Cook at home The most important change I have made to save money was to start cooking at home, versus running to the closest fast food joint, take-out restaurant or eat-in diner. Each of those other options just put you at risk for their prices, their ingredients, their cooking methods and their level of sodium or sugar included in your meal. And that’s not always a good thing. You’re way better off cooking yourself and knowing the ingredients you put in your food.
Get groceries ahead of time If you already have fresh food in the fridge you will be more motivated to cook for yourself instead of going out and spending money. Get in the habit of meal prepping and buying your food for the week ahead of time so you are not tempted to go out instead.
Buy in bulk Canned beans are fine, but dried beans are far cheaper. Grains from the bulk bins at your local health food store are only pennies per serving. Cook these staples in large batches and save them in your freezer to save time and effort in a future meal.
Eat with the seasons When you eat with the seasons, you eat locally, you eat what’s most fresh, and your body knows it. Find out what stores near you carry farm fresh eggs, fruits, vegetables or meat that you will eat. Farm fresh produce can completely change how you feel about vegetables because in season foods taste ideal.
Focus on leafy greens Leafy greens like kale, chard, collards, spinach and broccoli are some of the most nutritious, least expensive things you can buy. And this is true at any grocery store or farmers market.
Eat less meat This is probably the easiest way to save money. Whether at the grocery store or at restaurants meat is always the most expensive thing on the menu. I am not saying you need to go vegetarian. But even reducing the amount of meat eaten (aka Meatless Mondays!) will save you money and enhance your health as well as the ecology of the world. So you are contributing in a much more global way than you may realize. Remember, there is plenty of protein in beans and eggs!
Use fish from cans Fish is an important part of a healthy diet, but fresh fish can be expensive, especially salmon which is so good for you. Try sardines (boneless, skinless), smoked mackerel and anchovies as inexpensive alternatives for protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Eat fruit for dessert Sometimes fruit can be prices, especially at farmers markets. I’d suggest reserving eating fruits and berries for dessert. This makes it a special meal, and it’s certainly a healthy one.