Step Three: Shopping

Welcome back to my series on how to shop for a healthy lifestyle on a budget. I hope you’re enjoying this collection of posts. I think they’re ideal for the New Year as we might not be feeling quite so flush after all the festivities and extra expenditure. So, onto today’s post, which is a collection of all the tips and tricks I’ve gathered over the many years that I’ve been working with a food budget.

These tips and tricks should leave you money for whole food treats!

Beginning with one I’ve mentioned before, don’t go food shopping on an empty stomach. The temptation of being surrounded by food when you’re starving is too much for us mere mortals to bear. Go shopping with a happy tummy (and your list too!).

Only buy reduced items if you were planning on buying them, or something similar, anyways. Some people cram their trolleys with yellow-stickered items, calling them “bargains” but then never get around to eating them all and end up throwing them away. Stick to the list, or sub like for like; e.g. the broccoli you had on your list for the tenderstem that’s reduced.

Stick to the list is a good rule in its own right. Don’t be swayed in the fancy deli for new products that you haven’t seen in there before (I’m so bad for this) – remember what you came in there to get in the first place.

Eat with the seasons. Asparagus in November tastes rank. Fact. I love getting my berry fix throughout the winter months, so I buy packets of frozen, as they’ve been flash-frozen so keep all of their incredible nutrients.

Read your labels. As well as checking price labels to help keep to the budget, also have a look at the back of the label on the food product. Is it really a bargain if it’s stuffed full of salt, sugar, additives, MSG or other such nonsense?

Branch out to your local shops. It’s not just the supermarkets that have bargains!

My last rule is my mantra; buy the best quality you can afford. Organic, local produce is a huge win for your tastebuds and the environment and often, surprisingly, for your purse too. Even if you can’t buy 100% organic (I certainly can’t at the moment), aim to increase the amount you use. If you eat meat, free range is the minimum level you should aim for.

I hope these tips are useful to you. Feel free to add any extras in the comments section below.

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