The cost of food has been going up lately, and is expected to go up even more with rising fuel costs. Most of us agree that we all could eat better so how can we do that with limited time and budget?
For many people who go on a “diet” or make changes to lifestyles it also involves spending more money. So what are some ways we can stay within our budgets and not break the bank on buying higher quality food?
- Don’t Cook Separate Food for each Person - Baring any spherically needed special diets, everyone in the house eats the same. This means if little Joey needs to be gluten free you make most of the meals gluten free. Really it won’t hurt the rest of the family.
- Buy Local – even if you don’t have a farmer’s market near by, you can still buy local. There is always someone who has extra eggs to sell, or more vegetables than they can eat in their garden.
- Swap with a friend or neighbor Do you have a bumper crop of squash and your neighbor perhaps has more tomatoes than that small town in Spain that does the tomato fight? If so , then swap with each other, win-win in my book.
- Eat within the Season – not only does this help your pocketbook, the food always tastes better in season. Anyone want a January peach? I didn’t think so.
- Shop the Farmer’s Market – these are a great resource, we have been known to get free food at the end of a market day because farmers don’t want to load it up and take it home.
- Eat Less Meat - when you eat less meat, you can eat a higher quality of meat and not spend anymore on your food.
- Eat more Beans, and Nuts - It has only been in the last century that Americans have decided that each meal must have meat.
- Divert some of your other Budget Items to Food – Really, think how much you need that new pair of shoes, I know they are pretty but do you have more shoes than you wear already? That shoe money can buy a couple of nice grass fed roasts that will make at least two meals each. (I do love shoes, but come on even for a mostly vegan person like myself – I still do want some good steak)
- Don’t' buy junk food. There I said it. Junk Food is just that- food that does not nourish the body or soul. Junk Food in my house is defined as any food that is artificially colored or sweetened, or uses hydrogenated anything.
- Grow or make more of your own food. We recently started making our own Cliff Bars at home. This takes my dear husband about an hour a week, but we end up with the equivalent of 30 bars. We also put in a small kitchen garden each year.
- Eat out Less – how much do you spend on eating out? I cringe at the thought of eating out or having to drive through the drive-thru because I know how much Real Food I could purchase with that money. Hmm $40 on a a meal out for the family or my meat share at the co-op? Let me think about that.
- Eat Leftovers – We regularly have nights where I don’t cook dinner but rather we will clear out the leftovers from the fridge and have a leftover buffet.
This post is linked up with Green and Natural Mamas, Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursdays, Living Well Blog Hop