Nowadays, when you think of eating cheap, you think of fast and easy as well. While it may be more convenient to eat off the dollar menu, or buy those high calorie pre-packaged meals at the store that are on clearance, you’re not really getting the best deal. What you are paying for is the bells and whistles (packaging and marketing) and all those fillers and preservatives that provide no nutritional value to you. But if you know what to look for, you can eat very well, and healthy, on a low or fixed budget.

1. Limit Meat Consumption

Meat is typically the most expensive item in your grocery cart, and designating one or two days a week to having no meat will greatly reduce your cost, and it is great for your health!

2. Buy In Season

It is possible to have those really nice fruits and vegetables that you like to splurge on from time to time, all you have to do is pace yourself and wait until they are in season. If there is something that you absolutely love and the price is right, buy in modest bulk and freeze what you don’t use immediately. Just check beforehand to see how long they will keep in the freezer, and be sure to use it all before then to avoid waste.

3. Buy Frozen Instead Of Fresh When Possible

More often than not, frozen fruits and vegetables have the same nutritional value as buying fresh, and it is almost always a great deal cheaper.

4. Make A Weekly Meal Plan

Take an hour out of your Sunday to go through the weekly grocery specials and make a list of meals for every day of the following week, and make your grocery list accordingly. This will save you a great deal of money and cut down on waste.

5. Buy Store Brand As Much As Possible

Most store brand products are almost, if not exactly, the same as name brands. Of course, there may be a few items here and there that you are certain are just not the same otherwise, but the staples such as pasta, rice, bread, etc. won’t let you down with the store brand, and you will save a great deal of money right off the bat.

For more great tips on eating well on a low budget, check out this blog from Frugal Living!