Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ideas to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Food prices are rising day by day so almost everybody is feeling a financial pinch. We all know that eating healthy food is very important as it decreases the risk of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, cancer & other diseases and thereby keeps your medical costs down. But many people choose less expensive, unhealthy food because of tight budget. They have false impression that reducing food expenses means giving up good nutrition. However, they can eat healthy even on a tight budget by proper planning and smart cooking tips. Read on to know the ways to eat healthy on a budget.

Ways to Eat Healthy On a Tight Budget

Keep A List And Plan Ahead

Planning menu ahead, making list of the foodstuffs and sticking to it while buying, helps to decrease food waste as well as save 100s of dollars every year on your grocery bill. You can also avoid impulsive purchases (salad dressing or barbecue sauce) and keep track of your spending by making a list. Make a detailed list and note how much quantity of foodstuffs you need.

Grocery Deals

Many grocery stores run sale on certain items so you should take advantage of it by buying extra but be sure that you don’t over buy the things. You should buy perishable goods in small quantities and non-perishable goods in huge quantity. Meats can be stored in the freezer to use later. Meats can be stored for some months.

Buy in Bulk

Many stores provide discounts if you are buying in bulk amount which help you to save lots of money. You can purchase dry goods like nuts, grains, oats, pastas, dried fruits, beans, dried peas & flours as well as regular household supplies such as cleaners, detergents, paper towels, etc in bulk. If your family is small then buying in bulk will be a waste of money. Never buy perishable items in bulk as they spoil easily. Instead of buying apples, oranges, potatoes, onions in piece, buy them by bag.

Go Dried When You're Using Herbs

Instead of buying fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary & parsley, you should go for dried. Dried herbs are cheaper and give great flavor to any dish. You can also grow herbs at your home if you have space for a garden.

Buy Locally Grown Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables from your local farmers markets in place of grocery stores. Local farmers will provide fresh and organic fruits & vegetables at cheaper rates.

Buy Generic

You should experiment with your grocery store’s own brand. Compared to national brand, they are cheaper as well as have same taste & quality. Grocery brand is a good choice if you are purchasing basic canned foods. You must avoid products that contain transfat, saturated fat, added sugar and syrups.

Forgo Convenience

Buy whole foods rather than pre-packaged foods. Pre-packaged foods like ready-to-cook meats, pre-cut/pre-skinned vegetables, diced meats, ready meals, etc are more costly. So you should go for cheaper alternative.

Sign Up For a Store Card

Store Card is offered by many grocery stores to their customers. This store card will help you to save on your purchase. For instance, with the Discover More Card you will get 5% cash back on all your grocery purchases.

Bring Your Own Shopping Bags

Some grocery stores give you a few cents discounts on your grocery bill for bringing your own bag and saying no for store's paper or plastic bags. Some stores provide lottery ticket for entering a free grocery contest if you bring your own shopping bag.

Never Throw Away Leftovers

Instead of throwing leftovers in garbage, keep them in freeze to enjoy at a later date or use them in another recipe. For example, you can use leftover mashed potatoes/rice in soups or stews or leftover roasted chicken in salad/sandwich filling.


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