Smart food approaches to tackle economic turmoil
With inflation reaching an all-time high of 36 percent, masses are finding it challenging to afford even a single meal in a day. In today’s sinking economic scenario, many individuals and families are grappling with the issue of how to afford a meal within the given budget and resources. Planning smart food approaches is crucial to avert the issues of food security, rising food prices, and financial uncertainties. Fortunately, with appropriate planning and effective management, it is feasible to enjoy affordable and nourishing meals. Here are a few effective tips to help you pay for a meal in today’s situation:
Plan Your Meals: Take a few minutes each week to plan your meals and create a grocery list to help you stay organized during the week. This way, you can avoid impulsive purchases, buy only what you need, reduce food waste, and save money. Creating such plans is very effective in daily life, enabling people to survive in these conditions and have a good meal.
Buy in Bulk: It’s a good idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk. Cost savings can be achieved by purchasing grains, canned goods, and frozen vegetables in larger quantities. Buying in bulk is a way to save money and an easy way to ensure you have a meal. By cooking in batches, you can stretch your budget by preparing larger quantities at once. Cook a lot of soup, stew, or casserole and put away any leftovers for later meals.
Consider Store-Brand Products: Often, store-brand products are just as good as their name-brand counterparts but have a lower cost. Test them out to determine if they meet your requirements. If they do, use them. Watch for sales offers, discounts, and coupons offered by local stores or online platforms to significantly reduce your grocery expenses.
Start a Small Garden: If feasible, start a small garden or grow herbs near your window to produce your own fruits and vegetables. Homegrown produce can add flavor to your meals and help you save money. It is affordable and also good for your health. You can even consider starting a small business by using your own grown products, which gives you more profit with less investment.
Choose Seasonal Products: Opt for seasonal products, mainly fruits and vegetables, as they are often cheaper and more suitable from a health perspective.
Limit Dining Out: The cost of eating at restaurants can quickly add up. Keep dining out for special occasions and concentrate on preparing meals at home. Incorporate more affordable staple foods like rice, beans, lentils, pasta, and potatoes into your nutritious meals—they are not only economical but also versatile.
Share Expenses: Collaborate with your friends or neighbors to share the cost of groceries and cooking responsibilities. Sharing meals can help foster a sense of community while also lowering individual expenses.
Cook from Raw Ingredients: Compared to prepackaged and processed foods, cooking from raw ingredients is often more cost-effective and healthier. To avoid food waste and save money on ingredients for additional meals, repurpose leftovers into new dishes.
In a nutshell, remember that offering a meal in the current situation requires adaptability and resourcefulness. By following these guidelines and being mindful of your spending habits, you can ensure the well-being of yourself and your family without compromising your financial stability. Prioritizing health and budget-friendly choices can not only reduce your financial burden but also lead to a more sustainable lifestyle by fulfilling your daily dietary requirements.
Manan Aslam is affiliated with the School of Management at Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China. Additionally, he holds a position in the Department of Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship Development at MNS University of Agriculture in Multan, Pakistan.