When you have a tight budget, meal planning and food shopping has its challenges. When you have a tight budget and you're dedicated to eating healthy, local food grown and produced in Barbados, it's even trickier.
Slow Food Barbados has put together this list of tips that make it easier to eat well on a budget, which includes links to our Local Buyer’s Guide, as well as our Sustainable Consumer Seafood Guide.
Buy fresh produce when it's in season and freeze it.
Fresh produce is always great, but the cost can add up fast. Stick with buying what's currently in season and consider stocking up when you find a good deal, such as mangoes and fresh seasonal fruit. You can refer to our Seasonal Fruit charts and local Buyer’s Guide to find and source seasonal fruit.
Look for sales, and plan meals accordingly.
Instead of shopping for groceries based on your weekly meal plan, consider planning your meals around what's on sale. This will save you money and it can also force you to get creative and maybe try some items or dishes you've never had before.
Eat Less Meat
There are a number of health benefits to cutting out or minimising the amount of meat (especially red) in your diet, but this can also help you with your overall food bill. Consider budget-friendly meatless meals once or twice a week. Meatless meals are built around beans, lentils, vegetables and whole grains. These plant-based proteins tend to be less expensive and offer more health benefits than meat.
Try less expensive cuts of meat.
You can still enjoy meat when you're on a tight budget. Look for less expensive cuts of meat, like and try different cooking methods, like the slow cooker, to make tougher cuts of meat tender and juicy.
Look for cheaper cuts such as lamb neck fillets, pork belly and cheeks, shin of beef, whole chickens that will yield enough for leftovers, plus a carcass for soup or congee, chicken livers, gizzard, etc. There are a number of recipes available online that can show you how best to prepare these cuts of meat.
Embrace root vegetables
Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cassava and yam, are an inexpensive and tasty way to bulk up meals and can even be a meal in themselves.
Plan and prep meals ahead.
Whether it's veggies for the week, or tomorrow's breakfast, prepping food in advance is a step in the right direction towards eating healthfully. It is also a good way to make sure you're eating what's in the fridge, to minimize food waste.
Repurposing leftovers into an entirely new and delicious meal is a great way to save money and reduce food waste. For example, you can make a soup with leftovers from a rotisserie chicken.
Visit your local farmers markets
Supporting local has a number of economic and social benefits!
Go to the farmers market at the end of the day.
Depending on where you live, farmers markets may or may not save you money during regular hours. Consider visiting the market at the end of the day, when you could very likely score some great deals.
Try lesser known fish, that is more sustainable:
Download Seafood Consumers Buyers Guide Here
Who is Slow Food Barbados?
Slow Food Barbados is a community of like-minded individuals, farmers, chefs, restaurateurs, food producers, educators and foodies that have joined together to help build a stronger food system in Barbados.