Use Less Expensive Meat & Poultry
Meat is probably the most expensive part of your groceries. Some people counter this by having one or more meals per week that are completely meatless.
To achieve this, you can use inexpensive meat substitutes such as eggs, beans, and legumes, combined with grains and vegetables. Many websites can help you find meatless recipes that will be so tasty that your family won’t even miss the meat.
If you can’t bear to go without meat for a few days, then you can make meals less costly by purchasing those cuts of meat that are inexpensive. Of course, these are typically less tender, but using a slow cooker will tenderize it and bring out its flavor. Where poultry is concerned, you can save money by buying buy bone-in parts which you can either cook as so or learn to de-bone yourself.
Use More Inexpensive Staples
Use plenty of rice, potatoes, bulgur, quinoa & pasta as the basis for your meal-planning. These staples are cheap and make for hearty meals when combined with a bit of protein and vegetables. They will help you stretch your money by allowing you to use less meat when you are cooking.
Your Freezer is Your Friend
Your freezer is your money-saving ally. It will enable you to stock up on foods when they are on sale. Meat, poultry, bread, and many fruits and vegetables, for example, can all be frozen. Even many types of cheese, minoring a few wrapping and thawing precautions, can be kept in the freezer for several months.
Make the Most of Leftovers
Don’t throw leftovers away. Use them as next-day lunches. Or keep them for a few days in the refrigerator or several weeks in the freezer. This way you can have a ready-made leftover meal on a day when you’re too rushed or too tired to cook.
Don’t Throw Away Wilted Vegetables
Do you have vegetables that are slightly passed their prime? Don’t throw them away. Instead, use them in soups or stews where even if they lack a bit in crunchiness will never be noticed.
Plan Meals Around Sales
And last but not least, be sure to go through weekly grocery flyers and plan your menus revolving around things that are on special. Then, use the web to help you find meal ideas and recipes based on whatever inexpensive items you have found on sale, and on things you already have on hand.
Yes, preparing healthy meals while on a budget can be a little challenging. But with a bit of savviness, and by using methods such as those mentioned above, you will manage to do so with much more ease. And it is definitely worth the effort.