Modify recipes to boost nutrients and save $$

One way to decrease the cost of meals is to decrease the quantity of more expensive ingredients, e.g. meat, and add extra cheaper ingredients, e.g. vegetables, fruit and/or legumes.   This will also make the meal more nutritious.

A good rule of thumb to follow for main meals is that each individual serving of a recipe should not contain more than 100g of cooked meat, poultry or fish.

People often think that fruit and vegetables are more expensive than other foods.   But as you’ll see in the recipes below, adding more fruit and vegetables in place of other ingredients actually helps to make your food dollar go further.

Recipe 1 – Spaghetti Bolognese. Serves 4

ORIGINAL Amount Price MODIFIED Amount Price
Canola Oil 15ml $0.05 Canola Oil 15ml $0.05
Brown Onion 150g $0.54 Brown onion 150g $0.54
Garlic 1 clove $0.12 Garlic 1 clove $0.12
Minced Beef 500g $5.00 Minced beef 250g $2.50
Canned Tomatoes 400g $0.80 Canned tomatoes 400g $0.80
Tomato Paste 140g $0.77 Tomato paste 140g $0.77
Beef Stock 60ml $0.12 Beef stock 60ml $0.12
Sugar 5g $0.01 Sugar 5g $0.01
Fresh Parsley 20g $0.99 Zucchini 100g (1/2) $0.53
Spaghetti 375g $0.49 Carrot 120g (1) $0.12
      Mushrooms 50g $0.44
      Fresh Parsley 20g $0.99
      Spaghetti 375g $0.48
  TOTAL $8.89   TOTAL $7.47
  Total price saving = $1.42 (16%)

Recipe 2 – Hamburger Patties. Serves 4

ORIGINAL Amount Price MODIFIED Amount Price
Minced meat 675g $6.75 Minced Meat 400g $4.00
Onions 150g $0.54 Onions 150g $0.54
Breadcrumbs 125g $0.43 Breadcrumbs 125g $0.43
Egg 1 $0.25 Egg 1 $0.25
Canola Oil 10ml $0.03 Canola Oil 10ml $0.03
Soy Sauce 10ml $0.11 Soy Sauce 10ml $0.11
Fresh Parsley 20g $0.99 Fresh Parsley 20g $0.99
Flour 10g $0.01 Flour 10g $0.01
Ground Pepper 5g $0.11 Ground Pepper 5g $0.11
      Carrot grated 120g (1) $0.12
      Zucchini grated 100g (1/2) $0.53
  TOTAL $9.22   TOTAL $7.12
  Total price saving = $2.10 (23%)

Recipe 3 – BBQ Meat Kebabs. Serves 6

ORIGINAL Amount Price MODIFIED Amount Price
Diced Steak 1kg $17.00 Diced Steak 600g $10.20
Canola Oil 25ml $0.08 Canola Oil 25ml $0.08
      Button Mushroom 120g (6) $1.32
      Onion 150g $0.45
      Cherry Tomato 90g (6) $0.99
      Green Capsicum 100g $0.60
  TOTAL $17.08   TOTAL $13.64
  Total price saving = $3.44 (20%)

Recipes made using generic brands. Prices correct April 2015.

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