Money is the paper that makes the world go around. Everywhere you turn, you are bombarded with information on how bad the economy is and that the recession is not over. Then, you face advertisements on various "must haves", and you have no money, no job, and zero prospects. Where do you go, how do you provide for your family or just yourself? Certain things may have to go, but you do not have to sacrifice healthy eating! You can still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you follow these 7 simple rules, you can save tons of money on food in this tough economy.
1. PLAN AHEAD
This is the most important rule to getting ahead. Some say plan your meals ahead, and stick to those ingredients when you food shop. Others say do not overbuy, and lightly snack before you shop. Pick up your local supermarket or food market ads and ascertain what sales and specials are running this week. Create a detailed food shopping list based on your needs, restocking the condiments, and beware of impulse shopping.
2. EAT HEALTHY
Eating healthy doesn't always have to cost more - you just have to plan ahead. Reduce portion sizes and processed foods. You do not have to give up everything, as long as you think before you buy. Processed foods are riddled with fillers, sugar, and things only a scientist can pronounce. Saving money does not mean you have to give up on quality.
3. READ THE LABELS
Compare the nutritional value of food to the cost. This will help you rule out empty calories with more flavor. Watch your food bill drop! If you think about what you are eating and how many servings you can have from a pound of peaches or fish, you can plan your meals accordingly. Read the labels - this is important if you want to eat healthy, but not give up on flavor or freshness.
4. SEASONAL AND FRESH PRODUCE
Keep in mind what is in season. Always review your local grocery ads to find the best sales for the week. Also, check out your local farmers market. This way, you know that the produce is fresh. Depending upon the season, you can find some really good deals while supporting your local economy.
5. READ LOCAL ADS
So many ads today read “10 for $10.00!” This can really be boost to your weekly food budget. You can stock up on items, and remember that most deals like this allow you to mix and match. So, look at the frozen, fresh, and canned products - although be careful when buying canned food and and read the labels for processed foods. Fish and poultry are flash frozen to protect the meat from freezer burn and retain the necessary nutrients.
6. CHECK THE DATES
You must always remember, before you purchase meat or any other perishable item, to ask yourself when you are planning on cooking this item. There is so much food that goes to waste. You do not want to serve your family bad meat, so be very careful and check dates.
7. STORE BRANDS
Do not close your mind off to store brands, which are often on sale in our stores weekly ad. Rather than the more expensive national brands, which contain the same ingredients as store brands, you are only paying for what you get (not just the name). The same can be said for cereal, oatmeal and frozen foods - the store brand is just as good as the name brands.
Ashley Kay likes to save money by shopping locally and visiting Lifeinsurancequotes.org.