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Grilling on a Budget

Grilling on a Budget

Finally!   May is here and it will get warmer.   I cannot wait to start grilling.   We just got back from vacation and I need to get back on budget and also healthy eating.  The best way to do that is to cook in (not restaurants).  Cooking at home is healthier and much more cost efficient.  On our way home from vacation we spent almost $100 in the airport for a hamburger, chicken sandwich and appetizer – no alcohol.  That was for 2 people/

So, what am I grilling?

I find the best thing to do is plan ahead.  Look for the sales.  Grocery stores rotate sales throughout the month.  This week my store has specials on London Broil, Chicken Legs, Ribs and Shrimp.

Once I shop my sales, I portion my protein into the portions I will use for my meals, then freeze in those portions.  The day before the meal, take out the protein and choose your seasonings or marinades.  A marinade is basically an oil and seasoning.  Some my call for additional ingredients but typically only a few items and they mix quick.  Pay attention to the recipe for marinade times.  Some are 2+ hours and some are 10 minutes.  Here are some of my favorite!

Drunken Steak

Rustic Herb Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Citrus Herb Chicken

Grilled Balsamic and Herb Pork Chops

Savory Grilled Chicken

Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Of course you cannot forget the hamburgers.   To grill hamburgers on a dime, purchase your ground beef in bulk.  Season your ground beef and form into patties.  I suggest using a hamburger press lined with plastic wrap.  Once formed you can wrap the burger in that same plastic wrap so it is ready for freezing.  The Tastefully Simple website has a ton of burger recipes.  There is also a 5 Meal Kit called  Ultimate Burgers you may want to check out.  The cost per serving for the recipes in this kit are $2.41 to $3.47 including the cost of your groceries.  Try to eat out for that.

Protein of course is not the only thing you can grill.  Since I do all the cooking, the entire meal is made on the grill.  Have you ever had grilled veggies?  Get a wire grilling basket or one of those grilling sheets.  Cut up your choice of veggies.  I like green peppers, mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, onion, zucchini and squash.   My marinade of choice is Tastefully Simple’s Vidalia Onion Dressing.  Toss the cut up veggies in a bowl with Vidalia Onion Dressing and then toss in the wire basket on the grill (make sure it is on the grill, it is a wire basket, the dressing will drip through the bottom).  Grill on medium heat, stirring every few minutes.  The veggies are done once they are tender.

Finally corn on the cob or potatoes are also great additions.  I will wrap my corn on the cob in foil, brushing with melted butter and a seasoning like Spinach & Herb or Ultimate Steak.  For potatoes, you cannot go wrong with diced potatoes, olive oil and Rustic Herb.  I use a grilling mat for my potatoes.

My Tastefully Simple Website has a recipe search that has a tons of recipes

Lastly, let’s add a beverage such as a Blue Hawaiian or a Mango Breeze Margarita!  Our bucket drinks are a great choice for mixing ahead of time.  All you need to do is scoop out a cup and you are set for a pleasant grilling experience

No matter what recipes you choose, you will be saving money and enjoying family time!  Happy Grilling!