The first real job brings the first real salary—and then, when your parents find out you actually have money, the first real bills. Rent, college loans, and gym memberships will take enormous bites from that paycheck pie, so you’ll likely have to find new ways to save some scratch before the credit card bills reduce the rest to crumbs
. Eating frugally may not sound too enticing, but it’s an excellent means of stretching out your funds and, more often than not, eating healthier. Don't become a slave to takeout just because there's no more dining hall and no more mom to serve dinner. Here are a few ideas for eating on the cheap:
Hunting And Gathering: Learning To Shop
My Blue Heaven excluded, you’re not likely to find much romance looking for arugula (it’s a ve-ge-table), but smart shopping is a great way cut costs and still eat like…well, maybe not a king, but at least a viscount or some other notable nobleman. Check out this shopping guide for big savings:
- Better shop around. Just because meat is cheaper at one supermarket doesn’t mean dairy, produce or vegetables are as well. Visit a variety of stores and become familiar with each one’s pricing systems. Know where the sales and specials are and take advantage of them by cutting coupons as anally as our Great Aunt Sally. Some of the best prices can be found at food co-ops , a recently budding trend where you agree to work for a nominal number of hours per month in return for extremely cheap, fresh produce.
- Buy in bulk. Okay, so hauling two dozen cans of tuna fish up to the cashier may seem a little déclassé, but if it’s on sale, grab it. Buying a Costco card and making that monthly venture can not only save us time and money, but it’s incredible how long that giant box of Cheerios will last.
- Don’t sneer at store brands or generic labels. Give the house mayonnaise a shot, and if it sucks, then use it for engine grease. Nothing keeps that motor running like whipped egg and oil.
- Know what’s in season and avoid what isn’t. No point in spending extra on scrawny ...