How to Make a Cheap Grocery List
Go for the Grains
- Polenta doesn’t have to be difficult to cook - prepare it in the microwave and you’ll not have to worry about burning!
- When boiling pasta, be sure to salt the water and make sure your pot is adequately full of water. Do not rinse pasta after draining- that’ll wash away the starch on the noodles that helps sauces adhere.
- If you cook rice in the bottom of a steamer, you can steam vegetables, prepare your rice, and enrich your rice with healthy vitamins and extra flavor all in one go!
Veer Toward Vegetarianism
If cutting back on meat seems impossible to you, just trust me that it’s not. As a once near-carnivore who even salivated when poking at her pet cat’s succulent legs (yes, they were very tender and juicy feeling), I can tell you that it is possible to make the switch.
Aside from saving money by going vegetarian, you can help the environment by cutting back on meat - not to mention aid your health. It’s certainly something to consdier!
- To transition away from eating so much meat, consider enjoying Meatless Mondays - or one other day a week on which you do not eat meat.
- Make sure that you are still consuming enough protein in meals in which you’re not eating meat. Good sources of protein include tofu, legumes (especially when paired with rice or corn), nuts, seeds, milk, and cheese.
Make your own desserts
- Want to avoid the oven but still have a ripping good time? Slice bananas down the center and dust the open centers with sugar. Torch the sugared tops with a creme brulee torch until the sugar coating boils, then let cool. What results is a delicious banana glazed with a crunchy, sweet, caramelized top!
- Check out some of my dessert recipes - the pumpkin cookies, molasses spice cookies, and vegan chocolate cake recipes are especially easy to handle.
Avoid the classic processed foods here ^_^;;
Avoid processed foods
So long as you manage to follow a simple recipe, you’ll find that foods made from scratch are much better than their prepared counterparts.
What’s more, it’s healthier to avoid processed foods- often because they are packed with sodium and other ingredients that are less than optimal. It’s nice to have more control over the food one makes, and making things from scratch helps with that.
- A dollop of curry paste can add amazing flavor to rice - Thai Curry Paste variations are my favorite.
- Cook rice, bulgur, polenta, and other grains in vegetable or chicken broth- it adds a wonderfully warm flavor
- Topping grains of all sorts with a bit of Parmesan cheese can always brighten the flavor :D
Avoid alcohol and drinks
I’d save alcohol for social events only, and if all events are social events for you... well... perhaps you might considering opting for less expensive drinks- even water- every now and then.
If alcohol is the primary means by which you relax, consider establishing other relaxing rituals- from exercising to taking walks to playing video games or knitting. There are tons of alternatives that are both healthier and less expensive than consuming alcoholic beverages. Just a thought.
If you want to cut costs on drinks even more, avoid buying juices and other drinks altogether. They’re often packed with sweeteners- be they artificial or otherwise- and don’t offer much nutritional value, plus they’re also way pricier than the healthiest alternative - water - which is EXTREMELY inexpensive!
Bonus Tip: Bike to your store!
I’ve never owned a car... I just don’t want the hassle of maintaining, parking, and paying for one (I prefer private chauffeurs- hahaa)
The added benefit? Reduced medical bills.
One of the major benefits of following the above guidelines is that you’ll end up eating healthier as well as cheaper. When you indulge in a healthy diet and buy basic ingredients instead of processed foods, you save money in the long term by offering yourself the benefit of preventative health care. Since so many of today’s major diseases are associated with unhealthy diets, one of the best ways to treat them is to not get them at all by eating well :D