With grocery bills going up and up, many of us are looking for tips and tricks that will allow us to stay within our budget without compromising on the quality and taste of what we put on our plate.
Use alternatives. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than fresh produce and just as nutritious. Plus, they save on waste! The price of lettuce is ridiculous? Think cabbage: tasty, nutritious and local! Canned fish, such as tuna and salmon, are perfect in many dishes, such as sandwiches, burgers and salads.
Limit portions of meat and poultry and opt for legumes, tofu and eggs: protein at a good price.
Don’t throw things out – use everything! Use bruised fruit in fruit salads, muffins or breads (like banana bread) and vegetables on the verge of going bad in soups and stews. Leftover dry bread? Perfect for homemade breadcrumbs and croutons.
Stock up on basic foods that will allow you to concoct a quick meal and resist the temptation of prepared or delivered meals: canned tomatoes and legumes, basic side dishes (rice, couscous, quinoa, etc.), pasta, eggs, pesto, spaghetti sauce (homemade or store bought).
Plan your meals with ingredients that are on sale and foods you already have at home. Then make a grocery list to buy only what you need and avoid the temptation of easier...and more costly options.
Buy larger quantities or in bulk and portion it up yourself. Smaller sizes are always more expensive. For example, it costs less to buy a bag of oatmeal (which makes about 30 servings) than a box of 10 individual bags. Not only does it cost more to buy small sizes, it is also less environmentally friendly.
Mix meat with beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu or PVT in different dishes. Plant proteins cost a lot less than meat!
Limit waste by storing fruits and vegetables properly to increase their shelf life, rotating the fridge regularly and freezing portions of meat, fish and poultry that you don't plan to use right away.