Six Budget-Friendly Ingredients

Jan Scott April 12, 2016

With all of our talk lately about the high price of food, it seemed like a good time to share some tips about budget-friendly ingredients, and what I’€™ve been stocking in my pantry/fridge to help stretch the food dollars a little further these days.

  1. Beans. Whether canned or dried, there is no denying that beans are an economical replacement for meat. At just a few dollars per package, they can be used in dips, chilis, soups and stews, and even taste great when tossed with a favourite pasta.
  2. Eggs. We have an egg-based dinner every week. Whether it’€™s fried egg sandwiches, cheesy omelettes or scrambled eggs served on a bed of rice and greens, eggs are another inexpensive source of protein, not too mention one of the quickest cooking ingredients.
  3. Rice. I buy my large bag of basmati rice at Costco for less than $10. It feeds my family for almost two months (we eat rice weekly) and leftovers make for easy lunches when you’€™re in a pinch.
  4. Garlic. For just a few cents per clove, garlic is the one ingredient than can elevate the flavour of anything it’€™s cooked with without adding in a ton of fat or calories to the meal. I like to roast whole heads of garlic and use them in at least 10 different ways.
  5. Apples. Prices do fluctuate by season, but because apples are found locally throughout Canada, they are one of the most economical fruits we can purchase. Use them in baked goods, tucked into your favourite chicken and pork dishes, or plain for an after-school snack.
  6. Potatoes. They’€™ve received a bad rap in the past few years, but potatoes are actually good for us, and our wallets. Use them in place of a traditional fat to make soups creamier, or bake them and stuff them with your favourite ingredients and a touch of cheese for a simple dinner. In November, I purchased a 10-pound bag for $3.99, and turned it into at least five meals for my family.

Tell us, what are your favourite budget-friendly ingredients? Is there anything you must buy because it’€™s too good of a deal to pass up?

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