By far, food is the most expensive discretionary so ending category on a budget.....at least of the necessities and protein is usually the most expensive category of food.
Meat prices have risen remarkably in the last year or so. It is not unusual to pay five dollars a pound or more for what we used to pay two dollars for. Chicken is still a bargain for a buck a pound for whole chickens. It takes about ten. Invites to put a whole chicken on the oven to roast and another ten to disinfect the kitchen. Counters and utensils. Rotisery chicken is at least 1.67 a pound at Costco. The chicken comes from draper valley. Chicken breast is the most expensive way to buy chicken..sometimes as costly as beef. If I want a boneless , skinless chicken breast, I buy a picnic pack when it is 1.25 a pound and break it down into meal portions and debone the breast. It takes a few tries, but it's not hard to debone a chicken breast.
I bought a pack of small eye of round steaks from Winco last week, They were 9.09. We had 2 of them that I cooked in the grill pan. Last night I cut them across the grains very thin and stir fried them with stir fry veggies from Costco in the freezer section. Add brown roce and dinner was done. I still have enough for another meal or two. Four meals for 9.00 is 2.25 a meal. That is close to my target cost and I can average it with Mac and cheese or breakfast for dinner.
I have been getting hamburger for about three dollars a pound for the good low fat kind lately. When I do I make meatballs, meatloaf, taco meat and/or crumbles. Portion control goes a long ways to stretch your dollar. There are a lot of recipes for ground beef out there. The recent information I have read lately says that we need six ounces of protein a day and some of that should come from eggs. Yes, eggs. I would refer you to an earlier post. Moderation, in my opinion, is the key on food. Remember when eggs were bad for you! Times change and I for one am not going to buy into all the hoopla. Of you take a food group out of your diet , you need to replace the nutrients that you would get from that food group with something else. Unless my doctor tells me something is not good for me to eat and I consult with a nutrition expert( not my cousin or the lady next door) I'm going to eat a variety of things in moderation from the basic food groups. Just my opinion. I do believe all of us. Should watch our fat, sugar, and salt consumption.
You can still get pork at a reasonable price. Sausage is cheapest at Costco. There are a lot of coupons for sausage and port tenderloins. I try to limit our processed meat consumption to once a week. Pepperoni is fifty cents a package for Hormel with coupons at the dollar tree. A few sliced added to vegetables and olives on a pizza goes a long ways. Buffalo,chicken pizza so another pizza alternative that stretches a piece of leftover cooked chicken.
From a whole,chicken I get, 2 chicken breast halves. BBQ chicken from the dark meat, and soup from the bones. Usually for meals from a five pound, four to five dollar chicken. The break even ratio for a chicken is three pounds -everything after that is gravy. In other words, if you buy nature pound chicken you are paying for half bones, and half meat.
Using eggs, cheese, and beans and rice for a few meals a week, stretches the protein budget.
If you have a soup or something that is lower on protein tan you want, consider adding a yogurt parfait, ice cream, pudding, custard or other desert or side dish that boosts the protein.
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