Nigerians are going through some tough times. The economic situation has caused so much pain in the life of both the middle and lower class, while the upper class have had to readjust their lifestyle. One area that Nigerians have had to do some serious adjustments is in the area of daily food needs.
As the economic situation in the country is sliding downwards, the impact on food in the country as seen in the average cost of basic food items keep skyrocketing. Some food items have even gone beyond the reach of the poor, while the middle class and upper class have cut down on the quantity of such food items. One of the ways of conserving money in these trying times are in the area of buying cheap food for daily consumption. We shall be looking at some of these foods closely.
A huge source of protein and one of the cheapest and most common food items found in most homes in the country. There are different brand of beans available in the market, ranging from the small white beans, the big white beans, the brown beans and butter beans. Their price range depends on the type of beans and the location. There are various ways beans can be used as a food item in the home. From cooking with red oil and eating same with either bread or cooking with spices and converting it to beans soup, beans is always a delight to eat. Tasty, soft and delicious beans are also kind on the pocket. Care must be taken to preserve it in a well sealed sack or a drum, where pest won’t damage them.
A cup of beans is sold in the open market for between N70 and N80 and with just N1300, you can get a basket of white beans while the brown beans which is more expensive can be gotten for around N1600 and above. The good thing about beans is that it gives the individual different options on the type of food to be cooked. No matter the choice you make, one thing that is constant is that beans is absolutely cheap considering what it offers.
Most people prefer to make their soup using common vegetables like ugwu (Pumpkin leaves), bitter leaf, water leaf and scent leaf. The fact is that most vegetables are relatively cheap and offer a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. They offer numerous options for preparing different delicacies at the home front and a diet rich in vegetable helps conserve some money. Eating vegetable soup, not only gives one the needed nutrients, but helps to build the body immune system and the added benefit of getting them at ridiculously cheap amount at home. A bunch of water leaf goes for less than N100, and with less than N500, one can cook a pot of vegetable soup for the entire family. It’s a lot cheaper than going for more expensive range of food normally found in most restaurants.
The price of garri, a staple food in Nigeria has crashed over time; giving room for ordinary Nigerians enjoy this product that is processed from cassava. It is a rich source of Carbohydrate and can be prepared into eba or soaked with water and eaten with groundnut, kuli kuli or cooked/fried beans, depending on the individual. A basin of garri can be sourced for around N6000 in the open market. It is cheaper compared to items like yam and other substitute product. It is found in virtually all parts of the country, with the ijebu garri being the most popular brand because of its sweet taste when soaked in water and eaten with either cooked beans or fried groundnut.
Okro is a vegetable commonly found in the country and is a rich source of calcium and magnesium. A standard Okro soup offers amazing benefits ranging from lowering Cholesterol level, improving eye sight, helping to stabilize blood sugar and giving you a healthy heart. With N150 worth of Okro, N300 worth of fish and N50 worth of grinded pepper, your Okro soup is ready to go. That N500 worth of Okro soup can be served for two days depending on your family size. This amazing food menu is an incredible fund saver in these hard times of economic restructuring of the pocket. Okro can be eaten with Semo, Garri or Amala.
Beans Cake (Akara)
This is the most popular food item in most homes among children, youths and even the elderly. Baked beans which is commonly called Akara in Nigeria is usually fried on the fire and it’s simply a mixture of grinded beans that is mixed with scent pepper, onion, crayfish, salt and seasoning cubes. This mixture when prepared in the right quality is then fried using normal frying pan. Getting this delicious food item ready doesn’t take more than an hour, and it can either be taken with bread, soaked garri or pap (akamu). Whatever the option used, Akara is a rich form of essential protein and it doesn’t impact much on the pocket. It is eaten by virtually all Nigerians from all tribes. The Portuguese even eat it a lot and they call it Acaraje. It is a popular breakfast snack in most homes in Nigeria and children love it a lot. Some creative parents can add crayfish to spice up the Akara.
Roasted ripe plantain and groundnut
Roasted ripe plantain is usually called boli. A popular delicacy that can be enjoyed by both the rich and the poor, boli cost between N50 to N100, depending on the size and can also be eaten with red oil, cooked beans or roasted fish. But since we are concerned with saving on our food budget, you can opt for either groundnut or red oil. It’s cheap and it’s a rich source of essential vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium. They help to regulate the brain function and regulate the digestive system.
Selecting any of the above food items will go a long way in helping you to cut on your food budget monthly without compromising on the daily nutritional needs of the entire family. The advantage of these food items is that they can be sourced locally without stress and can be prepared with ease.
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