Sunday, 22 January 2012

Eat Healthy Cheap Fast

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Part 1 of  2

Photo by tyger_lyllie
When I got my first long-term, full-time job, I knew I was going to have to figure out a way to make sure that I ate well. I wanted to stay healthy at my desk job and eating good food is certainly a part of it. So, I began compiling a list of simple things I could do to cut back on my time and effort, while saving money and eating healthy. 


Since I began, I've had a few requests for the simple list. 

So here it is, in 2 parts, my easy-breezy-never cheesy how-to guide for eating healthy, cheap and fast.

Part 1: Buying The Stuff

1. Check your cupboard.  
If you've got it, don't buy it again unless it's running low, is inconvenient to get, or is on sale. 

2. Check the flyers.
  1. Look online- I used to get flyers in my building, now I don't so I look online. It saves clutter. If there happens to be a coupon in the flyer, I'll ask for one when I get to store.
  2. Pay attention- Know when something's really on sale, when it's cheaper at another place anyway, or when it's not that good of a sale. If the item advertised at that inconvenient store is the same price as the one around the corner, you'll save yourself a lot of time by avoiding it.
  3.  Clip coupons- if you don't need the item right away and the coupon is good for a bit, you can use when item is on sale for more savings. If you're never going to buy the item, avoid the clutter. 
3. Make a grocery list.
  1. Mark the place- When you add an item, add the store where you saw it one sale or where you know they have the best price/ selection, etc.
  2. Include staples Beans, rice, fruits, and vegetables are good for you and unprocessed foods are generally cheaper. However, you have to prepare them- some ways can be minimal (rice, eggs and toast), some more complex, but there are ways to save time and make it easy.
  3. Get whole-When comparing sales, try to look for healthier options such as the whole-wheat version. White pasta may be generally cheaper, but when on sale, whole wheat versions are a similar price.(Things like bread are often cost the same amount for the whole wheat and white version.)
  4. Image by By MStewartPhotography
  5. Get lucky- Include items that are on sale, but that you don't want right now, perhaps putting a mark so you know that. If the item is out of stock when you get to the store, you can generally ask for a rain check and save it for later. Be sure to know how long the rain check is good for and how many items you can have on it. If you go with a friend, you can both get one. (My family and I saved so much money this way- we'd all ask for rain-checks of the maximum amount of an item and use them as we had the money.)

4. Go Shopping-
  1. Stock up- If an items is on sale or inconvenient to get,you can, save time on shopping and save money, if you stock up. Make sure the item will be used before going bad and that you can afford to buy so much at once.
  2. Watch out- Sometimes store have 'surprise' sales that you'll find by looking in the aisles. There are also coupons and changes in the price of produce that might not be advertised.
  3. Save 50%- Most groceries stores will have a section where the items are severally reduced. Sometimes it's because the baked good is on it's last day, the apples are getting a little bruised, because the product was unpopular, or even because the package has changed. If you're going to a potluck later that day, want to make bread pudding, have a quick snack, or it otherwise suits your needs, check it out.
  4. Photo by The Consumerist
  5. Avoid certain aisles- If you're not buying candy, there's no need to go into the aisle that's dedicated to the product. Same goes with the ice cream section, fancy cheese, or cookies area. If you know you need nothing there, you'll save time and money by avoiding the place.
  6. Know how to eat it-Don't buy things if you don't know how to eat them. Unless you're willing to take the time to figure out how to do it, you're wasting you're money. If something really interests you, find some recipes.


Got any shopping tips? Leave a comment, you'll probably get good Karma. 

As always, if you like what you read, remember to share, subscribe, or follow me on twitter. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Eating Healthy, Cheap and Fast- Putting it together and my final post from the series on Setting and Achieving Goals- What to do if you fall off the wagon.

Live well, Charlotte


1 comment:

  1. I've posted the second part of this topic. Have a look for simple tips on how to put it all this healthy food together. http://charlottejoyliving.blogspot.com/2012/01/eat-cheap-healthy-fast-part-2.html

    ReplyDelete

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