food budget

How Can I Eat Somewhat Healthy on $100 a Month Food Budget?

The cost of living is increasing, and COVID relief benefits are ending, which puts many people with low funds in a sticky situation.
Someone struggling with money asked a popular frugal communtity for advice: “How can I eat somewhat healthy on a $ 100-a-month food budget?” Many people took to the comments to provide their advice.

Healthy Food is Cheaper Than You May Think

One commenter shares that healthy food is some of the least expensive in the store if you know where to look. They suggest Only FAKE healthy food is expensive, referencing fancy health drinks and snacks. “Actual, real, healthy food is the cheapest in the store,” like chicken, rice, beans, and vegetables.

Shop at a Food Pantry

If you need food to feed yourself and your family on a low budget, one of the best options is to seek out a local food pantry.
One volunteer at a Michigan food pantry shares, “One can get 2+ laundry baskets full of food for $25. There are similar organizations throughout the nation.”

Stock Up on Storeable Basics

You can find giant bags of non-perishables to stock up on, which will cut costs significantly. This includes dried beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, lentils, and peanut butter.

Eat Lots of Beans

Beans are a budget's best friend. According to one commenter, you can buy a one-pound bag of dried beans for less than two dollars, and the overall cost per weight goes down as the size of the bag increases.

Apply for Food Stamps

The U.S. provides food stamps for a reason. You may want to consider applying for SNAP benefits if you and your family struggle to put food on the table because you can't afford it. Each state has different requirements, and it's worth a try to save you some money every month.

Eat Rice and Lentils

Rice and lentils are a simple, healthy meal that can be altered with seasonings and spices to switch things up. A budgeter explains, “One pound of lentils or rice is around 1,500 calories, almost enough for an average adult in a day, so that would prevent you from going hungry,” adding the cheapest lentils and rice they found were at a restaurant supply store.
“Rice and lentils with whatever seasonings I'm in the mood for (even just butter and salt) is my go-to meal,” another agrees.

Eat Oats and Peanut Butter

I'm pretty content with steel-cut oats and peanut butter for breakfast most days,” shares one person on a strict grocery budget. “I buy them in bulk, so it's cheap.” Another user adds that 42 ounces of quick oats can cost under five dollars, and 40 ounces of peanut butter can cost less than four dollars.

Get a Second Job at a Restaurant

Restaurant employees typically get a free meal on their shifts. So if you have time to spare every week, finding a job at a restaurant could help you feed yourself and get a few meals a week for free. Not only that, but the job will help bring in some extra income to support your financial needs.

Shop the Discount Rack

Did you know that most grocery stores have a sales or clearance rack? So when you head to the store, stop by the discount shelves to see if you can get any healthy essentials there. “Use what is on sale,” advises one budgeter. “Ground meat on sale? Make a meatloaf and freeze the rest.”
This thread inspired this post.
Maya Capasso
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