There are five main items that I include in my big monthly shopping trip that help to stretch our food budget. With a family of seven I need to cut all the corners I can. About 30 minutes away from us is a store called Cash n Carry that has restaurant supplies in bulk available to the public, no member fees. I go there once a month for main staples. You could go to a Costco or Sam’s Club too.
(This post got longer and longer as I added more ways that we use these staples and a favorite recipe for each one. So I’ve divided this into 5 posts.)
Grocery Bargain: Rice
Rice is a good filler that helps me stretch recipes and meals. It doesn’t take much to be very filling. We buy Jasmine or Calrose rice in large 10 lb bags for less than $1 a pound. We usually pre-cook rice in the rice cooker before using it in a recipe. I have to say our rice cooker was one of the best investments we made for our kitchen and has saved us time and money over the years.
Here are some of the ways we use rice:
Spanish rice (the basic kind with a can of Mexican stewed tomatoes, served as a side dish)
Spanish rice (add meat, beans, corn, wrap in tortillia with cheese and sour cream)
Plain rice side dish
Rice made with a can of soup for flavor (creme of chicken with hebs, cream of brocoli, cheese soup, creme of mushroom, etc.)
Rice with stir fry or teriyaki
Chop Soupy (A family recipe grandma calls chop sui but I renamed because it’s watery like a soup. It has rice, stew meat, soy sauce, vinegar, chopped veggies, and sesame seeds.)
Rice casserole (meat, veg, soup)
Beans and rice