When you have a tight budget, it is always a challenge to manage your grocery and meal expenses. Remember it is not impossible to have healthy meals in your diet regime even when the budget is tight.
Here’s a list of some suggestions which will help you in managing your healthy meals at a very low cost
1. Plan your menus or meals in advance
Planning meals in advance helps you to buy the necessary ingredients and foods. You can use the same ingredients for multiple meals. Most grocery shops and malls have a weekly sale, which offer fantastic discounts. Take advantage of these sales by buying food stuffs cheap and also trying out new healthy dishes with different ingredients.
2. Always buy seasonal fruits and vegetables
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are cheap during their season and add variety and flavour to the food. It is a good idea to stock up seasonal vegetables as they are reasonably cheap for e.g. green peas, fresh corn etc. These can be frozen and stored for long term use.
3. Include lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables
Replace meats with whole grains and vegetables in your diet. This not only makes your diet healthy but also cheap.
4. Cooking in Bulk
You can save time and money by cooking large quantities of foods whenever possible and make several dishes at one time. You can store and freeze the food in different containers for future use.
Some of the things that can be cooked in large quantities include:
a. Chicken Stock (can be used for soups and curries).
b. Tomato puree (can be stored in ice cube trays and can be added to soups, gravies and pasta).
c. Boiled vegetables, boiled chicken and shredding it and using it for gravies, soups and rice etc.
5. Use the Cooker and Microwave Efficiently
Using a cooker is a fast way to get food cooked and to save precious fuel. In case of using a microwave, one can cook foods with similar cooking time together – On the top most shelf you can cook the potatoes, on the 2nd shelf you can grill the chicken and on the lowest shelf you can put a pasta or rice. In short you can use the oven for cooking three different things simultaneously which have a similar temperature setting.
You can also save energy by cooking two vegetables at the same time. One can be boiled, while the other can be steamed in a sieve over the same pan.
6. Reorganise your Fridge and pantry regularly
It is important to check the fridge and use the leftovers. Ideally you should be making foods that can be completely eaten or finished. In case of any leftovers like rice, you can make it innovative by just adding some vegetables, spices and sauces and make a new tasty dish. It is important to organise your pantry and remove all the old stuff before it gets expired and then refurnish it with new stocks.
7. Shopping at the closing time can give you really good deals
If you shop an hour before the closing time, you are more likely to get good deals for your fish, vegetables, fruits and other food stuff, as vendors want to sell off maximum stock.
These are some of the tips which can help you cook economically and efficiently. Some of the more healthy ingredients are extremely cheap and can form a part of a tasty meal.
Please read our article 9 DIY Decoration tips to beautify your home
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