When you trim your expenses to just the bare essentials, it becomes almost impossible to cut your expenses any further. One of my biggest budget categories is food and I am always looking for ways to reduce my spending without succumbing to poor nutritional habits or a diet of just ramen noodles or just beans and rice. I also do not want to completely give up meat. Sound familiar to your grocery budgeting woes? If so, I have some good news for you – I have found a way to lower those costs a teensy bit more.
That’s right, oats are my super ninja secret when it comes to frugal eats and trimming that grocery budget when it looks like it cannot be trimmed a cent more.
I have found that in meat dishes that you can substitute oats for some of the meat and experience zero flavor loss, zero loss in the number of servings and a definite loss in terms of the amount needed for groceries for the month.
Think about the things that you use meat in where you could half the meat amount and substitute in oats. For me, it includes:
- spaghetti with meat sauce
- cabbage rolls and cabbage roll casserole
- taco meat
I actually got this idea a few months ago when I read online that Taco Bell mixes in oats with their beef for their taco meat. Now, I rarely dine out anymore and can’t even remember the last time that I ate some Taco Bell, but I do remember how tasty their taco meat is on those tacos. With that in mind, I figured that I had nothing to lose with trying it out in my own meat dishes.
If you have some big meat eaters in your family, then I suggest that you give it a try as well. You might not want to tell them about it in advance though as they will likely convince themselves that it does not taste as good just because they have the knowledge in advance that it is not 100% ground beef.
When you try it, if your family likes it then you need to pat yourself on the back. Why? Because you have just cut the amount that you spend on ground beef each month by 50% and oats are no where near as pricey as that ground beef.