If you plan out simple menus based on simple ingredients...stir fried veggies over rice, pasta with marinara sauce and home made foccacia, bean burritos/tostadas w/ rice, pasta w/ roasted veggies, baked potatoes stuffed with fresh broccoli....add in salads and you should be pretty good. Try to stick with whole grain breads, pasta and brown rice for more protein.
Also buy what your local grocery store has on sale that will help too.
Plenty legumes- beans and lentils are cheap.I can buy 3 tins of lentils, chickpeas and various other exotic beans for £1 in Sainsbury's, plus it's like 12p or something for tinned red kidney beans and regular baked beans.
Dried ones are even cheaper but a bit less convenient as you have to soak them.
Frozen or tinned veg might be a tad cheaper too.
Get a cookbook for some food ideas, or check out the recipe board.
Avoid convenience foods like veggie burgers, frozen dinners, or other packaged things (think pasta or rice that come in a box with a powder sauce mix for example).
Buy frozen vegetables or canned vegetables rather than fresh, if possible. They are less expensive and keep longer than fresh (frozen veggies are in most cases just as nutritious as fresh if not more so). Fresh vegetables are good, but be sure to stick to things that are in season in the area you live in. Local produce is often less expensive than something shipped in from halfway around the world.
Cook things more often from scratch--when you do the bulk of the food processing, it usually costs much less. You can cook things in large quantities and freeze the leftovers or even can things like pasta sauce, soup, chili, and salsa.
Buying staples in bulk or from bulk bins usually helps your budget, too.
You've already gotten lots of good advice, but along the lines of saving money.
Plan a menu. Really.
Write down a weeks worth of meals that sound good to you and when you go shopping make sure you have everything you need on hand, it really does save money.
Also, don't forget cooking once and doing a double or triple batch to have on hand for another day you might not feel like cooking. Veggie soups, pastas, stir frys with some brown rice are all really easy to do that with.
Also cooking a nice pot of beans and using them several different ways will also help to stretch your grocery budget.
If you do a batch of black beans, you could have black bean nachos one night, black bean soup one night and then black bean tacos with fajita veggies one night, kwim? Just cook them up, and freeze some to use for another day.
I would also suggest being careful with not buying more than you will eat in about a weeks time. Most veggies won't be at peak freshness after a weeks time, so just buy what you think you will eat in about a weeks time, this also will help to keep you grocery budget down.
But on the flip side of this, I would keep a few staples in my kitchen at all times, such as onions, garlic, potatoes and a few bags of frozen veggies. If you pick up one extra item each time you go to the store you can build a "stock pile" of things. If you only need two cans of kidney beans or tomatoes, pick up three and add any extras to your stock pile.
Before you know it, after a few months of shopping and picking up an item or two each time, you should have a nice pantry started to help keep you going in case you might be short on cash one week.
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