10 Ways to save big and eat like a Gastronomer
Being on a budget and eating like a Gastronomer is a challenge for many. This is why the $1 meals appeal to so many people. You don’t have to sacrifice good food just because you are trying to save some money. There are ways for you to eat good, healthy food without breaking the bank. Sometimes we just need a little guidance to help us draw up a plan. Here are 10 tips to help you eat well without breaking the bank.
- Find on sale items and then plan your meals
Before you start planning your meals, go through the grocery store ads and see what items are on sale. If meat is going on sale, you can definitely indulge a little and plan a great meal around it. Most stores commonly chose a Wednesday to offer great on-sale items. This is why I do my weekly shopping on this day. Whatever I buy on sale, I search for recipes to include those foods on sale that week.
- Buy cheaper cuts
Even when you are on a tight budget, there is no need to cut out meat. You do not have to compromise flavor with less expensive cuts. Perhaps go for chicken thighs instead of deboned, no skin chicken breasts. Using a slow cooker to make tougher cuts melt in your mouth tender is a tried and true method.
- Grains and beans are your friend
We tend to think of beans as poor man’s food, but I know this great lentil curry recipe that will make you definitely disagree. You can create delicious, beautiful meals that just happen to include beans and rice. When funds are tight, I cook up a big batch of sassy beans with some vegetables over a bed of rice and I am set.
- Plan your meals
The worst thing is when you get home from work and you try and figure out what to cook. This usually ends up in ordering takeaway. Instead, have a menu for the week or even the month. Know exactly what you have in the fridge and the pantry and plan your meal around those items. Your freezer is your best friend. Freezer friendly prepped meals are a way to turn a weeknight meal into a date night rendezvous.
- Use your leftovers
Leftovers are a touchy subject for a lot of people. You don’t have to eat the meal the same way as you did the first time around. Let’s take steak for example. You might have made steak and salad for dinner. There is usually some left the next day. Make some delicious steak wraps, salads or even soup for lunch the next day. Try to not let any food end up in the bin because that is as good as throwing money in the trash. Ask any restaurant chef why he fired his last employee and the answer will be because they wasted food.
- Go to the farmers market
The farmers market is a great place to find naturally grown, organic foods without the price tag. You will also be supporting local farmers and keep them in business. A good idea is to visit the farmers market after hours because you might score some deals. Fruit and vegetables have an expiry date and by the end of the day, you can get these items for much less.
- Plan your snacks
We are usually so focused on the main meals that we forget about how much we spend on snacks. It is very tempting to snack on nuts, crisps or even buy something on the go. When you are planning your meals, include snacks like popcorn, fruit or something homemade. The key here is to know exactly what you are having as a snack, just as you do with your meals.
- Shop at discount stores
It may seem crazy to shop at discount stores when you have been buying your groceries from stores like Wholefoods. The thing is though, you can find some good deals at these kind of more affordable stores and create meals just as delicious as with your more expensive ingredients. Food is food and you just need to find the right recipes to create beautiful dishes.
- Buy bulk when you have the cash
If you are receiving a bonus soon, think about working a bulk shopping trip into your budget. Buy things that are not going to perish within a month. Look at your canned foods, freezer safe ingredients and anything you can use over a long period of time. When funds are a little tight, you could fall back on the items you bought through this time. Buying bulk is also cheaper most of the time.
- Invest in a slow cooker
When money is tight or you are saving for something special, investing in anything might seem counterproductive. This investment will pay off in the long run. You can basically throw all your vegetables that are about to go off into a slow cooker with some stock and enjoy a delicious soup. Your cheaper cuts can be turned into a yummy stew. This is definitely worth the investment.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on groceries to eat well. Be a little creative and come with a plan. You can enjoy delicious, good, home cooked food without spending your well earned money. Use these tips to help you save big and eat well.