One of my neighbours just came over with a bag of food left at her place by house sitter while overseas. They don’t eat these foods normally, and the fish has bones in it that my cats may like to eat it!
Yes red salmon has some bones but my cats are not going to get much of it @ $5.99 a can and $3.99 for the small can. The soup packets are $1.89 each and can of soups are around $2.49 can here. You guess it I will eat the lot myself thanks very much!
Value Total$26.62 that helps $-t-r-e-t-c-h the budget quite nicely.
Archive for September, 2011
One of my neighbours just came over with a bag of food left at her place by house sitter while overseas. They don’t eat these foods normally, and the fish has bones in it that my cats may like to eat it!
Other day I was looking in the bin of old magazines and found this copy for 50c. Looking at it had no date on it. It's rare copy of this magazine it was the very first edition 1972.
Earth Garden first edition
I did buy lots of Earth Garden magazines about 54 of them @ 20c each I just love this kind of book and have been buying ones like it for years some of these date back to 1973 a bit like 'he Mother Earth' at the local School Fete this year.
I wrote about this here
Here the only recipe in this edition
Irene's Vegetables Chow Mien
1 pkt long life noodles or any thin egg noodles
1/2 of Chinese cabbage
1/4 lb (125g) mushrooms
1/2 bunch spring onions
1/4 lb (125g) peas
1 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce (Kikkoman preferably)
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp sugar
(Mix the sauce ingredients and leave standing until need.) *
Boil noodles, strain and drain. This is best done an hour or so before the meal is to be cooked.
Chop up all the vegetables.
In some vegetable oil fry the noodles until golden and crisp. It's easier to do in small portions at a time until all noodles are cooked.
Put a little oil, water or soy sauce in a pot, and then add the vegetables then sprinkling of salt.
Cook fairly high heat for about a minute without lid and three to four minutes with the lid on.
The vegetables are then cooked, but retain a fresh crispness and green keep more of vitamins than usual.
Add the sauce, which is best mixed and left standing before cooking begins. *
Braise the mixture for one minute, then add the fried noodles on top and braise for another minutes or two. Gently stir the whole mixture and serve.
This should be sufficient for six
For a change eat the vegetable sauce with some add little bean mixture then serve over boiled or steamed rice.
You can use the vegetable sauce mixture with some boiled or steamed rice or add little black bean mixture to the sauce.
Meat eaters Variation
If you want to add meat:-
Into a bowl put diced beef (skirt steak will do) bacon, ham or pork with 1 tablespoon of water.
Fry a little garlic in a small amount of oil, add the meat mix and braise for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add this to the vegetables mix at the same time you add the sauce.
First edition, page 39
Earth Garden Index
A while ago I wrote about sorting some socks for a neighbour and getting paid to do in
sock monster & over coming it .
The other day I found a few rolls of film that never was processed which just got done a few weeks ago. I found these photos in them.
Two full baskets of odd socks
My sorting method using a rotary clothes line.
I still have this clothes line it’s a 1949 vintage, I have restored it since these photos were taken.
Here is another photo of the kookaburra on the rotary clothes line
I have done a lot of thinking about how I shop over the past few days, along with a lot of reading and writing and viewing different downloads and links. This task has given me some food for thought and I hope it's given you some ideas on shopping over the number of areas I have covered.
One area I didn't cover is eating and drinking way from home so try limiting the amount of food and drinks you have away from home. This area is the biggest waster of your food budget and I didn't even touch on it. Try writing down every cent you spend for a month and see how much you are spending here. You may find the money for that overseas holiday you only dreamed about.
One of the major points we all need to do at this point in time. Is to review what we have in own homes and use this before go out and buy more stuff.
Some of the other points to think about are:
- Check what we have bought and use it!
- Make a menu using what in the house first then what on special that week.
- Make a price book so you know what the cheapest price is.
- Don't be loyal to just one supermarket
- Learn to cook if you can't!
While researching for this series I came across a number of interesting links some are for small families or singles and other ones can be used by everyone. I don't know how much anyone of you reading this series has explored your government resources in the way I have done here. There a number of free downloads or online reading that I can open on this side of the Pacific Ocean. I have included some I found from Australian websites also!
