Are you spending way too much money on groceries? For many of us, the cost of meat is eating up a major portion of our grocery budget. The answer to this dilemma is simple – buy less meat! The trick to serving less meat is in the vegetables and other protein choices on the plate. Vegetarian options can stretch your grocery dollars while providing filling, healthy meals your family will love and they don't have to be boring.
The next time you plan your menu for the week, instead of planning on enough meat to feed your family for seven days, substitute 2-3 vegetarian, or meatless, meals for your dinner. This one change can save you 30% to 50% on what you normally spend for meat.
If the thought of no meat shocks you don't despair! With the right recipes, you can even stretch bits of meat, like a small amount of left-over roast meat, to make a satisfying meal for everyone in your family.
Here are some meatless menu ideas your family and your wallet will love:
✴ Grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup and your favourite salad.
✴ Quesadillas: Grilled tortillas with cheese, tomato and bits of taco meat if you like.
✴ Cheese enchiladas, Spanish rice, and refried or baked beans
✴ Mexican style baked beans, corn bread, and a fresh garden salad
✴ Chef salad with lots of different vegetables, boiled egg and cheeses. Add bits of ham, bacon or chicken to suit your tastes.
✴ Mini pizzas, home-made with a variety of grated cheeses, Italian spiced tomato sauce, and other toppings as desired. Some great ideas include fresh tomatoes, chives, walnuts and spinach. Let everyone design their own concoctions.
✴ Tortellini stuffed with cheese and mixed with herb and garlic flavoured feta cheese, chopped tomato, kidney beans and a bit of olive oil. Serve on a plate of baby spinach.
✴ Roasted vegetable casserole with potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cream of mushroom soup, carrots and cheese. Add some left-over chicken if desired.
✴ Fried rice with soy sauce, bits of egg, corn, and chopped carrots. Serve with spring rolls.
✴ For a fun change, fix omelettes for tea using eggs, cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach. Bits of ham or bacon flavour it nicely while using only a small amount of meat. Put out a variety of condiments for everyone to choose from.
These menu ideas are just the beginning. Explore, experiment, and get your family involved in the process.
Make it fun! There's nothing like good old family time in the kitchen. Only your wallet will know that you're saving a lot of money in the process!