Budget-friendly specialty foods

We all know there are cheap ingredients and expensive ingredients. But which are which? Learn about the 10 best ingredients you can use to get dinner on the table without breaking the bank.

With global trade, some produce is available in stores year-round. However, non-seasonal produce is more expensive. Even though it might only seem like a just few cents more, when the end of a year comes around, those cents will have added up to dollars you may wish you put elsewhere. I acknowledge by requesting this info, I'll be added to Cook Smarts' newsletter list.

I can unsubscribe at any time. Discover what veggies are in season each month with this Vegetables by Month Chart. Frozen fruits and veggies are cost-effective and can be just as good as fresh, since they are picked at their peak to be frozen; they still contain all the good nutrients.

Having frozen produce on hand in your freezer is also important because it means you can add fruits and veggies to every meal. Dried beans are cheap and a great way to feed large groups of people and have plenty of leftovers. They can be cooked in a slow cooker and any extras can be frozen and then defrosted for a quick future meal.

While dried beans are cheaper than canned beans, canned beans are also very budget-friendly, especially when compared to meat proteins. And of course they are always great when you add spices and enjoy them as protein-rich side dish. Purchasing preserved tomatoes can save you time and money and lets you add bursts of flavor to a dish at any time.

You can get crushed, whole, diced, and paste in cans, tubes, and boxes. You and your kids will NOT suddenly develop a taste for turnip greens in a can just because there's an emergency. Buy what you eat anyway. This makes rotating your supply easier too.

Stock everything in FIFO order i. Buying food you don't like results in FISH - First In, Still Here. You need some recipes to make use of your stores.

Scooping beans from the can is OK if you are in a hurry, but you really should learn how to make a good chili and a bean salad, at minimum. And baked beans with real maple syrup are awesome! Every bit of the recipe can be pulled from your stores or your garden. Baked beans can be pressure canned too, if you make a batch too big for immediate eating.

All the dry beans naturally have long storage lives. Another advantage of this is the ability to replant dried beans from your own stores. I've grown Vermont Cranberry, Black Turtle, Dutch Brown and a few varieties of Navy beans. Here's how to start. If you want to sock away a LOT of calories for relatively little money, start with this basic list.

The quantities and varieties shown will feed two adults a subsistence diet for 3 months. You can acquire this list on a piecemeal basis, buying a few items each week depending on sales.

And remember Rule 1 - if there is something on this list you don't like, substitute. Dry Goods. In the short-term, these consumables will store just fine in the original packaging. They will have a shelf life of at least a year if kept dry and away from excess heat. Depending on where you store them, you might want to pack them into 5-gallon buckets for additional protection.

If you want to start on a longer-term supply, you could also vacuum-pack these items in lb bags. For beans, peas, and pasta, take them out of the original packaging and vacuum pack in a size that you will use up in a month or two.

For more fine-grained food stuffs like flour, rice, instant potatoes or dry milk, leave then in the original bags. Poke a couple holes in the bags to allow the air to be sucked out, and vacuum seal.

Canned goods. Cooking supplies and condiments. I've got 4 areas for storage goodies in the house. My three freezers are in an unheated outbuilding, so if we lose power during the winter I have a few days to handle the problem.

I've got a neat little Champion generator for backup too, but that's a topic for another article. My kitchen used to have a doorway to what was the dining room in the original farmhouse, and is now my office.

I calculated the cost of each of these recipes assuming you already have basics like spices and oil if purchased at Walmart, then rounded to the nearest dollar. I chose to use the cheapest available products. I was shocked at the results! Of course, your results will vary depending on the specific recipe you choose to make.

Updating this chart above with prices current as of January , I was shocked to see the results from my research. The hot dog bar has now replaced the pancake breakfast as the cheapest meal to feed a crowd.

In my data showed that a pancake breakfast for 16 people was just 7 dollars using generic ingredients! The results of this chart update were appalling to me. Inflation is a real buzzkill for sure, and something I am definitely keeping my eye on the next time I have a crowd to feed!

Good luck and I hope your next gathering is cheap yet fantastic! Skip to content. Post has been updated to reflect January prices. If you want to learn from my mistakes then read on :0 Feeding a crowd on a budget is easy when each guest or family brings a dish to share, instead of committing to feed everyone yourself.

What is the Best Way to Feed A Lot of People? Choose a recipe that can be scaled up without having to cook or bake more batches. This idea works great as a potluck too. Make as much food ahead of time as you can. Chose a recipe that can be scaled without having to cook or bake in batches Stews, soups, pasta, and salads are excellent for this.

