How To Add More Vegetables On A Budget
Eating healthy and sticking to your food budget is difficult. But it doesn’t need to be. There are many tips you can use to increase the “real food” on your table on a budget, including vegetables.
The fear is that when you have a tight food budget that you are limited to a selection of “food bank” type food items. Items such as the:
- pasta noodles
- pasta sauce
- canned vegetables
- meat in a can
- fruit cups in sugar syrup
- dry cereal
- peanut butter
- brown beans
- beans such as chick peas, kidney, or mixed
But this is not true.
Starting with this article you will be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE. You are going to break down these myths that separate you from getting real meat and vegetables into your home.
Here at Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs, we are always looking for ways to help you achieve this. As well as doing it for ourselves. You see, we live well below the national poverty line also. However, we are not on any government assistance programs, and we do not go to food banks either.
Food is a high priority item in our budget, second only to the housing costs.
How Much Is Your Vegetable Budget?
First steps always include figuring out what money you actually have to work with. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for our Free Stuff Community and receive the FREE Basic Budgeting Worksheet for Beginners right now. In there you will find a way to calculate how much you should be spending on your Food Budget.
You should receive your free worksheet (10 pages in fact) in just a moment.
Once you have figured out the 16-18% of your monthly income that you have to use towards your food purchases, you need to do one more step. In the article, How To Spend Your Food Dollar, it goes into further detail about this.
But for today, let’s take the following example to get you started.
Monthly Income: $1,000
16-18% of that Income: $160-$180 a month available for groceries
20% of that for Vegetables: $32-$36 a month is to be used for vegetables
With a few simple calculations you can quickly determine a cash dollar number that you can aim for.
Because if you don’t have a goal, just any old path will do if you don’t know where you are going.
Now that you have a dollar amount to work with you can start finding the best ways to stretch it. Barry and I are this example, however, because we rank the value of vegetables to be of high importance in our diets and health, we actually spend $50 a month. In order to do this, we take the extra needed funds from another area in the grocery budget. For us, we don’t eat grains, so there is no need to buy breads, cereals, or pasta. This is more than sufficient to give the extra funds necessary to buy more vegetables in our case.
5 Ways To Buy More Vegetables For Less Money
There are many ways that you can buy vegetables for less money than you may think. Although you might want to have a few canned vegetables in your Pantry for an emergency, we really want to look at ways to put fresh vegetables in front of your family.
- Start your grocery shopping trip at the Reduced Price Produce Section. There are times when a simple $5 will easily buy a couple of weeks vegetables. This is an excellent way to get started and get some fresh vegetables on your table.
- Many communities, usually through a Social Services Department, offer a collective vegetable buying initiative. One such program offered in many regions of Ontario and across Canada is known as The Good Food Box. To see if the program is available in your region, check this Good Food Box link. For a predetermined amount every month you get an assortment of fresh vegetables that typically will be for less than at the grocery store.
- Our community in Muskoka, does not have the Good Food Box, however, we have the Fresh Food Basket Program. It is slightly different, but the principle behind it is the same.
- Frugal Friday Flyer—whether you make your own, or use the flyers we post for our region—see which vegetables are on sale. Especially when in season—you can get some really reduced prices.
- Grow your own. Now this doesn’t produce overnight vegetables for you and your family. But after getting started with the ideas listed above, make some time and garden area to grow some of your own. Even on a balcony you can grow a couple of planter pots of items. Try some lettuce, tomatoes, or even a bean plant. You could even join a Community Garden.
Get More Vegetables In Your Budget
As you can see there are many simple ways for you to start getting fresh vegetables both in your budget and on your table. When you know how to add more vegetables on a budget, your entire family’s health will improve as a result.
So, get started today. Find out how much you have available to use just for the purchasing of vegetables. Next, find ways to stretch that money further and get more vegetables for your dollars.
You can do this! You are now EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE, and more vegetables in your budget.