Reducing food waste.

Last week I decided to make enchiladas.  This can be expensive and tedious, but oh so worth it.  I sauteed up some peppers, shrooms and onions for the filling.  I also cooked up a 6 grain rice mix and added pinto beans to it.  Mixing all those together with cumin and cayenne pepper powder for a kick, this was my filling.  I rolled up my enchiladas and shredded pepper jack and cheddar cheese over it.  I added the sauce, which unfortunately came from a can, I have no idea what is in the sauce and it is convenient to purchase the can.  I again shredded cheese over the sauce.  This is one of my few cheese heavy dishes.  I had quite a bit of the stuffing left over.  The dish itself fed both dinner and I had two lunches from it.  Overall it cost about $30 to make and I got 4 meals out of it.

The good news is that there was two half blocks of cheese left, and the filling from the main dish.  I took the filling and put it into a pot.  I added another can of beans, this time great northern beans, since I had those on hand.  I added a few cups of water and more seasoning.  I simmered it for the better part of a day.  In the end I still have half a pot of chili, and I have already had 3 meals from it.  I cut some of the tortillas into strips and made crispy little strips to put into the chili.  I also shredded a bit of cheese into it.  Overall this $30 worth of groceries has made nearly 11 meals.  So at less than $3 a meal ($2.72 to be exact) I have made a great couple of meals and managed to be frugal and healthier than if I had bought a pre-made meal option.  And I still have tortillas and cheese left over for quesidillas if I choose.

To next time you make a dish that requires multiple ingredients and they tend to be rather spending, try taking what is left over and creating a casserole dish or a soup and stretch those ingredients to their maximum.  Healthy filling food on a budget is not that difficult, you just have to consider the possibilities.


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