12 Ways to Eat Well for Less
Just a few extra dollars can mean a world of difference for your food’s quality and taste. Know when to save and when to splurge to get the most out of your grocery budget.
Save by Buying Frozen Produce
Here’s why: It’s cheaper than out-of-season fresh produce and is often higher in nutrients. It’s also usually better tasting because it’s frozen right after picking.
Splurge on Pasta
Here’s why: Generic and bargain-basement pastas often end up as a mushy mess. You don’t have to spend a whole lot more to get chefs’ picks, which are used in top restaurants.
Save by Buying Everyday Oil
Here’s why: When oil is going to be cooked, you can usually substitute vegetable or regular olive oil, even if the recipe calls for extra-virgin. High heat destroys much of the taste, so save the premium extra-virgin for recipes where it won’t be cooked.
Save by Skipping Bottled Water
Here’s why: That idyllic blue stream on the label likely has nothing to do with your drink: many bottled water brands come straight from purified municipal taps. Use a simple home filter instead.
Splurge on Honey
Here’s why: You don’t need to go for a wildflower artisanal blend, but check the label carefully. Often the cheap “honey” in a bear squeeze jar is mixed with corn syrup.
Save by Skipping Frozen Hamburgers
Here’s why: Preformed frozen burgers cost more than plain ground beef-and you can make patties yourself in less than ten seconds each! Plus, E. coli might be more prevalent in the frozen patties.
Splurge on Coffee
Here’s why: In blind taste tests, premium coffee scored significantly better than standard quality brands. If you’re drinking coffee daily, it’s worth spending more – you definitely taste the difference.
Save On Wine
Here’s why: Consumers and wine experts liked inexpensive bottles just as much as their pricey counterparts in a large-scale blind tasting.
Splurge on Chocolate
Here’s why: One-dollar bars combine 20-plus ingredients to create a bar-shaped amalgam of brown chemicals. For a little more, you could get real dark chocolate which will satisify your sweet tooth for less.
Save by Skipping Specialty Baking Mixes
Here’s why: Consumer Reports’ taste tests prove that Duncan Hines brownies are just as showstopping as ones made from pricier gourmet mixes.
Save on Cheese
Here’s why: If you’re melting or mixing the cheese with other ingredients, go cheap! Save the $20-per-pound artisanal triple-crèmes for a special cheese plate.
Save by Skipping Light Juices
Here’s why: To make reduced-calorie versions of these products, companies just add water (and maybe artificial sweetener or thickener). Buy the regular version and water it down yourself.