Within the last three years, the cost of food has risen dramatically. Moreover, analysts say that there’s no straight answer on when grocery prices will drop as it relies on a number of factors, including post-pandemic consumer demand, ongoing supply chain shortages, geopolitical events and unstable weather patterns. The tips below can help you to spend less on groceries but still eat healthy.
10 Strategies to Eat Well on a Tight Budget
1. Shopping for veggies and fruit Everyone knows that veggies and fruit are good for you and that we don't eat enough of them. If you already skip your morning toast for a bowl of fruit or an avocado, you are heading in the right direction. But quality matters as well. There is no point of eating an apple out of season as the apple lost most of the vitamins since it was picked from a tree. The main goal should be eating seasonally. A good tip: Print out the calendar of seasonal fruit and veggies and post it on the fridge. Maybe you have already heard about the Dirty Dozen. These are the fruits and veggies with the most pesticides. I guess it will upset you to hear that apples, the only fruit some people EVER eat, have the most pesticides.
You should always buy the fruits and veggies from the dirty dozen in the organic section. The fruits and veggies with the least pesticides, so called the Clean 15 can be purchased in a conventional shop in order to spend less.
2. Shopping for meat: I buy organic meat but it doesn't have to be much more expensive than buying conventional meat. A perfect example is bone broth. In many societies, it was an old custom having a simmering bone broth on a stove. Bone broth is now IN FASHION again and New Yorker's cafes are selling bone broth instead of cup of coffee. Plus, it`s cheap! Instead of 48h simmering you can use a pressure cooker and you have your bone broth in less then 4 hours. The uses of bone broth are endless - use it for risotto, soup, sauce, the list goes on and on.
3. If you still eat bread, bake your own! Have you ever read the list of ingredients on your bread? Baker`s yeast is problematic for many people not to mention the white flour. If you are sure you cannot live without bread, start baking your own from sourdough. Check out the category Sourdough baking on my blog. 4. Shopping for dairy
If you still eat yogurts, make your own. The yogurt maker is inexpensive and can be purchased on the internet. We use this one. 5. Don`t buy drinks
Yes, that means no fizzy drinks nor sweetened beverages, they are not good for you anyway. It also means drinking water from the tap. Buy a filtration device and you have fresh water without harmful substances. By buying bottled water you just create waste. If you don`t like the taste of plain water, add few drops of lemon. You can also make you own drinks as for example Kombucha or Elderflower syrup. 6. Don`t eat out
When we found out that all the restaurants in our area (in France!!!) are not worth a penny and we can prepare much healthier dinners at home, we have stopped eating out. And YES, it means that you have to learn to cook. As every nutritionist will tell you: 'you are what you eat', so you should make the sacrifice and start cooking from scratch. If it`s not the food but the joy of eating out, pack your dinner to a pick-nick basket and go to a park/your garden, a field. Organize cooking parties. Invite friends and learn to cook something new. If you drink coffee, invest in a good coffee machine and you don`t have to spend money on overpriced coffee that tastes awful.
7. Don`t pay for packaging.
Bring you own container to buy e.g.almond flour, nuts, grains. 8.and 9. Plant and forage your food.
Growing your own food represents the best option to spend less on fruits and vegetables. Whether you live in a flat or have a big plot of land, there's always a possibility to grow your own food. Planting seeds is very easy and cheap. Forage for wild edibles, nuts, etc.
10.Plan the menu for the week ahead and don`t throw out food. Older bread can be turned into egg bread (soak the bread in egg and fry in a pan) or used in meatballs, overripe bananas for banana cake, overripe avocado for chocolate avocado mousse. Remember, good food is primal health care.