Need to make your paychecks stretch further? If you’re finding that the increased cost of living makes it harder to budget, you’re not the only one. Inflation impacts everyone, making paying for essentials much harder.
Due to increased cost of living, many Americans are looking to cut down where possible, and one of the most significant expenses is food. While many money-saving tips focus on healthy options, finding a way to eat healthy while saving money is crucial, but might feel like an uphill battle.
A healthy, balanced diet is vital for everyone in your family, regardless of age. However, finding healthy foods that are affordable may seem like an uphill battle. Luckily, you can find ways to both of these things, and this guide can help.
Here are some tips for eating healthier on a budget.
Plan Your Recipes Ahead
When you head to the grocery store, you need to have a plan. Otherwise, you’ll probably buy things you don’t need, also known as impulse buying. Without a list, you might grab higher-priced items or shop from a place of hunger.
Instead, plan your menu before heading to the store. One way to do this is by finding recipes that use affordable ingredients. You can make multiple dishes with the same core ingredients – all you need to do is use different spices.
To make meal planning easier, stick with a staple vegetable, protein, and grain for the week. For example, you could use flour/dough, chicken, and spinach to create meals in your pizza oven.
Remember Frozen And Canned Product Are Nutritional
Fresh produce is delicious and nutritious, but it isn’t always cheap. While you don’t want to remove fresh fruits and veggies from your diet, canned and frozen variations still offer nutritional value.
You can purchase many fruits and vegetables canned or frozen. These are a great way to include more vitamins and nutrients into your meals, without extending your budget.
Use Coupons When You Can
Make no mistake, couponing is often time-consuming. It’s vital to balance the time it takes to find the right coupons with the money you’ll save; it’s not always worth it.
Ensure you get mailers for local grocery stores or download apps from big box stores. You can at least utilize better deals or use coupons on groceries you already buy.
Purchase Store And Generic Brands
Another simple way to save money on food is by purchasing generic brands or store brands. While you might be doing this already, you can combine this trick with looking at the unit price.
Often, brands and stores will make something look cheaper than it actually is. So, while buying store brands can be more affordable, this isn’t a universal rule. Instead, look at the unit price. This tells you how good of a deal you’re actually getting.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
With increased living costs, making ends meet isn’t easy. You may have weeks or months where healthy eating isn’t as feasible. If you’re working extra hours or are really low on funds, eating something is better than nothing.
Also, don’t beat yourself up if you have some junk food or fast food. You work hard – just do your best.