How to eat well on a budget

March 27, 2017
Have you noticed that food prices have increased substantially in the past year? It’s not just an impression – between 2014 and 2015, the prices of vegetables went up 10.1%, fruits and nuts – 9.1%, and meat 5% (in addition to the previous year’s increase of 12.4%).
How to eat well on a budget

However, eating well in spite of the price increases is still possible without having to take out a loan just to go to the grocery store. Here is how.

Take the time to plan your menus before shopping

When you are on a modest grocery budget, a good way to make do is through planning each week’s meals ahead. First you need to see how much money you spend on food now, and then you should write down what you could save on. For example, regular meat appears to be cheaper than organic meat. However, organic meat does not go bad as quickly because it contains less water, which allows you to use the meat for longer, spending less.

Meal planning is also a way to create variety in your diet. These menus should be made with discounts and flyer specials in mind, thus you would enjoy variety while saving money. Special attention should be paid to coupons – use them as much as possible.

Simplicity does not mean renouncing refinement

Making a list of what we need before heading to the grocery store allows to stick to the essentials and not spend money on what we do not require. As a result, up to 20% or even 30% may be saved on a single grocery run.

Another piece of advice is to make an inventory of the food you have at home in order to avoid excess of food that is not eaten by the time it expires.

Learn to cook

When you have a busy schedule, buying processed foods and frozen meals may save time. However, this approach is also expensive and bad for your health in the long term. Most processed foods contain extra sugars that only add to the weight and make the products very expensive (for example, a package of two baked potatoes in aluminium foil for $4).

This is why learning to cook is not only practical, but economical. Once you learn to cook your favourite dishes, you can grasp the basic principles of cooking meat, interaction between flour, eggs and water, and so on, which are then repeated in other recipes. Trying out new recipes and foods is also a great way to stimulate your creativity.

Cooking is also a great opportunity to socialize – think about that!