Does anyone else find that there is a fine line between eating healthily and shopping frugally?
Over the summer last year we were bringing in our weekly shopping bill at about £35. We were eating mostly salads for dinner and were only eating meat about 2-3 times a week.
However, now that it’s rugby season again (yay…) FruGuy needs to eat a lot more meat. And although we eat pretty healthily for the most part year-round, we’ve been making an extra effort for the past few months to eat heaps more fruit and vegetables than normal. And guess what? Our grocery bill is now back up to around £50 a week.
While it seems terrible that it costs more to be healthy, I guess that’s the way it goes. Or not… this weekend I will be focusing more on the following things in order to try to get the weekly shop down to around £40. These tips might also come in handy if you are trying to cut back on your weekly shopping bill:
This is a big one for me because I hate offal. I just find the idea of eating things like kidneys and liver beyond repugnant. But it’s CHEAP. And apparently full of important nutrients (especially iron). And a quick look through any celebrity chef website right now will show dozens of recipes designed to make offal more appealing (you can start here with BBC Food for some good tips and recipes), so I am going to try a few recipes that will help ease me into the whole thing… I’ll let you know how I get on. But initial thoughts: Ew.
You might be partial to your steaks, but your wallet will thank you if you substitue game once or twice a week. If you have a local butchers find out whether they carry any game, and ask them for advice and the best quality pieces. It’s very cheap and, as long as you’re happy to remove the shot, is versatile and easy to cook. It makes for great and warming stews and is also very lean.
If you tend to go straight for the apples, oranges, and mange tout all year round, take notice of the more seasonal vegetables for a change. They are generally much cheaper and a hell of a lot tastier. In season in January: scallops, pears, carrots, turnips, goose, leeks, squash, cabbage, parsnip, shallots, forced rhubarb, celleriac. If you are nervous about experimenting with new vegetables, check out this site for some easy January seasonal recipes.
If you never pay attention to where your produce is coming from, you could be paying over the odds for your food. If you’re lucky enough to have a year-round farmers’ market near you (find out here), you’ll notice the difference in your wallet if you buy your seasonal produce there. Or you could try your local fruit and vegetable box-drop scheme; or at the very least, check the country of origin on the fresh produce you buy in your supermarket and buy home-grown.