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Low Cost Healthy and Delicious Meals


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#1 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 04:57 PM

Due to the fact that me and the husband are getting ancient, I want to start preparing healthier meals for us.  :)

If anyone has recipes for meals that are healthy, tasty and don't cost a fortune to buy the ingredients for, would you be so kind as to post them here in this thread?

I'll never understand why everything that is supposed to be better and healthier for you costs twice as much to prepare.  :unsure:

Edited by Lorraine, 10 August 2015 - 04:58 PM.


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#2 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:06 PM

29 is not ancient-but

grilled chicken with lemon pepper and steamed brocolli is one of our favorite clean dishes. It's simple, it's easy, it's quick and and it tastes really good.

Just don't over grill the chicken.

you can substitute any simple seasoning but lemon pepper is probably my favorite.

#3 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:09 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:06 PM, said:

29 is not ancient-but

grilled chicken with lemon pepper and steamed brocolli is one of our favorite clean dishes. It's simple, it's easy, it's quick and and it tastes really good.

Just don't over grill the chicken.

you can substitute any simple seasoning but lemon pepper is probably my favorite.

How long on each side do you usually grill the chicken?  Am I correct that you are talking about boneless chicken?

#4 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.

In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley


#5 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:12 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:09 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:06 PM, said:

29 is not ancient-but

grilled chicken with lemon pepper and steamed brocolli is one of our favorite clean dishes. It's simple, it's easy, it's quick and and it tastes really good.

Just don't over grill the chicken.

you can substitute any simple seasoning but lemon pepper is probably my favorite.

How long on each side do you usually grill the chicken?  Am I correct that you are talking about boneless chicken?

exactly--on our grill about 5-6 minutes on one side and the we use a meat thermometer after it is turned and we take them off the second they reach 165--meat thermometer is probably the best purchase we ever made.

#6 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

#7 EagleMoon

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:16 PM

I'd like to know this too. I never cook that much because I never like much of what I do cook.  :lol:

#8 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

#9 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:19 PM

View PostEagleMoon, on 10 August 2015 - 05:16 PM, said:

I'd like to know this too. I never cook that much because I never like much of what I do cook.  :lol:

Me too. I always get this idea in my head of what the meal should taste like.  When it doesn't, I am very disappointed and consider it a failure.

#10 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:20 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

You are talking about a crock pot, right?  If so, maybe I can  invest in one.  It would be good for us to have.

#11 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:21 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

I would however recommend getting a slow cooker, best tool ever for healthy eating--throw healthy stuff in with enough liquid and 7-8 hours later it is done.

They are not expensive, but we see them all the time at garage sales and thrift stores.

#12 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:22 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

You are talking about a crock pot, right?  If so, maybe I can  invest in one.  It would be good for us to have.

yes, the trendy new name is slow cooker :chickendance:

#13 EagleMoon

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:26 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:22 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

You are talking about a crock pot, right?  If so, maybe I can  invest in one.  It would be good for us to have.

yes, the trendy new name is slow cooker :chickendance:

I didn't even know people still used those things. I remember my mom using one years ago and then there was the scare about food poisoning and so many people quit using them.

#14 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:27 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:22 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

You are talking about a crock pot, right?  If so, maybe I can  invest in one.  It would be good for us to have.

yes, the trendy new name is slow cooker :chickendance:

What size slow cooker?  I'll brave Wal-Mart for the first time in years to see if I can get one.  

By the way, I really appreciate this.  :)

#15 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:31 PM

View PostEagleMoon, on 10 August 2015 - 05:26 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:22 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

You are talking about a crock pot, right?  If so, maybe I can  invest in one.  It would be good for us to have.

yes, the trendy new name is slow cooker :chickendance:

I didn't even know people still used those things. I remember my mom using one years ago and then there was the scare about food poisoning and so many people quit using them.

We use it 2 or 3 times a week. You still want to make sure everything is cooked to tempurature. and Lorraine--most of them are about the same size I think.

#16 stone and a hard place

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:35 PM

I am wrong--they come in different sizes anywhere from 2 quart to 8. My wife scolded me.

ours is a 5 quart--we feed a family of 5 with it so I would think you could go with a smaller one and be ok.

They even come programmable so you can put the food in and start it 3 hours before you get home--but ours doesn't have that feature.

#17 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 05:43 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:35 PM, said:

I am wrong--they come in different sizes anywhere from 2 quart to 8. My wife scolded me.

ours is a 5 quart--we feed a family of 5 with it so I would think you could go with a smaller one and be ok.

They even come programmable so you can put the food in and start it 3 hours before you get home--but ours doesn't have that feature.

Thank goodness for your observant wife!  :)

I don't think we'd need a five quart for two, but it might not be bad.  I'll see what they have.

When it comes to things like this, I hate buying in thrift stores.  Never know who had them, and you never know how well they were cleaned in order to resell the appliance.

#18 EagleMoon

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 06:02 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:43 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:35 PM, said:

I am wrong--they come in different sizes anywhere from 2 quart to 8. My wife scolded me.

ours is a 5 quart--we feed a family of 5 with it so I would think you could go with a smaller one and be ok.

They even come programmable so you can put the food in and start it 3 hours before you get home--but ours doesn't have that feature.

Thank goodness for your observant wife!  :)

I don't think we'd need a five quart for two, but it might not be bad.  I'll see what they have.

When it comes to things like this, I hate buying in thrift stores.  Never know who had them, and you never know how well they were cleaned in order to resell the appliance.

That's the same reason I wouldn't buy something like that used.

#19 blueschica

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 06:30 PM

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

THANK YOU, this sounds wonderful!  If you have any more easy chicken recipes, please post!  Between my husband refusing to eat red meat for political reasons and my OCD daughter having raw chicken as a trigger, I often end up making 2 dinners, which I hate.  Recipes like this w/o red meat and with the chicken already cooked before dinner time are a huge help! :clap:  (And I love parsnips, my dad always made them for us!)

Edited by blueschica, 10 August 2015 - 06:30 PM.


#20 Janie

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:05 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 04:57 PM, said:

Due to the fact that me and the husband are getting ancient, I want to start preparing healthier meals for us.  :)

If anyone has recipes for meals that are healthy, tasty and don't cost a fortune to buy the ingredients for, would you be so kind as to post them here in this thread?

I'll never understand why everything that is supposed to be better and healthier for you costs twice as much to prepare.  :unsure:
Eating healthy is easy and affordable. Buying organic is where things can get expensive. The only thing I buy organic is apples, which I buy at Costco in bulk. I use them to make my own applesauce (which I make in the Crock Pot - more on this later as I want to comment on what others said about it), I also like to have them on hand for snacks which I pair with extra sharp cheddar cheese or peanut butter. All healthy, quick and inexpensive. Another quick tip for trying to save on groceries is to utilize grocery outlets?? Honestly I have not been to one but a girlfriend of mine goes to one regularly and loves saving money on her monthly grocery bill.

The recipe options are endless. I would love to share some with you as long as you give me the ingredients you have on hand. I can help you put together a meal knowing what you have/need to use. I find this is easier especially if you are being careful about what you're buying at the store. A lot of times it's best to just watch store ads to see what they have on sale that day or week. Buy what the stores have on sale and plan your meals around that.

It's also helpful to keep your pantry stocked with items that have a long shelf life, like rice, pasta, canned vegetables and soups (this includes soups like cream of mushroom, etc because they can be a great addition to recipes). If you have produce that is about to turn, wash, dry and chop it into recipe portions and store in the freezer. If there's bread that is too stale, store it in a freezer-safe Ziplock bag and use later for a recipe that calls for bread crumbs.




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