Budget

Food Budget. You need one

Having a food budget does not mean eating the same boring and bland meal each day. There is no reason that when you are learning to cook, you can not learn about budgeting your cost. While still learning to cook to impress.

One of my local grocery stores often has promotional signs suggesting a low-cost meal. Yesterday, I saw a sign near the chicken breast that had a banner ha said his meal at $3.99 a serving. It then showed you what to buy to make a meal for 4 for $16. A food budget of $4 for an evening meal may or may not be what your food budget is, but it sure beats a fast food meal that will likely be twice that.

Food Budget category

Some articles will have a category of budget, and they will show here. They will represent low-cost easy to make dishes. They might not all seem impressive, but they will help you build what you can and will cook. Remember, the goal of cooking to impress is to get you cooking.

Baked Fish Dinner

baked fish food budget cooking
A Food Budget Friendly Baked Fish Dinner

This meal is too short to have its own post. However, it does show you can eat well without a high cost and without a great deal of effort. My Topps supermarket has a selection of frozen seafood at 5 for $19.99. When I buy this I generally get one tilapia, one ocean perch, and three breaded shrimp.

The tilapia is one pound and usually has about 8 individual sealed pieces, the average size around 2 oz. Two pieces will make a nice 4 oz serving.

Preheat the oven, thaw the fish you want under running water. When thawed, place it in a lightly oiled baking dish and season. I use Old Bay but salt and pepper will do. Bake in the oven. The cost of the fish, $1.

The baked potato is next up. I have a microwave pouch to cook potatoes. You do not really need one, but I like using mine. You simply wash and dry the potato, poke some holes in it, then put it in the pouch or on a microwave safe plate. Cook for about 4 minutes then check if it is soft. If you like the skins crisp, shorten the cooking time to 2 minutes and let them finish in the oven. You will decrease the time in the oven by half. Depending on the type of potato the price may vary. I get russet at $.50 a pound, so $.25 a potato on average. I add a little butter and blue cheese salad dressing.

The veggie is onions and peppers from my freezer stock. I get these from my local Dollar Tree store at $1 a bag. I use them for many dishes, especially omelets, pasta sauces, hot dogs, and as a stand-alone veggie. To cook, put in a frying pan and cook for about 4 minutes. You can also put them in a microwave with some water. Figure about $.25 a serving.

So this meal is under $2.

Here are some Budget postings

chicken roasted with tater tots
Budget

Chicken, My Favorite Protein

Chicken, My Favorite Protein Chicken is my favorite protein and is included in many of my favorite dishes. Many of my early cooking attempts were with chicken dishes. I would say fish would be in second place. Do not get me wrong, I love a steak now and then or cooking burgers on the grill. […]