Rising prices do not necessarily mean eating less nutritious—or delicious—food.
With a dose of creativity, lots of forward planning, and determined effort, eating healthy can be done with almost any budget. We talked to a couple of nutritionists and a personal finance expert to show you how to maximize your food budget without sacrificing nutrition or enjoyment.
Money Matters • Set a budget, a written plan on how to spend your money, for food and put the amount in an envelope, says Chinkee Tan, life coach and author of the personal finance book, ’Til Debt Do Us Part. Bring this envelope with you when you go to the market or grocery, and spend only what is in it. This way, you only use cash. Consumers spend about 30 percent more when paying through credit. • When shopping, bring a list and stick to it. At least 20 percent more is spent on impulse items when shoppers don’t bring a list. • Bring your own bottled water; make your own iced tea. Doing these seemingly insignificant things can eventually bring substantial savings. A bottle of iced tea a day, for example, at P20 each adds up to P7,200 a year, says Tan. • Cut down on eating out, ordering take out, or having food delivered. It may take some effort but the money you save will amaze you. Assuming you spend P500 on eating out every week, that’s P24,000 in a year! • Skip the junk food. Sodas, chips, candies, and all those munchies not only cost money, but they don’t give value for money in terms of nutrients. If you must have potato chips, make your own! At least you can control the oil, salt, and other ingredients that go in it. • Make a weekly menu, so you can plan what ingredients you have to buy. A menu also lets you check if you are getting enough nutritious meals throughout the week. It also saves you from the hassle of thinking what to cook every day.
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