Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Budget-Minded Meals

By Paige Brady, September 11, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Last week I made a super simple budget-minded meal that I wanted to share with our Whole Deal™ readers. I’ve already added it to my “make-this-meal-when-everyone-is-starving-and-you’re-running-late” list. It took about 25 minutes to get this meal on the table — awesome on a weeknight! It consists of sautéed sausages with red cabbage and lima beans. (You can easily sub green beans if you hate limas, like my daughter.) You want to use a package of fully cooked sausage – either pork or chicken. (I used our Whole Ranch™ Sausages —$4.99.) I’m guessing you could do the same with vegetarian sausage but I haven’t tried it myself. Here’s how it came together. 1.    Place a saucepan of water on to boil. 2.    Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet and brown the sausages over medium heat, turning frequently, for about 8 to 10 minutes. 3.    Put frozen limas into the boiling water in the saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste – I used butter, salt and pepper. (365 Organic frozen limas are delicious and only $2.19.) 4.    Thinly slice ½ head of red cabbage (I used organic – $1.88). When the sausage is cooked, remove from pan and add cabbage. Sauté in drippings for a few minutes and then add about ¼ cup apple juice, broth or water along with a bit of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until tender. 5.    Serves 4 for a total of $9.06 and 25 minutes. Yeah!! And now on to the featured tips from Whole Deal™ readers — each will receive a $25 gift card! Make sure to send your value tips – maybe a favorite budget-minded meal? – for your chance to win. These all come from super smart college students who are balancing their food budgets wisely. From Charlie:
As a college student living in New York City, my school does everything it can to get me to pay around $10 per meal at the dining halls. But after shopping at Whole Foods (which I'd heard was wildly expensive), I realized I could do so much better by taking advantage of buying in bulk when items are on sale and choosing the 365 brand over other, "fancier" brands. It leaves me money left over to spend on fresh, local produce. I now eat better and healthier than I ever could by eating at the dining halls.
From Hana:
As a college student, my mom always worries that I won't be able to eat healthfully within my budget. When it comes to prepackaged food and ready-to-eat meals, nobody thinks to look at Whole Foods! The prices are totally comparable to Kraft and Chef Boyardee and if you look at what is -and isn't- in your food, you'll never go back! Better yet, once a month or so I like to buy ingredients in bulk and make my own frozen meals. I'm always shocked by how much better organic food holds up to freezing and reheating. I can eat right and still save enough $$ to pay rent. :)
From Ruth:
I'm a college student away from home in an area that does not have  a Whole Foods Market store. But I go to Whole Foods every time I come back home to buy foods to bring back on campus! I love the yogurt selections!! Especially Wallaby yogurt which tastes sooo much better than the yogurts at other grocery stores and about the same price too! Also, there is a great selection of gluten-free products that are actually cheaper than at Meijers, which allows me to enjoy a greater variety and save all at the same time!
From Reanna:
I am a college student and on a budget but whole foods 365 brand offers great organic quality and low affordable prices!!! and it tastes just as good as the name brand items!  I buy frozen vegetables so I can buy in bulk and not worrying about them rotting and wasting my money!
Category: Value - Whole Deal