How Cutting Down on Meat Can Save You Serious Dough

Estimated Monthly Savings: $50

Want to slash your grocery bill and still serve nutritious, satisfying meals? Consider adding meatless meals to your dinner repertoire. Going meatless twice a week could save you $50 a month or more. Here you’ll find both general and specific suggestions for meatless dinners that won’t break the bank.

Try Dried Beans

Even cheaper than canned beans, dried beans are a bargain-hunters dream. They can be purchased in bulk, don’t take up much storage space, and have a long shelf life. They are also nutrition powerhouses, providing plenty of protein and fiber as well as necessary nutrients like iron and magnesium. To save time during the week, try soaking and cooking the beans you’ll need for a meal over the weekend. Cooked beans should be refrigerated, but can then be at the ready for quick meal preparation.

  • ├é┬áCombine cooked black or pinto beans with rice, garlic, onions, spices, and cooked veggies and you’re ready for burrito night.
  • Add cooked chickpeas to rice and masala sauce for a quick Indian-inspired main dish.

The Ever-Versatile Egg

Eggs are also inexpensive protein sources that make a great substitute for meat. Scrambled, boiled, or baked, they can be the foundation for dinner in a variety of meals.

  • Add scrambled eggs to stir-fry instead of meat.
  • Egg salad makes a refreshing summertime dinner.
  • A vegetarian quiche can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for an easy heat and eat weeknight dinner.

DIY Veggie Burgers

Buying veggie burgers instead of beef burgers may not be a money-saving strategy, but with some extra effort and experimentation, you can make your own for around 50 cents each. The basic recipe calls for combining mashed beans with egg, diced veggies, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Shape into patties and bake on a cookie sheet or prepare ahead of time and freeze until burger night.

Meatless meals not only save money but can also add welcome variety to your dinner routine.