Nowadays, everyone is busier and when the budget is getting tight around the house, you need to come up with different ways to feed the family or yourself in a cost effective way.
If you find that you are not getting enough time in the day to make your own food then we all resort to either having a take away or simple order pizza. You do not want to do this often as your and the family will not be getting the nutritional meals that we all need. You need to be thinking about eating budget tips.
These days, there’s no reason meal planning should be tough
If these are problems with mealtimes, the solution might be simpler than you think. With a meal planner, you can reduce the amount of money you spend on food, as well as prepare healthier meals.
1.Planning Your Meals
You need to start planning your meals in advance and this is key to start saving money.
Here are my five steps to help you get started:
- You’ll be able to use what you already have.
- Use more items that are on sale.
- You’ll have everything you need when you prepare your meals, so you’ll save extra trips to the store.
- You can plan ways to use leftovers, so you’ll have less waste.
- Choose a regular time each week to plan your meals.
For instance, you can have chicken on Mondays, beef on Tuesdays, pasta on Wednesdays and other meal ideas until the end of the week. If you know that Mondays are chicken nights, you can quickly grab that package of chicken breasts, thighs or legs and cook it up for your entire family.
Planning meals in advance will also give you an idea about the nutrients content of the food that your family is eating.
2.Make Your Own Food from Scratch
The definition of cooking from scratch need not be a scary one. You start with fresh products and create food from a recipe. Of course some things you add you may not be willing or have time to make from scratch.
You can use some of those products, but not depend on everything being already made since then you will lose any benefits.
The three huge benefits to you will be cost, better taste and more healthy for you.
3.Avoid High Salt or Sugar Foods
Some items are just minimally processed (like pre-sliced apples or bagged lettuce) and other items are very highly processed (like hot dogs or cookies). These types of foods generally have a lot of added sugar, fat, sodium, artificial preservatives and can be higher in calories. You need to avoid these items as the nutrition value is very low.
Processed meats contain a lot of added sodium and preservatives. Studies have shown that when people have eaten large quantities of these items or eat them frequently they have increased risk of cancer.
Avoid meats like: hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, deli meat, canned meats and beef jerky.
4.Skip Processed Junk Foods
These usually fall into the ultra-processed group and provide little to no beneficial nutrition.
Processed junk foods may include foods that have ultra-processed meats (like jerky) and ultra-processed carbohydrates (like crackers or chips).
These foods are known to be high in sodium or sugar and calories. These foods when eaten regularly can lead to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes. Another good eating budget tip.
5.Don’t Eat Fast Foods
Many fast food restaurants serve ultra-processed foods. Although they have gotten better about providing less processed, more nutritious foods, some of the “old standbys” are overly processed.
You’ve probably heard of the health documentary “Super Size Me,” where Morgan Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald’s for a month. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t end well.
6.Buy Fruits and Veggies Which are in Season
Halloween is pumpkin season so you can easily stock up on preserves, pies, muffins and similar dishes with the orange veggie as the main ingredient.
Nowadays of us are used to being able to get whatever food we want whenever we want it, for example, tomatoes in February? Watermelon year-round? Strawberries in December? The grocery stores are selling items like this all year around. But out-of-season fruits and veggies can be less flavorful than their in-season counterparts, and they’re also generally more expensive.
Buy whatever fruits and veggies that are in season and incorporate them in your meals – this is a good eating budget tip.
- Meat: Beef Steaks , Chicken, Sausages , Spring Lamb
- Vegetables: Asparagus , Carrots , Cauliflowers, Celeriac, Cucumbers, Curly Kale, Savoy Cabbage – Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onion, Watercress
- Fruit: Gooseberries, Rhubarb
- Fish: Crab, Haddock, Lobster, Mackerel, Prawns, Sea Bass, Sea Salmon, Trout, Turbot
- Meat: Beef Steaks, Chicken, Ham, Lamb, Pork Pie,s- Pork Spare Ribs, Sausages, Venison
- Vegetables: Beetroot, Broad Beans, Carrots, Cauliflowers, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, Fresh Peas, Garlic, Green Beans , New potatoes, Radishes, Runner Beans, Sage, Salad Onions, Squash, Tomatoes, Watercress
- Fruit: Blueberries, Elderflower berries, Greengages, Loganberries, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries
- Fish: Crab, Wild Salmon
- Meat: Chicken, Ham, Pies Pork, Sausages,Venison
- Vegetables: Field Mushrooms, Lettuce, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Rocket, Squashes, Sweetcorn, Watercress
- Fruit: Apples, Blackberries, Damsons, Elderberries, Pears, Plums
- Fish: Brill, Dabs, Oysters
- Meat: Chicken, Gammon, Goose, Partridge, Pheasant, Sausages, Turkey, Venison, Wild Duck
- Vegetables: Bay Leaves, Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Fennel, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Red Cabbage, Swede, Turnips
- Fruit: Apples, Pears
- Fish: Mussels, Scallops
7.Shop With a List
If you are guilty of going shopping for one item while hungry/with no list and coming out with 10 unpredicted items, then you need to shop with a list. Making a real grocery store list that ties into your meal planning means that you’re more in control and can keep you on track with only buying what you need.
8.Eat Out Less
Having a cooked meal at home is far cheaper than eating out. We all like to eat out, but if you can reduce the temptation to eat out then this will definitely help to reduce the costs. Having a treat is good but keep this to a minimum and have it scheduled in your diary for each month at fixed times to reduce the temptation.
9.Grow Your Own Food
This is a great eating budget tips. I know that you might think – Grown My Own!!! Well let me say this to you, that just £1 or $1 of seeds can gown as much as £40 or $40 worth of produce. Have a think.
If you can, then this is a fantastic way to substantially reduce your produce bill each month.
I hope that the above can help you. Take action each week on any of the above the see the results for yourself. Good luck.