Some are from US government websites and others are from umaine extension and Mayo Clinic. If you can explore these websites a lot more as there are plenty more to out there to be found. I could give you the links to a lot of downloads but exploring them yourselves will make it more interesting.
The ones that I have given you here that are marked PDF will need a reader to open them.
explore this link for interesting articles
Thrifty Meals for Small Families
At the bottom of this one you will find links to the other parts of this series 5 parts in all.
If you search for Thrifty Meals for Small Families, you will come up with other downloads versions.
Keep the Beat Healthy Heart Recipes PDF
healthier you links to recipes
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services There are two PDF files on this link that one 130 pages & the other one 160 pages PDF.
Vegetarian Learn about different types of vegetarianism, nutrients of concern, how to plan a healthy diet, and find recipes.
Nutrition index Shopping, Cooking & Meal Planning
Recipes & shopping - What's there to eat? PDF
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating PDF
Victorian Better Health
Victorian Better Health - Recipes Here
The last of Shopping for one series
This is the seventh in this series
For someone living from pay check to pay check this system may not work for you.
I allow a budget fixed amount to care for my cats each year excluding trips to the vetï¿½s as I have a float for that and the float money from my last trip to the vetï¿½s is back up to $500 again plus the cost of their flea treatments. My goal each year is to come under this amount so far I have won this battle and I have had these cats for almost 15 years.
I buy a clumping cat litter as this what my cats like to use. This is the store brand one, as I donï¿½t like to have to drive my car to the supermarket very week, I try to buy enough to last 3 weeks ,same with the cat food except for the store brand one, that one of my cat likes and itï¿½s the cheapest by far @ 69c! I buy enough this one until I am back into that supermarket chain again or when I get down to the last can. I only buy on special, I check each week the catalogues for good buys in the brand that they will eat. I will drop in and buy if the price is right. As the amount I buy depends on the price and how much I still have in stock from the last buying trip. Normally the price is around RRP $1.59 per can, I will try to buy it around a $1.25 or less the lower the price the more I will buy. If it even comes down 89c again then I will make extra trips to buy as many as I can up to 100 cans.
As for dry cats food I buy three different varieties for them. I will have in stock about 3 packets unopened so that I donï¿½t just go shopping for this item. Lately our supermarkets have lowered their prices on some of their goods and these are just one of those lines that now rarely go on special now! If they do go on special then I buy extras that week.
As for vet supplies the online company I deal with here is
Priceless pets I buy enough to last 6 months at a time. This does save on postage again check the sizes and prices before you order. When I went to the vetï¿½s he told me to change brands for a while when ordering online, I have been using Revolution for a few years now, told to change to Advantage for a while different formula but both do the same job as I have 2 cats the same size I buy the 2x 6 packs do check the price of these items at the local pet shop and online.
If things get tough in the future then I will be taking a closer look at some of these websites.
Google -- cat and dog food recipes
I came up with two gems but there are many more there but watch out for ones selling you stuff as you can find a lot of this information for free.
Pet Food Cooking Recipes
this one looks interesting that I may try some of them at some time.
This is the sixth in this series
I am lucky enough to have an oversupply of beauty products. I was selling Avon a six years ago so I have a lot of leftovers that are now out of date that I am using up myself. I now only buying one item that I have finish my supply of and still using most other items more slowly as no longer wear make up that much these days. That's what you get when you are your own best customer.
As for hair care, I buy hair dye and shampoos and conditioners, as I stockpile these when I find a good buys on them I have enough of these items for the next few years too!
So would suggest look at your discount stores for these items whether it a discount chemist or discount store always check size & price for the best price. At times Avon can beat both when they have some of their deals in their catalogue at times. Toothpaste, shower gels, soaps etc. you need to know your prices on these then buy when you find a good deal. I multiple buy if I find it at the best price I had found so far.
So my strategy here is to buy when I found at good price and buy enough to last 3 months or longer.
At a pinch you could use some homemade beauty products but will leave search for those on Google
Try using -- good homemade beauty recipes
Paper goods in the way Hand towels & toilet paper I only buy only on special or TP at 50c per roll or less. I only buy one brand in toilet paper which now here which sold at 50c per roll in 20 or 24 packs.
