Robintide Farms Vegetable

Summer on a Shoestring: 7 Tips for Eating Well on a Budget in YDH

It’s no secret that food prices are at an all-time high. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well this summer! Whether you’re dining in or taking out, we’ve put together some affordable summer food ideas along with tips and tricks so you can enjoy some stellar eats on your summer road trips in YDH without breaking the bank.

Buy Local & In Season

One of the biggest money-saving grocery tips is to buy as much as you can from farmers’ markets in Ontario. Here you will find fresh and inexpensive groceries while supporting the local economy directly! Not only are the eggs and meat at your local farmers’ markets often cheaper than the average grocery store, but you’ll also get the best quality at realistic prices. These are just a few of the reasons why you should shop at the local farmers’ markets in YDH!

Farmers’ markets in Durham Region can be found in Bowmanville, Brooklin, Clarington, Orono, North Oshawa, Pickering, Port Perry and Whitby. Farmers’ markets in York Region can be found in Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, North York, Uxbridge and Markham. Lastly, farmers’ markets in the Headwaters Region can be found in Erin, Grand Valley and Orangeville. As you can see, there is no shortage of farmers’ markets, making it easy to save money on groceries in Ontario!

To learn more about the Farmers Markets in YDH and for some fun saving tips click here

Another option is to do all of your grocery shopping along A Country Path. This rural route features farms selling everything from fresh eggs to flour to cheese to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Anything you may need to prepare a meal at home can be found along A Country Path and it makes for a fantastic road trip adventure in YDH!

Go to a U-Pick Farm

Robintide Farmer U-Pick

U-Pick Farms are another great way to save money on food in Ontario. Not only do you get to enjoy an outing with friends or family, but you’ll have more of an appreciation for the delicious ingredients since you picked them yourself!

One such destination is the Robintide U-Pick Farm in Maple. As the summer months continue, you’ll see a variety of pick-your-own vegetables like peas and potatoes. Of course, the fun doesn’t end there as you can head to their pumpkin patch and corn walk as the fall colours arrive.

For a unique summer activity visit Downey’s U-Pick Farm in Caledon for pick your own Black Currents! Black Currents are known for their super unique taste that is sweet and acidic and cannot be compared to anything else. They can be enjoyed fresh but more often they are used to make delicious baked goods, juices, and preserves. These barriers are super rich in antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. In fact steaming hot black current juice is a very common home remedy in Scandinavian countries for colds.

Make From Scratch Instead of Buying Premade

It may take a little more time but making meals from scratch is one of the easiest ways to save money on food this summer. Plus, it’s easy to turn it into a gathering all on its own by inviting friends over to help! You might just want to try one of our recipes from the blog that any foodie will love.

Heatherlea Farm Pie

If you’re going to all the trouble of making a delicious meal, it’s always a great idea to make enough to have leftovers. All you have to do is reheat on those days when you don’t feel like preparing anything. Not to mention buying bulk means you’re keeping the cost per serving down!

Host for Dessert Instead of a Full Meal

Who says you have to cook an entire meal for friends and family? If you don’t opt for potluck style, you can always have company over for the best part of any meal – dessert!

Once again, you can make something from scratch like our maple mousse dessert which is guaranteed to be a hit. Or, you can opt to visit a bakery like Reesor’s Farm Market to find a delectable dessert to serve to your friends.

Wow Your Dinner Guests with Antique Finds

Who doesn’t love showing off a little with some fantastic glassware? Especially when it’s a sweet find from a local antique shop! The latest home décor trends have shown that antiquing is the way to go, but it never really did go out of style. Plus it’s a win-win since you’re not only supporting a local business but also helping the environment with a more sustainable lifestyle. All the more reason for a little retail therapy in our books!

Antique Cup

One such spot to uncover some great finds is the Inglewood Antique Market in Caledon. While you’re visiting in the hopes of some unique tableware, they have all sorts of goods including everything from furniture to lighting to jewelry to books. You never know what might catch your eye! You can also check out some of these fantastic locations in Durham Region for an antiquing road trip in YDH.

Skip the Alcohol

One of the biggest ways to save money this summer is by cutting out alcohol. We all love an ice cold beer or cider but with so many non-alcoholic options available now, there’s no reason not to give one a try!

There is no better spot to go than the With Grace Marketplace in Pickering. As Durham Region’s first non-alcoholic bottle shop, you’ll find everything you could imagine! Cider, wine, spirits – you name it, they’ve got it! And everything is so good you won’t even miss the alcohol. Not to mention the place is absolutely adorable and 1000% Instagram worthy.

If you still feel like having the brewery experience most of our renowned breweries and cideries have an alcohol-free version like Town Breweries “Easy Tiger”. If you are looking for a non-alcoholic drink with a story try Sparkle from Heartwood their non-alcoholic cider named after the adorable Kune Kune pig who you can find on the front of the can. Sparkle was the runt of the litter with a huge personality just ask about her while you sip cider in the woods if Erin, Ontario.

For When You Don’t Want to Cook

We all know them – those days when we just don’t have it in us to cook. What better time to discover budget-friendly dining in York, Durham, and Headwaters? Time to tap into some affordable summer food ideas!

Butchies Wings

Take-out can be a great option but the hidden fees and delivery charges can make it hard to dine cheaply. Luckily it’s pretty easy to find affordable and delicious meals in York, Durham, and Headwaters!

Some of our favourite budget friendly eats in Durham Region is Butchies in Whitby. Chef Andrea Nicholson makes budget-friendly dining in Ontario easy with her menagerie of smoked meats, fried chicken, sustainable seafood and seasonal sides. It’s easy to eat a hearty meal for under $25, taxes in. Plus, the atmosphere at Butchies makes you feel like you’re right at home anyway so let Andrea do the cooking and experience budget-friendly summer fun and cheap eats in Ontario!

Ready for a Foodie Adventure?

Summer is all about making the most of our long days and what better way than with a delicious adventure! Plan your road trip with these money-saving food ideas because the more you save, the more you can indulge. That’s foodie math at its finest!

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