Grains are important in any frugal diet! They help stretch those other more expensive grocery items and add plenty of nutrients and fiber!

Go Whole Wheat

We all know that whole wheat is healthier than white, so most of the time opt for whole wheat breads, pastas and rice. Often the whole wheat varieties are the same price as the white, but even when they’re a little more expensive, I think it’s still worth the few extra cents.

Cook from Scratch

I do occasionally make whole wheat bread, but am by no means an expert! However, I do recommend an excellent post by The Frugal Girl called, “Does Homemade Bread Save Money?” She does an excellent price-break down and even compares the nutritional value of the ingredients.

Even if you don’t want to make your own sandwich bread, there’s plenty of other nutritious”breads” out there you can whip up, like corn tortillas which only consist of masa harina, salt and water. Or how about muffins from scratch? You can healthify them, but substituting some of the white flour for whole wheat, including fruits, cutting back on the sugar and using applesauce in place of the oil. Instead of buying cereal you can make your own granola. You could try this recipe that only uses honey to sweeten it or this clumpy recipe.

Gracia a couple years ago helping me bake bread.

Buy “Day Old” Bread

I’ve heard of “Day Old” Bread stores, but even if you don’t have that in your area, chances are your local grocery store will have a spot in the store where they sell reduced for quick sale bread. Keep your eyes out, as it often isn’t in the bread section where you’d expect it. Look over by the deli, meat department or freezer section, and if all else fails, ask someone!

Don’t Waste Stale Bread

Croutons, bread pudding, stuffing or bread crumbs are perfect ways to use up old bread. Some might consider this too gross, but I’ve even cut off small moldy parts of bread and eaten the rest of the bread that’s still good.

Brown rice is affordable and very nutritious!

Buy in Bulk

Grains are something you can usually get in bulk. Some people even buy their own wheat and grind it themselves. Buy the bigger bags of rice instead of the Minute variety. Buy oatmeal in a canister instead of the individual oatmeal packets, and  you can even make your own instant oatmeal packets.

Stock Up on Great Sales

Honestly I’ve yet to do this, but when you see things like flour go on sale, stock up! If you buy extra bread you can freeze it for later.

Grains are Great Fillers

Because so many grains (rice, oatmeal, etc…) are so cheap compared to things like meats, they’re a great way to fill up your family and stretch a meal. Serve them as a side dish or add a little extra to soups and casseroles.

Black Bean and Rice Burritos

 

Recipes
Breakfast rice
The Gracious Pantry’s big list of oatmeal ideas
Homemade instant oatmeal packets
Honey Granola
Clumpy Almond Granola
Popcorn without a popcorn popper.
Homemade Corn Tortillas - Corn tortillas are healthier than white and so yummy when freshly made!
Amy Dacyzyn’s Universal Muffins – This is a great “recipe” for making muffins out of whatever you have on hand!
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole Wheat Honey Carrot Cake
DIY Bread Crumbs plus 8 ways to use up bread crumbs
Croutons

This post is linked at Tammy’s Recipes.

2 Responses to “Eating Healthy On a Budget #3: Breads & Grains”

  1. I`ve started making sourdough bread, this way I can cut back on buying yeast!

  2. Homemade breads (yeast or quickbreads) are my thing. It definitely saves money over the kind of bread I’d buy in the store (especially when I make english muffins) and tastes better, too.
    I’ve never tried making corn tortillas. I probably should, but I’ve just barely mastered flour tortillas.

    Before I baked so much, we often got our bread from the Mrs. Baird’s Thrift Store and it did save us a lot. The only thing was that you couldn’t always plan exactly what kind of bread you wanted, you just had to see what they had when you got there.

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