One week’s food for under $ 25

One week’s food for under $ 25

If you would like to try this for yourself, here are some tips based on what I have learned:

Make sure you have enough variety when it comes to snacks. Just having cantaloupe and eggs to snack on was a bad idea. When I was under budget, I should have spent the $ 3 to add bread, a frozen pizza, or a few microwave meals.

Make two meals at a time and switch. Leftovers don’t bother me, but since I ate large portions and only made one recipe at a time, it quickly became boring to eat the same meal after meal.

Or spend a day cooking a lot of meals and freezing them. Most of the dishes I made were freezer-friendly, so in hindsight I could have cooked it all at the start of the week and frozen a few of the portions. This would have helped with variety and at the same time ensured that the food did not spoil before I got to it.

Also consider the time it takes to plan food. I spent two hours planning and one hour shopping, which meant a three-hour time commitment instead of my usual 45 minutes (I usually spend 15 minutes planning and 30 minutes shopping). This was because I spent so much time checking prices before (and during) shopping to make sure I stayed below budget. To be honest, I usually do not check so strictly because time is also important to me. Personally, I would rather have a slightly higher grocery budget if it saves me over two hours of meal planning a week.

Dollar stores are good for many (but not all) ingredients. They are good for frozen food and grains, but I noticed that dairy products, eggs and preserves were actually more expensive in the 99 Cent Store than at Aldi. Also keep in mind that items in dollar stores can sometimes be smaller than in other stores.

Keep lots of spices around. IMO, spices are the best and cheapest way to add flavor and variety. I’ve never counted how many different I have, but it’s probably over two dozen types. Some grocery stores sell spice bottles for around $ 1 apiece, so it’s definitely worth having in stock! If you do not have any yet, I recommend that you start your spice collection with garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, oregano and cumin.

Get cheap and filling foods. Cereals, beans and frozen vegetables are versatile, solid and affordable! Additionally, you can store them in your pantry or freezer for a long time without worrying about them getting bad.

Distribute your food. This helps you plan how many meals you can get out of it. (And make sure you do not finish all your snacks in the middle of the week.)

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