Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Food Stamp Challenge Has Ended

Day 7 was pretty much a day of oatmeal for breakfast and left overs for lunch and dinner......even though left overs were for dinner I did have one last bag of tomatos from the garden I had to use up.With these I simply used my juicer to juice them and make a homemade tomato soup! YUM

Since this kind of shopping is really not new to me and I had to do it on far less for the week some things I would probably say in order to stretch it out and still eat healthy would be to

1.) Shop for ingredients, not food-  when you turn your focus to ingredients a wide variety of meals becomes readily available to be made from scratch rather than more expensive "food" items  that are pre-made and ready to serve.

2.) Ear mark so much for weekly fresh produce, if you can only manage a once a month shopping trip only buy enough fresh produce for the first week and either buy the rest fresh but preserve it by doing small batch canning or freezing. OR buy frozen and canned fruits and veggies for alternating and supplementing throughtout the month........do not forget dried fruits and nuts and seed either!

3.) Buy a few kew ingredients in bulk such as whole wheat flour, brown rice and perhaps molasses or honey.

4.) Think Stir Fry's, Casseroles , one dish slow cooker meals and Quiche's where a tiny bit of meat goes a long ways! We use 1 or 2 chicken breasts in these types of meals which is more than enough meat product for a family of 5.

5.) Shop mostly the outside perimeter of the store.......that outside aisle that hits the meats, dairy and fresh produce, we make the exception of only goind down 2 middle isles which is the baking/coffee aisle for flour, sugars and coffee and the cereal aisle for HOT CEREALS.

 6.) Put the cookbooks away and come up with meals based off the ingredients in your house with family tastes in mind. Many recipes in cookbooks can get expensive in a hurry!  If you need inspiration, watch cooking shows on TV or Youtube or borrow cookbooks from library using them only for inspiration and to get a feel on what flavors compliment each other!

7.) Go through the advertisements and see whats on sale prior to shopping , if you do not get these, then go to the store shopping mostly from what is on sale in the store, get familiar with prices so you know a good deal when you see them!

8.) To stretch milk further, unless you make custards or quiche, always water it down in cooking- if something asks for a cup of milk, only use 1/2 cup milk then 1/2 cup water.

9.) Stay away from expensive snack foods and drinks, get in habit of drinking water , buy a few fresh lemons to squeeze a tsp. lemon in your water for a little flavor if you like flavor!

10.) While not always possible , try to grow a few things yourself as even a tomato plant or two can help and food stamps allows you to buy plants or seeds that produce food!

11.) Plan on making simple snack foods at home such as trail mixes, granolas, muffins, quick breads you can make them healthier and they taste better!