Grocery shopping in the midst of a pandemic is a much different experience—even if your budget hasn’t changed. Whether you are now shopping on a reduced budget, or simply struggling with long-term meal planning it’s important to know which ingredients will go the extra mile in the kitchen (and pantry). Here are a few items to add to your grocery list that are a great bang for your buck.
Add some eggs
The cost of meat and seafood can add up when used on a steady rotation. Make better friends with eggs—an affordable, protein-rich substitute. You can incorporate them into more weeknight meals to save big. Eggs are such a diverse ingredient – you can add them to almost every savoury dish to fill you up and reach your protein intake for the day! No grocery list is truly complete without eggs.
New and Inexpensive recipes you could try out with eggs:
- Tomato and egg shakshuka (a delicious and classic Mediterranean dish)
- Asian omelette (a vibrant, fresh meal which can be made in a flash)
- Green frittata (satisfy your body and your cravings with this delicious, veggie and protein packed dish)
Go big on lentils
Another good costly animal protein substitute which helps you fulfill your appetite! Slide these into the grocery list rotation for a meal starring the healthy, protein- and fibre-rich lentils, with always-affordable carrots, celery and onions.
Fancy, cheap and tasty recipes to try out:
- Lentil Bolognese
- Morrocan Lentil Stew
Skip buying overpriced muffins and pastries with your morning coffee, and think about adding oats to your meal planning. The soluble fibre in oats will help manage your hunger levels until your next meal. You can make it savoury or sweet, hot or cold – whatever your stomach desires. Whether it’s a stove-top oat custard or overnight oatmeal in a jar, this ingredient can be topped or combined with a plethora of diverse options to satisfy your stomach and wallet at the same time.
Recipes to try out that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth:
- Maple custard oatmeal recipe
- Overnight oats with different toppings and mixtures (peanut butter, chocolate chip, fruits and berries and so on)
Starting stocking up on chicken thighs
Boneless chicken thighs are a very affordable cut, often coming in large family packs (extra savings!). Not only are they more flavourful, they’re quick to cook with, too. Throw them (and a can of beans) into a soup with some canned tomatillos, spices and aromatics for a perfect weeknight meal. This will help make the proteins section of your grocery list very affordable.
Don’t forget the chickpeas
Another member of the legume family to add to your pantry, the chickpea can be blitzed for homemade hummus, crisped up for a crunchy snack or thrown into a stew for added protein and fibre. Pair it with canned tomatoes, spices and a couple of small sweet potatoes, and you have a one-pot curry. Serve with rice and fresh cilantro for garnish.
Recipes to try out:
- Sweet potato and chickpea curry (a hearty, cheap and filling meal for cold winter days)
- Crispy roasted chickpeas (a cruncy, healthy and addictive snack you’ll fall in love with)
- Chickpea shawarma wraps (tangy, spicy and quick to make – hits all the right spots!)