Budget Eats: Red Beans & Rice

We all have those times where we need to be a little more aware of our budgets.  BUT that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a good, comforting meal because you’re being cautious with your pennies.

I have three big keys to cooking on a budget: 1) Stock your pantry with the things you like to cook with.  When you run out of one of your pantry staples put it on your grocery list and get more!  2) Meal plan.  I always try to pick meals that have similar ingredients that I can use multiple times (i.e. I buy the family pack of chicken breast and make two or three nights worth of meals out of it).  3) Check out the weekly sales!  This goes hand in hand with meal planning.  I check out the weekly store flyer and do my best to meal plan around things on sale.

Because bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, rice, and hot sauce are always in my pantry I was able to keep the cost of this meal at $8.71 or $1.09 per serving.  That’s pretty great!  It’s just me and my hubby but I still make the full recipe.  Leftovers make great lunches all week or you can portion leftovers out and freeze them.

Grocery List:
Sausage: $3.00 (on sale)
Chicken broth: 1.29
Red beans: $1.29
Red onion: $.50
Bell pepper: $.89
Celery: $1.79
Garlic: $.50

Red Beans & Rice

Serves 8, Total: $8.71 ($1.09/serving)

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 lb. bag dried red beans
1 cup red onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
¾ cup celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pkg. (14 oz.) smoked or andouille sausage, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
Salt & pepper
To serve: white rice, sliced green onions, hot sauce

Put all ingredients (except rice and green onions) in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add a little more salt and pepper if you need it.

Serve up big bowls of beans and sausage, top with a scoop of rice, green onions and hot sauce.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2019.

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