The world is currently going through an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Many people are having to decide between heating their homes and eating food. If you are one such person, then you may be happy to hear that you don’t need to have a lot of money to fill yourself up. Social media and pop culture make people believe that they need to live luxuriously to live well. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, for millions of years, early humans survived on very basic diets. This post will tell you how you can fill your stomach up, keep yourself happy, and survive on a very small budget:

Discount Take-outs

If you are a single person and don’t have any dependents, then a very effective way of filling yourself up is to exclusively eat at take-out restaurants. Many take-out restaurants offer extremely affordable food. You can browse menu prices for your favorite take-out restaurants online, which will help you to figure out a seven-day meal plan. You can also get free condiments from take-out restaurants, which you can take home and use for seasoning in meals that you prepare yourself.

Food Sharing Apps

If you live in a large city or town, then it’s highly likely that in your area you will be able to find people willing to share their food with you. Food sharing applications have become very common over the last few years. More often than not, the food that’s listed on these applications is about to expire. If you have no issues with eating food that’s about to go off (but hasn’t yet), then it’s definitely worth signing up for one of these apps, because the food offered is nearly always free.

Reduced Section

When you are grocery shopping, check out the supermarket’s reduced section. You can bag some very good deals when you shop in a supermarket’s reduced section. In order to ensure that you get the best deals, visit the supermarket first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Supermarkets tend to put out food at these times. Additionally, your supermarket’s deli or hot food counter will put everything on sale a few hours before the supermarket closes. You can get some very good prices on already prepared and cooked meals by visiting the deli counter as the shop is about to close. If they do not list these things for sale, then they will get thrown away.

Seasonal Produce

Whenever you are buying food from a supermarket or grocery, buy seasonal produce. Produce that’s in season is going to be sold for a lot less than exotic out-of-season foods because there’s more of an abundance of seasonal produce. If you really want to secure some good deals on seasonal produce, then visit your local farm shop. If you live rurally then you shouldn’t find it difficult to locate a farm shop. If you live in a large city or town, then you might have to commute in order to find one.

Canned Food

It’s also a good idea to purchase canned food because it lasts a long time and isn’t easily perishable. With that said, make sure that you read any canned food’s sell-by-date before purchasing, just so that you can make sure that it’s in date. It isn’t uncommon for supermarkets to put out old canned food that’s close to its expiration date. You won’t be able to store it and eat it in times of emergency if it is close to its expiration date, you will have to eat it immediately.

Non-perishable Items

In addition to canned food, make sure that you buy other non-perishable food items. The cost of food is rising exponentially in many European countries (and in North America). Buying non-perishable food is a fantastic way of ensuring that you are able to continue eating, despite the rising cost of food. Some non-perishable foods are:

  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly (without glass)
  • Teabags
  • Coffee
  • Pulses and legumes
  • Canned meats
  • Canned fish

You can likely buy these items in bulk if you purchase from a prepper store. These stores are available all over the internet.

Impulse Purchases

When you are hungry, don’t go to the supermarket to buy food. The reason for this is that when you are hungry, you are much more likely to make impulse purchases. Impulse purchases can cost you a lot of money, which can be a big problem if you are on a very tight budget. Make sure that you carefully write out shopping lists when you go shopping (and stick to them). Never deviate from your list, otherwise, you could end up overspending. If you are on a restricted budget, then overspending could mean that you can’t eat later in the week.

Meal Planning

Plan your meals meticulously. It’s a very good idea to draw up a weekly meal plan list for every week of the month, a month in advance. When you are writing up your meal plan list, you should make sure that you include lots of seasonal foods and recipes. Meal planning will help you to draw up shopping lists. Many people that live on their own struggle with shopping lists, so meal planning simplifies that. If meal plans aren’t your thing either, you can find full meal plans online on forums like Reddit, that you can copy down and use yourself.

Growing Vegetables

One last thing to consider is growing your own vegetables. Growing vegetables will allow you to eat for free, although you will have to pay for the fertilizer and materials needed for growing the vegetables. You also need some space in your garden to be able to do this. If you do not have a garden, then you can join your town’s waiting list for an allotment (if allotments are provided). Failing that, you could ask your friends or your loved ones if they would allow you to grow food in their gardens.

If you are on a budget and don’t have much money, then feeding yourself can be difficult. This is especially true if you live alone and haven’t ever had to look after yourself before. Fortunately, learning to feed yourself on a budget is possible, it just takes dedication, commitment, and a little ingenuity.




I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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