Stretching your dough

and loosening the cinch knot on your families budget


Money has the ability to tighten the cinch knot around our housing budgets, squeezing it to the

point of near suffocation. Saving Money is something we all would like to do. Here I

would like to help you loosen that cinch knot, and put a buck or two back into your

budget while preparing and eating wholesome foods.

It is important to know that this is attainable with some commitment, a little planning & some

determination. It doesn't come without sacrifice though: some sweets and salty foods.

Maybe not eliminating them completely but drastically reduce your consumption of


Well if you haven't closed this article you are on your way to budgetary relief. You will also have

piece of mind in knowing you are feeding your family wholesome foods.

This process involves cooking, planning, purchasing and a “stick to it” attitude. You may not know

everything there is to know. It is important to know that success of this for you is not

determined by a single event, week, or day in the kitchen. Your success will more likely

be determined by your ability to share these ideas and convince others that everyone

wins by their success, and sticking to it.

We will commence the loosening of the budget knot by looking at the following topics:

Saving Money

Healthy Wholesome Foods

Saving Money:

Balancing your meal sounds like a topic for nutrition. Nutrition is a sound topic and it is important,

however here the balance is more like that of a parent sitting on a see saw with their

child. The balance between starch, vegetable, proteins and salad. Just as a parent sitting

on a see saw weights down the one side so does too much of one item, here protein.

From a nutritional point of view we eat to much protein in our society. If we get 4 – 6 oz. Of protein

a day that is enough for our body. For our purpose here protein is usually the most

expensive part of the meal. Balance here levels out the see saw by getting the balance

between starch, vegetables, protein and salad.

You have to plan appropriately for your family. If your family doesn't eat salad try doing an

additional vegetable, starch etc. Starches, depending on what they are and their

preparation can be heavy in terms of their negative nutritional value. They can be high

in fat and calories if they contain flours and high in fats. Ex. Rich pasta dishes, baked

potato with sour cream or butter, bread stuffing. There are some starches that are good

ones: Ex. Brown rice, whole wheat pastas, roasted or boiled potatoes, barley pilaf.

If your family isn't opposed to salads, they are a great source of nutrition. They are a great source

of raw vegetables. They can be fairly easy to prepare and they have reasonable cost. You

could be the trend setter of your family's history.

If you have taken any of these steps, you have decreased your protein costs, and increased your

health while lowering your costs.

Knowing your food is important in preparing a dish that is enjoyed by your guests. Most likely you

are not going to be cooking fried alligator or kangaroo stew so don't be alarmed. What I

am referring to is more commonly the proteins you buy and the appropriate cooking

methods for them.

If you are cooking under budget you are probably not going to be buying a tender cut of beef for

grilling or broiling. You are more likely to braise a reasonably priced cut, or marinate

and quick cook it. The importance for here is to use the appropriate cooking technique

to cook your dish so that the flavors and tenderness are maximized through the cooking


When you are doing your planning look for sales in the grocery flyer's. Look for proteins that are

on sale. Figure out what primal cut they come from. Usually you can determine from

the primal cut what cooking procedure you can use for the appropriate protein. If you

can't determine this go to More about beef, veal or pork and you and can find these


Preparing the correct amount can save much time and money. This is something that can easily get

out of hand. The best place to start is something you know, your family. You know who

eats what, you know if someone needs 12 oz. Of protein, or double vegetable.

Planning portions can assist in balancing diet. Planning on portions is a good way of controlling

what everyone eats. If you only prepare as planned then everyone is less likely to over

eat. When planning the portions, you are going to purposefully balance the meal to get

enough to fill you.


When you plan on portions you are using a measure to guide your purchasing, production, and

consumption. There are some standard portion sizes that you can use to gauge this. You

can start with this information and then adjust it according to your knowledge of your

family's consumption. When entertaining guests it is good practice to use generous

portioning. You don't know their needs as intimately as your family.

Develop portioning for the regular members of your table adjust from:

When purchasing foods look for sales on whole chicken, pork loin, ground beef, cuts of meat. Buy

carrots, potatoes, onions in large bags appropriate to your cooking needs purchase

frozen vegetables. If you are cooking regularly you will go through these items. If you

have access to a warehouse supplier like Sams, Bjs, or Costco purchase your vegetables

and starches here. If you have access to a farmers market buy your vegetables here,

they are often cheaper in farming areas.

