Friday, January 8, 2010

Rerun: "Stretchy" Food???

****I originally posted this last January, but this one is worth a rerun... I am always working on our food budget trying to keep it DOWN without making my family eat boring food! Since we are participating in the "Eat from the pantry" challenge we will be specializing in S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G our food to the max without sacrificing nutrition or flavor!***

Huh?? What?? "Stretchy" Food???
Yes, S-T-R-E-T-C-H-Y food.... stretching the food budget!!
Healthy food that stretches the food dollar is one fantastic way to bless not only the physical health of your family, but the financial health as well. Stretchy food does not have to be boring, bland, or weird! Here is a list of our favorite stretchy food (snacks, sides, main dishes, deserts and beverages):
  • Popcorn (I have a whrily pop as in the picture. It makes GREAT popcorn with as little as 1 tsp of oil. It is also made in a town near me.... AMERICAN made!)
  • Carrots (I buy the 5 lb bags at Sams. We eat them in soups, as a side and as a crunchy snack dipped in ranch dressing)
  • Salad
  • Cereal (when it is on sale with coupons I stock up. We have two kinds of cereal in our house: Breakfast (healthy) and Snack (not as healthy).
  • Home made Popsicles (you can freeze all kinds of things into Popsicles kids will love) My kids especially love these fudge pops.
  • Peanut butter (everything from sandwiches, as a dip, on a spoon, etc)
  • Fresh, in-season fruit (home grown in the garden is the best also I freeze fresh fruit to enjoy when it isn't in season.)
  • Venison (My hubby is a deer hunter and keeps our freezer stocked)
  • Home made breads: quick or yeast (Quick (no knead) oatmeal bread)
  • Brown rice (I have a rice cooker and it is totally WORTH the $18 I paid for it 3 years ago.... perfect rice every time!)
  • Beans, but you already knew that.... (I am SNEAKY with beans... run them through the blender and you can add them to all kinds of thing without the family knowing it!)
  • Soups (Many different soups can really stretch the food budget and warm up the body in the winter. They are comfort food!)
  • Potatoes (when you can find them on sale)
  • Pasta (so many things you can do with pasta)
  • Homemade noodles (what a filling and frugal special meal)
  • Eggs (So many ways you can prepare them. We have a weekly "breakfast" for supper.)
  • Rice Crispy treats (the store brand products work just fine)
  • Spice Cake (my favorite recipe from the Depression Era)
  • Fudge (This wonderful recipe is frugal and makes a BIG pan... a perfect chocolate fix!)
  • Home made yogurt (I have a saltan yogurt maker that has more than paid for itself many times. We love smoothies made with our home made yogurt... especially in the summer when fresh fruit is abundant.)
  • Tomato sauce (I buy it by the gallon at sams and make spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and chili with it.)
  • Home made muffins and biscuits
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Tuna
  • Oatmeal (traditional, granola, in baked goods, granola bars)
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • ICE
  • Kool aid (in the summer it is a nice treat)
  • Home canned or frozen food from fresh produce from your own garden or from a local source.
These are some of our favorites... What are some of your favorite "stretchy" foods. I would love to give them a try!
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Leanne said...

I made the oatmeal bread and it was AMAZING!! I talked about you in a post...
Hope you are doing well! Love, Leanne

Camille said...

I hopped over from "Farmgirl Cyn"'s lovely to "meet" you! What a great post...really good ideas you have there!

One thing we do around here is try to avoid ANY boxed cereal...even on sale. Although I believe you can get better deals down in the States ~ I live in Canada. :)

We try to eat oatmeal every morning...I do deviate once in awhile for variety...but having oatmeal for breakfast really saves food $$ I find. THAT was a long-winded answer to your question. :)

I think your idea of soups stretching the food dollars is great...something I've been doing more of too. As I write this I have a pot of chicken stock on the stove...yum yum!

Have a lovely weekend!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I find potatoes on sale at .20 a pound on a regular basis. Before Thanksgiving, I buy several hundred pounds. Since you're in such a colder temperature than I am, you should have no trouble storing them for a long time in a roo cellar or basement (we keep ours in the garage, where it is 55º; it doesn't get down to freezing here very often). I just ask the prodce man for more the first day or two of the sale. This week, we ate 50 pounds of potatoes.

I also buy oats in bulk (25 pounds for $7.50). We eat a lot of oatmeal, stick some oats in when making pancakes, and have a chicken fried steak made from oats (that tastes like meat; it is really good!)

Irish Shorts said...

I also have a whirly pop and LOVE it! My mom picked it up on clearance somewhere for a few dollars. Popcorn is a great healthy snack that leaves you feeling full. I make it several days a week and it is so easy!