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Winter brings with it more than just arctic winds and dustings of snow. As the temperatures plummet, your food bills soar. Not only is cheap, fresh veg is harder to come by, but you’re likely eating more as your appetite adjusts to the chilly season.
Between that and the upcoming holidays, you can see your grocery bill take a big chomp out of your budget. But does it have to eat up all your extra money? Keep scrolling to find out how you can eat well and celebrate the holidays on a budget.
1. Overcome Food Deserts
A food desert comprises a single neighbourhood or an entire region with limited access to affordable fresh produce.
While just over a million people in the UK struggle to afford fresh veg, nearly 18 million Americans live in food deserts. And these deserts are growing in states like Idaho, Georgia, and Tennessee.
If you live in a food desert, you’ll want to replace fresh produce with canned or frozen options. These preserves are just as nutritious for a fraction of the price.
You may also want to check out local resources for assistance. If you live in Idaho, that would include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Emergency Food Assistance Program.
2. Understand How to Use Credit at the Till
You shouldn’t use online installment loans to cover groceries — no matter how expensive they may be.
Online Installment loans are designed to help you in an unexpected emergency that totally blindsides your budget. So you might consider this option if your fridge or oven breaks down, and you don’t have the savings to cover its repairs.
In an emergency, you can compare local installment loans online to see if they fit your situation. That means, if you live in Idaho, stick with Idaho short-term installment loans, as this will ensure your lender follows the lending laws in your state.
While you might want to think twice about using an installment loan online at the grocery store, you may safely swipe your credit card to pay for groceries, especially if you earn rewards points redeemable at the supermarket.
3. Be Aware of the Small Things
Sometimes, little decisions can have a big impact on your bill. Here’s how:
- Shop on a full stomach. Hunger causes most people to spend 64 percent more on food.
- Look up & down. Grocers tend to put their most expensive items at eye level. Check the other shelves for cheaper items.
- Look at price-per-unit. If you’re ever unsure whether bulk food is a bonafide deal, look at the price-per-unit to see how much you’re paying per ounce or millimetre.
4. Carve out Time for Meal Prep
Setting aside a couple of hours a week for meal prep can help you save a ton of money. This organizational tip helps you plan out your meals for two solid benefits:
- You can make filling recipes that rely on cheap ingredients
- You avoid adding unnecessary snacks or ingredients to your cart
For added savings, you can even plan your meals to reflect the weekly deals offered by your grocery store or coupon app.
Fill Up without Cashing Out
Eating well on a budget is possible, even when the winter weather and holidays leave you feeling munchy. Remember these tips to help you reduce your grocery bill without going hungry.