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Sometimes it is a little scary when I actually open up my account and look at how much I spend at the grocery store. You see the thing is my bank provides one of those options to create a pie graph showing how you spend your money. Have you ever tried that? It seems all innocent, but the results, ugh - not so innocent. I hadn't tried it before and decided to last night. And well - the grocery/food section of that graph is out of control. You would think I was feeding 10 people. Am I the only one?
So here is my attempt to bring some control to that little section of the pie graph. I love food too much to ever make it too small, but maybe I can cut back a bit. And if you are trying to cut back on dinner spending, I recommend the Ten Dollar Dinners book from Melissa d'Arabian. It is full of great recipes and many are healthy and work well with Weight Watchers. And a note about these recipes, they do assume you have some basic ingredients on hand and costs may vary slightly due to varying grocery store prices.
1. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos, 4 points plus
I love these tacos and they definitely make a great and really affordable dinner that will please vegetarians and meat eaters alike. All you need are some corn tortillas, a can of black beans, a butternut squash, and some cilantro and you can serve a crowd. Serve them with some simple Cilantro Lime Rice or corn on the cob which is on sale everywhere right now and you have a complete meal that costs under $10.
2. Picadillo, 5 weight watchers points plus
Ground beef is always a great ingredient to consider when you are trying to cut back on grocery store spending, especially if you buy it in bulk and freeze what you aren't using. Although lean ground beef is slightly more expensive and still costs less than most other lean cuts of beef per pound. Serve this picadillo, sort of like a Mexican sloppy joe with potatoes, as tacos, over rice, or on sandwich buns.
3. Baked Ziti Bolognese, 7 weight watchers points plus
Pasta is a traditional go to ingredient when we are trying to save money, but it doesn't have to be boring. This recipes elevates a simple pasta dish by adding veggies, ground beef, and fresh mozzarella cheese. It will also feed well over 4 people and keeps well for meals throughout the week. And best of all it tastes indulgent and like it should have way more calories than it does.
4. Yellow Lentil Soup, 5 weight watchers points plus
This hearty yellow lentil soup is delicious all year long and is extremely inexpensive to make, especially if you buy lentils in bulk where you can usually get a pound for under $1. The lentils make it hearty enough to be a complete meal. I like to serve it either with a poached egg on top or some sauteed sausage.
5. Eggplant Rollatini, 5 weight watchers points plus
This recipe can easily come in under $10 if you just use one type of mozzarella cheese instead of a mix of fresh and shredded. Simply stuff your eggplant with a combination of cheese and zucchini and bake in marinara sauce. Want to beef up the recipe? Add some ground beef or chicken to the cheese mixture. Just cook it first and incorporate it into the recipe.
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