7 Ways To Eat On The Cheap

By Trilby Goouch
Blogs Editor

Need help making your back to school budget? If you're anything like me, every school year starts out with the intention of sticking to a budget, then suddenly my debit gets declined at Starbucks and it's only...November!? Determined to get it right this year and exist on more than baked beans and ramen noodles, I asked fellow students for tips and tricks on staying on budget and still eating healthy.

Here’s what I learned on how to economize in the kitchen:

1. Frozen produce is your friend. When vegetables and fruit go on sale stock up. Thaw for homemade parfaits, smoothies, or fruit pies
• Veggies can be used for stews, sides, pastas, stir frys...endless possibilities.
2. Carnivore? Buy it in bulk and freeze.
3. Load your pantry with canned food. Use in salads, stews, soups and curries.
• Chickpeas and lentils are especially versatile and an instant source of protein
4. Grains are cheap and make a great filling or base for any meal. Quinoa and rice can be paired it with:
• A fillet of salmon, chicken breast or other grilled meats
• Lentils or chickpeas for a cold salad
• Berries, nuts and some milk for a breakfast cereal
• Some flour and veggies for homemade meatless burgers
• Curries and stir-fried veggies
5. Head to the dollar store for basics like oatmeal, raisins, baking goods and trail mix (which you can get for just $2!)
6. Freeze big meals in individual portions for quick lunches and dinners.
• Lasagna, quiche, shepherd’s pie, curry and stew are especially good for this
7. Invest in a deep freezer. If you split the cost between your housemates it can be an affordable purchase that is incredibly useful. Store anything from pre-made dishes, frozen fruit and vegetables, meats, stews, soups, cookie dough, bread.

Now comes the hard part-sticking to your budget. Becoming a smart meal planner and grocery shopper takes practice. If you need a helping hand, here are some resources I plan on utilizing in the upcoming year:

Food On The Table: Matches grocery store discounts and sales with your unique preferences.

Pepperplate: Helps plan your meals while organizing your grocery list and scaling recipes to serve one.

groupon.com: Great resource for affordable dining that provides discounts on local eats.

Do you have any money-saving tips and tricks? Let us know!

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