Our family is not one of vegetarians. My husband likes meals that involve a large slab of meat with some form of potato, preferably mashed, and not a vegetable in sight. Clearly, however, that type of eating isn’t good for us or for our wallets! Since we’ve been pushing to get our debt paid off, I’ve been looking at better ways to save money on our “fixed” expenses, like food and gas, and going meatless more often is doing a lot to help. Here’s how I do it without inciting rebellion:
- I cook with dried lentils a lot more. This is twofold- first, WIC provides dried beans, but I hate cooking with most dried beans because I forget to soak them, and they take FOREVER to get soft. Blech. Lentils, however, are WIC friendly and don’t have to presoak! Love it. They’re also hearty and go great with a lot of different types of meals, believe it or not.
- I aim to eat meatless meals 3x per week. This is currently Hubby’s limit for meatless frequency, but I might try pushing it to 4x per week in the future. All our meatless meals feature dairy or lentils instead of meat, so we’re not skimping on the protein.
- The other 4 days per week, I use VERY LITTLE meat. Instead of adding 1 pound of ground beef, I’ll add 1/2 a pound. If a recipe calls for a pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, I’ll cook up one. The secret to pulling this off without making it seem like you’re depriving everyone is to chop the meat up very, very, very small. One cooked chicken breast looks like a lot more meat when it’s been shredded and chopped. This is also handy if you’re pregnant and can’t stand the taste of meat (ahem)