In this modern age of austerity, we all have to keep a close eye on our budgets, probably closer than ever before. This is especially true when looking at our average food shop; as the price of food rises, more and more people are turning away from healthy options. The question is why? There is a myth, that has been circulating the globe over the past few years, that healthy foods cost more money than their unhealthy alternatives – but this just isn’t the case. healthy foods can actually be cheaper and save you money if you know when and where to shop.
If you are really struggling to get by from pay cheque to pay cheque it can be extremely stressful. This is never more true than if you are facing a financial emergency and you are simply trying to have enough cash to be able to live. If this sounds like your current state then there are options that will help you, especially if you are facing a particular emergency such as an unforeseen medical bill or auto repair. if this is the case, then before you look at your food budget, why not consider a short term, payday loan to help you get your head above water? This is only applicable if you are in a real emergency, but it will certainly alleviate the pressure, so have a look at DollarsDirect or similar to see what is available to you.
The average monthly food bill in America is £6,443, according to a recent poll published on HowStuffWorks.com. This amount of money, does in many ways, outweigh that of our yearly travel and our utilities, making it one of the largest expenditures that we face every month. So, with this in mind, here are some great ways to eat healthily on a very limited budget!
1. Look at the times of day you shop.
Supermarkets and local food stores will all have a turnaround time, where they take the fresh produce that is on its ‘sell by’ date and reduce it, sometimes by more than 50% of its original cost. This is the PERFECT time of day to go and grab your fresh fruit, vegetables and meat; especially if the items can be frozen. If you love a morning smoothie, then shop later on in the day, preferably before the stores shut, as you can get all your fruit cheaply and then stick it in the freezer to be used when needed.
Remember though, that the produce that will be reduced, will go bad at a quicker rate as it is close to its shelf life. You will either need to freeze this food or eat as quickly as possible.
2. Shop around for local bargains
We hear over and over that we should be shopping locally to help out our community, however many of us believe that shopping locally is more expensive than going to a mega store. In some cases, this may well be true – but if you are clever about shopping around, then you can actually save a fair amount of money. For example if you go to a farm shop, you would want to purchase your fruits, eggs and meat as they are often cheaper and better quality. However, you would go somewhere else for fresh juices and herbs as they are more expensive here. By going to 2 or 3 shops a week you can hunt out the bargains and help your local economy = perfect!
3. Look at what you eat and when
This may sound obvious, but how and when we are eating our meals does affect how much we spend. If, like many of us, you buy lunch at work, then look at taking a healthier alternative and saving those extra dollars. if you use a lot of bread, for the kids sandwiches and toast in the morning, then by baking your own you can save money and eat bread with no added preservatives in it.
Many of us need food that is quick and convenient – especially true if you are working and living a hectic lifestyle. This makes many of us turn to microwave meals and takeaways. These, on average, cost more than if you cook yourself a meal. To save time, why not cook large batches of food on the weekends, freeze them and simply reheat in the evenings – quick, easy and far healthier!