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Trying to save money on your food bill by buying bad food doesn't pay off

Updated on August 25, 2010
This is the section where you should be doing your browsing! Image courtesy of Monica Arellano-Ongpin of Flickr.
This is the section where you should be doing your browsing! Image courtesy of Monica Arellano-Ongpin of Flickr.

Don't try short changing your body. It isn't worth it!

It doesn’t require an economic downturn to encourage people to try to save money. Confronted with a choice to buy this or that of the same, most of us automatically buy the cheaper item – nobody like to waste money. There is always something else that you can spend the savings on!

Being frugal is a good and commendable trait, but you need to be careful. Sadly, many people try to save on the wrong things – perhaps the most common being their grocery bill, and ultimately their day to day diet. We all need to eat, but don’t trade quality food for perceived convenience or a small saving here.

When you go shopping next time make an effort to look at what other people are buying. Are they predominantly buying green vegetables, small cuts of good meat, and other healthy foods to prepare at home? Probably not! More often than not, you will see trolleys loaded with cans, microwave meals, and other instant or pre cooked foods.

Now the question is, how much could you potentially save on doctors visits, medical bills, medication, and days off work if you never – or at least rarely – got sick with colds, flus, migraines and other common illnesses? Would it outweigh the added cost of buying more high quality produce, like fresh fruits and vegetables? My personal experience is that you never lose out when you make an effort to improve your nutritional intake, even if it cost a bit more.

My premise here is that by eating well you will stay healthier, avoid getting sick, and generally get a lot more satisfaction out of life.

It surprises me that people say they are daunted by the prospect of cooking fresh vegetables. Vegetables are great, much more forgiving than meats when it comes to preparation time. Steaming is the healthiest and fastest, and makes minimal mess. Baking and roasting are not far behind, and if you are feeling adventurous, how about dusting off your blender or juicer machine and making some drinks and smoothies? Using a vegetable juicer is a great way to pack an extra hit of nutrients, vitamins and fibre into your diet.

If you are interested in juicing, you can read more about delicious carrot juice recipes and more on my other hubs.

So what should you be buying more of? Basically anything that is green, fresh, and hasn’t seen the inside of a processing plant is what you want to aim for. You don’t need to totally restructure your diet at once, but aim to include at leat one fresh vegetable (or fruit) with every meal. Breakfast and lunch offer a great opportunity to eat fruits with virtually anything, and at dinner time try to cook one or two vegetables. As mentioned, steaming is very fast and easy. Either steam in a colander over a saucepan, or invest in a nifty counter-top steamer that you can use alongside your regular cooking methods.

If you feel uninspired, read a cookbook or go online and find some easy and healthy vegetable recipes that will get you started. Carrots, celery, peppers and broccoli are all tasty and easy vegetables that can be served quite well with most other dishes. And if steamed plain vegetables sound boring, just make it interesting by serving a creamy cheese sauce – even the kids will love that.

In short, don’t try to save money in the wrong place. Personal illness is not just miserable, but it can cost you a lot of money, particularly if you are self employed or in a job where you do not get paid sickness benefits. Even if you do get paid sick leave, employers always prefer employees who have high attendance rates. And all this can be yours just from eating better!

Save money by driving a smaller car. Save money by quitting smoking, or drinking less alcohol, and by cutting you retail therapy. But don’t save money by buying cheap and bad food.

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    • breathe2travel profile image

      breathe2travel 

      8 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      I share your viewpoint on this! Although, we do indulge in pizza once a week! :) Voted up, and marked "useful".

      warm regards~

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