Don’t have a lot of money to eat?
Then how can you do it? My boyfriend and I spend less than $220 per month, on average, on food (including groceries and restaurants).
That’s less than $4 per person per day. And we don’t have any deficiency!
We don’t hunt down special offers and we don’t feel any deprivation.
You wonder how we do it? Here are our 10 tips to eat well for less recipes that can help you manage your food budget. Use them and you’ll be able to eat cheap and healthy in no time!
1.Eat at restaurants less often:
If you want to eat and save money like we do, you need to stop eating out.
Of course, we both like to treat ourselves and we both go out maybe two or three times a month. Eating out is very expensive over the year. So it’s not ideal for your finances!
Eating out less often without feeling frustrated is fortunately possible. The secret is to learn how to prepare your favourite restaurant dish at home.
We have done it with all our favorite cuisines: Italian, Japanese, North African, etc. Of course, it might not be perfect, but the result will not be less delicious. It’s so nice to eat what you’ve cooked yourself!
If you don’t know how to cook, now is a good time to learn! I recommend that you watch the different cooking shows and immerse yourself in all these tantalizing cookbooks published every year.
2.Plan ahead and make lists:
Before going shopping, we always make a list of the week’s meals.
We then look at the supermarket catalog to see if there are any bargains to give us ideas. Then, we imagine other menus that would please us. We then make a list of healthy and inexpensive groceries and go to the store.
Why is this a good idea? Because we save money by limiting impulse purchases. We also save time all week because we already know our menus.
No more headaches, standing in front of the fridge not knowing what to do!
Icing on the cake: we limit waste by choosing ingredients that will serve several times!
3.Prefer ingredients that are easily accommodated:
Rather than storing piles of unusual, exotic, little-used foods in your cupboards, try to play on versatility instead.
Choose foods that will fit into a wide variety of dishes. For example: rice, dried beans, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, celery, carrots, peppers and pasta.
We use these basic ingredients to create very good dishes and most of them keep very well, in a dry cupboard, away from light.
Afraid of always eating the same thing over and over again? Learn how to use your herbs and spices, you won’t be disappointed!
4.Avoid prepared meals :
You will never find frozen or ready-made meals on our shopping list. These foods are not only bad for your health, they are also bad for your budget.
These prepared meals are not cheaper than others, nor are they better. There are lots of recipes to eat healthy and cheap without breaking your budget.
Keep in mind that everything that makes up the majority of “processed” dishes is not very good for your health.
The secret is to be wary of prepared dishes and cakes and foods high in sodium, sugar or fat.
5.Use less meat and dairy products:
It’s true that it may seem difficult and it was the case for me and my boyfriend because we love meat and cheese. But they are very often the most expensive ingredients.
Of course, I’m not telling you to ban them completely. But if you’re used to eating them every day, you can, for example, lower the frequency to 2 or 3 times a week.
Then, once you’re used to eating them 2 or 3 times a week, try to go to only once a week.
Don’t worry, there are many tasty dishes without meat. Beans and rice, pasta with tomato or cream sauces (with vegetables) for example! There are also large vegetable patties that mimic chicken and beef surprisingly well.
Another tip: learn how to prepare the lower pieces of meat so that they taste better. A little know-how will change your view of these products.
6.Buy seasonal products :
Peaches are very expensive out of season! Make sure to respect the right seasons to save money on fruits or vegetables.
Learn what’s in season and buy them at the right time. Use seasonal produce and plan your weekly meal plan accordingly.
If you need something out of season, consider dried, frozen or canned fruits or vegetables. They can be just as healthy and tasty!
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for all fruits and vegetables, but for many that are just as good as they are.
Just keep your eyes open on canned food labels – sodium is often way too much. I don’t think there’s anything better than fresh or frozen beans: I prefer them to canned ones.
7.Buy in bulk :
Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money over time. As long as you have room to store it all without letting it go to waste.
You might have to do a little repackaging (like dividing up a large tray of meat), but there’s nothing complicated about it.
I add a caveat: buying in bulk is not always cheaper. That’s why it’s important to learn how to calculate the price per unit and compare your choices before buying.
Also, be sure to keep in mind that not everything can be bought this way!
8.Stock up on useful items :
If you find a good deal on an item that keeps well (such as canned food), don’t hesitate to stock up.
Of course, you should do this for foods you like and cook often. Buying 20 cans of tuna because it’s on sale is stupid if you rarely eat tuna!
If we are talking about perishable foods (like fruits and vegetables), think about the different ways to preserve them: freezing, drying, canning?
9.Try not to waste :
If you have planned your meals well in advance, you should be able to end up with few leftovers.
Try to have a reasonable amount of leftovers that you can reuse for one or two more meals, but no more.
If you let leftovers languish in the bottom of the fridge, you risk losing the money and time you spent preparing the food.
You probably don’t want to throw money in the garbage, do you? So pay attention to the quantities, it’s important.
10.Don’t eat too much :
Overeating is a dangerous game. If you prepare too much food, the extra food will just go to waste!
In addition, your body will store it all in the form of fat. Eating too much is not only good for your health, it’s also good for your wallet.
There you go, you know my tips to eat for less than 4 € per day 🙂
These few simple principles can help you reduce your food budget to only a few euros a day. I guarantee you that your wallet will only get better!
As you can see, you don’t need to spend hours cutting out discount codes and become a “coupon hunter”.
You don’t even need to grow your own food even though it’s a great idea if you have the motivation to do so.
These money saving tips are also great health benefits. And as they say, health is priceless!
In fact, you’ll reduce your visits to the doctor and the need to take medication.
Now it’s your turn…
What about you? What are your tips to eat well for less recipes for saving money on food? Tell us in the comments. We look forward to hearing from you!