Feeding your family

Ways to stretch each meal

Have you found that your food budget is increasing, despite the fact that you are not buying more food than you have in the past? Is your family growing and food demand putting a dent in your overall budget? Are you looking for ways to stretch your meal? Then learning to make your meals stretch further to feed more people is important. Here are some tips from Michigan State University Extension to help you stretch your food:

-          Learn to make a basic potato soup. You can always add left over vegetables, meat, beans and other ingredients to make the soup stretch further to serve more people. Potatoes, which are relatively inexpensive and almost always on sale, can be a staple in your cupboard to make a basic potato soup at any time.

-          Use dried or canned beans to “stretch” your ground beef or turkey, this way you are adding fiber and substance without adding too much cost.

-          Legumes, like lentils and peas can stretch food the same way that beans can. For a lentil recipe visit http://www.food.com/recipes/lentils

-          Rice, made from scratch is another perfect food stretcher. Add it to a casserole, soup or wrap for an ideal filler without adding much cost. Rice can be easily prepared from the recipe on the bag.

-          Noodles may also be used to stretch your food, like rice, noodles added to a casserole or soup can stretch the meal to feed more people.

-          Use wraps, like tortillas, wontons and burrito shells to convert leftovers to perfect meals or snacks to reduce waste and throwing away good food.

-          Add a salad - A basic lettuce with some leftover vegetables like a carrot, onion or pepper to almost any meal, stretches the meal and adds much needed fiber, minerals and vitamins to any meal.

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