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The Whole Deal™ on Ingenuity

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What’s that they say about necessity being the mother of invention? You guys have it down pat. I love picking up ideas from you that I can put into practice in my own kitchen and with my family. Below are my favorites from this week.Each week we’ve been choosing customer tips to be featured in our weekly The Whole Deal™ blog post, and every chosen tip gets a $25 gift card. This weekly giveaway ends next week so this is our last call for tips. For the blog post next week, we are looking for value-focused tips for entertaining guests while watching the big football game next Sunday. If you have a great crowd-pleasing value tip, send it in!Viv from Rockville:


My husband and I made a tradeoff when we had our son - I would be a stay-at-home Mommy and our income would drop drastically.  We don't regret that decision for a moment. Unfortunately, meat is expensive, and vegetarianism just doesn't appeal to us.  In order to stretch our meat dollars, I have learned to stretch the meat itself by adding fillers to my recipes. Ground meat recipes can be stretched with beans and grains...I often use a 50/50 ratio to meat, which cuts the meat cost per meal by 50%! Casseroles are a good friend to our food budget, too.  Pasta, rices and veggies stretch chicken breast, tuna, and cubed beef much farther. It is possible to trim your food budget while feeding your family healthy, organic foods...you just need to be creative!

Elsa from Chicago:


Instead of buying fruit yogurts, I buy a tub of 365 Organic Nonfat Plain yogurt and either prunes or frozen berries and mix them together. I usually also add cereal crumbs. This is a great way to utilize leftover cereal crumbs and bits.

Rebecca from Birmingham:


To save money on trips we give our boys their own food money.  Before we leave, we work up a reasonable budget per meal and give them the money up front.  Then at each stop they can decide how much money they would like to spend, understanding that they get to keep anything they do not spend on food.  We also carry a cooler full of nutritional options like fruit and veggies that are "free."  Not only do they suddenly love the healthy foods, but we save a bundle of money and heartache at each stop.  There is no more begging for large amounts of fast food they cannot eat.  It is amazing how frugal this teaches them to be.

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