5 Tips to Cooking Healthy on a Budget
Nowadays, going organic has become more expensive and time-consuming than eating in fast-food restaurants. The healthier free-range eggs, for instance, cost about $5 in the Australian market while caged eggs are at $3 only.
The same holds true for organic vegetables and meat. While the market prices are generally out of the consumers’ control, still there are strategic ways to beat around the bush and cook healthily. Learn the 5 essential tips to cooking healthy on a budget.
Have you tried panic buying or rush Christmas shopping? You go to a store with no solid plan in mind and throw whatever item your eyes lay upon into the trolley. You end up with a bill higher than what you originally intended. The same happens when you fail to plan your weekly and monthly menu.
You easily become overwhelmed with food items that you buy them even when you don’t necessarily need them for the week or month. Avoid food and money wastage by conscientiously planning your meals.
Broaden your Culinary Knowledge
Experiment. Read. Ask around. Some people stick to about 10 to 20 expensive recipes all throughout the year, only because they did not try to discover 50 other variations.
When you expand your culinary knowledge, not only will you enjoy different dishes but find alternative ingredients that are healthier and less costly. Black beans, for instance, cost just about A$2 per kg and are the perfect extenders to meat. Cauliflowers can be added to rice for a fuller intake yet lower expense.
The point is you become more innovative when you become more knowledgeable so invest time in learning different cuisines and food sources.
Buy Produce in Season
Fruits and veggies in season are cheaper. Be wise enough to know when to buy and work your meal plans around the available ingredients.
Apples, avocados, blackberries, bananas, cauliflowers, cabbages, beetroots, and sprouts are particularly abundant during autumn, from March to May. Follow place-specific seasonal food sites for a more comprehensive guide.
Grow your Spices
Buying spices, oils, seasonings, and other kitchen staples in bulk saves you money. Mind you, the time and transportation costs on frequent grocery trips can already put dents in your savings account. So it’s better to stock on items that have longer shelf life.
Yet if you can grow your spices (e.g., onions, garlic, chili) or even some veggies (e.g., beans, sprouts, beetroots) in the backyard, the bigger the savings and higher is the safety assurance.
Do not throw away leftovers just yet. With a little twist and a dash of creativity, you can turn leftover roasted chicken into savory chicken vegetable soup or grilled pork into stuffed chili or fried rice for snacks and breakfast, respectively.
Transform salads and main courses into possible ingredients for the next few days’ menu. Pay extra attention to the moisture content, texture, and odor of the food to assess whether it can be repurposed. Safety should be prioritized over budget savings, always.
The ways are many to keep your healthy food plans within your budget, yet the 5 tips highlighted above will already create a significant difference in your cash flow.