None of you need me to tell you about the high cost of food these days, since we as moms are probably the ones going to the grocery store every week to stock up on food for our families. I think that most families are feeling pinched in terms of their grocery budgets, since the same amount of money buys a significantly smaller amount of food right now. A recent article from the Boston Globe gives some interesting facts and figures regarding grocery costs, for example, milk costs have risen 26% over the past year, egg prices have risen 40%, beef prices 50%, and the list goes on and on. The author paints a grim picture, talking about the weak US dollar, the high price of commodities such as corn and soybeans, and the probability that these high prices will be sustained; basically, we won’t be getting a break anytime soon.
It would be easy to become discouraged after reading such an article. Not that the author is saying anything that we don’t already know, but it can be depressing to read the news and listen to the politicians and have it constantly hammered home to us that the cost of living is rising in America. So what are we to do?
Practically speaking, there are plenty of ways to save money: using more beans and less meat, buying mostly sale items, having a shopping list and sticking to it, etc. All of us have our own strategies for stretching the buck, and what works for one family may not work well for another family. Let’s remember that even though food prices are high, we have many options at our disposal and it can be fun to get creative and try something new for our family. I’m sure that all of us have memories of what our parents did to save money while we were growing up, and their parents did the same before them, and so on. While budgets may be tight, our situation is not new and we can use it as an opportunity to sacrifice, unite our sacrifices to those of millions of people around the world, and offer up our sacrifices for those who are truly destitute. I believe that doing so will help us all to keep a positive attitude and remind us to be grateful for what we do have!
On that note, here are a couple of my favorite “budget-friendly” meal ideas:
-Mexican casserole: Basically, this consists of layers of flour tortilla shells, salsa, red beans and rice, cheese, and left-over shredded chicken. Easy to make, great for leftovers!
-Pasta and meatballs (usually frozen turkey meatballs)
-Stir-fry: Lots of frozen broccoli, corn, and peas, whatever kind of meat or shrimp was on sale, and a combination of soy sauce/plum sauce/cornstarch/water over rice.
-Tomato soup and tuna melts
Have a great day!