The most ignored food budget stretcher.
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  1. #1
    Registered User Buc-O-Mama's Avatar
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    Default The most ignored food budget stretcher.

    My tip is really basic, but it seems like I'm speaking in a foreign tongue when I offer this advice when asked how to stretch one's food budget.

    Teach your family to like beans. Seriously. It is the easiest way to keep protein in your diet and fill up yourself or your family when you are having a tough week, month or year. A bag of dry beans with a little onion, garlic and little or no meat goes so far and you can stretch it with cheap rice or have it with bread. Leftovers freeze well and can be uses in dozens of ways.

    Seems like so many people are trying to stretch their food budgets right now, and when my friends ask how I stretch it around here, my best tip is lost on them. Start your kids on them when they are little. Act like you like them. Trust me, it's better to expose your kids now than have them turn their noses up if the day comes that you can't afford to keep them in chicken nuggets. You might not need to stretch you budget now but you might later. It wouldn't hurt any of us to eat less meat anyway. Just a thought.

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    Registered User mek42's Avatar
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    We're trying rice and beans from dry beans for the first time tonight. They're in the fridge soaking right now, waiting for us to get home.

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    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    I have a few bean-stretching recipes. The family loves them, and they don't KNOW it's beans unless I tell them.

    I have been known to make patties from lentils too.

    I also make 'sausage patties' from oatmeal. I got the recipe on here, so it's kicking around somewhere.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Beans do have protein, but they also have a lot more carbohydrates, so be sure you are balancing the rest of your menu to account for this. Beans don't just substitute for meat, they substitute for meat AND bread/rice/potato/pasta.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

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    Registered User Buc-O-Mama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrary Housewife View Post
    Beans do have protein, but they also have a lot more carbohydrates, so be sure you are balancing the rest of your menu to account for this. Beans don't just substitute for meat, they substitute for meat AND bread/rice/potato/pasta.
    Very good point, but not all carbs are the same. Eating beans isn't like eating white bread.

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    DS has fallen in love w/ lentils. They're a great substitute for meat in chili, tacos, burritos.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Good point.......thanks for the reminder!

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    we eat black beans w/ sauteed red onion, garlic and frsh lime juice as a side dish once or twice a week.

    we also eat white beans w/ sauteed red onion, garlic, spinach and frsh lemon juice as a side also. yum and cheap and good for ya!

    i like pinto beans simmered w/ onion and garlic then mashed up w/ a bit of feta cheese on it. dh wont touch it! i eat it for lunch a few times a week.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    I know this trip, would love to try it, but hubby is VERY resistant to beans in anything but a can, or in chilli! Good reminder, though.

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    Registered User baxjul's Avatar
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    I need to do this. I have 3 huge bags of white beans in the cupboard, just sitting there, waiting. I need some recipes (no measurements, just throw in "these things" type of ideas).

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    Registered User Buc-O-Mama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxjul View Post
    I need to do this. I have 3 huge bags of white beans in the cupboard, just sitting there, waiting. I need some recipes (no measurements, just throw in "these things" type of ideas).
    We just had white beans for dinner tonight. I soaked them last night then simmered them with onion, garlic and a little chopped ham. One of our favorites around here would be white beans sauted with garlic and spinach. OMGoodness, that is good stuff! Lots of times, I'll just cover dry beans with 3 inches of water in the crockpot and let them go on low all day with whatever seasoning I have around. That has worked for everything but black beans, those can be stubborn if you don't soak.

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    Registered User Dancing Lotus's Avatar
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    When you stop eating UNHEALTHY food things like calories and Carbohydrates just don't matter. Beans are healthy carbs and will not hurt your weight loss efforts in anyway. In-fact I promise they will help you loss weight. So if that's your hang up about beans , let it go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mek42 View Post
    We're trying rice and beans from dry beans for the first time tonight. They're in the fridge soaking right now, waiting for us to get home.
    you may not eat tonight then, beans take hours to cook, once soaked. next time use the crockpot!

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Beans need a complimentary protein to make them complete. . . and that is generally grains (carbs). . . think beans and rice. . . chili and cornbread, etc.

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    Registered User leighcat's Avatar
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    This is one of the things I have a hard time with. My dd will eat beans and I love them. My ds on the other hand won't touch them no matter what I do. I could use some tips! The only beans he will eat are lima of all things, in mixed veggies. I even have bought bags of frozen limas to add to frozen mixed veggies if they don't have them included. It is so frustrating. I would save so much money if he would try them.

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