Saturday, October 22, 2016
Saving Money On Groceries
Just a couple of thoughts on healthy eating and cutting your grocery bills.
First of all and most important is to learn to cook without cookbooks. Yes, you heard me well. A basic cookbook which teaches you how to make a simple soup and how long to cook your vegetables is fine, but all these modern, fancy cookbooks and cooking magazines which cost you a lot of money really contain very little useful info. Many of the dishes they feature are of a type that you could think of yourself, like all the summer salads, for instance.
They are great for giving you ideas, they make a good present, they encourage you to spend more time in the kitchen, which is all fine, so if you have enough money why not buying them, however, they aren't really essential, except those containing baking recipes as unlike with salads, baking often means precision.
Plus, they often require exotic ingredients and entice you to go above your budget. And sticking to your grocery budget is the most important thing to do if you really want to trim your expenses.
Second, remember, you don't need to be a millionaire to eat healthy. The experts all agree that "healthy" means above all, ditching all or most of processed food. The more you cook from scratch, the better. Nearly all vegetables and most fruit are healthy. Every week supermarkets offer a discount on some of them, so that every week you have your chance to try another sort of healthy veggies. Some of the healthiest things out there are dirt cheap, like onions and garlic (and it will protect you from vampires, too:).
The same is true about meat. Fish is trickier, as it's quite pricey over here, but it can be acquired frozen or canned (avoid canned in sunflower oil, though. Olive oil appears to be better). If potatoes are expensive, they can be substituted by rice, which is usually quite cheap.
Third, here we come to dessert, which is too often bought ready-made, and full of unhealthy stuff like too much sugar. Be creative! Yogurt with honey makes for a great dessert and it's not expensive. Substitute store-bought things for homemade. The same goes for all the baked goodies from a supermarket which are too often made with margarine instead of real butter and have an amount of sugar and conserving agents in them enough to prevent one from reaching 90 after 2 times use.
Strictly avoid wasting money on sodas, chips and similar, except for birthdays or treats. Dark chocolate with high cacao content is better than candy bars, btw. As with all other things, moderation is the key, so you don't need to deprive yourself of all pleasures of life, just change your eating habits slightly.