For a family of four within the US, the average food bill is from $586 to $1,159. Meat makes up for forty percent or more of that spending budget. Reducing your grocery spending budget is something individuals are investigating as food costs are expected to rise within the next five years. Eating cheaper shouldn’t mean eating less healthy.
The math behind an affordable diet
A healthy cheap diet doesn't necessarily mean a diet that takes more work. Although $1 burgers from a restaurant may seem cheap, they are costly. Every month a family of four will eat 360 meals. A liberal food spending budget of $1,159 means each meal should be no more than $3.22. Eating less meat is an easy way to cut down how much you spend.
The idea of ‘weekday vegetarian’
Even though going vegetarian totally is cheaper often, it isn’t a move people want to make. If you cut meat out of your diet, it can save you around $200 a month. You are able to in addition try making meat a much smaller portion of your entire meal - the USDA recommended serving size for meat is just 3 ounces, not the five to eight that most Americans eat. If you eat just a little less meat, your checkbook will thank you.
What should you eat?
If you are not eating meat, that doesn't mean vegetables should substitute anything as part of your diet (though a lot more vegetables never hurt everyone). Protein is very important in helping you feel full after a meal though. Protein needs to replace the meat somehow. Replace your meat with:
- Rice and beans – 20 cents per serving
- Hummus – 30 cents per serving
- Lentils with a nut sauce – 45 cents per serving
- Oatmeal with milk - about 25 cents per serving
The essential idea is to combine legumes, grains and nuts collectively. Protein isn’t made out of these 3 groups alone. Together, any two do.