August 1, 2019

Achieving a Healthy Grocery Bill

Food costs are on the rise and sometimes, it may seem like it’s less expensive to eat processed, prepared foods as opposed to a healthy, nutritious meal.  However, with some careful planning you can eat well on a budget.
Create a weekly or monthly budget.  Use this to guide your meal planning.
Make a list and stick to it.  Knowing what you need in advance will help eliminate impulse purchases or buying something you already have stocked in your pantry.
Speaking of the pantry – stock up when items are on sale but be sure that you will be able to use it before the best before date.
Look at produce near its best before date – sometimes it has been discounted for quick sale.
Buy what is in season.  Not only will you have higher quality meals but when the food is in season, it’s often less expensive. 
Plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils and legumes are less expensive than meat.  Try to incorporate them into your diet more frequently.
Cook in batches.  Cooking a greater quantity than needed for one meal can reduce your overall costs.  Freeze the extra for a quick meal another time or have the leftovers the next day for lunch. 
Limit highly processed foods.  Not only are they often loaded with sugar, sodium, and preservatives, but they tend to cost more. 
Look high and low.  Companies pay a premium to have their brand at eye level.  Look to the upper and lower shelves.  You may find the same product at a lower cost.
What’s in a name?  You will often pay more for a brand name item as opposed to a store brand.  Look at the ingredients – they’re often the same.
Convenience stores are just that – convenient –  but they are not cost effective.  Shop at lower-cost chains and markets for the best value.
Use technology to your advantage.  Coupons have gone online.  Apps like Flipp and Checkout 51 help you find the best deals for the items on your list. Don’t forget to take advantage of any price match deals.
Shop on points. Credit card points, PC Optimum points, Air Miles, etc. can all be used to reduce your grocery bill. 
Don’t shop when you’re hungry.  You will be more tempted to shop by your belly than your brain!
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