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Rachel Cooks Every Day

Thoughts from the kitchen of an everyday cook.

End-of-the-Month Meals

No matter how much we have budgeted for groceries, I always seem to blow through it by the last week of the month. Anyone else have this problem? I'm trying to be better about actually sticking with said budget, so I sat down to think through some of my go-to meals for making those last few bucks stretch.

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  • Eggs. The rest of this list is pretty starch-heavy. Eggs are a cheap, easy way to add a bit of protein! Scrambled eggs, fried eggs on top of rice bowls, fried eggs on top of everything really... At the store today, I picked up twice as many eggs as usual!
  • Crepes. I use Smitten Kitchen's failproof crepes recipe, which calls for butter, milk, eggs, and flour—all things I generally have on hand. We like crepes filled with leftover veggies, scrambled eggs, and, of course, Nutella. The great thing about crepes is you already made dessert!
  • Pasta. I usually have a few bags of weird pasta varieties tucked in the pantry. Combined with the tomatoes our garden is just absolutely bursting with, there's plenty of meal potential.
  • Potatoes. Not only are they cheap, but I always buy the giant 15-pound bag from ALDI and have leftovers in the pantry already. Baked potatoes! Potato pancakes! Wedge fries! Kugelis! I have a lot of extra broth in my fridge right now, so if it can get below 90 degrees (ugh) I may do potato soup.
  • Tacos. I mentally consider corn tortillas to be free because they're just so dang cheap. I think it's a dozen for $0.33 at ALDI. Tacos filled with leftover veggies, tacos filled with scrambled eggs, tacos filled with black beans... they're so fast and so cheap.
  • Beans. Oh, beans. They make cheap, starch-y meals so much more filling. I buy them canned because I'm too lazy to cook them from dried, and I actually saw a recent America's Test Kitchen episode where the canned beans all beat out the dried ones, so basically I'm very fancy.
  • Pizza. I usually use this thin-crust dough recipe from the Kitchn.
  • Meals with seasonal produce. See that skillet full of cheesy, bubbly goodness up top? Cauliflower cheese! Since many of these meals aren't veg-heavy, it's nice to have a meal that revolves around a veggie. (Side note: I've heard that orange cauliflower tastes squash-y and I really want to try a cauliflower cheese with it!)
  • Freezer meals. I have a bad habit of freezing leftovers and then totally forgetting about them. A couple friends and I also made a huge batch of freezer meals last month, so it was nice to grab a couple of those meals and some leftovers out of the freezer for this week! Since those meals tend to contain meat, that also meant I didn't have to spend cash on meat, which is typically the most expensive thing in my cart.
Rachel MatuchComment