Croc Pot Hot Chocolate.

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods · 1. Seasonal Fruits & Veggies · 2. Frozen Fruits & Veggies · 3. Dried & Canned Beans · 4. Canned Tomatoes · 5. Pastas & Grains · 6 Missing Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken

Budget-friendly specialty foods - Oatmeal; Eggs; Bread; Rice; Bananas; Beans; Apples; Pasta. Fill me up. Again, while fresh produce might be best, youre on a budget Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods · 1. Seasonal Fruits & Veggies · 2. Frozen Fruits & Veggies · 3. Dried & Canned Beans · 4. Canned Tomatoes · 5. Pastas & Grains · 6 Missing Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken

One head of cabbage goes a long way. This recipe, where wedges are bathed in turmeric-accented coconut milk until meltingly tender and sweet, uses just half of one to feed four. The soul of this recipe comes from the ginger and tamari marinade that gives crispy tofu a sweet and savory glaze.

We like to turn leftover tofu into tacos, for some Japanese-Mexican fusion. Toss roasted sweet potato wedges in a sweet and nutty tahini dressing for this quick vegetarian weeknight dinner. And no, it will not break the bank.

This budget meal is about turning leftover side dishes into something totally new. Nearly any roasted vegetable or cooked grain could be worked into a frittata using this method.

This looks like something that took hours in a crockpot to make, but in reality, the black-eyed peas soak up the flavors of an onion- and tomato-based gravy in under 30 minutes. Tuna salad deserves to be considered a dinner dish, not just a sandwich filling. Let the pan-fried chickpeas and red endive in this recipe convince you.

Pan-crisped and glazed sweet potatoes. With hearty, almost meaty lentils. And pistachios. Purchase lasagna noodles, mushrooms, mozzarella, and Parmesan. The rest of the ingredients for this cheap dinner recipe are already in your fridge or pantry.

One style of cheap meals: recipes chosen with their leftovers in mind , making two meals out of one. For example, these ground beef meatballs and their tomato sauce make for a great hoagie filling the next day.

If you've already got miso in your fridge and don't want to spend on something new, you could use that in this stew recipe instead of gochujang. It will be a whole different vibe, but a vibe nonetheless. Serve it with a poached egg and a slice of bread for a good cheap meal.

Easy homemade tomato soup is an upgrade to the canned stuff, but we don't judge. Try pouring the soup directly over the sliced sandwich for an irresistible comfort food. Consider this roast chicken your Sunday dinner. And then your Monday lunch, too. You can turn the leftover meat into pulled chicken sandwiches or a chicken noodle salad.

Do not underestimate the potential of the often underrated legume, the lentil, a key ingredient when it comes to filling but cheap meals. Our creamy, almost Alfredo pasta -looking stovetop mac and cheese is about as easy as opening one of those little boxes of shells and powdered sauce —but a lot more delicious.

Freeze half of these burgers to pull out during those times when you get the craving for fast food. Just add heat; you already paid.

Here are our favorite ways to prove that a cheap meal can also be the best meal. Photograph by Isa Zapata, food styling by Emilie Fosnocht, prop styling by Emma Ringness. View Recipe. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Spencer Richards, Prop Styling by Marina Bevilacqua. Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou.

Photo by Emma Fishman. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Sean Dooley, Prop Styling by Marina Bevilacqua. Photo by Alex Lau, styling by Sean Dooley.

Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Judy Kim, Prop Styling by Nicole Louie. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Mieko Takahashi. Photograph by Isa Zapata, food styling by Pearl Jones and Thu Buser, prop styling by Sean Dooley.

Photograph by Elizabeth Coetzee, Prop Styling by Emma Ringness, Food Styling by Emilie Fosnocht. Photography by Isa Zapata, food styling by Thu Buser, prop styling by Christina Allen. Photograph by Isa Zapata, food styling by Pearl Jones, prop styling by Emma Fishman.

Photograph by Isa Zapata, Prop Styling by Tim Ferro, Food Styling Sean Dooley. Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Thu Buser, Prop Styling by Christina Allen.

Photo by Laura Murray, Food Styling by Pearl Jones. Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Emily Eisen. Photograph by Julian Cousins, Food styling by Adriana Paschen. Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Pearl Jones. Photograph by Emma Fishman, food styling by Pearl Jones, prop styling by Sophie Strangio.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Anna Billingskog. Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by Yekaterina Boytsova. Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou. Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Susie Theodorou, prop styling by Heather Greene.

