Living on a budget can sometimes feel like a daunting task, especially when monthly income is low and payment obligations each month are high. In addition to keeping a watchful eye on extra purchases, debt repayment and savings, individuals can make a difference in their monthly budget process by watching what they spend on the food they eat. Although buying less expensive meals may feel like a painful task, these appetizing tricks can easily make inexpensive food more enjoyable.
Good food without the big budget
Splurge on the Sauce
Most people who have lived on a tight budget are aware of the common inexpensive items that quickly become the go-to main dish for each meal. Pasta, rice and beans are easy on anyone’s budget and can be found in any grocery store, but these staples can get old quickly. Instead of relying on butter and salt for seasoning, you can make these common inexpensive food dishes pop with the right sauce. Try a canned alfredo or tomato-based for pasta or rice dishes, or find an easy to make sauce from ingredients you already have at home. This is a sure fire way of spicing up good food while keeping to the constraints of your budget.
Add Flavor to your Meat
Chicken breast and beef roast are often available for much less than a prime cut steak or fish, but these options can end up dried out and chewy if not prepared correctly. A great way to keep within your budget while using these meat cuts is to add a marinade before cooking. You can keep chicken moist and full of flavor by using a simple marinade of soy sauce and pineapple juice, and a roast can easily be taken to the next level by letting it sit and marinate over night. There are prepared marinades that can be purchased for a minimal amount at the store, or you can try your hand at a recipe found online to create good food.
Buy “Bargain” Fruit and Veggies
Although the fresh, colourful fruit and vegetables at the front of the store may look more appetizing than their overly ripe counterparts, buying these staples from the bargain bin can save your food budget each month. Blemished fruits can be used for breakfast smoothies or sauces easily, while near-their-prime vegetables can be pureed and incorporated into just about any meal.
If you’re living on a tight budget, compromising on the food you purchase and eat does not have to mean bland, boring meals. Instead, use sauces to your advantage, take a few extra minutes to let your meat marinate, and don’t be afraid of less than perfect fruits and veggies. Each of these tips will ensure you are eating good food that you enjoy and not stepping outside your budget comfort zone.