When it comes to eating well, people often think it is expensive to do so. This doesn’t need to be the case at all; there are plenty of ways to eat on a budget. That said when you look up low-cost foods it is often eating bland meals or cheap brand products. These are fine but they often the most exciting food choices you can get, nor the healthiest!
So, here some ways to eat well on a budget. Giving you the nutrition your body needs alongside hearty meals without having to worry too much about cost.
Without a doubt, if you can cook from scratch this is going to work out much quicker for you. If you’re not much of a cook now, don’t worry. No one is going to expect you to become a master chef overnight. However, there are many affordable options that are easy to cook. Master a couple of these and then you can expand your range as you go. Things like soup, casseroles and curries are easy to throw together so start with these.
It is estimated that we waste around 1/4 of the food we buy, which is doing nothing for people’s food bills. Rather than waste food, try to be more sensible with the items that you buy. If you only buy what you actually use then your food bills could be cut by 25% without you having to change very much at all. Think about what you are going to book each week and only buy the items that you actually need.
In direct contrast to this, you should see what items you can get in bulk and buy at a discount. You shouldn’t use this for fresh items but for tins and packets it is fine. Try to stick to items that you know your family are going to use up, so they don’t get wasted.
You need to get to know your supermarket and the best ways to shop. For example, if there is a salad bar and they have a set price for items by weight then this can work out cheaper than buying pre-packaged food. The same goes for other fruit and vegetables as well as cheese and other items. Do a little research on what works out cheapest and make sure that you shop in the most cost effective way possible.
Eat with the Seasons
You will find that different items will be cheaper if they are easy to get hold of. So when it comes to fresh goods, eat what is in season. When things are cheaper you can even look at stocking up and freezing. Berries frozen to use in smoothies all year around for example.
There are some fantastic deals online so make sure that you keep an eye on these. Retailers are often changing these deals so even if there isn’t something for you today, there might be tomorrow. This allows you to buy the items that you usually buy at a cut price. Just make sure that you don’t get tempted by deals that you won’t use, because wasted food isn’t ever considered a bargain.
Markets and Auctions
Have a look for farmers markets to see if this allows you to save money. Different areas have different markets for you to take advantage of so you’ll need to do a little research and work out what is locally to you. You will even find that there are there are wine auctions and other luxury food/drink options for you. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself but even better if you can do this at a lower cost!
Think about What You are Buying
We tend to be in the habit of eating lots of meat, with meat served every dinner time. Meat tends to be expensive and so this can push up the cost of our food bill. Try to have a meat-free day at least once a week (meat free Monday is popular on social media if you need some motivation). If you look up nice recipes you’ll find this much easier than you imagine. In fact once you have done it a day a week for a while you can up the game and try to do 2-3 days a week meat-free. You’ll notice a big difference in your food bill when you start buying less meat.