It seems like this time of my year my cupboard is a little more bare as I haven’t grocery shopped as much. I still want to make an amazing meal, yet keep it affordable.
This is where meal planning comes into play and thinking ahead is key.
Last week I wanted to make something with fresh basil. Fresh basil costs about $2.49 a container. In order to justify it, and so I would use it all, I came up with at least three meals.
I made a basil mayonnaise to dip my panko chicken in.
1/2 cup Mayo
bunch of fresh basil – I like lots, like 1 cup
1 garlic clove
I use a hand blender to blend together. Dip panko chicken in the basil mayonnaise.
I use the leftover as a spread on my kids’ turkey sandwiches for school. It makes it feel more gourmet that way.
I also made a fresh Basil Pesto.
The last meal I make is using fresh basil with marinated mozzarella and grilling them on crusty bread. In the summer I actually put them on the grill, but in the winter I use the George Foreman or a skillet with a weighted pan on top.
Not only are my meals affordable, but they are delicious and before the basil even goes bad, I use it completely.
I do the same with a bottle of wine if I am cooking with it. Although it will last much longer, I just plan my meals around using up the whole bottle of wine.
Just because you can’t save a ton a money, doesn’t mean you can’t make a great, affordable meal.
What are your tricks?