Items I Should Buy On A Tight Budget?
Do you experience a situation when you feel like most of your budget money goes to food expenses? That almost half of your paycheck goes to your essential items? Then, in that case, there is something off in your budget. Making a budget for a little hard-earned money is quite challenging, and sometimes it needs significant help in budgeting your money wisely.
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What is a budget? What to buy on a budget? these are few questions we may often ask to ourselves if we are experiencing a minimal inflows of cash and limited allowance for our essential needs.
Here Are Few Lists Of Affordable Foods To Buy In Bulk That Suits In Your Budget List:
1. Canned Foods.
Are you wondering if there is any healthier version of canned foods? Most canned items with a long shelf life are considered emergency goods. There are better options for these items, such as coconut milk, canned mackerel, pinto beans, tomato sauce, low sodium corn, green beans, black olives, tuna, artichoke, and kidney beans.
Some canned goods are considered unhealthy, like those with high saturated fat content, added sugar, highly processed meat like corned beef and spam, and high sodium. If you are looking after your health while on track with your budget, you may want to consider the healthier option of canned goods that you can find in the store.
Is there a healthier version of eggs? Some people are particular about health, and that is understandable. Others prefer more on organic eggs than factory-farmed eggs. A cage-free or organic is a better and healthier option, but it cost a bit higher than factory-farmed eggs. While maintaining the cost within your budget, making the right choice is still at your discretion.
If you are a rice eater, you will have a bit of an edge in maintaining grocery costs within your budget list since it is affordable and consumable for a long time. From personal experience, eating rice with just a simple viand of vegetables is already a satisfying and, most of all, a budget-friendly meal—a small 32 oz bag of jasmine rice. Only cost $3.29, and it will take at least a week or two to consume.
Canned or dry beans is another budget-friendly grocery item you can add to your budget list. It is good for making chili soup, an ideal menu item to consume for a few days’ meals.
Oatmeal is one of the best protein-rich foods to eat. Aside from its affordability, and you can buy it in bulk, oatmeal also has many health benefits to your body. It is highly nutritious, can aid In your weight loss goal, contains a powerful antioxidant that can reduce high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and contain soluble fiber. You can consume oatmeal for your snack, breakfast, or dinner.
Flour is another budget-friendly food item. You can use a bag of flour for two weeks or more for as low as $3.00. You can use flour for various recipes, like parties, meals, and desserts—one of the must-have items in your grocery budget list.
Carrots are a good source of beta carotene, antioxidants, vitamin K1, Potassium, and Fiber. Aside from its nutritional value, the vegetable is also affordable and will suit your budget list. You can add carrots to various recipes or eat them raw as a nutritious snack. If you are searching for ways to cut your weight, the carrot is an excellent vegetable to munch.
If you want to save some money from groceries, consider potatoes in your budget list. You can also use it in various recipes for your everyday meal. Most importantly, It is affordable, and you can buy it in bulk.
9. Frozen Meat.
Frozen meat is more affordable than fresh-cut meat. You can use a pack of frozen beef or chicken patties for days with a side of affordable frozen veggies like broccoli and carrots, and you can still make a decent and inexpensive one within your budget.
10. Frozen Vegetables.
Frozen vegetables have a longer shelf life which can be stored and used for a longer period. You can also choose organic steamable frozen vegetables for a very affordable cost. A lot of the frozen vegetable brands can be microwaved right in the bag in minutes.
How can you make a budget list before buying groceries?
1. Check Food Items In Your Pantry And Fridge.
Before you write down your grocery budget list, you need to check all the remaining items in your refrigerator and pantry. Make sure everything stored in your pantry and refrigerator is non-expired food items and still usable. Double-checking is necessary so that you will not buy the same food item that you already have. It will save you some money and prevent you from double stocking your groceries.
2. Plan Simple Recipes For Your Meal.
Planning your meal recipes ahead of time for the week may be ideal for saving some money for groceries. Find a recipe that is simple, affordable, and with fewer ingredients.
Planning your meal every day for a week’s worth may involve tedious work, but doing this will give you a head start on what items you will need on your next grocery budget list.
3. Eat Your Leftovers As Soon As You Can.
I know most people are tired of eating the same food repeatedly, but if you wanted to save money, you wouldn’t take that chance of wasting your leftovers. Eat your leftovers no later than three days; this will also save you time cooking and consuming your stored food fast.
