Posted on Friday 20 May 2016
Taking care of your health should always be a priority. One of the ways to do this is to eat adequately. The proper daily nutrition can improve your energy levels and productivity. In the long run, this reduces your chances of developing illnesses or diseases. However, fresh produce can be expensive, which invariably means eating healthy can be costly.
The good news is that with the right meal-prepping and research, you can eat healthy without going way over budget. A balanced diet works much like a balanced budget: it pays off in the long run but requires careful planning ahead of time. Here are our tips on how to shop smart to eat well, without breaking the bank.
Have you ever felt so uninspired by the content of your pantry that you’ve resorted to takeout? This has become a lifestyle for many people and is merely a way to spend over your budget. By creating a meal, plan you will always be prepared to cook healthy food at home, and you will know exactly what to buy during your weekly shop. Having all that you need may even get you excited to get in the kitchen.
While in the store, ensure you keep a running total of your expenses as you shop, either on a piece of paper or even an app. This will prevent any form of surprises at the checkout. Writing a list is an old and proven tip that works effectively for shopping. As such, do not see the habit of writing things in a sheet as old-fashioned or dumb. Instead, consider it a tool to maximize your shopping experience.
Groceries stores put a lot of effort into stacking their shelves in a very particular way to encourage impulse buying. Exquisite branding and seemingly exciting deals can distract you from your list, and you could end up spending way over your budget. When you’re easily tempted, you’re more likely to buy an unhealthy snack on impulse. People also do this once they quit a job.
The key to eating healthy is consistency. To achieve this, you have to ensure that your trip to the store goes according to your plan and budget. It will also help to avoid going to the store when you’re hungry, as this might lead to getting an unhealthy snack.
Therefore, it’s advisable that you go to the store when you have eaten. That way, your focus is solely on the items you have to buy and nothing more.
Think of buying food like you are planning for retirement, how would eating something now will effect you in the future? Of course you want to enjoy the moment, but a little balancing act may work too.
The first step is to identify your favorite recipes. Once you do, your best bet is to buy the necessary ingredients in bulk.
Over time, this becomes an easy way to save huge amounts on your groceries, with the advantage of never running low. If you have the space, you could even invest in an extra fridge or freezer to store meat or produce that you find on sale.
Buying in bulk applies to anything you need by the way. Of course, these are things that are not easily perishable. Once you cultivate this habit, you’ll soon realize that it’s one of the best ways to save up on regular purchases substantially. You might even save money by buying groceries in bulk online.
While they may not have fancy branded packaging, many generic supermarket brands offer items with comparable quality (or even the same product from the same factory). This is, in fact, one of the great ways to save money as a parent.
Kitchen staples like flour, rice and beans are great products to buy from a generic brand. The money you save from that can be utilized to stock up on more quality produce and meat. This is not to say that some brands are not more reputable than others. However, you should attempt trying out new brands, as you might just come across great quality at relatively lower prices.
Nevertheless, there might be times when your expenses will be at an all-time high. In such instances, cutting down your budget might not even help as much as you need. To save the day, you can consider taking a personal loan and plan a new budget that’s more suitable.
Did you know that, in Canada alone, over $27 billion worth of food is wasted every year? By cutting your kitchen waste, you will be making sure you get value for money and also be doing your part to help the environment and food crisis.
The main step for cutting waste is to invest in proper meal planning. For example, a chili made one evening can be an ingredient in a healthy burrito bowl the next. You can make soup stock with bones from a rotisserie chicken, turn bread into croutons, and even use eggshells as fertilizer in your garden. Ultimately, adequate planning and budgeting has become really essential in a time when there are economic upswings and downswings.
Being mindful of waste is a great way to use your imagination in the kitchen. Interestingly, there are numerous websites out there that help you find recipes using any additional ingredient in your fridge.