I don’t know anyone these days who doesn’t keep a close eye on their budget.
Well, except for a guy in New Jersey who just won $338 million dollars this week playing Powerball.
But for the rest of us, it’s something we need to consider.
However sticking to a budget is not an excuse to forgo healthy eating.
Don’t believe me?
Here are some tips for eating well and saving money…
Buy in bulk:
If you haven’t checked out the bulk bins at your grocery store, do it! You would be amazed how much more you pay for nuts, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, or other pantry staples simply for fancy packaging or brand names. If you buy in bulk, you can buy exactly the amount you need, save money, and store your goods in containers at home so they are always on hand.
Make it from scratch:
I understand the draw that prepackaged, premade food can have when you are shopping, but you may want to reconsider some of these options. With just a little prep work you can make homemade pasta sauce, pizza, and other meals for cheaper than you can buy them. Also it is less expensive to buy block cheese and shred it yourself and to buy a head of lettuce rather than a bag. It is estimated that these tips can save the average consumer 10 to 20%. Also, this way you can make big batches and freeze portions for quick meal some other time.
Eat more produce:
I promise I am not just making this up because I think fresh fruits and veggies are so important (even though I do). Adding more fresh produce to your meals and snacks can cut your grocery bill and your waistline. That seems like a pretty great deal to me.
Buy produce in season:
This is a handy follow up to the last point. Fruits and vegetables that are in season will be less expensive than those that aren’t. I know the idea of eating a peach in the middle of winter may sound appealing, but it will also be significantly more expensive and not taste as good as it would during the late summer. Seasonal foods are more nutritious and they don’t need to be imported from halfway across the world.
Write a list, check it twice:
Have you had those times when we are at the grocery store haphazardly grabbing whatever looks good simply because you are hungry? I know I have. And usually what I end up with is a bunch of stuff and no real meals. If you make a list and stick with it, you can save a lot more money than you think. As a matter of fact, research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that people who resist impulse buying can save as much as 23% on their grocery bills.
Here’s an interesting tip that had never occurred to me before: try shopping with cash instead of credit or debit cards. If you can only use what you have on hand, you have no choice but to stick to your budget. It has been estimated that people spend from 12 to 18% less on average if they shop with cash.