Make Your Grocery Budget Work for You With One Simple Ingredient: Add Mushrooms


By Kristin Ahaus

This post is sponsored by Monterey Mushrooms.

You’re at the last few days before your next paycheck. 

Let’s just say your bank account is getting…lean.

But you still have hungry mouths to feed and want to give your family food that’s actually good for them. 

So you’re looking for something with flavor, affordability, and nutrition. Not to set the bar too high, but some leftovers for tomorrow would be the cherry on top. 

You’ve got to add mushrooms to your grocery list!

With vitamins and minerals and so many varieties, mushrooms are the perfect ingredient to stretch your meat budget. Mushrooms also help double a recipe or create a new dish altogether. 

You won’t believe what you can put together with a few simple mushrooms!

5 Ways Mushrooms can help stretch your grocery budget infographic

Mushroom v. Meat

Let’s talk about flavor, texture, and nutrition between mushrooms and meat, so you see why we’re so excited for you to add mushrooms to your budgeted grocery list.


Now, we’re not saying that mushrooms are meat, but they do have a meaty texture to them. Mushrooms can be shredded, chopped, or fried, and you’ll still get a heartiness similar to a meat-filled recipe. 

Mix your meat and mushrooms together for more servings out of a recipe and to hide some extra veggies. This is a method called blending that we learned from Monterey Mushrooms. For example, if you make burgers, you can use up to 80% chopped mushrooms mixed with 20% ground beef. 

That’s five times as many servings out of a meal just by blending mushrooms with meat! That means more money in your pocket and happy, full bellies at home. 

You can’t beat that!


Meat has an amino acid called glutamate that gives a steak that savory, hearty flavor. But guess what? Mushrooms have that same amino acid. That’s how they get an earthy taste that’s satisfying to eat. You might know this flavor as umami.

Mushrooms soak up flavors for a totally different taste every time you cook with them. Soak them in a marinade, cook in a sauce, or load them up with a dry rub, and they take on a whole new taste. 

So whether you’re in the mood for BBQ, tacos, or soup, mushrooms can fit any flavor profile you want to achieve.


Remember, mushrooms are not actual meat. So meat beats out mushrooms when it comes to protein. But specially marked mushrooms high in vitamin D have three times more vitamin D than cow’s milk and more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable! They also have five B vitamins to support brain health and help your body absorb more energy from your food. 

And who doesn’t need more energy, right?

Add a few mushrooms to your next recipe for larger portions that are flavorful and hearty with less sodium, fat, and calories. Mushrooms are your best friend when it comes to a sustainable meat alternative that also saves you money. 

Produce Mom Tip: Look for the High Vitamin D Mushrooms from Monterey Mushrooms on your grocery shelf.

How to turn mushrooms into “meat”

Just as different types of meats are made into different textures, the same is true with mushrooms. Different cooking techniques result in different textures in your mushrooms. For example, if you want shredded meat, you cook the meat and then shred it. Mushrooms can also be shredded.

Substitute or blend mushrooms in tacos, casseroles, burgers, pizza toppings, and much more. You name it – you can add mushrooms to it. 

Related: Vegan Mushroom Tacos

Depending on the dish you make determines which mushroom is best for that recipe. For instance, white mushrooms are the most common and mild in flavor, so you can use them in almost any dish without the earthiness taking over. 

If you’re unsure which mushroom would taste the best in your recipe or don’t want to stand in the produce aisle for 10 minutes to decide which variety you need, we’ve got you covered. 

Here’s a cheat sheet to help you incorporate more mushrooms into your meals and save you money.

Best mushrooms for meat substitutes:

White — pizza, pasta sauce, soup, stew, kabobs, and stuffing

Portabella — veggie burger, fajitas, stew, chili, and tacos

Oyster — calamari, Po boys, seafood, and clam chowder

King Trumpet — scallops, stir fry, beef jerky, and pulled pork

Shiitake — bacon, stir fry, pasta, and soup

Enoki — ramen, pho, taco meat, pulled pork, and salads

How to…

Select Mushrooms

No matter which mushrooms you decide to cook with, look for mushrooms that are firm and smooth. If you see mushrooms that are slimy or discolored, this means they’ve been exposed to too much moisture. They could be developing bacteria and decomposing. 

Your mushrooms should be dry but not to the point of dryness that they start to shrivel.

Store Mushrooms

Mushrooms need humidity to grow, but too much moisture makes them go bad quickly. It’s best to take your mushrooms out of the container you bought them in. 

You have two storage options. First, wrap your mushrooms in paper towels, put them in an open plastic bag, and put them in the fridge. Second, put your mushrooms in a paper bag, fold the top over, and then put it in your fridge. The paper products help to absorb extra moisture.

Both options need to be stored on a fridge shelf instead of a drawer for better airflow. And don’t rinse them until you’re ready to use them. This prevents your mushrooms from getting soft, soggy, or moldy from condensation, so they can last up to a week. 

Related: How to Select, Store and Serve Portabella Mushrooms

Why we trust Monterey Mushrooms

Monterey Mushrooms’ commitment to sustainability shows in everything that they do. They take responsibility for people (including you) and our planet by doing their part to create a better world for future generations. 

From their growing methods to new products and the environment, they think about how their processes affect us as consumers. With mushrooms, powders, sauces, and blends, your recipe options are endless with Monterey Mushrooms.

Let’s make something meaty!

Meaty Mushroom Meals

Mushroom Bruschetta

Portobella Mushroom Lasagna

Mushroom Vegan Tacos

Mushroom Kabobs

Crockpot Mushroom Tetrazzini

Pinterest Pin: Make Your Grocery Budget work for you with one simple ingredient: mushrooms
Kristin Ahaus

Author: Kristin Ahaus

Kristin Ahaus is the Director of Content and Communications for The Produce Moms. Her focus and passion is helping all of TPM's brand partners share their stories while also helping consumers understand how to select, serve and store fresh produce. Connect with Kristin on LinkedIN.

View all posts by Kristin Ahaus

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