A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.
~ Omar Khayyam
I just finished up a blog post on my other blog about how to make easy whole wheat bread. Check it out if you’d like to make some yummy homemade bread that is quick and easy, and all about frugal eating.
Today is not so much about recipes. There are ton of good recipes out there for all sorts of tasty plant based foods. Today is rather more about frugal eating and offering some tips and strategies about how you can best go about learning a style of eating that is frugal and minimalist.
So when I speak about frugal eating I’m talking about eating, enjoying and preparing food that is easy, quick, tasty and cheap.
Sure, you could eat an all potato diet and that sure would be frugal. And in fact it has been well demonstrated that eating an all potato diet is healthy at least for the short term. You can thrive on an all potato diet for at least 6 months. But I wouldn’t want to.
Don’t get me wrong, I love potatoes and they’re probably on my plate once a week or so if not more. Like when I’m cheating and having some french fries… oops, gift is out of its wrapper.
Discussing frugal eating is about enjoyment, saving money and time. You might not think that these 3 aspects can be easily mated in a frugal eating plan, but I think they can. You don’t have to live on bread and water to enjoy a frugal eating diet plan. And a bonus of eating frugally is that you will likely lose weight until you get to your set point for your own body.
So let’s take a look at a few strategies of making frugal eating both easy, enjoyable and doable for you.
Stay close to the farm
The first thing to consider in a frugal diet is that one of the easiest ways of eating frugally is to make sure that you limit the amount of processed foods in your diet. Ideally we wouldn’t eat any processed foods but I think that’s unreasonable and takes away some of the enjoyment of the food that we eat.
So stick close to the farm. And by this I mean make sure that the bulk of your diet is made up of whole, unprocessed plant foods.
So brown rice over white. Whole wheat bread over white bread. In fact if you make your own bread it is both healthier and more nourishing.
The same with veggies. If you can buy them fresh once or twice a week that is better than frozen, though frozen is better than canned, though canned is better than none 🙂 Center your diet on whole grains, beans and legumes and veggies with ample fruits as snacks.
Keep the moo in the cow
One of the easiest if not the easiest ways of minimalist eating or frugal eating is to enjoy a plant based whole foods diet. This is so often overlooked which is a shame as it is easy and saves you money.
I know it might be hard to change your diet and eliminate animal products, but if you can let the cow keep her moo you’re well on your way to eating frugally. Eating like a frugalvore 😉
Food makes up a large part of our social and familial experiences and I get that. I think that is why it is so hard for some folks to embrace plant based eating. But here are some strategies that you might want to try.
Eat only plant based foods at home. This makes it easy to eliminate up to 90% of the saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. It also helps protect you from food borne diseases, and that’s all about being a frugal chef is it not.
Buy a plant based cookbook to get you started and follow along with step 3 below. I recommend this cookbook if you’re just getting started on a plant based diet.
Making your meals at home plant based means that you can indulge and cheat a little if you’re out with friends and no one really needs to know that you’ve gone vegan or plant based. Your new frugal body and health will thank you.
Practice makes perfect
Practicing something over and over again makes it easy to do and you become an expert in it. The same can be said for frugal cooking and eating.
Keep practicing the same recipes. Choose a dozen or so and become expert and preparing them. Choose your very favourites. Most of eat the same meals and foods over and over again over the course of a week or a couple of weeks.
So why not choose your favourite dozen and rotate them in and out of your minimal eating lifestyle and frugal cooking skills.
You’ll find that you won’t get bored and you will have great tasting frugal food to enjoy that is quick to make and easy to prepare. Cooking and eating this way means you only have to head to the grocery store about once a week for the forthcoming week’s frugal menu of delicious eating.
Some last tips are to enjoy quick and easy breakfasts. Oatmeal, toast, maybe tofu scrambles, hash browns on toast. Lunches can be easy soups or sandwiches and salads. I save the more labor intensive frugal recipes for dinner time when I have a bit more time at home to cook the meals.
A (wo)man a plan a frugal diet and you can… have your cake and eat it too.