As for laundry and kitchen cleaning items, I have a bit of stockpile I need to use up first.
I buy dish detergent at the chemist when they have it marked down. As for laundry detergent I use 50% of homemade one and using up some bought packs that were bought on special. Again do a price check before you buy these lines buy at the price and size.
Here some links
The Benefits of Organic and Natural Cleansers
Homemade Household Cleansers
Alternative Cleaners and Recipes
vinegar and baking soda cleaning recipes
This is the fifth in this series
I eat very basic plain food so I can get away without having all these artificial additives in my food more about that later. I do buy canned food and packaged goods but only the one I want and are good for my health. If I don’t understand what in the product from reading ingredient list, I am likely to leave it on the shelf.
On occasions I will find a very good buy in the marked down bin of item that I could make from a recipe found in cookbook or on the internet, I then may buy it to try out then find a way in making that item myself, I do keep the packaging or label for a reference then set out to find similar recipes or methods to make that item. You have to remember that we in Australia do not have any coupons like you have in America so the price you see on the supermarket shelf is the price are going to pay unless it’s marked down or on special in some way.
Single household shopper may not need 10 cans or packets of the same to get these specials deals so we will need to look for other ways or places that sell in singles a can or packet at that price. The other day I saw an offer of Mars candy bars 18 share packs in store the shelf price $2.79, near it was a table with these same Mars candy bar share packs with $4.00 on it didn’t make sense so I asked the staff about it, it was buy 2 packets @ $4.00 or single pack @ $2.79. They are doing this quite a lot lately with other lines.
Only you can workout what food you like and get in your local area you live in.
Here in Australia we can get most things but if they are imported name brand as listed in American or British recipes they can be far too expensive on limit food budget. The answer is in substitution of local or cheaper items from your own area. So look at what’s cheaper in your area and learn to like and cook with these kinds of foods.
I do buy canned tomatoes as I have worked out that when fresh are expensive then I can use the cans for cooking. I try to grow some cherry tomatoes to use in fresh salad and use canned tomatoes for cooking. Only buy when on special at the cheapest price you can find. For a single household just buy 6 - 10 at a time unless you are making soup out of them. I bought 50 cans of tomatoes a few years ago now I still have 7 cans left to use. Far too many!
As for frozen goods I only buy the basic vegetables single packets of spinach, peas, beans & corn and a store brand mixed a vegetable that is diced for quick use, if money is real tight then mixed vegetables and peas and use what’s cheapest in fresh only and make do with these. As for the others frozen good on if the special is 50% off or bigger packet for the same price and then on special I may buy some at times.
I do buy jams buying only the ones I will use in a can and decant it into jars. As for honey I buy 3kg containers of my favorite when I can then decant this overtime the last lot took 3 years to use up but then honey will keep for 7000 years if sealed well.
Bottle sauces, spices & herbs, vinegars these will brighten up your dishes. Look into buying one or two seasonings starting with salt & pepper in each shopping trip so budgeting for these over time will build a good supply up.
Bottle Sauces over time buying a few that match your foods that you eat and in your recipes that you are using. There are some recipes around that will give list of what you need for this. Look into make your own sauces too! I will buy some fancy sauces for some dishes so that I know how they taste like but then look for a more basic version or these if they are in the bargain bins then will buy them again if cheap enough.
With spices & herbs I will buy a little bigger size than the supermarket size and give some of it away to friends if they use it! I have found that buying it in Asian or ethnic specialty grocery store I can buy it for around same price but almost 3 times a much. So check your supermarket out in their normal spice & herb area then ethnic specialty area for a price check & sizes then out outside for other specialty grocery store or deli.
See what you like in the way of pasta, rice, grains that you use to bulk out your meals. Just buy the variety you will use not every variety named in cookbooks. I use basmati rice and buy this on special in 2 to 5 kg bags. Forget buying in small bags unless you are just trying out to see whether you like it or not. Keep rice & pasta in the refrigerator if you have room there. But well sealed, I keep them there but the open container is out on the bench to use. Rice has a bay leaf in it.
