Blog

Meal Planning

Planning your Meals with Family Favorite Recipes

Planning your meals and using your meal plan to make a grocery list are a top tip for saving money on food. By planning your meals and using a list when you shop, you know exactly what you need to buy and are less likely to buy items you don’t need.

Baked Fish and Chips

Get Hooked on Fish!

Fish has always been a large part of my diet. Growing up on the coast, my family had access to a variety of seafood. My love for seafood has not changed even though I now call Iowa home. On my weekly meal plans I typically add 1-2 meals that include fish as our main protein. Our daughter has been eating a variety of fish dishes since she started trying foods, so I keep fish on hand for easy meals I know my family enjoys.

Food Costs

The Total is What??

It’s no secret that food costs are rising. My trips to the grocery store are costing me more than usual and I imagine yours might be too. Here are a few ways to save money on food, including tips for reducing food waste. For additional information and resources on how to make the most of your money at the grocery store visit us at Spend Smart. Eat Smart.   

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Our April recipe of the month is Fish Tacos. This is a homemade version of restaurant fish tacos with coleslaw and chopped veggies wrapped in a corn tortilla. I enjoy this recipe because the different flavors and textures come together to make a delicious meal.

Potato

Microwave Baked Potato

Microwaving a potato is a quick and easy way to add a baked potato to a meal. Sometimes potatoes get a bad rap for not being good for you. However, potatoes are a good source of potassium and Vitamin C and they do not cost a lot. The instructions for microwaving a potato were a little out of date on our website, so we have updated them. Below are the steps and some recipes to go along with your microwave baked potato. You can also find the instructions on our website at: https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/recipe/microwave-baked-potato/

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup

Our March recipe of the month is Loaded Potato Soup. Potato soup is a favorite in my home. It comes together pretty quickly and it makes a filling meal in one bowl.

Budget Groceries

Tracking My Family’s Food Expenses

Budgeting can be challenging, and it can take time before you find a system that works best for you. My husband handles finances as part of his job so at home I handle most of our day-to-day expenses to give him a break. After some trial and error, I have finally found a system that seems to work for us.

Time for a Breakfast Recipe Round-up!

My husband and three-year old LOVE breakfast. As soon as they wake up, they head straight to the kitchen. During the work week, we don’t have as many opportunities to sit down as a family with a large breakfast, so we tend to opt for quicker options on those days. On the weekends I favor making recipes that require a few more ingredients and take additional time to prepare, especially if we are entertaining guests.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Host a Super Bowl party for 12 for $20

Last week I challenged myself to come up with a Super Bowl party menu for 12 people that would cost $20 or less (not counting alcohol). I wanted a menu that I could serve to my friends, and one that didn’t take my whole Sunday to prepare.

Make Valentine’s Day special…and affordable

I find Valentine’s Day a welcome break between the holidays and spring. However, everything connected with the holiday seems to cost money—cards, flowers, a special dinner out…

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Amazing Chocolate Fudge

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so (I think) I deserve chocolate! But, chocolate is expensive when it comes to my calorie and money budgets. A co-worker has a recipe for fudge made with pinto beans that should be less expensive than commercial chocolates. Although it won’t be so healthy I can eat all I want, it will be less un-healthy than what I might otherwise buy. The fudge is called Amazing Chocolate Fudge.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Tropical Cabbage Slaw

During the month of March, grocery stores may run really good sales on cabbage – whole heads as well as the bags of slaw. This is super news because such healthy foods aren’t always THIS cheap! Cabbage is a great source of vitamin C as well as fiber AND is low in calories – or at least is CAN be unless you go drowning it in mayo by making it into coleslaw. Here is a flavorful tip to try – use lemon or pina colada flavored yogurt for the dressing INSTEAD of mayo. It adds great flavor and a little bit of calcium to your diet. Rather than mixing up a big bowl, stir together what you can eat at one meal or snack. If you use fat free yogurt, you have a side dish that is very inexpensive AND easy on your waistline. To make it more fun, add some fruit and nuts (small amounts since they are higher in fat and more expensive). Here are some combinations I like: