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Five Real Ways To Save Money On Your Food Bill

Updated on April 29, 2008
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With food prices rocketing globally, people in almost every nation are having to tighten their belts in order to feed themselves and their families. In many respects, modern living has left some of us unable to properly feed ourselves. The evidence of this is everywhere in the form of booming fast food chains and microwave meals. Now that the crunch has come many of us can no longer afford these luxuries, and given that they were killing us slowly anyway, perhaps that's a good thing This article details a few ways you can make real changes to your lifestyle to save money on your food bill.

Learn To Cook/Bake

Knowing how to cook and bake seemed like skills that were fast becoming useless whilst the economy boomed, now that the global economy is taking a downturn, people who can take raw ingredients and turn them into healthy meals are the ones who are going to be able to feed themselves and their families more healthily and plentifully than those of us who only know how to press buttons on a microwave. You may snort at this, but the fact remains that the easiest, quickest, and healthiest way to save money on your food bill is by learning to cook and bake. The Internet is choc full of recipes which can be made cheaply and which will not be full of the preservatives and other poisons which are added to so called convenience foods. More on that later.

Milk Powder Instead Of Milk

This is the one specific product recommendation I will give in this article, rather like the sunscreen song says about sunscreen, if you remember nothing else in this article, remember milk powder. Dairy prices are skyrocketing in many places as demand outstrips supply and milk is imported from far flung places across the globe. Milk powder tends to be cheaper than purchasing bottled milk, but is equally good for use in baking, cooking, and in drinks. Using powdered milk also reduces milk wastage as it spoils less frequently, and can be made in quantities that suit your needs. Some powdered milks are also fortified with added vitamins, and this may help improve your overall diet.

Stay Away From "Cheap" Food

There is always a range of ostensibly cheap foods that really aren't. Ramen noodles, also known as Two Minute noodles, or Pot Noodles in some parts of the world, actually work out to be more expensive than pasta or rice cooked in a pot, and they aren't nearly as healthy for you either. The exact brands and types of food will vary from region to region, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out which foodstuffs fall into the "cheap" category. A quick rule of thumb states that if you don't have to take more than 5 minutes cooking it, it's probably not good for you, and it probably isn't cheap at all.

Go Vegetarian

Vegetarian dishes tend to be cheaper, but they do require some knowledge and know how if you are going to create tasty meals you will want to eat, and not simply boil a few sprouts and be miserable. Once again I must refer to my first point, which is that learning to cook, especially with spices and flavorings is going to have the biggest impact on not just your food bill, but your health and your enjoyment of the food you make.

Sacrifice Convenience

We've all gotten used to being able to pick up microwave meals in supermarkets, or premixed sauces, or perhaps even preprepared meat products such as crumbed chicken or meat. We pay a premium for these products however, and they're also not particularly healthy. Canned food in particular tends to be packed with preservatives which are known to be carcinogenic (think nitrates), and yet, like fools, we often pick those products off the shelves first because they appear to be cheap, and convenient. Buying raw ingredients and making them at home may be a pain in the ass to begin with, but over time there comes a sense of reward from having made a tasty meal all on your own, and in knowing that you are no longer feeding yourself and your family foods that will harm them.


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