On my venture of not just budget cooking (I feel like I've got that down pretty well) but healthy cooking too, I came across this and wanted to share it with you. Some pretty good tips on cooking on a budget.
1 Chicken: buy it bone-in, skin on. It's cheaper.It may be more work for someone like me who has to trim trim trim and deskin, deskin, deskin, LOL! Buy thighs. More flavor and meat for the money. Save the bones, either before cooking or after a meal. Freeze and use later for making chicken stock. Not only is the marrow from bones incredibly good for you, but if you already have the bones, the stock you can make from it is practically free. Keep an eye out for the sales at your local store, HEB and Randalls has killer sales to get chicken for as low as $1/lb...this is the time to stock up on 30-40lbs for sure! Start investing in freezer bags now! :o)
2 Mexican food. Corn tortillas (many times Mission torts are on sale for $.99 and you can match up a good $.75/1 qp to get them for super cheap which is when I usually get 5-10 packs and freeze them) and beans are cheap, and combined make a complete protein. Buy the beans in bulk (always on sale here at Sprouts), soak and cook them then freeze em up! Add some rice (doctor up brown rice) and salsa and you have a filling, nutritious, delicious meal.
3 Eggs. Great source of inexpensive protein. Make hard boiled eggs for sandwiches, salads, a healthy snack, or scrambled eggs for breakfast.
4 Make stews with cheaper, tougher cuts of meat, like beef chuck roasts or pork shoulders. (again, another thing you keep a look out for in the weekly grocery adds and STOCK UP on when they are around $1 or so a pound) Low and slow braising completely tenderizes the meat, and the flavor is amazing. You can also brown a rump roast on high heat and then lower the heat for low slow cooking for roast beef.
5 Turkey legs and thighs. Best deal out there. You can braise them or make turkey stew. Never mind all the other awesome dishes, piccata, tetrazzini, etc.!
6 Make your meal go farther with potatoes, rice, pasta, or tortillas. It's always fun to do a stuff your own potato for the kids, multi color pasta salads, etc. One fave in this house is a sweet potato bar with lots of different choices to stuff with...diced chicken, cheese, broccoli, chili, etc...kids love it!
7 Veggies, Veggies, Veggies....this is an area I'm trying to do some research and come up with TASTY and creative recipes. :o)