Here’s a favorite recipe of mine. It’s not so much a recipe as its a process.
It’s called Canning and with our craptastic economy and irresponsible voters you should know how to do it.
Step 1: acquire tomatoes. Lots of them.
Step 2: acquire Ball canning jars. Ball is a good brand- I don’t trust any other.
Step 3: have a knife, water, stove, and tall cooking pots handy.
Step 4: clean the tomatoes, cut them in half or quarters depending on size. start cooking them. If they’re red tomatoes they shouldn’t need extra water. If they’re tomatillos add a cup or two of water depending on how many you have cooking.
Step 5: put the other pot to boil, and set as many jars and lids as can fit without bumping together. This I to sterilize and to prevent rot.
Step 6: when the tomatoes are well cooked, start scooping them into jars (one jar at a time). Make sure the lip of the jar is perfectly clean, screw on the top, and store upside down over night.
Congrats, you now have a way to have fresh salsa and sauce and whatever you like, and can save then for when you can’t buy fresh.
There are also recipes to do this with meat.
Other things you can do to reduce the food budget:
Sow a small garden. If you live in the city this can be difficult, but try to at least have a window for herbs like cilantro or rosemary.
Cook your food from scratch. Beans, lentils, and rice are easy to make from scratch and can be very nutritious.
Buy in bulk- rice can be bought very inexpensively at Sam’s Club, and frozen food can be stored for a long time. Wait for a sale and buy meat then, or try to buy a cow directly from a farm.
Hunt! Venison is a very healthy alternative to beef. It is very low fat and full of protein. Even rabbit and squirrel are good. (Rabbit meat has no fat though, so don’t make this a staple).
Grind your own meat! Ground beef is ridiculously expensive. Invest in a decent meat grinder (avoid the made in china plastic ones that break if you look at then wrong) and you can have meatballs and hamburgers.
Plan! Plan for what you will need, make recipes, and stick to them. Buy seasonally- often times things are on sale at different times.
Expand your idea of “edible”. If you’re like the typical picky American who only wants to buy highly processed foods an won’t try anything new, kiss your money goodbye. Look up ethnic recipes- Mexican food is very economical.
Re-use your food. Onions can be saved and grown to make new onions. So can potatoes and many forms of squash. Save those seeds!
Talk to your grandparents and great grandparents! Chances are many of them survived the Great Depression. They likely remember all sorts of ways to save money.
Most of all, never rely on a government that on both sides does not care if you live or die. Sure it’s nice if they help, but never assume that it’s a given they will, or that their help will be sufficient.
Support yourself, and your neighbors.