January: the month when your credit card bill arrives and you wonder if you will be eating canned beans for the next 30 days. Eating out and a shopping frenzy over the holidays can take its toll on your finances, but by using the tips below, you can eat well while lowering your food budget.
Don’t just eat this year. Eat well. And on budget:
- Everything can be used. You can even use onion skins, the centre of the celery stalk, or the parsley stems to make a soup broth. Here is a simple recipe. It takes less than an hour to create a healthy, vibrant broth to ring in your year of health.
- Round out a meal with rice or pasta. Yes, quinoa is novel but rice is cheap and filling. Grab a bag of rice or pasta to build inexpensive meals. Try this simple and cheap rice casserole.
- Keep cooking methods simple. Steaming or sautéing vegetables is easy and can highlight the flavour of fresh items while reducing the need for oil or butter. A simple chopped seasonal fruit salad is also a great way to start the day or end a meal.
- Check the freezer for fruit and vegetables. Frozen vegetables are often more nutritious than their canned counterparts. Frozen peas are full of protein and are a great addition to quick pasta dishes, like this one. A quick crumble or crisp made with frozen fruit is a delicious and inexpensive ending to a meal. And it makes THE best breakfast the next day.
- Reduce the meat. While it is true that you can make many meals with off-cuts and smaller portions of meat, the best way to save money is to skip it altogether. A bag of lentils is an inexpensive, low-impact protein source. For a few dollars, you can make a simple curry that can provide many meals. This red lentil curry is easily accomplished in 30 minutes.