As the last post of the grocery challenge, I’ll be summarizing what I’ve learned from this whole process, and the things you should be taking home from it.
|Cost of groceries||$193.3|
|Number of meals included||300|
|Cost per month||$48.33|
|Cost per day||$1.93|
|Cost per meal||$0.64|
So in the end, I was able to buy groceries for less than $2 a day. The real beauty is that I was eating healthy (at least more healthy than an average student). My diet was completely sustainable, somewhat delicious, and mostly balanced.
Dane’s Tips and Tricks
Some good stuff to consider when you’re stuck eating as if you were in poverty:
- Buy lentils or beans (dried is cheaper than canned) as meat replacements
- Rice is the best value in terms of energy per dollar, but bread, pasta, pita, tortillas are also sometimes good (you gotta find those sales)
- Make sauces or soups in bulk, and just add it to rice, bread, etc. for easy meals
- Fruits and vegetables are expensive, especially during the winter. Apples, bananas, oranges are good choices for fruits. Cabbage, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes are good choices for vegetables.
- Base your meals off of what is on sale
- Use (cheap) spices to give flavour to your food
- If healthiness of the food is important, weigh the “healthiness” against the cost of the food and optimize
- If you want to reduce the costs even further: don’t buy produce, buy white bread, rice, etc. Essentially just keep lowering the health content of what you buy (eating less also helps a lot).
Some stuff you shouldn’t be doing:
- Meat is expensive. Don’t buy it.
- There are a lot of vegetables that don’t provide a lot of nutrition, and are used for texture and taste (iceberg lettuce, cucumber, most mushrooms, etc). They’re not worth buying.
- Don’t always buy something just because it’s on sale: it can still be really expensive
Before it was Cool
At the end of this project, a campaign was launched to raise awareness for the 1.4 billion people living under the poverty line. These people would have the equivalent of $1.75 per day living in Canada. Completely unintentionally, I have shown that it is possible (and really not that difficult) to eat off of $2 per day. This can be reduced to $1.75 per day with slight cuts to health or consumption. The real problem with having $1.75 is that it’s not enough to buy your RP.
And to Wrap it All Up
This was a pretty fun project, and gave me an idea of what I could be saving on groceries. Hopefully it also gave you an idea of how you could be saving as well. You don’t have to go crazy on cheapness, but there are some quality tips in these posts that are helpful if you just want to save a few dollars here and there.
Thanks for keeping up (that’s more than I did)!