These days, we all have to play our part in saving money as much as we can
I’m not ashamed to say that I hate wasting food — or anything for that matter.
Call me thrifty or cautious — but I like my dollar to go further.
Although some of us might not have to do it, everyone is affected by the price hikes in supermarkets and petrol. It’s hurting everyone on one level or another.
Inflation and interest rate rises are putting a dent in everyone’s budgets — even my own.
As I make the necessary weekly purchases for the family, I’m shocked by how expensive the basics have become.
For instance, one grocery store will charge 12$ for a cauliflower, whilst another 7$. I cannot understand why the differences are so vast from one to another.
Aren’t all cauliflower created equal?
Everyone is doing what they can to stay afloat, and many people are sacrificing healthy choices — which worries me.
Although this is a time to watch your budget, it’s also more important than ever to apply healthy eating principles so that you can ride the tide in a good emotional, physical and mental state.
Nutrition is the be-all and end-all for leading a healthy life.
That’s why I wanted to share some insights that may help us make every shopping trip beneficial to ensure those dollars go as far as possible.
One: Convenience is an expense you don’t need right now
As I mentioned above, one store charges almost double for a head of cauliflower!
This is my level of comforting convenience because it has many more things we love than another store with limited produce.
But that can cost you a lot of unnecessary money without justification.
Unfortunately, sometimes we might have to purchase groceries from different places — to get the best deals possible. That might create a difference of hundreds of dollars — rather than eliminating essential foods from your diet.
Shop the price-conscious way, and save the convenience when the financial tidal wave is over.
Two: Don’t throw away your fruits or veggies — ever!
Freeze all fruits and veggies!
Whatever they are, everything can and should be used in soups, smoothies or multiple dishes.
Chop and put all your leftover veggies into a plastic sealable bag and place them in the freezer.
I save all my bananas and berries, and I’ve begun to freeze my avocado!
The taste is no different from a fresh one. Don’t be too precious about these things because they seem a bit ‘thrifty.’
I see it as eliminating unnecessary waste and saving essential nutrients which could still be used regularly during the week.
Three: Cycle your protein
Ok, now, for those who are meat-eaters, I apologise for focusing on plant protein sources.
They are a lot cheaper.
You can still eat your steak, beef and salmon — but the prices are somewhat ‘high’ to overindulge in these daily.
Eating different protein sources, like eggs, lentils, beans and canned fish once in a while will free your cash up a whole lot -and allow you to experience a hidden nutritional powerhouse.
Beans and canned fish are just as good as fresh meats — perhaps without a lot of the added chemicals you eat and the protein.
Try it on for size a few times per week, and you may enjoy the variety.
Four: Look at the fine print in sale items
The fine print here is an expiry date!
Usually, supermarkets trick customers into buying something out of date in a few days.
So, read all labels and stickers on a product. If you pick a sauce and it’s going to go off in a few days, then you are the loser in the game of supermarket wars.
You are better off buying something with a long shelf life than putting your health at risk by eating a rotten product.
Five: Start getting your hands a little dirty
I know this might be hard, but it’s the best time to start cooking all the ingredients you buy — from scratch!
That’s right — getting into the kitchen and getting your hands dirty.
There are so many excellent and simple cookbooks out there, in digital format, for inspiration.
What about Pinterest?
Here are some fantastic recipes you might like (and they are free!)
Six: When shopping, don’t forget your bags
I always do this, and it’s such a waste of money.
Bring your bags — or a bag with you whenever you buy something.
Those little dollars can add up to a lot, not to mention the wasted bags in your home that may need to be thrown out anyway.
Seven: Sometimes eating a similar food helps
Take, for instance, rotisserie chicken — it’s one of the most underrated foods around.
The amount of leftovers you can get from one chicken is outstanding.
Use the bones/ carcass for a broth or stock, which can be frozen or used later. This will instantly add flavour to any meal you make during the week.
You can do the same with vegetable stalks and leaves.
Use them in a broth with garlic, onions and herbs. Add this broth to rice or as a sauce staple.
Eight: Buy essential items in bulk
When your favourite items are on sale — buy in bulk regularly.
If you don’t have a lot of space, I like to put things away from prying eyes, such as under a bed (for things like toilet paper — not perishable food items).
If you want to buy animal protein in bulk, seal them properly in a bag and freeze them until needed.
Sometimes you can get a lot of fantastic bargains from this one method alone.
Nine: Impulsive buyers — stay away from supermarkets!
Buy online is my motto — ensuring I buy what I need and am not tempted to get any shiny objects that are a waste of money sitting in my cupboard.
Buying online also has its advantage. Through online-only offers, you can benefit from some staples.
Moreover, if you shop early enough, take advantage of free or discount delivery or click and collect.
I find that my trips to any supermarket to buy a few items become a costly array of too many things.
If you are like me, then stay away!
Key take away’s
As you add these and other tips into your repertoire of budget-conscious shopping, you won’t believe how many unnecessary purchases you made.
I did spend a lot of money on impulsive buys, and it’s painful now that I look back on the amount of waste.
However, it has become a lot better on my behalf since I transferred towards veganism.
I also fast every day, so that eliminates the expense of dinner, which never really worked well with my body.
Perhaps you might like to focus more on quality food rather than quantity.
Do you need protein bars or snacks, and will fruit make it much more convenient and cost-effective?
If you aren’t keen on breakfast every day, why not skip it?
Think about the health benefits you will create when eating less food.
Remember, it’s the small thing that matter over the long term.
What are your thrifty tips? I’d love to know.
Stay healthy and thrifty.
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