Nearly 44 million people today depend on food stamps (formally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). The average benefit? Around $161 a month, or about $5.37 a day for food.
Many of the rest of us struggle with food prices, too. So who doesn’t want ideas for cheap but tasty meals?
Clipping coupons and taking advantage of manager’s specials only go so far. What we really need are good, nutritious, and cheap meals to make for our families meals they will actually eat and enjoy.
If your food budget is tight (and even if it isn’t), finding nutritious, affordable foods is an ongoing challenge. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has published a free booklet “Good Food on a Tight Budget” to help American families put healthy food on the table. You can download this free recipe and grocery shopping guide, which lists the 100 best foods that are good for you, economical, simple to prepare and good for the planet. Using the Good Food guide will help families eat healthy while staying within a budget.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide information designed to change consumer demand in ways that safeguard your health and prompts national policy changes. EWG wants to help you make smarter, healthier purchasing decisions, for you, your family and our environment.
To create the “Good Food on a Tight Budget” guide, EWG assessed nearly 1,200 foods and picked the ones that provide the most nutrition per dollar, as well as contain the fewest pesticides and artificial ingredients. The booklet also includes a lot of practical advice for making healthy meals and snacks, pictures illustrating the best foods, “best buys” in each category, tips for avoiding wasted food, recipes for busy families and kid-approved foods, plus tools for tracking prices and planning menus a week at a time. Planning meals is a key step to cutting food costs.
The guide emphasizes home cooking because experts know it is the best way to enjoy good food while saving the most money. Featured recipes are perfect for today’s busy families, such as double batches that freeze well and comfort food favorites like turkey chili that stretch expensive proteins deliciously. The recipes are chock full of healthful rice, beans and other dry grains that you can buy in bulk, save scads of money, and use in nutritious, great tasting meals. The 15 low-cost, delicious recipes average less than $1 a serving.
We looked for 15 more delicious ideas on the popular free recipe site allrecipes.com. The following user-approved recipes focus on using the “best buy” foods from the EWG 100 list, though they don’t necessarily fit into a $5-a-day plan. We hope you find some new favorites here — and save money, too.
For ideas and recipes, click on the following ink: