You spend a bucket of money at the grocery store. Adding vegetarian meals to your family’s routine is a healthy way to save on your grocery bill. No one’s asking you to forego meat completely, but decreasing the amount of meat in your family’s diet can cut your expenses significantly. Start by substituting one meat-based meal a week and see how it goes.

Cultivate a Veggie-licious Attitude

Don’t groan. Go vegetarian once or twice a week doesn’t have to mean sacrificing protein or surviving on tofu. There are plenty of lean protein sources you can get for pennies. (An added bonus of a vegetarian diet is that it’s an automatic weight loss program!) Don’t make a big deal of it to your family. Just sneak it in.

Beans Are Your Friends

Canned beans are inexpensive, but dried beans are practically free. They’re easy to prepare on the stove or in a crock-pot and when you cook bean yourself, you control the amount of sodium. Try beans instead of chicken or beef in a stir-fry, slow cook chickpeas and add to salads, and don’t forget chilis, stews, and curries.

The Egg Came First

Who needs expensive chicken breasts when you’ve got the eggs? Eggs may not be considered vegetarian to the purist, but for the purpose of saving money they can’t be beat. Or can they… Scramble some for dinner and serve with steamed vegetables. Be creative. Add eggs to tuna salad for a high protein sandwich. They are so cheap, you won’t even mind tossing the yolks if you’re watching calories.

Soup

If you can get your family to eat soup once a week, you’ll put a huge dent in the grocery bill. Soups are generally low in calories and when you pair it with a hearty bread or cornbread and a salads, it’s a full meal. Add beans to a mostly vegetable soup to add some bulk and protein.

Once you get your family used to once a week, amp it up! You’ll be up to tofu in no time.