A big part of saving and reducing our food budget, particularly with a family of 8, is to get our per person per meal costs as cheap as possible. But this doesn’t necessarily mean living on rice and beans every meal. Although, rice and beans ARE delicious and do make an appearance on our menu quite frequently.
Going forward, I hope to share with you easy, quick and inexpensive meals that have helped our family control our food expense. I am not a chef. I am not even an amateur chef. I sometimes enjoy cooking, but more often than not, it is a task I must complete. So, you should not expect to find any culinary masterpieces here. What you will find are simple and practical meal suggestions – that will hopefully make your life easier and your wallet a bit fatter.
There is nothing glamorous about this dinner suggestion I am sharing, but I am sharing it because several years ago it was new to me and it was shared by a dear friend whose family, just like ours, exploded overnight via foster-adoption.
When you have lots of mouths to feed and both mom and dad are exhausted and you just need to get food in the bellies, it is always good to have a quick, filling, nutritious meal than you can slap on the table and check off one of your momma and daddy boxes at the end of the day.
Bean and cheese tostadas does that! You can get both the tostadas and the beans extremely cheaply at the dollar store. And they both keep in the pantry for extended periods of time. My kids are simple. They like just the beans and cheese. But for the grown-ups, or older kids you can have a little fun and load them up with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream or a protein. These take minutes to prepare and literally will feed the whole family for close to $5.00. For us, it comes to less than a dollar per person for dinner.
What you will need:
Tostada shells (you can pick up at the dollar store for a dollar apiece, or big box stores for about $2.)
Canned refried beans (usually less than a dollar at most stores)
Shredded Cheese (we buy cheese in bulk at Costco)
Ground beef, turkey or sofritas* (I season myself with chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion, garlic, salt and oregano to taste. No need for those taco packets that are full of chemicals and additives.)
Whole black beans
Tomatoes or Salsa
You can pair with a quick side of Spanish rice or a simple green salad, or my FAVE – coleslaw – to bulk up the meal without much additional expense.
Simple, right? Give it a try – your food budget and your bellies will all say THANK YOU.
Love and Prosperity
*sofritas is made with drained and browned tofu and then seasoned with spices. One of these days I will share my recipe (wink).