Friday, November 14, 2014

9 Tips on Frugal Eating

Frugal eating is not a sin, it's a necessity for a lot of families in Canada. The monthly grocery expense may amount to 30-40% of a household's income, especially when it's about a family with young and teenage kids. In this post we are going to provide 9 strategies that will help you be more frugal with your grocery expenses without deteriorating the quality of your food.

Frugal eating should not be abut being cheap. It is just about savings that are easily accessible.

Cook in Large Quantities
Cooking large quantities of food has a huge advantage over preparing frequent diverse servings. Say, a well-prepared big turkey can feed several persons for several days. The original higher investment will result in a lower overall cost when divided per the total number of servings and days.

Build Weekly Menus Based on Flyers
This is a no-brainer. Do collect and consult flyers, either print in-store or online ones. Build your weekly menu based on the products that are on special in the flyers. Yes, building a menu for a week is a big deal. It may be time consuming a little, but it pays off by making you more organized with your grocery expenses.

Re-use and Freeze 
When you boil chicken breasts, for instance, don't throw the water away. You could use it for, say, preparing lentils. The leftovers of the chicken can be used for other dishes (spaghetti, sauce with vegetables). The idea is that nothing gets thrown out. Maximize on every single piece of meat. If more is left over, freeze it for future use!

Always Consider Price-vs-Quality
Even if a pint of milk is more expensive than a bottle of Pepsi, opting for Pepsi is not a good choice simply because the cola has no nutrition in it. Always think about the nutritional value of the products you buy. Say, cheap juices are not a good idea either since their nutritional value is extremely low. Focus on those products that can keep your family full for longer.

Don't Fall for Marketing Tricks
Don't be lead by marketing. Products enriched with Omega-3, probiotics and calcium usually cost more. If buying such expensive products is not affordable because of the steep price tag, simply go for less expensive alternatives, which usually have the same ingredients (with, probably, smaller quantities).

Eat Locally and Seasonally
Cook with those fruits and vegetables that you can easily get in local stores and based on the season. Eating strawberries all year long will be more expensive overall - focus on strawberries when it's high season for them and they cost cents. Freeze strawberries for future use if you have an abundance of the berries.

Make Intelligent Choices
Sometimes it's worth considering replacing your habitual products with less expensive but no worse alternatives. Say, you can easily replace basmati rice with potatoes, oranges with apples, olive oil with canola oil.

Learn How to Cook
Sadly,  a lot of us have lost the ability of cooking by ourselves. Not being able to cook comes in at a high cost since half-prepared products are more expensive. Buying ready-to-serve food comes 2-3 times more expensive than when the same food is cooked at home. Take some cooking courses, roll up your sleeves and start cooking! Make it yummy and save for you and your family.

Champion Nutrients
Here are some foods that are both nutritious and frugal: eggs, tinned fish, cereals (with milk).

In addition, see this graph taken from Canada's Food Guide just to plan for the right number of nutrients for all your family members.

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