If you are new to this series you may want to start at the beginning HERE. While each tip is separate and you can do just one, when you combine all the tips, you will save the most.
This is one of my favorite changes that we have made in the last few years. A couple years ago we were discussing ways to be healthier. We have a strong belief in healthy living being more then just fruits and veg. It is eating meat sparingly and eating other things that will bring you the nutrients. There was a huge bonus to our no meat night choice… The money we saved!
1 lb of dry beans can cost you less then $1.00. 1 lb of meat usually costs you around $2-$3 on sale. That 1 lb of beans can feed 5-6 people. That 1 lb of meat would probably feed 2-3 people, depending on the meat. This makes a huge difference in cost.
Now I am not saying you should replace every meal with beans (not that that is a bad idea if your family chooses to). All I am saying is that meat is not necessary every night to be healthy or to get the vitamins you need. I think this is a big problem in America. We think meat must be eaten every day to be healthy. But the truth is that yes, meat is needed to an extent, but for the most part there are lots of fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes that could take the place of that meat and get us every vitamin we need.
So what are options you have to make it an easy transition for your family to give up meat now and again? I would start with 1 night a week. I would plan on having a re-fried bean meal like bean and cheese burritos, or mexican lasagna (with beans, not meat). do it consistantly for a month then add in another day. We only do 2 meat free nights a week, but you can decide to do more.
Another option you have is to just make the leap. talk with your family, I would talk about health and how meals can be really tasty and meat free. Then I would show them of the options they have. There are other options to meat you have, eggs, lentils, and soy are all good replacement proteins. It is all up to you and what your family likes. After you have talked with them, make the leap. This may be hard for some but stick to it and they will see that the meals will still be good and will probably like the change.
Do you have nights without meat? What suggestions do you have to making the transition successful?