Are you the kind of person who spends time drooling at photos of food on Instagram without ever getting a chance to get a taste of better food? Can you cook but you worry you just don’t have the money for it? There are plenty of reasons to eat on a budget, but no reasons to eat badly on a budget. You can have the whole restaurant experience every night with the few tips mentioned below.
Plan your meals
This first tips and the most important. Planning out meals brings with it a lot of benefits. For one, if you plan one or two big shops a week and you ensure you get everything you need, you’re less tempted to impulse buy when you go out to buy that loaf of bread or carton of milk. That means fewer snacks that make it harder to eat healthily. But in planning meals, you can batch ingredients across different meals, too. The leftovers of what you use for dinner one night can be used for the next day’s lunch or dinner, too. Planning them that way ensures you’re not wasting what you spend money on and also that you have fewer ingredients overall to buy.
Skip the processed food aisles
With meal planning comes the need for whole foods. In general, whole foods are less expensive than the processed varieties. Whole cheeses cost less than grated cheese. Making your own spaghetti Bolognese costs less than buying it in a jar. It might take more effort to cook all your ingredients, to begin with. But as you get used to it and a lot better at it, it becomes much less of an effort.
When you have your grocery list ready, it’s not quite time to rush out and buy it all just yet. Instead, you should use sites that provide grocery basket comparisons. Spending a little time looking at different stores every time you shop makes sure that you’re always getting the best deals.
Stock up on those dinner drinks
When you make a truly great meal, you want a little something to give it more flavor. Whether you want to cook better food with it or you want to serve yourself a drink for the real restaurant experience, the best cheap red wine can make a big difference. It’s good for you in the right measures, too. You don’t have to spend big to taste big, however. Do your research on budget wines that still have some care brewed into them.
Make better use of your fruit and veg
Even when you’re planning your meals, it’s easy to see some of your produce start to go past its best condition. Eating fruit and veg that you freeze yourself isn’t always the tastiest. However, freezing them in sealed bags can make them great ingredients for a smoothie.
We all deserve good food. Our taste buds deserve it and our bodies deserve the nutrition that comes with it. So, keep the tips above in mind and see your meals improve without so much as a dent on the budget.