Money doesn’t come easy for many. Many families find that the well runs dry way before their next paycheck is due. This becomes a problem when there are mouths to feed at home. Adults can starve a bit and go without a meal or two but it is the children who suffer the most.
Children have a much harder time missing meals and because their tiny bodies require so much fuel from food their nutritional level becomes easily affected and they get malnourished easily.
While it may not be easy to pull yourself above the heap of poverty and eat decently month to month, meal planning can be made easier by stocking or purchasing certain foods to keep in the home.
If you are a family struggling to put dinner on the table take a look below at some of the inexpensive foods you can stock up on and make it last.
Bread – you will find bread to be very valuable; it can be equally fulfilling and versatile. It is best purchase the whole wheat bread which is thicker, more fulfilling and healthier than the white bread.
You may be able to purchase a store brand loaf of white bread for $1.30 but the store brand wheat bread may run a bit more at around $2.29 per loaf. It all depends on where you shop but wheat bread is usually a tad bit higher in price than white bread.
It is alright if you have no choice but to purchase the white bread time and time again because it can be paired and eaten with healthier foods thus increasing its nutritional value.
You can buy bread in volumes and freeze it to keep it fresh and defrost a few slices and eat as often as you need it. Bread can be eaten all times of the day and can be toasted, warmed, grilled, or eaten fresh out of the bag.
You can eat your bread with peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, margarine, cheese and meats, or just on the side.
- Canned or frozen veggies – are ideal to have around the home. You may say that your children do not like vegetables but if you spice it up just right and incorporate them in other foods you might find your children gulping them down in no time.
The great thing about canned and frozen veggies is that the canned vegetables often have a lengthy expiration date and can be kept fresh for a considerable amount of time as long as they are not opened. Foods in cans that are open should be refrigerated and eaten within 3 days.
It is best to remove the contents of the can and store it in an airtight bowl as opposed to leaving it in the open can. Frozen veggies can be kept in the freezer for a considerable amount of time but can get freezer burn.
You can purchase volumes of frozen veggies and place them in Ziploc freezer bags and store them in the freezer and take portions out and defrost them whenever you need to eat them.
- Dry Pasta – dry pasta is easy to store and easy to cook and when it is cooked it makes decent proportions.
Pasta comes in all different varieties:
- macaroni shells
- tri colored
Pasta can be very fulfilling when prepared with sauce and whole tomatoes and if your family eats meat you can place tiny pieces of hamburger or meatballs in there.
- Onion and Garlic – you should purchase a handful or a few handfuls of onion and garlic (or whatever herb you like to add flavor with) to store in your fridge.
It is crucial to have some type of flavoring agent around because it will make eating the same foods over and over again more tolerable and it will spice up plain foods. A little bit of garlic and onion can give foods complete makeovers.
Onion and garlic can be kept for some time without getting old. It is advised to always cover your cut onion to keep it from drying out. Garlic takes a longer time to dry out but onions can dry out quickly. When onions dry out they lose their flavor.
You can place onions and garlic in your pasta, or on your grilled cheese sandwich. They can be sautГ©ed with almost anything. Although fresh vegetables such as pepper are nice to have around they are a tad bit expensive and usually do not last that long when cut.
- Margarine or oil – you will need these around the home to fry and even sometimes bake your foods. You can freeze margarine and oil stays fresh for a long time. You cannot cook much food without a greasing agent.
- Potatoes – potatoes aren’t too expensive. They taste great, are versatile, and can be easily stored. They also have a decent shelf life. Potatoes can also be eaten any time of the day and added on the side to make meals more fulfilling.
- Peanut Butter – peanut butter is extremely fulfilling, it can be eaten any time of the day and is inexpensive. In some supermarkets, the name brand peanut butter can cost anywhere from $2-$4 depending on size.
When purchasing peanut butter try to purchase two jars of the largest size possible. Peanut butter when opened can stay fresh for some time and can last 9-12 months outside of the refrigerator. It does not have to be stored in the refrigerator.
Many families rely on peanut butter sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to keep their children’s’ hunger at bay.
- Rice – Rice is a staple food in Asia and used by many groups and cultures of people worldwide. The great thing about rice is that it is plentiful. A small bag a rice can make a large pot of rice which can serve anywhere from 5-10 people.
Brown rice is the best rice to purchase and has a high nutritional value, and for that reason has a higher price. If you cannot purchase the brown rice you can still purchase the white rice and beef up its nutritional value by serving it with more nutritious foods such as vegetables or beans.
- Dry beans – as with rice, a small bag of dry beans can feed plenty. Dry beans are great to stock in the home because; they are easy to store, have a high shelf life, are high in nutritional value, are not too expensive and come in many different varieties.
There are dry black and red beans, kidney beans, chick peas, peas, black eyed peas, lentils — it may take some trying out to find the kind of beans that is best for your family.
- Noodles – Noodles are the way most college students feed themselves through college. They really aren’t that bad when eaten a certain way and are great to stock up on because they are inexpensive, easy to store, come in different varieties and have a long shelf life.
It is best to purchase the noodles such as Maruchan Ramen and Top Ramen that include the seasoning inside the package because you cam omit the seasoning and use your own or apply as much as you want to the noodles.
If you purchase the noodles with season inside (just add water) you may over water them and dull down the taste or you may find that you have made it too salty.
- Tuna fish – tuna fish is great to keep in the home but at $.069 – $1.09 a can, can add up. It is best to purchase a couple of cans of tuna fish here and there on your shopping trips and store in the cabinets. Tuna fish has great protein in it and can be kept in the can for years before spoiling.