Alex Lau. Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by D'mytrek Brown, Props by Meilen Ceramics. Photograph by Heami Lee, food styling by Maggie Ruggiero, prop styling by Sophia Pappas.

Photo by Heami Lee, food styling by Judy Haubert, prop styling by Rebecca Bartoshesky. Photo by Alex Lau. Food styling by Susie Theodorou. Photography by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by Adriana Paschen, Prop Styling by Elizabeth Jamie. Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kat Boytsova.

Photo and Food Styling by Emma Fishman. Photo by Laura Murray, Food Styling by Micah Morton. Photograph by Emma Fishman. Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by Adriana Paschen, Prop Styling by Elizabeth Jaime. This is due to fresh fruit being more widely available in the season.

Stock up now and preserve summer fruits to use later in the year, freezing them or turning them into jam. Not a prepper? No problem. Prices for fresh fruits are only expected to increase by about 0.

Just be sure to store your produce properly , so it lasts as long as possible. Bring home the bacon without breaking the bank.

Since last year, the price has increased 1. Cook up some easy chicken recipes for dinner, grill turkey burgers , or perfect your grilled chicken breast this summer. Now may be the time to begin your alternative meat journey.

While beef and veal increased in price by 1. Consider adding bison burgers , ground elk stew, venison steaks, or other alternative meats to your diet for some savings.

Fish and seafood are only up 0. You can potentially spend less than you did last summer to grill fish , create a seafood boil , or even just add fish and seafood to your weeknight healthy and quick recipe rotation. Now may be the time to stock your pantry with cooking oil , EVOO to drizzle, and more.

The price of fats and oils dropped 0. Prices are forecasted to increase until , so now may be the best time to buy your oils. Olive oil prices are especially predicted to soar , so you may want to get a nice bottle now before the next pressing gets a markup. Cheese, butter , and ice cream lovers, we have some good news.

Dairy products are down 0. Use limited data to select advertising. Create profiles for personalised advertising. Use profiles to select personalised advertising. Create profiles to personalise content. Use profiles to select personalised content. Measure advertising performance. Measure content performance.

Understand audiences through statistics or combinations of data from different sources. Develop and improve services. Use limited data to select content. List of Partners vendors.

Compared to other winter squash varieties, butternut squash provides a higher amount Sample product opportunities nutrients. Back to How Specialtg Vegetarian family classics Budget-friendky on chilli con carne Personalized sample selection vegan specialtu Personalized sample selection Vegetarian fakeaway recipes. Photograph Inexpensive breakfast deals Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Thu Buser, Prop Styling by Christina Allen. But to kick your next dinner party into high gear or nab some truly special snacking supplies, we've rounded up the best specialty online food markets for every type of home chef. The combination of fiber, vitamins and minerals in oatmeal may have the potential to reduce the risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity 505657 ,

Budget-friendly specialty foods - Oatmeal; Eggs; Bread; Rice; Bananas; Beans; Apples; Pasta. Fill me up. Again, while fresh produce might be best, youre on a budget Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods · 1. Seasonal Fruits & Veggies · 2. Frozen Fruits & Veggies · 3. Dried & Canned Beans · 4. Canned Tomatoes · 5. Pastas & Grains · 6 Missing Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken

Popcorn provides fiber, magnesium and several disease-fighting antioxidants. Plain popcorn is also relatively low in calories, making it a helpful snack for those wanting to lose weight.

The great thing about popcorn is that it's very versatile. You can add toppings such as sea salt and cheese for a savory treat, or cinnamon and sugar for a delicious sweet treat. It can be expensive to buy pre-popped popcorn in bags or microwaveable pouches, so purchasing kernels helps make this nutritious snack more affordable.

You can pop the kernels yourself in the microwave with just a brown bag. Frozen berries are easy to keep on hand and can be very cost-effective when compared to fresh fruit. A couple of great choices to keep on hand are frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries. Check the bags and buy berries without added sugar.

Blueberries may be small in size, but they are rich in nutrients and are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Blueberries have been linked to improved cardiovascular health and can contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Strawberries are also high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as folate. They are also rich in antioxidants. A review in Nutrients of studies done with strawberries and blueberries found they helped reduce inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity and helped keep blood pressure in check, among other benefits.

Add frozen berries to your favorite smoothie recipe or make a yogurt parfait with them. Frozen berries can be used to make jams, pies and other desserts. Tuna is a smart choice for those wanting to increase their fish intake while still keeping their groceries affordable.

Tuna is a great source of protein, and it also contains some omega-3 fatty acids , which are important for brain health and reducing inflammation. Tuna also provides a fair amount of the minerals selenium, phosphorus and potassium.

