15 Tips for Eating on a Budget

1: Make a List *and stick to it!*
Thats correct, it truly can be that simple! making a list, and sticking to it, allows you to walk into a store with the ability to say no to everything that isn’t on the list. Resisting those last minute impulse buys can save you a lot of extra cash!

2: Use CASH!
This may seem strange nowadays with everyone having cards but when you use cash you can see the money being spent, you will feel a stronger connection to the cash, and will actually watch what you buy.

3: Shop your cupboards and freezer!
You most likely have a lot of food already sitting in your house. Open up those cupboards, pull everything out, and write down what you have. Repeat this with your fridge and freezer. While you are at it, throw away anything that is expired. Knowing what you have eliminates the possibility of buying it again. 

4: Use what you have!
Now that you know what you have, use it! Ok, so some of it may not be “healthy” I suggest still using it, make it a base for something else, load it up with veggies and don’t use the flavor packet. If you really don’t want to make it but it isn’t expired, donate it to your local food bank. 

5: Use coupons and shop sales!
This is the best way to keep costs down! Some stores have double ad days and others give you discounts for bringing your own bag! Clip coupons from the Sunday paper, check online, or sign up for your local stores rewards programs. Research which stores are around you, where the deals are at, and then go shopping. 

6: Meal Plan! 
Similar to making your list, when you plan out your meals you know what you are eating for that week. You can even plan your meals around the deals that the store is having! When you know what you are eating you don’t have to ask yourself, “what is for dinner tonight?” and you won’t end up ordering take out!

7: Buy brown rice!
Carbs are not your enemy and rice is cheap. Rice is a great base to just about any meal. By adding a bit of meat and veg you have an easy and cheap dinner!

8: Buy frozen vegetables!
Why frozen? Because they are just as good for you , if not better, as fresh! This is because they are picked right when they are ripe and then froze. They aren’t sitting in a store starting to break down. Frozen is usually cheaper than canned and canned vegetable tend to have salt added to them.

9: Shop Costco or Sams Club with friends! 
By shopping with your friends you can split the bill and split the food! This is great if you know someone else that is looking to eat healthy but doesn’t need all of the food that comes with shopping from bulk stores. Be careful when going to bulk stores, some foods are not actually cheaper so do your research. Also, choose a friend that is going to help you stick to your list, not one that encourages impulse buys. 

10: Buy in season!
Knowing what foods are in season will help keep your costs down! If you try and buy a watermelon in winter your cost is going to be more than it will be in the summer. Choose foods that are growing during that season and you will see a decrease in your grocery bill.

11: Visit a farmers market!
Ok, so these can sometimes be a bit more expensive but not always! When visiting a market it is best to walk through the entire thing before making a purchase, see what everyone has to offer and what their prices are, then shop the cheapest ones. It is also ok to ask for deal if purchasing a lot from one booth! 

12: Grow a garden!
Growing your own food will cut costs dramatically! Grow the foods that you know you will eat, try a few things if you’re adventurous, and enjoy watching something you planted grow!

13: Follow simple recipes!
Yes, those recipes that have 50 ingredients may look nice but that is a lot of money going towards one meal. Instead look for something similar that uses less. You will get a nice meal but for a lot loss money. 

14: Save your food scraps!
Beet greens are great in a salad, ends of carrots and onions can be used to make a veggie stock, or try regrowing your own celery! Before you toss something out, stop and think about how else you could use it!

15: Use leftovers!
This is by far my best tip! I see so many people that let food go to waste, when you throw out food you are throwing out money! Instead of just tossing it, eat it, add some more veg, mix in some beans, change it up a bit if you have to just don’t let it go to waste!

Do you have any other tips that you use for eating while sticking to a budget? If so, share them below!

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

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