I'm glad you asked, let me tell you.
- First, it is Tightwadian to eat a few vegetarian meals a week. Beans are definitely cheaper than meat. Even if you're buying the cheapest meat you can find, you can usually find beans cheaper. Especially if you're OK buying dry beans and soaking them overnight. MUCH, MUCH cheaper than canned.
- There are some amazingly yummy vegetarian meals out there. This is one we made 2 nights ago for dinner. They were really easy, tasted a bit like falafal and had plenty leftover for all of us to eat them for lunch the next day. They're called the Ultimate Veggie Burger. We served them with some sauteed kale and roasted sweet potatoes.
Here's Kedzie chowing down the day after.
- WARNING: I'M GOING TO GET ON MY SOAPBOX FOR THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH: Saving money on a few meals allows you to have more money for other meals. What I'm trying to say is, this allows one to perhaps spend a bit more on the meat they DO buy. It would allow you to buy local, free-range, organic meat vs. the conventional meat sold at ridiculously rock-bottom prices. Have you ever thought to yourself..."there's a lot of energy that goes into producing that pound of ground beef, how can they possible sell it for $.89/pound?" It's true. You know the farmer isn't seeing the bulk of that money. Why not pay $3/pound for delicious beef directly from your farmer? Every time we do this, we put money directly into a farmer's family and support sustainable animal husbandry. (I won't go into the details of how awful conventional animal rearing is...I think you probably already know). Plus, you'll notice a difference in fat content of the grass-fed beef vs. the grain-fed (cows were not made to eat corn!) Something we notice with the grass-fed beef is when we saute, say ground beef, we never have to drain the beef of grease...there just isn't any. Try it. Eating an animal that eats what it's supposed to and gets plenty of exercise=healthier you.
- Another money saving tip is to buy local meat in bulk directly from the farmer. Usually farmers offer 1/4 cow and such at much lower prices. We buy our beef this way and split it with another family. The 1/4 side can be anywhere from 75-90 pounds. The benefit is that it only costs $5.50/pound for all of it. It includes steaks, roasts, ground, stew beef, etc.
So, that's my Tightwadian tip for the day. Eat less meat. Buy dry beans instead of canned. Buy local meat with the extra money. You won't regret it.