One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that the absolute best thing you can do when it comes to budget eating is know what's going on in your pantry. Because I never know when bills will win out for the month, my pantry always has a few staples. Despite the fact that I haven't done much cooking this year, I have a wide array of spices, flours, oils and vinegars. I always keep a 20 lb container of all purpose flour on hand and a variety of dried beans.
Whenever I think of cheap eats, I think of soul food. No matter what culture you come from, I guarantee the soul food is the cheapest of the cheap. Soul food feeds the belly and the soul. So much of the history comes out of hard ass living. My soul food is the food of southern blacks.
Not much of a story here. I made some cabbage, black eyed peas, and cornbread. Because most soul food is of the beige persuasion, I added some carrots to the cabbage and some parsley to the beans. Instant freshness and color! But now onto the real goodness... This meal was so freaking cheap because of some coupon action.
|sweet and cakey cornbread|
crushed red pepper
all purpose flour
black eyed peas
What I Bought (price based on amount used):
|this definitely lets my soul glow|
So usually I'd tell you to skip out on organic except where it really matters, but I forgot some ingredients from the cheap-o supermarket and had to get some stuff from work. I work at a health food store and almost all of our produce is organic, so the prices are based on what I paid with my discount.
However, the true story is how I got 2 shelf stable Almond Breezes for free. This customer came in the other day with free coupons for a variety of products. I was really nice to her, so she gave me some coupons. I ended up getting BioKleen laundry detergent, Glutino breakfast bars, and Ezekiel bread for free. Plus, the Almond Breeze was on sale and it came out to BOGO free with a $1 off coupon. However, my employee discount made it so I got everything for free PLUS I got $1.17 back in change! FORK YEAH!
Never underestimate the power of the coupons. Also, check your local dollar store. The one by my place has those huge tubs of ORGANIC salad greens for a single dollar. Aww yeah!