How to Stretch Grocery Dollars Without a Stove

People on a tight budget have been hit hard this year. Food prices have risen for the first time in two years, and 40 percent of D.C. households with children have reported not having enough money to buy food.

There are ways to stretch a dollar or food assistance even further, and it mostly involves buying smart, in bulk when possible, and investing a lot time in cooking, according to Jodi Balis, Capital Area Food Bank‘s nutrition education director. She spoke on the Kojo Nnamdi Show about strategies to cook low-cost meals and her $16 grocery bag:

But making such meals requires having access to other resources, such as utensils and a stove.

“When we train our partner agencies at the food bank, this has been brought up as well: if somebody is homeless, and they don’t have access to cooking equipment, what can you make?” Balis said on the show. “That really is a challenge.”

Balis said the answer, at least somewhat, may be in no-cook meals. That includes making burritos with vegetables and cheese, and hearty salads with ingredients like romaine lettuce, carrots and sunflower seeds.

The food bank does have a thin no-cook cookbook, she added. But the size of the book shows that perhaps there aren’t many options available to those without a kitchen.