1. Dramatically cut down on meat and fish: This might seem obvious but meat and fish, especially when organic, is 3 or 4 times more expensive than other foods. Going vegetarian would cut your food bills almost in half.
2. Make shopping lists: The only way I can avoid food wastage is to plan my meals ahead of time and make lists.
3.Cook from scratch: Cookies, cakes, granola, yogurt, hummus, are just some of the items I cook from scratch because they are so easy to make, and way more delicious homemade.
The Environmental Working Group have now come up with a brand new program called Eat Good On A Tight Budget. The EWG was the same group that bought us the Dirty Dozen List. This new eating guide is excellent and simple to navigate: They provide food lists, tips and even recipes.
I also strongly believe that it’s all about quality not quantity. We tend to mindlessly eat our way through mounds of either tasteless food, or junk food that with additives that make us want to eat more. I stopped at Wholefoods market this morning to buy something for lunch. As my husband, along with most of America, calls this store “the whole paycheck,” I was determined not to spend more than fifteen bucks. I bought 2 beautiful ripe, but firm heirloom tomatoes ( 5 bucks), and a loaf of freshly baked ciabatta bread ($2.99). I had some really good- quality olives and olive oil at home, and I have planters full of basil. So, lunch came to less than 10 bucks and was mouth wateringly delicious. I’m cooking a quinoa-with -summer veggies dish for dinner, which my whole family will enjoy for under 5 bucks for the whole dinner. It can be done.
If you’re a die-hard meat-on-the-barby kind of family, you might want to consider tossing a few veggie burgers and/or portobello mushrooms on too. Cheap factory-farmed meat won’t do you or your family any favors in the health department, so if you are going to indulge in some animal flesh, I urge you to make sure that it’s organic, humanely-reared and grass-fed.
Oh, and one final tip. Hit the farmer’s market and stock up on fruits and veggies that you love because at this time of year they are at their least expensive. Now is the time to make jellies and jams. I also like to freeze beans, corn (cut off the cob), sliced zucchini, peaches, and plums.