Eating on a budget doesn’t always have to be ramen and an obscure can of vegetables found in the back of your cabinet. Many days, it may seem like you are eating your money and it doesn’t even taste good. Here are a few easy ways to eat on a budget without sacrificing taste.

1. Make a list and budget

TYLER BURRUS |FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

TYLER BURRUS |FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

A trip to the grocery is equally equivalent with a trip to the testing center. Being prepared is key. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. When you’re hungry, everything looks good. Whenever you’re prepared with a list, you’re less likely to make impulse purchases. Write out how much you want to spend on groceries for the month and stick to it. Having a budget will help with making smarter decisions as well.

2. Cook once, eat twice

Photo Illustration by Chase Lawrenson -- The Upper Valley Food Bank collects cans to fill their pantry. According to the press release, there is a large gro of residents in the Rexburg area who are living 130 percent above poverty level, but don’t make enough to pay mortgages, rent and car payments.

Photo Illustration by Chase Lawrenson

Cook more than you are planning to eat at that moment. Doubling recipes puts you one step ahead of your next meal. If you cook two or three major meals a week, you’ll have lunches and dinners planned for the other days. Not having to cook and just eating leftovers is also time-saving and easy.

3. Add Sauce

TED EYTAN | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

TED EYTAN | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

 

Eating the same bland beans, rice, and pasta can be cheap but they can be boring just by themselves. Many times adding flavored butter, salt and pepper just doesn’t cut it. Try something new and experiment. Sauces that you add don’t have to complicated and intense. Just adding spaghetti sauce to pasta can change a meal. Adding sauce to these cheap staple meals can bring a whole new light to cheap foods.

4. Cook more, eat out less

Food, Places to eat

Cooking for yourself will always be cheaper than eating out. Cooking more and eating out less is generally healthier and drastically cheaper. This doesn’t mean that eating out has to be cut out entirely. Just even cutting out two or three meals that you would’ve eaten can save you about $15 to $20. Not eating out frequently is an easy way to save money.

5. Dress up the ramen

JEFFERY W | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

JEFFERY W | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

No one really knows how ramen ends up in their cabinets, but it is always there. There are many ways that ramen can be elevated without using the spice packet offered. Adding leftover chicken and vegetables can make a simple ramen meal into a better tasting and cheaper alternative.