Be a Frugal Foodie

Be a Frugal Foodie

If you have a large appetite for good food, but a ridiculously small budget to go along with it, your taste buds don’t have to suffer. There are easy ways to still live it up (at least in the kitchen) without breaking the bank. So, read on for some serious hacks to become a frugal foodie.


Eat what’s in season

Food prices are generally lowest when there is an abundant supply. Learn what’s in season, and make your meal plan around that list. Not sure what’s growing now? Ask the helpful folks in the produce department and look for local.  You can also check out the seasonal food guide for Wisconsin over at Farm Flavor.


Buy in bulk

Bulk products cost much less because there is not the added cost of packaging and marketing associated with them. Plus, you can buy as much or as little as you need. Look for herbs and spices in bulk, too. No need to buy a gajillion dollar bottle of saffron when you can just purchase a pinch! Bring in your own container and we’ll even give you a nickel. New to buying in bulk? Check out this In the Bulk Section overview at Stronger Together.


Cook from scratch

You’re a busy person. Packaged products are convenient. But if you love food and can set aside a little extra time, you can save a fair bit of money by cooking from scratch. Plus, making meals from raw ingredients allows you to explore meals that are not available in packaged form.  Spruce Eats has a handy section called How to Cook Everything From Scratch that will totally help get you started.


Process your proteins

Purchasing a whole chicken is way less expensive per pound than buying already deboned cuts (we’re looking at you, boneless chicken breasts). Plus, a whole chicken can be used for multiple meals. Roast the bird the first day and eat the breasts with some salad. On the second day, chow down on the drumsticks. On the third day, use whatever is leftover to make chicken noodle soup. Leave it to Martha Stewart to have a super tutorial on How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken. Consider what other types of meat you might also be able to cut up on your own. Or consider ditching animal proteins altogether, since plant-proteins cost less.


Preserve great deals

When you spy your favorite fruit or veggie on sale, stock up and save some for later. Whether you choose to freeze, can, or dehydrate it, having some delicious produce available at the ready that you bought at a cheap price helps you save in more ways than one. Check out this primer on Preserving Your Organic Harvest over at Stronger Together.


Share with friends

Gather up your foodie friends, dig through your pantry, and divvy up all the specialty items in there such as fancy spices or sauces. If you’re really good buddies, make meal plans together and split up the grocery bill and goods. This can be especially helpful if you live alone. Not sure what to you herbs and spices you should have on hand? Dig into this list of 10 Essential Spices & Dried Herbs for Every Home Cook from Zestful Kitchen.