A home-cooked supper costs the typical American family of four about $5 per person, and that figure is on the rise. But you can beat the trend. Use these tips for easy, affordable meals that will have you spending less but eating better.
Budget-friendly beans and grains
Hit a whole in one: There's no better budget stretcher than cooking with whole grains. Pearl barley ($.90 a pound), brown rice ($1.15 a pound), and bulgur ($1.76 a pound) are low in fat, high in protein, and
tummy-filling. Combine with meat or veggies to make a little go a long, healthy way.
Try dry: Dried beans, lentils, and split peas are less than $1 a pound and packed with nutrition. Cook up a pot and eat for three nights, turning them into a satisfying, Southern-style meal, Veggie Bean
Burgers, or Pasta e Fagioli.
Do the math: A box of rice pilaf will set you back $2.29 and yield three cups, or one meal. Spend a dollar more on a five-pound bag of rice, and get the equivalent of 50 cooked cups. Mix with onions and chicken
broth for DIY pilaf.