Food prices are forever rising, so it is essential to be a savvy shopper. However, it is still possible to have good, nutritious and healthy food on a budget without compromising on quality. There are many ways to save money on groceries and still enjoy a good nutritional balanced diet.
Here is a look at how to save money on, and budget for groceries:
Plan and budget
The easiest way to save money and still maintain a nutrient-rich diet is by only buying the food needed. Set a realistic budget, and plan your shopping so that you can stay within your budget. Prior to shopping, create a menu planner listing all the meals for the week. By doing this, you can create a menu that has a good balance of healthy meals, and now you can use the menu planner to create a shopping list. Ensure you stick to the list and avoid buying extras; this will assist in saving money and still provide healthful nutritious food.
Aim to buy mainly fresh foods, and freeze what you cannot use immediately. This ensures that the food consumed is packed with nutrients. Unprocessed foods are not only far cheaper; they are also more nutrient-rich. Choosing fresh foods gives you more control over what you eat, allowing you to create healthier meals. Certain canned or frozen foods items are good, as these can be stored for longer and they provide food for when supplies are running low. Keep a well-stocked pantry with essential staples, as this ensures healthy, nutritious meals can easily be prepared. Stocking up with non-perishable staples will keep the grocery bill to a minimum as there will be less shopping trips.
Store brands save money
Generic store brand foods offer the same food at a lower cost. They are generally identical in quality and ingredients, with the only difference being that they are not contained within fancy packaging. However, this is not important, the only important aspect is buying healthy food without stretching the budget. The savings made from switching to store brands is amazing, and there will be no difference in quality or taste. There may be the odd item that doesn’t meet expectations; often times, they are just as good. Try experimenting and see how much can be saved.
Always be wise when shopping and look for ways to save money. Certain bulk buys can be beneficial. If there are particular healthy items that are in high use that are cheaper to buy in bulk, then stock up and save money. Non-perishable items can be bought in bulk to save time and money. However, ensure they can be used prior to the expiration date and freeze what you can. Look out for special offers and promotions on favorite foods and buy extra. Many deals are on unhealthy food, so be mindful to steer clear of these offers. Certain foods that are reduced for quick sale are also worth looking out for; these are good value and they can often be frozen.
It is easy to serve bigger portions than required. Ensure that you are serving the appropriate amount of food. This really can cut down on cost and less food will go to waste. If you cook too much food, rather than serve it all up, freeze some for another meal. It is advisable to cook double portions to freeze the extra; this saves money and precious time. You can bulk meals out by adding pasta or rice to make meals stretch further when required.
Cook from scratch
Preparing meals from scratch is better value for money since you are not paying for the convenience of prepared food. It is also the healthier option because you have control over the meals prepared. Moreover, preparing food means you have the choice to be selective over what is included in a dish. This is the easiest way to ensure that the meals served are healthful, filling and nutrient-rich, all whilst saving money. If you have busy days ahead, then plan on having a day to prepare food to be frozen; this will save time and provide healthy meals for the upcoming days.
Prepare your own snacks
Snack foods significantly increase the cost of weekly shopping. Processed snacks are not only costly, they also contain little nutrition. If you are consuming a nutrient-rich diet, then snacks can be limited. Snacking too frequently between meals can ruin an appetite, and is no good for a healthful, balanced diet. However, everyone likes the odd snack, and the best way to get your fix is by preparing your own, and this is a great way to cut the shopping bill. As well as saving money, you can create delicious snacks that are far healthier because you have control over what is used to prepare the snacks.
A healthy nutrient-rich diet is easily achievable without over stretching the budget. It is always rewarding to save money and still be able to eat well. These tips greatly reduce your expenditures without compromising on quality and good tasty nutritious food. Eat well, and save money.