If you’re not ready to go full-on vegetarian, one of the best ways to improve your diet and trim your food budget at the same time is to simply decrease the amount of animal protein on your plate. But there are more ways to make your money go farther without having to lose the meat. Here are 10 ways to save on your grocery bill and boost nutrition in your meals by stretching animal proteins.
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Think of meat as a flavor enhancer or garnish rather than the star of the dish by adding crumbled cooked bacon, seasoned and sauteed ground pork or shredded chicken to salads, soups, potatoes or pizza.
Cut chicken, beef, turkey, pork and other proteins into very thin slices. You can use far less and still get pieces in every bite.
Bulk out burgers, meatloaf and stuffed pasta by mixing oats, chopped mushrooms and other shredded veggies into a ground meat mixture.
Keep yourself accountable for the amount of meat you consume (and thus how much you spend). Promise that you will eat two salads a week with no meat; make a habit of meatless Mondays; or forget the meat at breakfast and lunch, and go all-out carnivore at dinner.
Bone-in meat costs less than meat that is boneless and skinless. Bone-in steaks, pork chops, and chicken will cost less per pound and is actually more flavorful. After you've removed the meat from your cooked bone-in pieces, you can save the bones and make bone broth or stock with them. [See also: How to make your own bone broth]
How to make your own bone broth
In today's modern world, no one expects to come home every night to a cut of prime meat, veggies on the side and a homemade loaf of bread. You and your family will be okay with salads or an omelet every once in a while at the dinner table.
Have leftover chicken? Keep the meals coming by making it into chicken salad, use it as a pizza topping or make a pot pie.
Chicken Pot Pies with Phyllo
No one will notice that you only used half a pound rather than a full pound in your casserole.
Make leftovers last longer by making sure you've wrapped them well to avoid freezer burn. While freezer burn doesn't affect food's nutrition, it can alter taste and texture. Wrap large portions of meat in a double layer of plastic wrap, wax paper or foil and then store in a container or plastic freezer bag.
Buy inexpensive cuts of meat from a farmer or grab the clearance packages at the grocery store. Take them home and grind them in a food processor and you have saved yourself money by not having the meat pre-ground for you.
10 ways to make your meat (and money) go further from @deliciousliving
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