Everyone knows that the fastest way to eat up your budget is by eating out at restaurants. My mom used to tell me all the time that if I would just cook at home I could save so much money. More times than I can count, however a trip to the grocery store has been a huge shock to my pocket book. Typically, the total is double the amount I initially intended to spend and I always buy more junk food than I really wanted. There are times when making dinner at home can be just as expensive if not more than just going out.
Making lists and planning meals can help save some money, which is a smart way to shop. But the real key is finding those inexpensive foods to purchase that are also nutritional. Let’s face it, we all want to get the most bang for our buck, right? Now you may have to make some adjustments to your menu to accomplish this, but in the end you will be much happier when you see how much you have actually saved.
If your family is anything like mine, there are certain staples like chips or crackers you keep on hand not only for snacks, but to add to soups, serve with salsa, or to use on top of a casserole. These types of foods may be filling, however their value nutritionally is very limited. There are plenty of other foods that are not only common, but can also be used as filers to help satisfy your appetite while helping to boost the nutritional value of your meal. Additionally, these items are the perfect additions to your recipes so you can stretch out the number of servings without running up a high calorie count. Here are nine of the cheapest but healthiest filler foods available to keep on hand in your kitchen:
If you purchase the “house” brand, canned chickpeas are often available for a dollar or less. They can be stored in your pantry easily and ready in just moments. All you have to do is open the can, rinse off the beans, and drain the excess water. Chickpeas make a healthy snack or a great side dish. You can add them to any type of pasta or Greek salad. They are great when paired with potato soup. Making hash brown casserole, toss in a few chickpeas. Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans and they are an excellent source of iron, fiber, and protein.