Vinegars are a must have in the kitchen but only buy what will use in your kitchen use and in small amounts unless you are making chutney and pickles. Check your recipes for what ones you need and then buy them over time.
Cereals can be handy but expensive so I stick to just one, rolled oats or oatmeal and in the summer I may make up a muesli
I use powdered skim milk (nonfat milk) for all my dairy needs. I will buy if I find some UHT milk on special then I will buy 2 cartons to have on hand for visitors and use up myself when it come nears the use by date.
Over the years I have been able to make a stockpile of extra foods mainly when GFC was on and now working my way though this, to reduce it down to a more normal level to buy when I’m are opening the one to use or 4-6 spare. I will not be affected if there is another recession any time soon.
My main aim now where possible use & buy on basic items that you can make food from scratch, that’s most food lines sold in supermarkets today. Somewhere on the internet you will find that recipe you will need or just look at the ingredient list on the can or package for clues of what should be in it.
Forget all the humbo jumbo of flavor enhancers, preservatives, emulsifiers, vegetables gums etc, do you want things to last that long. If they are natural and can be bought easily you could use them at a pinch.
This is a short run down of something’s I am doing to shop without coupons.
Some other ideas can be found in this ebook Save on Grocery Shopping on this link
Eating Well on $1 A Day
$120 food challenge for family per fortnight
50 tips for grocery shopping
I am a little late in putting up my monthly balance others things do get in the away at times, my cat is doing fine until his operation on next Wednesday to have his teeth removed so far its only two of them.
As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.
It’s time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.
These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx Budget===Spent
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $87.72
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$607 less 500.00 =$107
Gifts & Donations =$35.00===$29.95
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$56.56
Note only one amount is a no spend
Budgeted for this period $580 spent $487.66 so under budget by $92.34
No Spending days over the 28 days = 11 days in total.
Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.
Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.
As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month just on medicine
As for my medical visits out of pocket expensive if they are related to Diabetes then I will class them as Diabetes Expenses will come under this new category.
Diabetes Expenses – nil
A most will be one off items or once per year expenses. But I need to track these items on my small budget and pension. Each time I pay for some thing in this category I will need to cut something in other categories.
My credit cards are still paid in full each month.
Spending on books and papers $49.50 for the month including 4 papers.
I had to buy a birthday gift a watch last month, now I have paid for it to be engraved $29.95.
I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $1005.12 so balance banked this month. These funds do cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year. This amount includes the cat operation with the Vet.
As for food out, I dined out 4 times this month costing between $5 & $9 a time most were around the $9 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 meals at casino is still looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.
My grocery bill came in normal for this month.
Most of my social outing are dining out this is part of my social outings money and spending allowance.
If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had a good month.
Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.
Seeing that I have not posted my bean patties recipe
I thought I better do so here.
I found this recipe in an old cookbook that had lost it cover. At the time I was looking for a bean recipes to use up 3kg beans, I and my friend was growing at the time. I still have some of these beans left. You can use any kind of bean for this recipe.
Cooked Minced Beans Mixture
Any kind of beans can be used for these dishes. If dried beans are use they must be well washed, then soaked in water overnight, and cooked until tender but not mushy. Mince the cooked beans or rub them through a coarse sieve, using the back of a wooden spoon. (I use a potato masher)
Make a mixture of 2 cups of beans and 1 cup of the following (or a mixture of them): Breadcrumbs, wheatgerm, mashed potato, or cooked cereal. Up to 1/2 cup of cheese or chopped nut may be added, but these are optional. (That's for every 2 cups of minced beans add 1 cup of bulk mixture. Up to about 3 teaspoons of flavorings.)
In the following recipes any of these foods and /or flavorings can be added: Soy sauce, grated garlic, mixed herbs, chopped celery, Worcestershire sauce, Chilli sauce, 2 part curry powder + 1 part turmeric, finely chopped capsicums (red or green), paprika, mustard, chutney, sage, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice, cider vinegar, tomatoes, eggs, milk or whatever you like. Make to your taste. Note:- I divide mixture in two and do two flavors normally curry & herbs ones.
