Five tips to help you save on your food budget
The cost of basic essentials like food tends to escalate faster than that of luxury items like electronic goods. Those big purchases often come down in price as technologies improve, and that distorts the official inflation figures. The reality for the less well-off, who spend most or all their income on bare necessities, and who have little or no ‘fat’ in their budget to cut, is that they are living on a knife edge as never before. Every penny counts.
It’s important if your food budget is fixed and restricted not to resort too often to cheap processed foods. That will not be easy if you are trying to feed fussy kids on a shoe-string: economy fish fingers, baked beans and oven chips at least guarantee that there will be little waste.
Oven chips can be seen as a lazy and pointless alternative to proper fresh potatoes, but there is a plus side. There is no waste, children love them and you are not using oil in addition to the minimal coating already on the potatoes. Potatoes and oven chips cost about the same. So there is no harm in using the chips sometimes, though potatoes baked in their jackets are better nutritionally and can form the basis for a great meal.
Most of the time, it is better to use real fresh food, and that doesn’t have to be expensive. Children become accustomed to the food they get at home, and if most of your food is home cooked, you are creating good habits that will help the kids in the future.
Here are five suggestions to help with budgeting:
You can buy dried beans, soak them overnight, and cook them up with tomatoes for a healthier version of baked beans that is cheaper than the canned sort as well as being lighter on salt and sugar content. Get a basic set of herbs and spices to add flavour.
None of that makes it easy to feed a family well on a tight budget: it will always be a challenging task but it can bring satisfaction as well as stress.
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