It seems to be increasingly difficult for many of us to manage on the money that we earn. This means that we often have to cut down on the money that we are spending on everyday things and this can even include groceries. It can be difficult though, to provide healthy meals for your family when you are on a budget, but there are things that you can do in order to make it work.
- Cheaper grocery store – it is worth thinking about the particular store or stores that you go to when you are buying groceries. Some will be generally more expensive than others and so it could be best to visit the one that is cheaper. However, it is important to factor in the cost of going to that particular store. If it is significantly further away and costs more to get to or does not have everything you need so you need to travel to two stores, then you will need to decide whether it really will save you money.
- Cheaper items – while shopping it is important to look at the prices on everything and compare them. You will find that you will have more than one option when selecting a certain food. For example, if you are buying carrots, you may have the choice of buying different types raw, such as loose, bagged, chopped etc as well as frozen, tinned, jarred and in soups, meals or stir fry packs. There is a lot of choice and you will can compare what is available to see which has the best price.
- Cook from scratch – you will usually find that if you compare prices, that buying plain ingredients so that you can cook from scratch is cheapest, however you will need to check this by comparing prices. It can be difficult for many people to find the time to cook meals but with practice it can become easier and often fun. It means that you can add ingredients and flavouring that you enjoy rather than having to eat food that others have put together in a way that might not be so tasty. You will also have more control over the ingredients that you put in and so you can reduce the unhealthy fats, sugar and salt to make sure that the meal is healthier. If you use plenty of other flavourings then you need not compromise on flavour.
- Plan meals – before you go shopping you should plan the meals that you are buying food for. This will allow you to only buy the items that you need and should help to prevent waste. Many people will just buy the items they always buy and not think about when they are going to eat them and this can sometimes mean that the food will go off before it gets eaten.
- Stick to a list – it is wise to check what food you already have and what you need to buy before shopping and make a list. Sticking to the list will not only ensure you get everything that you need but should also prevent you from buying things that you do not need. Try really hard not to be tempted by buying things that look good but are not part of your spending plan.
- Be wary of deals – grocery stores always have lots of deals to try to tempt us to spend more money. These are normally on snack foods or unhealthy foods and therefore should be avoided if you are trying to be healthier. It may look like you will save a lot of money, but if you do not buy the item at all you will not only save even more money but you will avoid consuming those really unhealthy items. The reductions tend to be on the ends of the aisles so try to avoid these where you can.
- Cut down spending elsewhere – if you find that you are still struggling financially, then it could be wise to see whether it is possible for you to cut down on your spending elsewhere. You will need to think about everything else that you are buying and whether it is necessary for you to buy those items. Do a similar thing to the groceries and go to cheaper shops, compare prices and make sure that you only buy what is necessary. This should enable you to be able to free up money to improve the quality of the food that you buy and to be able to buy the healthier food options.
These are just a few tips which should enable you to be able to be able to afford to have a healthier lifestyle. Although healthy foods do not have to be hugely more expensive, you may find that there are certain foods that you would like that are and so will need to free up some money in order to buy them Cutting back on unhealthy food will leave some money available for this but you may need to use other tactics, such as shopping in cheaper stores or buying cheaper items in order to afford the lifestyle that you desire.