to mix regular milk with reconstituted nonfat dry milk. My mother used to do this while we were at school and we never knew the difference because she kept everything in the original milk jugs. If we ever noticed the difference in the taste she would say something about the cows’ diet changing due to the change in season. Oh, the cows are starting to eat grass now. The cows are eating more hay due to the drought. The farmers are giving the cows more corn these days due to grain prices. None of us ever caught on, but she let us in on her secret when we became mothers ourselves!

Of course, using powdered milk in cooking will allow you to save your good milk for the table. It works fine for any recipe, even baking. To make a substitute for buttermilk, just add a spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of reconstituted nonfat dry milk. This is good in biscuits or cakes.

In the wintertime I always make a big batch of hot chocolate mix using powdered milk. This is a bargain compared to the cocoa mix you buy at the store, especially if you plan ahead and stock up on the ingredients when they are on sale.

You can also boost the nutritional value of other foods by adding some extra dry powdered milk to dishes like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, cream sauces or scrambled eggs. Keeping your family well-nourished is an important part of surviving on a limited income. Staying healthy saves money!

Tricks With Stale Bread to Stretch Your Grocery Budget:

Do you find yourself throwing away the last few slices of a loaf of bread? Do your end pieces go to waste? Stretch your grocery budget by making use of this wasted food!

Turn stale bread into French toast. Just beat some eggs in a shallow bowl with a little milk, sugar and vanilla extract to taste. Dip the bread slices in and cook in a medium skillet with butter or margarine. No need to get all fancy! The kids will love this. Serve with syrup or jelly.

Save stale bread crumbs in the freezer and use as filler for ground meats, or mix with melted butter to top casseroles.

Top slices with grated cheese and warm in the oven or toast under the broiler to make a yummy cheese bread that goes great with soup.

Of course you can make a grilled cheese sandwich, but how about making a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Just coat the outside of your favorite pbj with butter or margarine and cooking it in a buttered skillet This is a high-calorie yummy treat!

Make some bread pudding with your stale bread.

Make croutons by drizzling herb butter (a stick of butter or margarine melted with some fresh basil and minced garlic) over bread cubes, then baking at 275 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with salad or soup, or just munch as a crunchy snack.

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