If you cook a meal for everyone in the household, make sure everybody is willing to eat the food you prepare. Cooking vegetable soups can last for 3 days and save you time and money from cooking every day if you and your family are willing to eat the same food for days.
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4. Don’t Cook More Than What You Can Consume or Eat.
If you are the type of person that won’t eat any leftovers, then avoid cooking excessively.
Take time to cook if you are a picky eater and always prepare minimal food to eat in a meal. If you cook for the whole family, make sure everyone agrees to eat the same food you prepare. Avoid waste from not eating your leftovers as much as you can.
5. Limit Your Meal To One Or Two Varieties.
To limit your meal varieties means you don’t have to prepare more than two kinds of foods per meal. It will be great only to maintain one menu per meal to save your grocery budget list.
It is right to say that making a budget is very tough, and it needs sacrifices to spend less on items to accommodate other priorities with your paycheck. An example of this excessiveness is preparing a meal with an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Please keep it simple in your everyday meal with no excess stored in the fridge unless you like to eat leftovers.
6. Cook What Is Available In Your Refrigerator and Pantry.
When you create a meal plan for the week, plan a meal with ingredients already available in your fridge and pantry instead of buying a whole new set of groceries to cook for your menu plan.
Make it a habit to consume and use what is available at home before buying other groceries at the store. If you cannot develop ideas on recipes, try to check on Pinterest for more Recipe Ideas.
7. Re-invent or Modify Your Leftovers.
If you have no problem eating leftovers but easily get tired of eating the same food every day, you can also save and stick to your budget list by modifying your leftovers with add-on simple ingredients. An example of this is meat leftovers.
You can slice the meat leftovers into little pieces and add some vegetables of your choice. I often saute’ my leftover cooked meat with either cabbage, zucchini, or green beans and season with pepper and a bit of salt.
How To Stay On Track On Your Budget?
1. Set Aside Your Allocated Grocery Money.
It is helpful to make a budget list for your groceries and all your expenses at all times. Make your list simple by organizing it weekly. You can do this by simply organizing your allocated budget for each expense.
Write down all your grocery lists and their intended budget weekly. Separate your allocated money budgeted for groceries from your other expenses, put them in your organizer or envelope individually. Allocating and planning your grocery money could be one method of controlling your expenditures and avoid from overspending.
2. Create Menu Board In Your Kitchen.
Creating a menu board in the kitchen may sound silly and a lot of work, but you can plan and track your daily menu according to your budget plan by doing this simple idea. You will have your personalized menu guide on what to cook for the day or for the next 7 days, which could lessen the burden of your meal plans daily.
3. Take Time To Cook Your Meal Everyday.
Cooking your meal daily could be a lot of work if you are working long hours. We all know that preparation takes time if you prepare home cook meal. You can simplify this process by prepping your ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate them.
This is an easy way of planning your meal, and cooking your meal daily is not as tedious if all you need to do is cook less with prep time. You can keep track of your budget list if you cook your own meal instead of taking out food.
4. Avoid Purchasing Extras Not On Your Grocery Lists.
Extras or unplanned expenses such as buying items not listed in your grocery budget list will destroy your budget plan. I know how difficult it is when you have already listed an exact item you need to buy for the week, yet you want something more.
Controlling yourself takes a lot of drive and determination for your goal. It may somehow help to shop or go to the store with a full stomach to avoid overspending. I know I tend to purchase more than what is the intended budget if I shop hungry.
5. Look For Discounts, Coupons, Or Promotions.
Some stores send their discounts or coupons through snail mail or email. You may want to take the opportunity to save as much as you can. You can also pull out coupons online and promotions to avail yourself within a specific time. Other sources can be discounted with promotion apps or cashback apps. You can download various apps that give rebates and discount offers; this will help offset the full price of certain items.
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6. Minimize Buying Meat.
Meats are expensive, and if you buy more of these items, your budget may not be enough. Keep track of your budget list by minimizing the purchase of meat products. Look for other options like meat substitutes such as tofu, or you may alternate buying your meat. For instance, if you buy beef and pork once every week, this time, you may want to pick one meat and alternate every week.
The bottom line is, keeping up with the budget can be challenging. It takes proper planning and continuous implementation to achieve a solid outcome of your budget list goal. Following the same method continuously can make the task easier.