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Tue Jan 8, 2019, 08:34 AM

10 ways to eat frugally this month


10 ways to eat frugally this month
Katherine Martinko, January 7, 2019

Adopting simpler cooking and eating habits can help you get through January's financial squeeze.

January can be a tight month financially. It's the time for reckoning with excessive holiday spending and paying off one's credit card bills. For many Americans the situation has been made worse this year, due to the government shutdown that is withholding pay checks. Needless to say, it's a month for hunkering down and making do with less.

One of the best ways to save a considerable amount of money is to embrace a simpler form of cooking. Many other cultures know how to cook delicious, nourishing food with low-cost ingredients, but this skill is harder to find in the United States, where low-cost eating is commonly associated with processed, prepackaged, and/or fast foods. Look at countries like Italy, India, and Brazil (among many others), and you can see budget-conscious eating in action, without it being really obvious. If you were to implement the lessons observed from these places throughout January, your bank account would thank you by the end of the month. So how does one go about cooking on a serious budget?

1. Plan all of your meals.
Sit down once per week and figure out what you're going to eat for the next 5-7 days. The more doubling up of meals, the easier and cheaper it will be. Plan the meals around what's on sale, what you've already got on hand, and what you'll be buying for other dishes. Or you could be really Brazilian and just eat the same thing every day – black beans, rice, and some sautéed greens on the side.

2. Eat less meat and dairy.
Meat and dairy are very costly relative to other forms of protein, so they should be used sparingly if you're trying to save money. It's better for the planet, too. Go veg at home for the month and see how that feels. Get your protein from alternative sources like beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, eggs, and nuts (when on sale).

3. Choose your recipe sources wisely.
This has a huge effect on what I want to cook and eat. When I'm trying to save money, I look at budget-conscious websites and cookbooks. I avoid books that call for expensive ingredients. A great resource I've recently discovered is Budget Bytes, which offers recipes, meal planning tips, and a guide to calculating the cost per serving.

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Reply 10 ways to eat frugally this month (Original post)
NeoGreen Jan 2019 OP
violetpastille Jan 2019 #1

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2019, 11:22 AM

1. I love budgetbytes.

It makes meal-planning and shopping very streamlined. No waste.

I think Beth is doing a Vegetarian month on budgetbytes this January.

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