There’s no denying that when money is tight, many aspects of life become harder, including shopping for food. Take out, eating out, and even buying the usual snack foods have to be reduced or cut out altogether but there are ways to eat well when money is tight, and if planned well, you won’t feel like your giving anything up.
It may seem time consuming at the start but making a list of all the meals you want to eat for the week can help your budget. Many people visit the grocery store with little idea of what they will cook for the week and grab the items that take their fancy. That often means additional trips to the store to buy extra ingredients to make a meal but by planning your meals in advance, you can make a list of exactly what ingredients you need for the week. This will save both time and money as you will have everything on hand to prepare your meals.
Make more and freeze it
A great way of eat well on a budget is to make large batches of meals that can then be put in the freezer. Meals such as lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, and casseroles can easily be made and divided into extra meals for later in the week. This not only saves you time during the week but will save you money on the days when you arrive home late with no time to cook. Rather than buy take out, you can simply pop one of your homemade frozen meals in the microwave or oven and be eating a healthy meals within minutes.
Make your own treats and snacks
Sadly not as popular as it used to be, making your own snacks and treats is a great way to save money and eat well. Homemade cakes, slices, biscuits, and desserts are much healthier than anything you will buy in the store and can be made at a fraction of the cost. Butter, flour, eggs, sugar, and milk are relatively inexpensive but can make numerous treats. Best of all, you know exactly what is in the treat and when it was made, and if you have young children, cooking together is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Adapt your favorite recipes
If you have some favorite recipes that call for some expensive ingredients, think about how you can adapt these. Sometimes it’s possible to add less of an expensive ingredient while adding more of an inexpensive ingredient without affecting the taste. Another option is to bulk up meat based (such as pasta sauces, casseroles or meatloaf) dishes with vegetables or canned beans. This allows you to use less meat while still enjoying a tasty meal.
Being on a limited budget can be frustrating but with the right approach there is no need to miss out on your favorite meals or treats. You may find it takes a little to get used to but once you get used to using the tips above, you’ll wonder why you ever spent so much on groceries before.