Posted by Chile Monster on 4/12/2022 to
For many of us, the biggest weekly challenge we now have is to make the week affordable and still enjoyable. Inflation, rising fuel costs and so many other issues are making it more and more challenging to have an affordable, good time. Restaurants are charging more and giving you less as shortages have made it difficult for them to maintain the same quality you have come to expect. Even if you do not mind paying more for the goods and services you have come to rely on, the real issue is that you're paying more for far less quantity and quality.
Instead of trying to focus on what are the causes of inflation, a better use of your time would be to focus instead on how to manage your budget during inflation. One of the biggest costs that often goes unaccounted for during a monthly budget is the cost of food. We tend to use a ballpark figure here, but we forget about the one or two times a week that we go out for meals which include a couple of drinks, a tip and an increase of our monthly costs.
Value Of Learning To Cook
One of the skills that people have really focused on learning of late, whether they had prior experience or not, is to learn how to cook. These people feel that the ability to cook is not only a great way to enjoy delicious food at home, but also a great way to save. Learning how to prepare delicious meals throughout the day can help the average person save as much as 50% on their monthly food costs. If you have a family, that is a lot of savings to take into consideration.
Trimming Fat From Your Food
One of the other advantages to cooking your meals at home is that you can get a little bit more creative with the recipe, including making the dish healthier. Between the ingredients for the dish, the oils and butters used to prepare the dish as well as anything that it's cooked in all contribute to the health and flavor of the food. Some of the best ways to improve the health of a dish can include:
· Fat free & low-fat substitutes: The majority of products we can buy that either are food or can be used in the preparation of food have healthier alternatives. Butter, sugar, flour, cheese, milk, yogurt, meats, vegetables, fruits and more all have some type of counterpart that can reduce the calories, fat, sugar, or even a specific ingredient in all of these products.
· Add some spice: One of the hesitations of substituting ingredients for healthier alternatives is that you are not going to get the same taste you like. Yes, there is a difference in the taste between regular cheese and fat free cheese. However, one of the easiest ways to add flavor to a dish without adding calories or fat is to add spice. Spices, hot sauce and other things that give your food a bit of a kick usually are very low in calorie and can improve a variety of meals. Egg whites is one of the best examples that people use every day.
· Try new ways to cook: Perhaps one of the answers to cutting back on fat while also saving money isn't necessarily to eat the healthiest thing but to still make it at home. Think of making a cheeseburger and french-fries at home, rather than going out to get them you can use an air fryer to make the fries taste almost identical to any restaurant or fast food establishment and by going with low-fat mayonnaise, leaner beef and maybe throwing a few veggies on that burger instead of bacon and a fried egg, you can still enjoy one of your favorite meals and still trim the fat a bit.
· Try new recipes: Sometimes when we are trying to eat healthier, we get fixated on the idea that we need to convert our foods into healthier versions. An example of this is when someone who likes meatloaf is told to try it with ground turkey or chicken instead of beef. Perhaps the answer instead is to try a completely new recipe, that utilizes different ingredients and spices that while it's not meatloaf, it's still a delicious dish.
Remember this when it comes to trimming fat, calories, cost or anything else, you do not have to make huge gains in order to be successful. Cutting your fat intake and your calorie intake by 10% as well as your monthly expenses can result in a huge difference in both your health and your financial situation. Small improvements to things that we do or utilize every single day add up and eating and spending money are two things we do every single day.
While being healthier is one thing, being healthier towards your budget is a completely different thing. Keep in mind, traditionally it's the unhealthy foods that are more affordable and last longer. That durability is a big factor when it comes to saving money. A bag of potato chips is going to be cheaper than a bag of apples and it is going to last longer. Keep this in mind as you look for ways to start cutting back on your monthly food costs. Here are some other tricks you can consider trying:
· Shop online: You need to buy something unique for a recipe you want to try out. The local grocery store sells this item for $17.00. When you go online and search for that product specifically, you will literally see every store that offers that product and the price they sell it at. Perhaps by buying it online you end up paying a total of $15 including the shipping cost. $2.00 doesn't seem like much but it will add up.
· Earn the rewards: Companies are so desperate for you to be loyal to them that they are willing to offer you advantages for being a repeat customer and spending more money. It's a great marketing plan by them because it allows the consumer to feel like their purchase is building equity to future savings. As a consumer you need to take advantage of this because it could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
· Buy in bulk: Half of your weekly grocery list consists of items that will last for at least one month. This includes paper towels, cereal, toilet paper, soap and so forth. Why not take the time to research where you can buy these items in bulk cutting the costs down significantly and allowing you to stock up?
· Plan your food for the week with sales: Every week your local grocery stores will put out a new sales ad and the same goes for many of the online stores you can shop with. Plan your meals accordingly based on what is available and what is on sale. For example, if pork chops are on sale, you can buy those and prepare them later this week and while you are at the grocery store you can pick up a rotisserie chicken and have that for dinner tonight.
Moderation is the key to having success in not only making healthier decisions with your food consumption but your monthly expenses as well. If you can cut back on fatty foods and calories as much as 20% each day by just switching to some alternative options, and also reduce your monthly expenses by 20% by cooking at home more often and buying in bulk, you are going to see significant improvement in both those areas immediately. -Try to focus on building a routine around weekly sales, what you can have time to cook, planning ahead, where to shop for the best deals and so forth. It's all stuff that you can do from the comfort of your home, or even while you are on your phone. Why not save money while enjoying healthier food?