Shopping for groceries in recessionary timer requires a different approach if you hope to save more money yet still provide nutritious foods for your family. The most important consideration is the need to eat healthy fare, rather than spend those dollars on convenience foods and sweets.
One of the most important ways to save money is to cut back on those small daily expenses that so many people become accustomed to. That morning cup of coffee, donut and newspaper add up to sizable change over the year. Eating at the deli or fast food place for lunch consumes even more of that wasted money. Eliminating these expenses puts extra money into your pocket so you have more to buy those necessary groceries.
In recessionary and inflationary times, it’s necessary to get down to buying the basics. These basics include:
* Fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, most of what’s consumed on the dinner tables today consists of nutrition-less fare. Vegetables take time to cook and prepare and in today’s hectic world, few people find any time to prepare wholesome meals, yet it’s so vital to maintain good health. While buying organic produce costs more, the cutbacks on those cakes and cookies make back the cost. But far from buying produce from the supermarket, your best bet is to buy at farmer’s markets where the produce is less likely to contain pesticides and other chemicals that commercially grown produce contain.
* Buy fish. We’re accustomed to beef as the staple diet. Yet fish is rich in omega 3 oils and far healthier. If you must have beef, it should be lean and come from grass fed cows. Chicken and turkey are good meat alternatives, but again, chicken should be free range. The same applies to those eggs. Find a source where you can get fresh eggs. Nuts and seeds can make good snacking choices over those bags of potato chips.
* Whole grain and cereal products are filling. Refined white bread, common breakfast cereals, white rice and pasta may seem like the simpler choice but they are not healthy choices. They spike blood sugar and consuming these items is largely responsible for the epidemic of diabetes today. Canned soups and prepackaged meals contain a good deal of salt, sugar and fat and should be avoided.
* Fruit juices, colas and many carbonated drinks on the market contain a good deal of sugar. Juicing is a better alternative as you can be sure you’ll get more of the vitamins and minerals for good health. You may buy more fruits and vegetables, but they will create a healthier you.
* Low-fat milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses make good dairy choices. Cottage cheese can be healthy but you’ll need to check the label as many contain a good deal of sodium. If you are lactose intolerant, rice and soy milk make good alternatives.
* Buying in bulk makes sense if you can store what you buy for the long term. If you can’t freeze, can or bottle what you buy, stick with buying only what you expect to use in your daily meal plan.
* At times you’ll want to satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruit and nuts can make for healthier deserts. Just mix them with those sinful foods. For example, you can buy plain yogurt and low-fat ice cream and mix in an assortment of fruits and nuts to make healthy parfaits. While you can splurge a little if your budget allows it, always read the labels on those packages of sweets. Many products today, including soft drinks, contain high fructose corn syrup which is cheaper to produce than common sucrose. Experiments have shown that lab rats given a diet that contained HFCS gained weight. Since the introduction of HFCS in the fifties, obesity has steadily climbed in the American population since then.
Eating healthy is a matter of choice. Buying healthier foods may appear to crimp the budget, but eating healthier often translates to less overeating. With more fiber, you’ll feel full longer and that translates to more savings on the food budget.