As part of our new frugal plan, I’ve committed to not eating at restaurants or bringing home fast food, even on nights when there isn’t really time to cook. I’ve put together some fast budget meals using semi-convenient foods from the grocery store. Last night I made potato crusted cod and veggies, which was fast and cheap.
1. Potato crusted cod (x 4 fillets) $8.00 sale priced: This cod comes ready to cook in the seafood department at Fred Meyer.
2. Green Giant broccoli and potatoes $3.45: Bagged with cheese sauce, you can find these quick veggies in the frozen aisle to cook in the microwave.
3. 1 stalk of fresh broccoli $1.50: This fresh broccoli got chopped up and mixed in with the Green Giant veggies to stretch it even further.
4. Rice (2 cups before cooked) $.25: Our rice costs hardly anything since we buy it in bulk bags at Sam’s Club. Rice is a frugal ingredient that can be added to many meals to stretch it without adding a lot of cost.
Total dinner for 4 = $13.20 or $3.30 per person.
This is by far more expensive than our meals normally are, but 1) fast and convenient is important right now, and 2) we don’t usually eat seafood. Our nightly total for a dinner is usually around $5-$8 for the whole family. Remember also that we live in Alaska where groceries, even bought on sale and combined with coupons, are significantly higher than elsewhere in the United States.
This fast budget meal was quick to cook also: I put the rice in the rice cooker, fish in the oven, and veggies in the microwave, and turned them on. I was able to set the table and feed the baby while dinner cooked itself!
Challenge yourself to put together some fast but more-frugal-than-fast-food dinner meals for nights when you don’t have time to cook. You’ll be glad you did!
(Get more Works for me Wednesday here.)