Food is an optional expense that only a few people in the world really need to worry about. For those of us that do need to eat to stay alive, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering your diet. Ordering pizza every few days is one way to get your fill but you might drain your bank account more than you want to. Trust me. You don't have to be a chef to cook great meals at home, it's easier than you think. Here are some tips for great tasting food that won't make you broke or fat. I know it sounds like one of those ads on a web page that will most definitely give you a virus if you click it but there's no catch!
Keepin' it Cheap!
The two best ways to keep a low grocery budget is to pay attention to the price-to-portion ratio and to use COUPONS (or price matching)! You don't have to be a crazy couponer but take advantage of the savings that are there for you, it makes a huge difference.
When you're going up and down the aisles looking for what you want to eat, look for foods that will give you the most meals for your money. If you buy a 5lb bag of rice for $5, that will give you around 50 servings costing a few cents each. Buy a microwave dinner for $4 and it's gone in one meal. Things like rice, potatoes, carrots, pasta, lentils, and beans are your basics that can be used in an infinite amount of recipes at an efficient price point. Once you've got your basics, you can buy the extras to tie the meal together. These are your meats, fish, other vegetables, etc.
Another way to save is to buy in season. Know which fruits and vegetables to buy at what time of the year, check out these infographics to help you out.
Healthier and Wealthier
For the most part, foods that are heavily packaged and processed are more expensive and not as good for you as what you make from scratch. Go easy on the snack foods, buy natural foods instead with fewer preservatives and additives to make delicious meals that will also leave you with a sense of accomplishment. This is the time to read the labels on the food you buy. Yes, the ones with all the unpronounceable words and percentages that add up to 308%. Understand the ingredients and nutritional information in the food you eat. You don't have to go overboard here but it's a good idea to keep track of what you eat for a healthier lifestyle. There are many apps you can use to help you count all the numbers and track your progress! I use MyFitnessPal because it's easy and it's right there on my phone. Experiment with different ones and see what works for you.
Now you've got the gist of it, time to put it to work! When you're in the kitchen, the most important thing to keep in mind is creativity. Open the fridge and see what's there, and make a meal out of what you have. You can always whip something together even if you only have a few ingredients.
Here's a great website to help you make something tasty no matter what you have.
Here are some cheap and healthy recipes to make you hungry:
(You probably have most of the ingredients already but don't be afraid to substitute ingredients or just leave them out if you want).
Chunky Lentil & Vegetable Soup – Courtesy of BudgetBytes.com
Total Cost: $5.24
Cost Per Serving: $0.52
Serves: 8 (1.25 cups each)
Vegan never tasted so good - Cauliflower Buffalo Bites – TheLeanCleanEatingMachine.com
If you can get hold of a slow cooker, it will be your best friend. Delicious batch-prep meals with minimal effort and cleaning. The combinations are as endless as your appetite!
Do you have a recipe you want to share? Let us know on twitter @RadioHumber or facebook.com/RadioHumber