Right now, food costs are rising much faster than inflation and incomes. One way to save is by eating at home more often and planning meals before grocery shopping, which can cut your food budget in half.

Check out these ten tips to cut down your food budget, and make the most of your food budget with these healthy recipes from the US Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

Farmers Markets provide a great way to eat healthy with fresh, local produce. There are Farmers Markets from Woonsocket to Westerly that accept EBT cards, and many markets provide Bonus Bucks, so for every $5 swiped on the EBT card, you get an additional $2 to spend on fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit the Farm Fresh RI website.

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Check out the cook by Leanne Brown, Good and Cheap, Eat Well on $4 per day. You can download your Good and Cheap Cook Book today!

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Italian White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 15-oz. cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, (You can use canned broth, or make your own by adding 3 bouillon cubes to 4 cups of water.)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped)
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Combine one can of beans with 2 cups of broth in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Transfer to large saucepan and add remaining ingredients.

3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

4. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings. Serving size: 1¼ cups.

 


Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, chopped and cooked (or 1 15-oz. can sweet potatoes, drained)
  • Non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 whole wheat tortillas, about 7” diameter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato salsa
  • 2 tablespoons shredded low fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, mash sweet potatoes with beans.

2. Coat a medium pan or skillet with cooking spray or lightly rub with oil.

3. Place one tortilla in pan. Spread sweet potato and bean mixture onto the tortilla.

4. Top with salsa and cheese.

5. Cover with other tortilla.

6. Cook for 2-3 minutes until bottom tortilla begins to crisp. Then flip and cook other side until crisp.

Makes 2 servings. Serving size: ½ of a quesadilla.

 


Chocolate Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 2/3 cup white rice, uncooked
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup evaporated whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Place milk, rice, and sugar in large saucepan. Simmer over medium heat; stir continuously.

2. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Check to make sure rice doesn’t scorch. Add chocolate and stir until melted.

3. Beat eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, flour, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat egg mixture into rice mixture.

4. Stir continuously; cook over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not allow pudding to boil.

5. Pour pudding into medium bowl. Cover and chill.

6. Makes 4 Servings. Service size: about 2/3 cup each