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The Broke Chef: Food on a Budget

Working over co-op and supporting yourself financially can be challenging. Here are a few tips that help me save money on food so that I can spend it elsewhere.

  1. Go plant-based (or mostly plant-based). In other words, cut back on meat. Meat is usually the more expensive items in your shopping cart, so bulk up your meals with veggies, fruits, and starches. Plants offer a lot of protein, and the average american gets way more protein in their diet than they actually need.
  2. Snowballing off the plant-based idea….buy produce that is in season, it will be cheaper. If you are unfamiliar with what is in season in your area check out this website which allows you to enter your location and provides you with an extensive list: 
  3. Look down when shopping. Most of the more expensive items are placed at eye level, so by simply checking the bottom shelves more often you could save money.
  4. If there are sales on non-perishable items that you use often…stock up.
  5. Rummage through your cabinets and fridge before you go grocery shopping…try to plan meals that utilize as many ingredients that you already have. This can require some creativity, but you can also plug in the ingredients you already have into this website and it will give you recipes :
  6. Eat before you shop…you will have more impulse control…hopefully!
  7. If you find a place you shop frequently, ask if they have membership cards that allow you to be incorporated in special discounts and coupons.
  8. If you often buy fresh produce and find that it goes bad before you uses it, consider buying frozen or freezing food yourself. This also works with leftovers.
  9. Lastly, hunt for yummy farmers markets…this is where you will find cheap produce, and the chance to support local farmers.

Here is a list of some budget friendly foods to get started:

potatoes, oats, whole-grain pasta, carrots, broccoli, leafy greens, beets, cabbage, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, peanuts.


Keep an eye out for posts that will include shopping lists and recipes! Send any ideas/comments/concerns my way, I’d love to hear them!

Written by

Hi, my name is Shelby Glee Pratt. I was born and raised in a small town in northern Indiana, and moved to Ohio for my undergraduate degree. I am currently still in the process of obtaining my bachelors in Psychology. Beyond that, I am trying to combine the Culinary world with Psychology. One of my biggest passions in life is cooking. More than being passionate, I am motivated to bring sustainability and ethics to the culinary industry. In my downtime I enjoy reading cook books and magazines, watching documentaries, and traveling, among other things.

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