Dukan Diet on a Budget
One of the main problems of following a diet with a high-protein content such as the Dukan Diet is that the weekly food shopping bill can get fairly expensive. While the vast majority of the foods that are not allowed on the plan such as rice, pasta, potatoes and pulses tend to be cheap and have a long shelf-life, Dukan Diet staple foods like meat and fish are more expensive and can add a fair amount to your food bill. So how is it possible to follow the Dukan Diet without breaking the bank?
Buying in Bulk
The greatest thing about meat and fish is that they can be kept in the freezer for up to a couple of months. This makes taking advantage of bulk offers much easier and convenient. If they come in big family packs, I generally use freezer bags to separate them in order to create meal-sized portions which I pop into the freezer and take out when needed. Buying in bulk is also a good idea when it comes to yoghurt and soft cheese. Because the items with the shortest shelf-life are normally placed at the front, dig a little deeper to try and find tubs at the back with a greater expiry date so that you can purchase more than one item and not have to worry about it going off before getting the chance of eating it.
Varying what You Eat
The Dukan Diet is not all about steak, chicken breasts and salmon. Try widening your options and give cheaper cuts of meat such as turkey steaks, pork chops and chicken thighs (providing you remove all visible fat before cooking) a go or try different types of fish such as mackerel. Especially when it comes to fish, I’ve also found that buying frozen is incredibly cheaper than choosing from the fish counter. Of course, it’s not the same thing but with a little creativity in the kitchen frozen fish can be a great money-saving option.
Do a Bit of Planning
If you’ve had the chance to read my article dedicated to Preparing for the Dukan Diet you’ll know that I am a big fan of spending some time at the weekend to plan my meals for the week ahead. It’s easy to see what the benefits of knowing what you will eat are. First of all, you’ll be able to go to the supermarket with a detailed list of what you need and not fall into the trap of putting extras into the trolley; at the same time you will avoid buying too much and reduce the risk of wasting any food.
Get into the Habit of Cooking Things from Scratch
It’s no secret that cooking things from scratch can save you a lot of money when it comes to food bills. I’m referring to things like meatballs, burgers, roast chicken, salads… They can all be prepared at home at a fraction of the cost and, as well as saving money, this will also give you the chance to follow the Dukan plan more carefully by keeping an eye on the fat content of all foods.
Give Supermarket Brands a Go
Another thing to consider when you go food shopping is the difference in price between branded products and supermarket own brands. Next time you’re at the supermarket pay more attention to the difference in price between two equivalent items (if you’ve never checked it before you’ll be surprised!) and give the own-brand product a go.
Let’s be honest: some products do not taste the same and I’d much rather stick to the famous brand version in some occasions, but some others are not bad at all and I couldn’t honestly tell the difference.
Try Shopping Online
I find shopping online a life-saviour. I am really not a fan of spending my Saturday mornings doing the food shop and, although there is always a delivery charge to take into account, I always find myself spending less when I shop from home. The reason is simple: I always make sure I shop after I have prepared my list and because I’m not physically walking around the aisles, nothing that hasn’t previously been planned ends up in my basket. On top of that, I also find that offers and multi buys are easier to spot!
Do you have any tips on how to save on the Dukan food bill you would like to share with our community? Comment away…