• Morag McIntosh

How to make your food budget stretch during this time


Like many of you out there, I have been watching the pandemic response unfold over the past week (has it really only been that long?!?) and feeling my anxiety rise both for my family and my community.


I have been asking myself what I have to offer that will help and I have been struggling to come up with an answer because nothing seems adequate to the immensity of the changes we are facing.


I help women understand money and their dealings with it better, so that is where I am going to start. If you have been laid off as a result of the pandemic and you don’t know how to make ends meet until the end of the month here are some links and information that may help.


I know that having access to food, as well as the time and knowledge of how to prep that food can be a challenge. Food is a necessity for all of us but it's also a budget category that can have a lot of wiggle room. The difference between a take out meal, a supermarket prepped meal and one that you make from scratch can be a lot of money. Four orders of Spaghetti and Meatballs from a chain would be over $60. Buying 4 pre-made Spaghetti and Meatball dinners from Longo's would be over $25. Making enough for 4 people yourself would be less than $15.00.


I’ve tried to stick to easy master recipes that allow you to customize the recipes to what you like and what your family will eat.


Cheap and easy meals:


Make your own Frittata: https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/ultimate-easy-frittata-recipe-article. This is a master frittata recipe that you can customise to your families preferences. Eggs are a cheap protein that most people like and can be stretched to feed a crowd.

Quesadilla Combinations: https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/ultimate-easy-frittata-recipe-article. This is a group of recipes for making variations of Quesadillas. We like making them with cheese and black beans for a quick easy meal.

Make your own Meatballs. https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/meatballs-without-a-recipe-article

Meatless balls. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/vegetarian-meatball-recipes_n_560a96fce4b0af3706ddd4d4

Some good sites for budget cooking:

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/15522/everyday-cooking/budget-cooking/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/cooking-on-a-budget

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/save-money/20-favorite-dirt-cheap-meals/


BONUS!

This one is from my childhood and it really has no recipe, but I remember we loved them.


Bacon and Cheese thingies

As many pieces of bread as people feel they want.

1 slice of processed cheese per piece of bread

1 slice of bacon per two pieces of bread.

Lay the bread out on a cookie sheet

Tear the cheese slices in to little squares. Put them on the bread.

Cut the bacon in to smallish pieces, put those on top of the bread too. Bacon should always go on the top layer to make sure it cooks properly.

Put the bread in the over under the broiler. Broil it until the bacon is cooked and the cheese is blistered and puffy.

Take it out, let it cool a bit (do not skip this step!).

Eat.

We used to be allowed to make our own patterns on our bread as kids which was fun because we were ‘making dinner’. LOL


I hope this helps. If you ever need to talk about family finances in a safe and judgement free environment please reach out to me.

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