3 dishes of beans
Closer look at Mashed beans texture
Mixing in the mashed potatoes
Using Cooked Minced Beans Mixture
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into sausage shapes about 20mm (3/4 inch) thick and 90mm (3 1/2 inches) long. Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs or wheatgerm. Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown. Two per serving.
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into patties cakes shapes about 20mm (3/4 inch) thick and 60mm (2 1/2 inches) round. Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs or wheatgerm. Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown. Two per serving.
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into cutlets using a piece of macaroni inserted into the end to resemble a bone. Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs, or wheatgerm. Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown. Serve with tomato wedges and green peas or beans. Serving size: 2 bean cutlets (80mm x 50mm each)
2 cups cooked & mashed beans
1/2 cup milk
6 tsp. Soya flour
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup wheatgerm
1 cup chopped celery
1 egg, well beaten
Mix the milk into the Soya flour and stir until smooth. Add the other ingredients and shape into a loaf. Bake in greased baking dish in moderate oven (375 F) 190 C for 35 minutes.
Baked Bean Casserole
1 cup cooked & mashed beans
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated onion
1 cup chopped celery
wheatgerm or breadcrumbs
Place vegetables in layers in greased casserole, season and top with the sliced tomatoes, grated cheese and sprinkling of wheatgerm or breadcrumbs. Bake in a moderate oven (375 F) 190 C until the wheatgerm or breadcrumbs browns - usually 20 to 25 minutes.
From Old Vegetarian Booklet
Curried Bean Rissoles using the above method
4 cups cooked beans unfrozen
2 large potatoes cooked & mashed but still hot.
2 tsp curried powder
1 tsp turmeric
Few pieces finely chopped capsicums (red or green)
Add Breadcrumbs as dried filler if mixture is too moist.
Blend and mix well.
Shape the cooked minced beans mixture into patties cakes shapes about 20mm (3/4 inch) thick and 60mm (2 1/2 inches) round.
Cover with beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs or wheatgerm.
Shallow fry in hot oil or in Teflon pan until golden brown.
Two rissoles per serving.
About 16 rissoles/patties
Curried bean mixture
Plates of bean patties ready for the freezing
Mold rissoles or Croquettes as above and put on to plastic plates about 8 to a plate with glad wrap over them to keep freezer clean. Freeze for about 2 hours or more until solid remove from plates and wrap in serving size amounts and label. Cook from frozen this whole shapes better.
**You could divide the mixture up before adding flavoring ingredients so that they are not all the same. I have done this on occasions.
**I usually soak and cook 4 - 6 cups of dried beans at one time in large pasta cooking pot with a drainer, cool and then put 2 cups cooked beans per bag then put into freezer. Defrost and use as above when required.
**Now if the beans are old and the skins are the tuff then remove the outer coating of the cooked beans. The beans in the picture were grown in 2006 and dried in my garden I got around 3kg worth. They were a heritage bean. I still have a few left of them.
The Bold and Beautiful Book of Bean Recipes PDF
there are recipes on here including some bean ones
This is the fourth in this series
These beans have been soaked & cooked both are the same bean, one has had the outer coating removed.
The end result - Bean Patties
It's was once said that beans were a poor man's food. I do know that beans & lentil are one food when bought dried do multiple and you get more for your dollars and the same with rice. So to save money or make food budget go further just make yourself learn to like beans. You can do a frugal foodie trip around the world without leaving home to do it. I often will pick a country that use beans in they diet and then try they foods for a week or two!
I buy no more than 1 kg (2lbs) at a time of different varieties. I do keep dried beans in glass jars so they are well sealed. Soaking and cooking about 1/2kg at a time. I do precook my beans and bag them into 2 cups portions then freeze until needed. Defrost before use.
This is an interesting website to read and each newsletter has recipes that are low GI in them do look at archives for past newsletters.
How much protein you can get from plant foods
Hardy lentils ' poor man's meat' worth their weight in gold
As I have done a lot of posting on beans and lentils before I will just post the links this time.
Just try Recipes on the side bar. It's about 3 pages long or go to post that interest you! Then have a look in My Pages section for more beans recipes.
This is the lentil series that was posted a few months ago!
