One way to save money on your grocery bill is to eliminate meat. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you may be satisfied with a vegetarian meal one or two nights a week. Since veggie meals are often lower in fat — although they may not be — it could help you lose some weight too. Just watch out for carbs and for all those processed fake meat products that many vegetarians use. If you desire meat so much that you must turn to fake meat to satisfy yourself, it might be better just to eat meat.
On the other hand, you can get that satisfyingly meaty sense on your tongue from certain thing that have a meaty flavor but aren’t actually meat. One good example of a meaty food that doesn’t contain any meat is portabella mushrooms.
Even some dishes that require beef can turn out good without it. For example, French onion soup is made with beef broth, but you can find a good vegetarian French onion soup recipe that doesn’t use beef broth. In many cases, sturdy, flavorful grainy mustard is one of the things added to enrich the meat-like taste without adding meat.
Sometimes, your dishes will be better without meat. For example, spaghetti with meat sauce is great, but so is spaghetti with a marinara sauce. You don’t even need fat in a tomato sauce for it to be completely satisfying. I’ve found that I actually prefer marinara to meat sauce because I’m not a big fan of finely ground meat. I’d rather have a meatball that all that crumby stuff hiding in my sauce — but I’m perfectly content to have no meat at all in my spaghetti sauce.
If you like meat, that’s great. But if you’re trying to make ends meet a little better, consider using less meat in your home cooking. You may not miss it, and you may get health benefits. All you need are good recipes and a little creativity to make a meatless Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday work for you.