No matter the size of your family or your eating habits, you’re sure to spend a good bit of your budget on food. Are you looking to save money? Do you want healthier meals? Are you bad at cooking? Here’s some food options you can use depending on your specific situation.
If you spend a lot eating out and want to eat healthier.
For many busy people, it’s easier to grab something on the way home from work than to make a healthy meal at home. Meal prepping can be key for you, as you can cook on a free night and have a selection of healthy meals ready to go for the week. This often means cheaper prices because you’re producing a lot of meals with the same ingredients.
You can also begin a fresh meal kit subscription. You’ll probably be paying about eight to ten dollars per meal, so it’s not for the cheapest budget. However, it comes with the ingredients ready to be cooked and put together, making it a perfect option for the awful chef or busy bee that doesn’t have time for grocery shopping and meal planning.
Eating out is hard to get healthy, but you can try to limit yourself to restaurants that are known for their healthy foods. Try to develop a regular amount of restaurants so you don’t find yourself eating at the same one too much. Getting a salad or sandwich for lunch is always going to be better than McDonald’s.
If you have a low budget.
When there’s bills to pay, food doesn’t always feel like a priority. However, there are real options you can turn to in order to make your budget last. Turning to Ramen may seem like your first instinct, but you can instead try foods that are filling but cheap, such as beans, oats, fruits, rice, tuna, pasta, and eggs. Most of these items also come in bulk, so you can save big money by having plenty of cheaper, protein-heavy ingredients to stretch out.
You may also consider meal nights with your friends. When you all chip in for ingredients and work together to make a delicious meal, you’re going to be spending less overall. You may even end up with leftovers to take home.
Look for events with free food, especially if you’re a student on campus. Most towns and universities will also provide food banks, handing out fresh produce, meat, and other essentials that people in the area cannot afford to buy. Also, don’t be afraid to look for good deals at your local grocery stores.
If you just spend too much.
Limit yourself with a weekly budget for food. Tell yourself you will not go over the budget, so if you eat too expensively at the beginning of the week, you’ll have to resort to cheaper options by the end. Hopefully this can help train you to make responsible economic choices, making sure you are find a good balance.
You can also look at what you’re spending money on. Is a good chunk of it coffee that you can make at home? This may open up wonders in your budget. You can also look at how much you’re spending on groceries and if you are seeing a lot of waste there. This mostly just takes self discipline and realistically deciding what you really need to spend your money on.
If you’re not eating enough.
Whether it’s because you’re too busy to make time or you can’t afford the meals, you’re only going to make things worse for yourself if you don’t figure out ways to get you the food you need. If it’s because you don’t have time, meal prepping is an obvious method, but you could also consider options like grabbing something at your work or college cafeteria that won’t make you late for your next priority.