Choose canned tuna for salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. Eggs are a staple item in most homes. They're extremely nutritious and typically cost less than 20 cents per egg. A whole large egg contains 6 grams of protein and delivers some vitamin D as well.

Eggs also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health and decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration. We often think of eggs for breakfast, but they can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Look to eggs to make a savory dinner quiche, vegetable-packed fried rice or egg salad sandwiches.

Now that we've got a list of healthy, budget-friendly foods to keep on hand, let's explore a few more ways to help you save even more money on your grocery bill. Most people don't realize this, but the ingredients in store-brand products are usually similar to brand-name products. So, instead of paying extra money for well-known brands, look for generic or store-brand products instead.

Before you head to the grocery store, take inventory of everything that you have on hand. You may be surprised to find a few extra cans of chickpeas, or some leftover broccoli that may be on the verge of going bad.

To help avoid food waste and save a little money, try to make recipes with these items first. Get creative with what you have. Nonperishable items, such as grains, rice, nuts and beans, are typically cheaper when purchased in bulk or larger containers.

Even though a larger container of rice will be more expensive, look for the unit price when you shop. That will tell you how much you're paying per pound or ounce so you can compare packages and get the best deal. When you bring bulk items home, distribute them into smaller portions to help with storage, then use them as needed.

Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season can help keep the price down. Sometimes, but not always, shopping for local produce at your farmers' market can be more affordable.

To help fresh produce last longer, some fruits and vegetables, like strawberries, peaches and onions, can be frozen. You can try washing and storing them in a freezer bag, and placing them in the freezer until you're ready to use them.

When fruits and veggies aren't in season, stock up on nutritious frozen produce. Meal prepping is a great way to save money. Planning your meals can help prevent those unnecessary grocery trips during the week.

Meal prepping doesn't have to be hard. It can be as simple as preparing a big batch of soup on the weekend, and portioning it out to last throughout the week. Use limited data to select advertising. Create profiles for personalised advertising. Use profiles to select personalised advertising.

Create profiles to personalise content. Use profiles to select personalised content. Measure advertising performance. Measure content performance. Understand audiences through statistics or combinations of data from different sources. Develop and improve services. Use limited data to select content.

List of Partners vendors. Healthy Eating. Andrea Mathis, M. EatingWell's Editorial Guidelines. Reviewed by Dietitian Elizabeth Ward is a registered dietitian and award-winning nutrition communicator and writer. Reviewed by Dietitian Elizabeth Ward, M.

In This Article View All. In This Article. Canned Tomatoes. All of these can be done on the cheap, and links to all these ideas can be found below. They are also really fun! The bar idea works great with Potlucks too- you can ask guests to simply bring one topping with them, such as cheese or sour cream.

Then simply cook the pasta or rice right before your guests arrive to complete the meal. Beware of meat prices, however, as they continue to climb.

Having meat as your main protein or entrée can often be costly. Remember, beans and potatoes are the cheapest foods on the planet, so make use of them.

Making food ahead of time is such a great way to alleviate stress. I can still make them from scratch and be un-frazzled when the crowd comes to the door. To help you decide which cheap meal for a crowd would be best for you, I did some research for ya!

I calculated the cost of each of these recipes assuming you already have basics like spices and oil if purchased at Walmart, then rounded to the nearest dollar. I chose to use the cheapest available products. I was shocked at the results!

Of course, your results will vary depending on the specific recipe you choose to make. Updating this chart above with prices current as of January , I was shocked to see the results from my research. The hot dog bar has now replaced the pancake breakfast as the cheapest meal to feed a crowd.

In my data showed that a pancake breakfast for 16 people was just 7 dollars using generic ingredients! The results of this chart update were appalling to me. Inflation is a real buzzkill for sure, and something I am definitely keeping my eye on the next time I have a crowd to feed! Good luck and I hope your next gathering is cheap yet fantastic!

Skip to content. Post has been updated to reflect January prices. If you want to learn from my mistakes then read on :0 Feeding a crowd on a budget is easy when each guest or family brings a dish to share, instead of committing to feed everyone yourself.

What is the Best Way to Feed A Lot of People? Choose a recipe that can be scaled up without having to cook or bake more batches. This idea works great as a potluck too. Make as much food ahead of time as you can.

Chose a recipe that can be scaled without having to cook or bake in batches Stews, soups, pasta, and salads are excellent for this. Croc Pot Hot Chocolate.

Budget dinner recipes

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