Lentils - part one
Lentils Recipes - part two
More Lentils Recipes - part three
Saving Advice Lentils Recipes - part four
Red Lentils and Barley Soup - low GI
Here the links to my beans & rice posts from last year.
More links on Beans and Rice Recipes
Complete Protein Myth
More on Beans and Rice Challenge Bean & Rice Recipes Links
Other bean posts over the years.
Broad Beans Provencale
My Mezze or Meze Platter (Hummus bi Tahina)
CHICKPEA CURRY Chickpea and Spinach Recipes
MIXED BEAN SALAD
Italian Bean and Tuna Salad
This is the third in this series
I went to the greengrocer last week as they had some specials that would have liked but I was a day early for them. So I was able to buy specials that I would have bought had I went last week. They do have a pensioner discount 10% off Fruit & Vegetables on certain days of the week but not on grocery lines.
Buying what was cheap and in season is my goal. This greengrocer sells fruit in buckets for a much cheaper price than buying by the kilo. If it will last then I will buy it this way. Tangelos are a fruit I have never eaten before; I think it's a cross between mandarin and orange. 2.5kg @99c, Pink Lady Apples 2.2 kg @.99c, broccoli 1kg .99c, punnet of strawberries 500g @$1.99, 1/2 drumhead cabbage $1.49 and on marked down table I got 4 green pepper s 99c, tray of Turnips & Swede $1.49, tray of celery sticks 69c. I bought the other day also 1kg avocados (8)@$1.99 and 1.5kg Mandarin $2.49 plus 2 kg Roma tomatoes @99c kg.
I also gave my friend some of this as she does give me some things too! 1kg Roma tomatoes, 4 avocadoes, 6 tangelos, 4 pink lady apples and head of broccoli. I would never eat this much on my own and I still have 3 kg of navel oranges that I bought 2 weeks ago.
While in the city this week I went to the Farmer's market which is held each Wednesday in front of the casino. I manage to buy 4 cobs of corn $2.00, 2 bags of zucchini $2.00 one which gave to my friend, 1kg of carrot $2.00 along with 3 herbs pot plants for $5.00. All were a lot cheaper than I have seen elsewhere. When I see cobs of corn for around 50c or less then I will keep buying them until they go higher in price.
As for a pumpkin I still have one I bought last time I did large shop. Once I cut it I will need to use it up or make mashed pumpkin puree and freeze it.
Now that my fridge is full and I need to use most of supplies before I will buy anymore so you can see I will be making some vegetable soups in the near future.
I do eat 3-4 pieces of fruit and 4 kinds of vegetable per day. I do like variety in my diet but without a lot of sauces which many people like. I don't use any sauce with fresh cream it at all so my sauces all end up being tomato base ones which in the end all taste the same.
Vegetables & Fruit: Buy in season only. If not buy canned tomatoes and baby corn or frozen vegetables. Check the country of origin on the packs so to buy where you can locally.
Remember Size and the way you buy things does counts.
Rice and Vegetables in a Pot
2 cups raw rice
8 cups water or stock
3 cups mixed vegetables, diced - see note
Little salt to taste
Put water and all other ingredients into a large stockpot or saucepan.
Bring to the boil.
Cover and simmer on low heat very gently for one hour or until all vegetables are tender.
Do keep a watch on the water and add more if required.
Note: Mixed vegetables, depending on what is in season and the cheapest at the time. Carrots, yellow sweet potato, pumpkin, celery, peas or green beans. You could use best generic 'Mixed Vegetables' from freezer section (that is already diced), this is what I use when vegetables are expensive along with one or two cups of the above.
Do have a glass of milk or fruit juice with this, along with a piece of fruit to add more nutritional value.
Use brown rice, as it's a little healthier than white rice, which is just filler, and gives you very little nutritional value.
Use one cup of rice to two cups of water or stock. From each cup of raw rice you get about three cups cooked rice, enough for 2 - 4 servings depending on the other items that you are serving. Portion serving is 1/2 cup cooked rice.
Pumpkin & Lentil Stew
Home-made Vegetable Soup
For extra reading that I have found
Three PDF downloads on shopping for one.
Sorry here the links
Factors influencing food shopping practices the Baby bloomer...
Shopping for one or two
Grocery shopping for one