5 Tips for Eating Well on a Budget

Are you on a budget and looking for items to cut down on? Are you an undergrad/grad student with a limited budget? Maybe even an entrepreneur and/or working for a startup? Don’t worry I got you! During the past 10 years, I have been an undergrad student, then a grad student living in Monterey (one of the top US 10 unaffordable cities) then I had to do an unpaid internship in Washington DC, another unaffordable city. That wasn’t the end of my budgeting necessity sequel! I moved to San Francisco and worked for a nonprofit… Long story short, I learned how to manage my finances and downsize. Yes, I am a huge foodie; however, I still managed to eat on a very tight budget and enjoy the food that I was eating. Here are some tips for you!

 

1- Go vegetarian for a while

Nowadays, with all the commercial meat farms and the information that we get with regards to the meat industry, you’d better have them organic and free-range. Free-range organic meat, poultry, and fish are very pricey, thus, lentils, beans, eggs, and tofu will become your best friends in terms of your protein intake! Those vegetarian items are much cheaper and high in protein and fiber. They will definitely help you maintain your nutrient intake and save you some cash.

Eating on a budget

 

2- Eat when in season

Know your fruits and vegetables. Produce is much cheaper and healthier when in-season because they are grown locally and transportation costs to your local grocery store are much cheaper. Don’t know what’s in-season? Check out this list here

Pro tip: Buy fruits and veggies when they are in the peak season and when they are the cheapest and freeze them. Strawberries are my favorite fruit to freeze, you can later use it for smoothies and milkshakes.  

 

Eating on a budget

 

3- Know what’s worth buying organic

Organic produce is much more expensive that the non-organic. I normally splurge on the vegetables and fruits that are worth buying organic; which are known to contain a higher amount of pesticides. It’s better to know your what’s worth it and what’s not worth it, because after all, you can’t buy everything organic. I have done my research and here is my list of produce that is worth buying organic: (peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, potatoes and carrots). Other fruits and vegetables contain a much lower amount of pesticides which make them “safer” to buy non-organic. I’d recommend starting with the items that you consume that most i.e: eggs and milk and always buy those organic.

Pro tip: Shop at your local grocery or your local farmers market, ask them about their produce. They may not be using pesticides, but aren’t necessarily organic certified! 

Eating on a budget

 

4- Plan your meals ahead

I cannot emphasize this one enough! Plan your meals week-by-week and cook one or two times a week and store them in plastic containers or glass jars. In addition to that, never ever go to the store hungry and make a list of what you need and the quantity that is needed in order to minimize waste. In this case, you will always have food available and you won’t need to eat out = saving money.

Pro tip: If you really want to go eat out with friends for an occasion or something, make sure to eat something beforehand, so you don’t end up ordering a lot of food. 

Eating on a budget

 

5- Stock up on frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables have a high shelf life and are also high in nutrients if they are frozen right when fresh. I highly recommend stocking up on them, especially when there are offers or sales. Frozen vegetables are also much cheaper than the fresh vegetables and they come in handy (especially for soups and stews) and they are easier to use. 

eating on a budget

These are my tips for today! I hope you enjoy them and that they make your life (and pockets) a little easier. If you have any more tips for eating on a budget, please report back to us, I’d love to know your ways! If you still want to eat on a budget and are short on time, our chefs will be more than happy to cater to your budget. Message us on our concierge page with your requests! Happy budgeting!