10 Helpful Tips for a Lower Food Budget. Think Eggs.
Are you looking for ways towards a lower food budget but still creating healthy satisfying meals for your family? I’ve created a list of 10 helpful tips to think about when you do your meal planning and shopping. But first a bit of a background to lay the ground work … since many of my tips incorporate the star of our blog “The egg”.
Eggs are hovering at their lowest price since 2006 …. that’s in over 10 years. The average cost of eggs in the US in May was $1.41 per dozen….a bit higher in California. Now that is cheap, healthy protein. Remember the avian influenza in 2015; it sent egg prices soaring. There was a huge shortage of eggs. But no longer. All those egg farmers in the Midwest have ramped up their production and now there is a huge oversupply of eggs. So that means lower costs to you as a shopper and a lower food budget.
Here are 10 helpful food budget tips to consider… So take advantage of those inexpensive eggs.
- Buy your eggs in large quantities, they stay fresh for 4-5 weeks — they are even cheaper in bulk. They will last 4-5 weeks after the date they are packed as long are they are kept refrigerated at 45 °F or lower. The Julian date (the date eggs were packed) is usually found on the short side of the carton and represents the consecutive days of the year with the number 001 as January 1 and December 31 as 365.
- Deviled Eggs for the summer potlucks. These are a big hit everywhere and easy to make. Probably the least expensive side dishes you can share. Read my Deviled egg blog post for some great variation on the simple deviled egg.
- Eggs for breakfast. Scrambled eggs are much less expensive than boxed cereal. They are higher in protein and contain loads of vitamins and essential nutrients.
- Purchase the fruits and vegetables that are in season. The price is always lower during the height of the season. They taste better too.
- Egg salad sandwiches for lunch. If you haven’t had an egg salad sandwich lately. They are heavenly and I have never met a kids that doesn’t agree. Also, my mom used to make tuna egg salad sandwiches which are devilishly good.
- Pick the fruit in your neighborhood. If you see a fruit tree in your neighborhood that going unpicked, ask your neighbor if you can help them out and pick it for them for a share of the crop. You can freeze any excess.
- Participate in “Meatless Monday” and try going meatless once a week for a lower food budget. There are so many options for egg based dinners. Omelettes with herbs and garden fresh veggies and salad. Try Shaksuka, a Middle Eastern spicy eggs and tomato, feta cheese baked egg dish.
- Don’t throw away ugly fruit. Throw those brown bananas in the freezer, peel and all; they make great banana bread. Older, ugly fruit makes perfect smoothies and have lots of the good healthy gut bacteria to keep you strong.
- Eggs for snacks. Having a few boiled eggs ready to grab is one of the healthiest, hunger satisfying, and low calorie snacks in your kitchen. Better yet, make a batch of pickled eggs …. YUM YUM! Try one of our pickled egg variations.
- Limit dining out on Fast food. For the cost of a burger you can purchase at least 12- 18 eggs. Now 18 eggs goes a lot further than one burger and they are also healthier. You can make scrambled eggs on toast with cheese faster that it would take you to drive to the fast food outlet and order the burger!
Enjoy your summer and all those seasonal fresh fruits and veggies, and buy lots of eggs in bulk — you can make healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A lower food budget means more extra dollars for a few summer movies and activities. If you live near Turlock, visit our Gemperle Family Farms farm store for inexpensive eggs as fresh as they get. Our website and Facebook page are always full of fun recipe ideas.