If you have the time and space grow some vegetables. Vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, green

beans, beets, herbs are all easy to grow. Root vegetables such as carrots and beets can be

stored all winter in a cool area.

Your approach should take aim for cheaper cuts of meat:

chuck, eye of the round, shoulder, stew meat, bottom round, brisket, cube steak, blade

steak, arm roast. Look at using balanced meals with starches and vegetables.


Healthy wholesome foods are free of chemicals and preservatives, and in the case of organic they are

grown without the use of pesticides. In our culture eating food the way it is meant to be

is actually more expensive then eating fast food and unwholesome foods loaded with

additives and preservatives.

There are two main versions of eating wholesome foods, the purist or extreme version we will refer

to as organic, and the compromise or most realistic version. The common thread in both

methods is that cooking meals without the addition of preservatives and chemical

additives yields a wholesome food product that your family or guest will benefit from.

The main difference between the two is that organic tends to stay obedient to using

organic foods. Organic foods are grown specifically avoiding chemicals, pesticides and


Our bodies are an amazing creation designed to take in foods and turn them into fuel for our brain,

muscles, organs, and heart for daily functions. It has the ability to filter these foods

removing toxins and things the body can't use. The liver is used to detoxify, while the

kidney filters the blood of toxins in our bodies.

On a daily basis we are exposed to toxins in our every day life. They come in the form of smoke,

chlorine, preservatives, vapors, pesticides, fats, drugs, etc. The common element to all

of them is that they are not meant to be in our bodies, so our bodies do their job to get

rid of them. In the process our organs can get bogged down by the extreme processing of



There should be no big surprise to us that when we consume excess calories they are processed and

the excess is stored as fat on our bodies. Our bodies need a degree of fat to perform

functions such as protecting our organs, and insulating our body and transporting

certain fat soluble vitamins. Aside from the body sustaining functions, fat is stored in

excess on our bodies as a home for toxins our liver has excreted.

Combine with 15 – 20 minutes of physical activity each day combined with eating balanced

wholesome foods will lead you to healthier lives. A healthier lifestyle will lead to a body

that has a good preventive maintenance plan. This will not eliminate illness but will lead

to feeling better, and having a stronger immune system.

This preventive maintenance could:

Prevent Dr.'s visits,

reduce missed time off from work

increase self value

teach your family better health practices

Other Obvious benefits from eating more wholesome foods:

aid in digestion

less toxins in our foods allows for healthier organs

healthier bodies

savings in cost because of more home prepared foods

Do not use processed foods if you can avoid them. Processed foods are the result of someone

capitalizing on mass production of foods. These processes utilize technology that is

available that aid in the reduced cost associated with the making food products. These

foods are to be consumed at a later time. They often times have the addition of

preservatives and additives to extend the life of a product, and sometimes to enhance


There are some processed foods that are available that do not have preservatives and additives.

These would be considered more wholesome. However these products can be very

expensive. They are doing what you would be doing if you did it yourself. They are using

wholesome ingredients while minimizing artificial ingredients. This can be a viable

option if you are balancing working with providing good wholesome food for your family

and don't have the time or energy to cook.

Other advantages of producing your own meals are:

You can put your signature on a dish

Make your food more wholesome

You will be eating healthier

You will save money



The following begins some simple suggested recipes. There are 28 main recipes that would give you 4 weeks

of dinners that can be produced for around $1.00 per/person. You could pick some that your

family likes and rotate through them, or have 4 weeks of meals.

28 no repeat meals



Beef stroganoff

Beef chili

Yankee pot roast


Beef stew

Country fried steak



Chicken cordon blue

Chicken Stir fry (ginger)

Roast herb chicken

Fried chicken

Chicken pot pie

Chicken cacciatore

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken marsala

Chicken quesadilla


Fish and chips

Seafood quesadillas

Paella (chick/shrimp/sausage)


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ham and cheddar cassoulette with egg noodles

Cheese Raviolis


Macaroni and Cheese


Grilled Kielbasa

Ham Steak

Boneless Breaded Pork chops

Sweet and sour pork

Pork shoulder (boiled dinner)

Ham and Cheddar Cassoulette

Red Gravy





Turkey with broccoli and cheddar

Breads and pastries

Cinnamon Bread/ Cinnamon Bread French Toast


Cinnamon Rolls

Banana Bread and Banana Bread French Toast

Sweet Potato Dough nuts


White bread

Pizza Dough



Hot Dog Rolls