Cooking,  Saving Money,  Thrifty Moms,  Uncategorized

How to Eat Well on an Extremely Tight Budget

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how-to-eat-well-tight-budget to skip meals or living on gruel, but it doesn’t have to be that way with these great money-saving food tips. 1. Buy potatoes in bulk. So that they will last much longer, pop an apple in with them to prevent them from sprouting. 2. Overfill your kettle for the cups of tea you plan to consume. Use your leftover boiled water for cooking vegetables…it’s faster and cheaper to boil lukewarm water than cold water from the faucet. 3. Make your own lunches. Making your own sandwiches for work is much cheaper than grabbing a ready-made one. Take a look at the nutritional information on fast food and you will be pleasantly surprised that you’re cutting tons of calories and eating healthier too. Add a healthy homemade muffin and bring a thermos with your favorite coffee and you have a luxury lunch at a fraction of the cost. 4. Cook in bulk when you can and freeze leftovers. This works especially well if you have a slow cooker. Eat half and freeze the other half into single portion containers to save the temptation of calling for takeout when you have little time or energy left for food preparation. 5. Shop online. Set a budget and don’t go overboard. Shopping at home saves you the temptation of wanting to buy things you don’t need. You also save on gas, wear and tear on your car, and benefit with less stress of waiting in traffic, etc. Shopping online also means you don’t have to drag your kids around a supermarket. You will love the fact you can do your shopping in front of your favorite show, feet up propped up with a coffee nearby. 6. When you do use the supermarket, beware. There’s a cunning science to the way supermarkets are laid out and lit. They are designed to make us want to buy more. You can challenge this by varying the order in which you normally go around the supermarket and keeping your eye on the top and bottom shelves. The more expensive items are usually placed at eye level. 7. Look out for BOGOF (buy one get one free) and similar offers on things you regularly use, such as pasta, rice, toothpaste etc. Be careful to check the prices to see if it’s really a good deal. Some stores will mark up prices before going on sale, so try to become familiar with prices of the regular products that you purchase. 8. Try out supermarket brands before you completely dismiss them. A surprising amount of store brand products are just as good as premium brands; however, others might be poorer in quality. It’s best to cautiously try a single product first to test before investing in bulk amounts. 9. Eat seasonally. Food that’s in season is cheapest and best. It’s really that simple. In season food will be fresher and tastier than anything else around. Stock up on basics such as: Pasta Rice Flour Bread Eggs Canned Tomatoes Eggs Margarine/butter Potatoes With these ingredients in your cupboards, you will always have the basics for a meal or for baking. 10. Cut down on sweet treats by saving them for “weekend only” eats. Freeze cookie dough and leftover cake, saving them for the next weekend instead of consuming more calories just for the sake of “finishing up” what’s left. 11. Avoid the huge markup on snack-sized dairy and canned fruit products by purchasing regular-sized value brands. Next, spoon into small containers and take as a snacks to work. These taste just as good and ends up much cheaper. 12. Buy extras such as breads on discount racks to freeze. Those little trips to the local shop to get another loaf of bread can result in you filling your basket with unnecessary items. 13. Use your slow cooker. Slow cookers are a great money-saver and energy saver. Slow cookers are ideal for cheaper cuts of meat because the meat becomes much more tender than if it’s cooked on the stove or in the oven. By the way, slow cookers are not just for main meals either — you can cook soups and desserts in them too. 14. Make your own homemade chicken stock. Homemade chicken stock makes a fantastic base for soups, casseroles and stews. Although you’d have to pay a pretty hefty price per ounce in the store for chicken stock, you can make your own for a fraction of that price and freeze it in containers. After you’ve ripped all the good meat from your chicken, put the carcass in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add one bay leaf, a few black peppercorns, a chopped carrot or two, one or two chopped celery sticks, a chopped onion, and any herbs you fancy (thyme goes very well). Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover to simmer for an hour or two. Cool. Strain (you may need to skim the top as you go) and pour into containers. If not using right away you can refrigerate or freeze for longer storage. 15. Stretch meals with cheap legumes. Lentils and beans are all good sources of protein but much cheaper than meat or fish. Use nutritionally rich grains such as pearl barley and spelt to stretch your meals. 16. Have a comfort food night. Make a hearty soup with leftover stock vegetables and a handful of pasta; add a little gravy granules to thicken. Dunk in crusty bread. Again, don’t forget to stock up on reduced bread to keep in your freezer for such occasions. 17. Make crumble cobblers out of any leftover fruit such as the last few apples. Toss in a handful of raisins from the cupboard and even that one forgotten plum, then stew together with a little sugar added to taste. *Google some crumble cobbler recipes to try if you need help getting creative. 18. Have breakfast at suppertime. A switch can be fun…and good ole’ biscuits and gravy can be cheap… as well as homemade pancakes and syrup. For a healthier option try getting creative with oatmeal or eggs. 19. Keep a supply of frozen fruit and vegetables in the freezer. They’re cheaper than fresh fruit and vegetables but can still count towards your daily five. You can also use them in the exact amounts you want which cuts down on waste. Try adding a handful to canned soup with a small portion of pasta for a cheap filling meal. 20. Canned fish such as sardines, tuna and salmon can be cheaper than buying fresh fish and still contain heart-friendly omega three fats. They’re easy to prepare and have a long shelf life. Fish in spring water keeps salt to a minimum.]]>

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