Wednesday, January 15, 2020

How to Determine the Cost of a Recipe and How to Cut the Cost to Fit into Your Budget

One of the challenges with a very low grocery budget is wondering if you
can afford to make a recipe or not.  This morning I was making a soup
recipe that I found on the internet. I added up the cost of the ingredients,
and they cost a total of $9.00.  
Corn:  50 cents
Green chilies:  2 cans at 98 cents each
Canned tomatoes:  89 cents
Tomato sauce:  2 cans at 39 cents each
Kidney beans and Pinto beans:  50 cents per can
Ground beef:  $2.78
Chicken broth:  59 cents 
Spices:  around 50 cents total
This recipe yields 6 servings.  I take the total cost of the recipe and divide
it by the number of servings it makes. If I wanted to make this recipe, it
would cost $1.50 per serving, which is more than my budgeted amount if I
am trying to only spend $1.00 per meal.  What can be done if you still
want to make this recipe? The following list has ideas you can use to
lower the cost of this recipe or find another way to make it by cutting
back elsewhere.

 Eliminate the meat.  This alone would almost make the cost fit into
your $1 per meal budget.  

If you don’t want to eliminate the meat, cut down the amount you
put in by half or one fourth, for example.  Using meat for flavor,
rather than in larger quantities, really cuts the cost of the recipe.  

Buy store brand items.  They typically are less expensive unless
you use coupons to get the name brand for a lower price.

Make sure you eat proper portions.  One cup of soup or casserole
is plenty for one person.  The recipe I made looked like it made
more than 6 servings, so it really may cost less than initially thought.

The beans were from my pantry and were bought a few months
before for only 50 cents per can.  I have even found beans for
39 cents per can. By purchasing items at rock bottom prices, your
recipes will cost less than if you buy things at regular prices.  

Look into buying a larger size, which may be cheaper than buying
two smaller cans for a recipe.  For example, I could have looked to
see how much a 16 ounce can of tomato sauce cost as opposed to
two eight ounce cans.

Serve half portions.  This will make the recipe only 75 cents per
serving which gives you an extra 25 cents to make bread or buy
veggies or fruit to go along with it.  Make sure you buy your
produce on sale or on a reduced rack!  

Last, if you really want to make the recipe, but can’t find ways to
cut down the cost, consider making less expensive recipes for
your other meals during the week to make up the difference.

This is the process to use if you find that you can’t afford to
make a recipe on the budget that you have.

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