Feeling the cost of living pinch?
The cost of living is high right now. There’s not much that can be done about that – until inflation and other such nasties ease it’s going to be an unfortunate challenge we all face.
However, you shouldn’t have to do without good food… and it is possible to eat well on a budget. There are some simple things that you can do, now, to ease the pressure on the budget while still enjoying good nutrition and great flavours.
We’ve pulled together nine tips that will help you get on top of that food budget and make the dollar really stretch until each payday.
Setting aside a little time each week to do a quick inventory of your pantry and calculate what you’ll need to prepare meals each day can help reduce waste. Additionally, shops run weekly discounts for various products, too, and by planning ahead you can take advantage of what is on special that week.
Embrace Seasonal and Local Produce
One of the reasons that the Good and Fugly boxes are such good value is that the produce is seasonal. That means it arrives on your doorstep fresh and delicious while also being in abundance and therefore inexpensive.
Buy In Bulk
You might not be able to buy fresh produce in bulk, but you certainly can with the rice, pasta and canned goods that will go with it! Buying in bulk lowers the overall cost of each serving, and over the long term that can save you significantly.
Make Sure Food Doesn’t Go To Waste
Did you know that the typical Australian throws away thousands of dollars in food each year? There are ways to help the shelf life of fresh produce (such as the amazing Veggie Saver bags). And, when the fresh edge has gone, you can always turn the produce into soups and smoothies. You’ll save literally thousands by getting creative with older produce.
Reduce Processed Foods
Processed foods can seem like they have a good price tag attached, but they are generally less nutritious and less filling than homemade meals. That then leaves you feeling hungry and tempted to buy more food. Taking the time to cook will result in more filling meals… and if you cook in batches and freeze it, you can have dinner organised a week in advance. You’ll be amazed just how much you save when you’re not constantly buying meals on the run.
Broaden Your Palette
There are some national cuisines that are famous for being not only packed full of flavour, but are inexpensive to cook. Indian, Mexican and Vietnamese food, for example, emphasise being filling on a budget. The veggies packed into each Good and Fugly box will work great for those recipes, and there is an abundance of good, easy recipes out there to inspire you.
Find Meat-Free Proteins
Protein is a filling nutrient, and it’s often thought that means meat should be a daily staple. But meat is expensive, so cut back on that and instead fill your dishes with eggs, mushrooms, spinach and asparagus. You’ll find that you’re cutting back on your daily food spend, without going without the critical energy protein provides.
Drink More Water
So many people spend so much on alcohol and sugary drinks that when they’d be shocked if they kept track. And, if you’re not a fan of the taste of water by itself (many are, and that’s okay!), try infusing water with some fruit from your Good and Fugly box? It’s hard to beat a good squeeze of lemon into water chilled with mint for pure refreshment.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Sticking to the shopping list is tough. Flashy packaging and special promotional offers are incredibly effective in convincing people to make an impulse purchase. Imagine how much easier it will be to stick to that shopping list when your produce is being delivered directly to your home each week?