Food budget a little blah? Spice it up!

Are you living on a diet of Ramen noodles, beans, rice, and chicken?  Are your meals getting a little bland and boring?  Beyond salt and black pepper, here are a few tips to add a little spice to your food for fairly cheap.

Store Brands and Off Brands – Before buying some of the name brand seasonings, check out the store brands and off brands for cheaper bottles of spices.  You can often find these spices in a larger bottle for less than $1.00.  Common cheaper spices are garlic powder, garlic salt, lemon pepper, onion powder, dried onion, chili seasoning, Italian seasonings, paprika, and ground cinnamon.

Mrs. Dash – Most people have heard of the salt-free blend of seasonings known as Mrs. Dash’s table blend but there are many blends available.  Tomato Basil Garlic, Southwest Chipotle, Fiesta Lime, Garlic & Herb, and Extra Spicy are a few of the blends I have in my kitchen.  Mrs. Dash also offers special blends for chicken, steak, fish, and pork.  Average cost is around $3.00 a bottle for Mrs. Dash seasonings but a little spice goes a long way.

McCormick – The McCormick spices are similar to the Mrs. Dash blends but are focused on meat fixed a certain way, such as the Grill Mates Mesquite or Rotisserie Chicken blends.  Average cost is again around $3.00 a bottle but one bottle can last for months.

Add some Sauce – Adding a table spoon or two of your favorite sauce can add a large amount of flavor to any dish.  Examples of sauces to add are Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and salad dressing (Ranch, Italian, etc.).  Canned soups and spaghetti sauces are another quick and cheap method to add flavor to bland food.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of flavors!!  I love adding a little Mrs. Dash to my Ramen noodles and I put garlic salt on just about every thing.

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