We probably spend the most money on food and drinks. This is not bread, dairy, etc., but products such as snacks, sugary drinks and meat.
To save money, simply re-plan our diet by limiting our intake of certain foods. Opt for staple foods from which you can make a wide variety of meals, rather than highly processed foods. Here are some other tips to make sure your wallet doesn’t suffer so significantly.
Cooking doesn’t have to mean standing at the stove for hours or complicated recipes. In addition to saving money, you’ll also have more control over your health
Meat and dairy are expensive, so plan more meals that use them as side dishes rather than the main elements of a dish. So opt for more vegetables and fruits in their many affordable forms, and choose simple meals so you don’t burn out on cooking and get discouraged by the whole endeavor.
Cheap, multi-tasking produce
Consider inexpensive staple foods such as rice, pasta, bread, canned beans, canned tomatoes and eggs. Then consider what you can easily cook. Start stockpiling these foods, which form the foundation of your meals.
Once you feel more comfortable with your new diet, go even further. If you usually enjoy a rice and beef dish, can you try chickpeas and half a serving of beef this week, for example? These solutions are a starting point for frugal shopping.
Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables
If you start saving meat and dairy, you need to start relying on vegetables and fruits to add flavor to your meals. Eating more produce may seem expensive or require more effort, but it’s actually not.
Canned fruits and vegetables and their frozen versions don’t have to be inferior in quality. Canned pumpkin is blended and ready to make a silky soup for half the cost compared to fresh pumpkin. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often already chopped, so that part of the job is behind you.
And no matter how careful you are with your meal planning, there will be times where you’re left with various leftovers or something won’t be suitable to cook as a dish on its own. So find a recipe that calls for you to throw almost anything into it, such as a soup or stew
Treat leftovers as something you can still use, not as garbage. You will make dinner out of such leftovers, sometimes even for two days. Over the course of a year, this can be a big savings.
You may save money by eating less variety in a given week, but in turn, if you stick to a variety of foods, it won’t become monotonous. Try to steer clear of prepared foods. Cake mixes are limited and more expensive, while flour, sugar and baking soda/powder give you unlimited options.
Flavored yogurts, etc. cost more and can only be eaten as is (you can’t modify the flavor too much), while plain natural yogurt can be eaten for breakfast with honey, made into a sauce, used to bake a cake, or added to smoothies. The point is to use these things, which are the starting product for a plethora of dishes.
Diet and seasons
When planning your grocery shopping, take into account the changes of the seasons to create natural variety without the added cost. Fruits and vegetables are usually less expensive in season
If you have the space and time, you can freeze these foods to stock up for the winter. Even frozen strawberry sorbet is delicious when winter sets in. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that you change your diet every time the weather changes. Let the seasons be an inspiration, not a burden.
If you snack between meals or consume snacks instead of full meals, keep in mind that packaged snacks become quite an expensive endeavor in a big way. This also applies to beverages. Limiting such snacks and drinks may be one of the quickest ways to save
…but keep the treats
For some, the sheer pleasure of saving money is enough; the absence of financial worries creates the motivation to continue doing so. For most of us, food is a pleasure. Don’t exclude pleasure from your budget
If you have a snack once in a while or drink a canned beverage – nothing will happen. The important thing is not to do it constantly, because it is such additions to the bill that make us spend cosmic sums in grocery stores.
Main photo: nathalia rosa/unsplash.com