I spent Easter weekend in Edmonton with friends and family. I got into an interesting discussion about eating on a budget. I felt compelled to share the story of my dietetic internship year (I often feel compelled to share stories). Internship is a ten month, full time, unpaid learning experience where you are still expected to pay full tuition. I was determined to not take out any more student loans, so we survived on my husband’s entry-level salary…so no money. It was so no money that we had to think long and hard about renting a movie, “anything in the old release section we want to see?”.
I decided the easiest way to save some money would be at the grocery store. I have always loved a deal, but this was an extra challenge with little room for error. We had about $300 per month for groceries and still wanted to eat healthy meals. How can you do it too?
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425°F with a cookie sheet upside down on the middle rack. Combine dry ingredients then add wet and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. Divide into 4 pieces and pat into 7 or 8 inch circles (no rolling pin required). Top with sauce and your favorite toppings. Place 2 pizzas onto hot cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 min and repeat with last two. In place of the cookie sheet you could use a pizza stone if you have one or perforated pizza pans. (Adapted from the 2010 Milk Calendar).
Turns out great every time. I would love it if you topped your pizzas with veggies like spinach and peppers, lean meats and part skim milk mozzarella cheese. For sure less than ordering in and buying pre-made crusts.
To conclude my story we did make our grocery budget goals and even had a few months at the $250 mark. It was a great learning experience, and really why wouldn’t you want to save on your groceries? Extreme couponing it isn’t (how mind blowing is that show?) but proven to work!
Tiffany McFadden, RD