Chef Teaches Cheap Meal Planning

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — When you are on a low or fixed income, you want to make sure you are getting the most bang out of your buck, especially when it comes to planning out your meals for the month. One local organization is working to teach this life skill.

The Afiya Apartments, run by ShelterCare, helps those struggling with homelessness get back on their feet. On Friday, an executive chef from the Hilton came to teach residents a valuable skill: how to make cheap, healthy and delicious meals.

Peeling, pouring, and more prepping–it all seems like quite a production. But Executive Chef Michelle Girard says it’s more productive than it looks, especially for those pinching their pocket books. She’s teaching a class on how to make the most of your money at the grocery store and how to buy the right food to make your feasts last throughout the week.

“I went to Winco, and the cheapest way to buy chicken is the whole chicken,” Girard said.

From how to get the most meat off a chicken, to how many meals you can make with one trip to the market, Girard is introducing ways to have a balanced and affordable diet.

“I think especially people who are low income, if they get food like parsnips or turnips. I think people are afraid of them, and they won’t eat them or won’t get them. There are things that are available year-round in this state, and I think it’s important to show people not to be afraid of food,” Girard said.

This special demonstration is a part of ShelterCare’s efforts to help recovering homeless individuals. The hope is by watching Chef Girard go through these savory steps, others will be inspired to live an independent and nutritious lifestyle, too.

The Eugene Hilton is hosting an Easter Sunday brunch with 10 percent of the proceeds going back to ShelterCare.

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