You’re on a budget, and you’re trying to make healthy choices. You need food at home that will last long, nourish your body, and is cost-effective.
We’ve got you covered.
One of the best ways to save on cost when it comes to buying food is to stock up your pantry. You know that one isle at the store that has all the canned beans and vegetables? That’s where you’ll start. While canned vegetables can often be hit or miss, there are some that you can’t go wrong on: carrots, corn, and peas are great because their texture isn’t too affected by being stored in brine or liquid. If you’re buying veggies for a soup, or a risotto, canned mushrooms, asparagus, and green beans can be great choices as while the flavor aspect of these is great, the texture tends to be very different.
Personal shopping experts will tell you that when buying a new item of clothing, you ideally want to be able to wear it more than one existing item in your closet. The same goes for the food you buy. Make it work harder. Do your best not to throw out any parts of food that can still be eaten later or repurposed for another meal. Scraps are the most obvious use case here, save the top of the onion and the bones from a whole toasted chicken for a broth, or use the brine your food comes in to add flavor or depth to another meal.
For a lot of us, we don’t mean to waste food, but often forget about meals in the back of the fridge until it’s too late. Do yourself a favor; when you cook, immediately portion out leftovers and put them in the freezer. Later when you need them, they’ll still be edible.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to buy frozen food. Frozen veg, fish, meat, and chicken still offer a lot of the same nourishment that fresh items do, are cheaper, and of course, will last longer. While there is the drawback of having to defrost before use, the amount of money you save makes this worth it.
Sometimes it’s not the price of the food you buy so much as the way you preserve it that ends up costing you money. Making sure that you’re storing food at the right temperature, with the right foods, and in the right packaging, can drastically reduce the amount that you waste. If you have packaged food that typically needs to be consumed within days of opening, try dividing it up into user-friendly portions and freezing the portions you don’t need. That way 1) when you do need them you don’t need to buy a whole new pack, and 2), you will waste less food.
Feeding yourself and your family on a lower budget means eating out less. But it doesn’t have to mean eating less fun food. Get creative in the kitchen; look for ways to use your ingredients in new and exciting ways, and discover a whole new world of cooking.
Here are a few fun recipes you might enjoy:
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