How to eat for cheap!
It seems that everyone has had to cut back as the economy has soured and I have too. I live in Manhattan where everything is expensive. To add to that I recently lost my job. So here are some ideas on how to eat for less.
- The very first thing you should do in order to cut down on your food bill is to completely stop going out to eat. It's incredibly expensive and most of the time you can create similar meals for a lot less money. This doesn't mean that you will never get to go to a restaurant again. When you do go out make sure to only eat half of what is served and take the other half home for dinner the next night. Also, many places offer great happy hours with enough food for at least dinner that night...look around see what is out there.
- The second thing to do is to eat everything in your kitchen. I had food that I had in my freezer for years, it was still good. Also, it is my suspicious nature that causes me to believe that most expiration dates put on food are put there just so you will buy more food. Have you ever heard of anyone getting sick from eating something that had an overdue expiration date on it? I haven't..go ahead and eat it. Do not buy anything until you have eaten everything in your fridge and cupboards.
- Thirdly, go on a diet! Most of us could survive quite healthily and happily on a lot less food than we consume everyday. If you are overweight at all just start reducing the size of your meals, your waist will go down and so will your food budget. Go to bed hungry, it will save you money and you will lose weight.
- Fourthly, make sure you buy basic items at the grocery store. Cheap food is NOT junk food! Don't buy junk food or packaged food, make every dollar count, learn to make things rather than buy them. I have another hub on how to make home made noodles, not only are they better tasting but they are cheaper when home made. Concentrate on protein and fruits and vegetables. Some basic items that are cheap but high in protein are eggs, peanut butter, legumes (for soups), and cheese. Make soups, stews and casseroles, they are healthy, and stretch the dollar.
- The fifth idea is to see if you can apply for food stamps. Yes, I know, it's embarrassing but it is free food and many more people are qualified than they realize.
- The sixth idea and this is something that might be difficult to do in Manhattan and that is to start a garden, there is nothing cheaper and healthier than home grown food! Food can be grown for relatively nothing. Look on You Tube to see how to do it, they have everything on there from how to harvest potatoes to how to plant seeds gathered from the food itself. The food will be better nutritionally too and there is something quite satisfying about growing your own food. If you can afford to do so buy a dehydrator so that you can make the food last for a long time.
- Seventh, when you do buy things in stores go to the cheapest store you can find and buy certain things in bulk, things like flour, butter, peanut butter and eggs. These things will last a long time and you can save a lot of money by buying in bulk. You can also buy dairy products and other items when they are on sale and freeze them (see the video below for more information about that).
- Eighth, OK I must say I haven't tried this yet but a lot of people are able to help sustain themselves from the land. There are a couple of books that identify foods that grow wild that you can eat, and other ways to gather food. I have included the books in the hub if you are interested. I like the idea of living off the land, but for now I haven't actually done it yet...still it's an option.
Finally, don't forget friends and relatives. If your family is anything like mine they are probably doing better than you and waste a lot of food. I'm sure they won't mind if you drop in now and again when it happens to be dinner time, just don't forget to repay the favor when they are in need. Good luck and good eating.
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