We're also currently on a budget due to the economy.. and I will say that we definitely haven't been hitting up the fast food chains due to this! In fact, we've been even more inclined to eat homemade food.I will agree that vegetables and other fresh produce are NOT cheaper than fast food ($7 for 4 red peppers!) but I don't think it's more expensive either.If someone really wants to eat cheap - the pasta aisle is what will do the trick - not the fast food restaurant.As for our tips and tricks - the produce section is still the place where I spend the majority of our grocery money - and that amount hasn't changed - I don't want to compromise on produce. BUT what lean protein we eat, snacks, etc (i.e. everything BUT produce) is greatly determined by what's on sale that week. Period. Chicken is on sale? Perfect - we're eating chicken! No lean meat on sale this week? Maybe I'll make a black bean chili. Be flexible and have a lot of recipes to turn to!
I ♥ you....BIG TIME.
I don't buy organic, because it's too expensive (I will reconsider this where strawberries are concerned). Other than that I try to shop at the cheaper grocery stores, buy no-name staples, garden (not everyone has space for a big garden, but some things can be grown in pots on a windowsill), etc. One tip that helped me a lot is to use reconstituted dry milk for cooking. I bought a bag months ago, and I still have a lot left. Haven't been able to bring myself to try drinking it yet, though.If you're interested, check out this website: http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=ab-frugallivingI love reading it (and occasionally posting), and I've gotten so many good ideas from there!
I think the people going through the drive-thru are the same people that were going through the drive-thru anyway. They are just ordering from the dollar menus instead of the regular menus instead. People can justify anything in their heads.
It's funny, because every time I go to the store....the least expensive part of my bill is the veggies! I never understood why people always say it's the crappy food that is inexpensive....$5 spent at a drive thru can buy a crap load of veggies....I think the best way to save money on food in trying times, is to shop seasonal. Seasonal veggies and fruits can be very inexpensive and iof you have access to a farm market, it's almost always worth the extra trip there for your fruits and veggies. Also, there are almost always lean meats and poultry on sale at some point. My advice would be for people on a budget (like myself) to actually read the flyers in the papers and shop, and stock up when the items are less expensive. Also, get creative with your menus! You'd be shocked what you can do with a chicken breast. Use the internet for recipes and make it fun!
I do not believe it is a recession problem. People stopped cooking and started eating out long before any recession. Eating out seems to be all about the quantity of food not the quality. Portion control is out of control. It's no wonder people are getting big. There's just too much processed food out there that people buy because it is easy to prepare and eat. It takes effort to eat right and it seems most people do not have the time or the inclination. At the end of the week when you add up how much is spent eating out versus how much good food that money could have bought. I think people would be surprised.
I don't think it has anything to do with the recession ... I think a lot of it has to do with how we were raised, what we were taught, and whether we're too lazy to cook. People have been going to the fast food restaurants long before the recession and they will be when things start getting better with the economy.We're on a budget and we still manage to have most of our groceries be fresh produce. I think it's just a matter of buying just what you need, buying no name brands if possible, and looking for the sales. We also shop at grocery stores that sell things a lot cheaper then say Sobey's or Metro.
Hmmm, after buying a house in 2000 we were on an extremely limited budget. I made very bad choices in the grocery store to limit our grocery costs. Some were good, but others were bad. We ate a lot of casserole's bulked with bread, pasta or rice. Talk about getting sick of ground beef...A lot of it had to do with that I didn't know how to eat. That's right. Portions. How much of what. Everything. Now I have some knowledge and it's very powerful. Produce is cheap, but not when you're feeding the composter. Planning is the key - and sometimes that means stir-fry Thursdays and a few minutes to chop of the produce before it goes bad and toss it in the freezer.Love ya, Mouse.
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