Whether you’re in college or you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts, you’ve likely been confronted with the harsh realities of subsistence. This article will address one of those harsh realities, having to save money on food. Here’s a list of ten tips for saving money on food, that one thing that makes life worth living.
1. When You’re Poor, Tuna Taste Fantastic
Yes, I’m using the dreaded T word. Not everyone loves tuna. The word tends to be very polarizing, with many people despising the taste. But somehow when you’re in need of money, it’s delectable. All humor aside though, if you already have an aversion to it, you won’t love it still. But tuna is a great source of protein. Plus, if you’re on a diet, it’s very low in calories. Tuna wouldn’t be a great option for me, as I’m perpetually emaciated. However, I doubt that’s the case for you.
2. Worship Eggs
Speaking of foods dense in protein, let’s talk about eggs. If you’re broke like me, you will learn to love them! They’re cheap, and they’re a fantastic source of protein. Although, despite my love for them, I acknowledge that not everyone is as fond of them as me. if you find them bland on their own, they complement many different foods. Put them in a burrito, on some meat, even in a bowl of soup. They’re a brilliant addition to almost any food.
3. Eat More Protein
The internet is probably bereft of this great advice in any “10 tips on saving money on food” article, so feel lucky. Eat. More. Protein. No, I’m not saying this so that you’ll preen in your mirror after pumping some iron. Instead, I have a much more utilitarian reason. Protein is the most satisfying of the three macronutrients. That is, foods that are protein dense satiate your body in lower portions than foods dense in fat and carbohydrates. This can be particularly useful on a diet, but it also moderates the amount of money you’re spending on food. I won’t get into the science, since I have a finite amount of space to work with. But it’s worth looking up.
4. Stop making large batches
If you’re like me, you’ll delude yourself into thinking you’re avoiding wasting time and money by cooking larger batches. While it’s important to avoid wasting food, this strategy isn’t always practicable. The temptation to eat all of the food you’ve just made can be overwhelming. If you have the self-discipline, you can portion out large quantities of food. If you’re anything like me though, that may not be the most realistic option. Just portion out what it is you’ll be making before cooking. It may not save time, but it’ll save money.
5. Complete The Survey
Most of these “10 tips for saving money on food” articles make the egregious error of not listing this. Some restaurants allow you to fill out a survey in order to receive a discount on certain items. The receipt itself will most likely have a link to the survey, and once you’ve entered in all the required information—some of which is provided on the receipt—you’ll be given a number as proof that you completed the survey. Some discounts are better than others. Just the other day I saved four dollars on a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe by completing a survey. I didn’t have to expend much mental energy, and I was able to treat myself just a bit. And the discounts aren’t just confined to smoothies. Plenty of places offer surveys in exchange for discounts.
6. Join A Warehouse Club
At places like Sam’s Club and Costco an annual fee is charged in exchange for deals that are almost incomparable. Yes, the fee is necessary just to get your foot in the door. And for good reason. The difference between the wholesale price and the retail price is significantly lower. Put simply, the difference between what the store paid for the goods and what you’ll be paying isn’t that wide of a disparity. The membership fee is minimal compared to the savings.
7. Clean Your Plate Or Don’t Waste Food
I can’t disregard this cliche in my 10 tips for saving money on food. Clean off your plate, or eat your left overs at some point. If you’re not wanting to eat your left overs, then you’re not eating what you love. Just as heart attack-inducing and delicious aren’t synonymous, so is the case for healthy and gross. Find healthy foods that you enjoy. Don’t buy a food simply because you know it’s healthy. You should love eating those leftovers.
8. Stop Hating On Canned Food
Speaking of expired foods, purchasing canned food is also a great way to avoid waste. Canned foods can last up to five years. You may know this but still have reservations. Many canned foods are harshly stigmatized and sometimes rightfully so. They can contain high levels of sodium, and many are stigmatized for bisphenol A or BPA, a substance that is known to reduce endocrine levels. Still, nowadays BPA free cans are ubiquitous, and many cans have lower sodium contents as well. Additionally, there is a way to dramatically modulate sodium levels by, for example, rinsing off your beans. It’s easy, and you’ll save money.
9. Get Frozen Fruit Instead
This piece of advice is probably the most frequent in these “10 Tips For Saving Money On Food” listicles, and probably because it’s often ignored. In my experience, there is a false dichotomy between frozen and fresh. Frozen taste just as good. Of course, I’m not as picky as some. If you’re tough to please, then dump some frozen fruit inside a smoothie. You’ll hardly taste the inferiority. Also, frozen fruit thickens the consistency of a smoothie. The taste will be reminiscent of that bouchee café you pass by everyday on the way to your shitty, minimum wage job. More importantly though, frozen fruit is significantly cheaper. For example, a bag of frozen mixed fruit can cost fifty cents less than “fresh” fruit for almost twice the amount.
10. Shop At Aldi
You can’t complete an article on 10 tips for saving money on food without noting this place. Shopping at Aldi will save tons regardless of what you’re purchasing. I can effusively go on and on about the loads of money you’ll save, but it would be pointless to mention the comparatively lower price of one item while disregarding the many other incredible deals you can find at Aldi. The place is basically a charity organization in the guise of a grocery store. If you’re not shopping at Aldi, you’re either ill-informed or I don’t respect you. Plain and simple.