Food. When we say food we think of the different kinds of food and possibly how much money we spend on it on a day-to-day or a month-to-month basis.
Healthy foods can often seen as being expensive and hard to maintain especially if you are on a budget, however, other foods that contain high fat, high sugar or even salt are often, seen on special offers or viewed as the cheaper option. But are they really cheap or worth it? As a single mother with a growing child I am determined to feed my child the best food possible but I’m also aware of my budget.
Whether you are in employment or even if you’re not working, food shopping really adds up. Lets take a look at this a bit more closely.
Do you buy the branded products because you are familiar with them? Do you see them as being trusted? Or are you product buyer that is less concerned about the name of the brand but you want the product do basically do what it said on the tin?
When I worked for a large brand, my role was to sell products to customers and highlight the benefits of the products in order to get the sale. What I noticed was that if it was a popular item, people would buy more, especially if there was a good promotion behind it. That fact alarmed me because I started to wonder whether we are buying these products for the benefits it’s meant to give or are we just simply buying a foodstuff! This then made me question my own choices in the foods I would purchase and I started thinking, “WHY THE HELL IS FOOD SOO BLOODY EXPENSIVE!!” That moment lead me to Switch and Save.
Here is a SECRET; nearly all-major retailers use the same manufactures and suppliers which means essentially most of your money is not actually going to the product but more to the name of the brand.
Take a pack of bake beans there are 3 big brands (A + B+ C) all fighting to get the bigger size bean.
Brand (A) gets the medium size bean but because they are a well-known brand they charge 99p for bake beans
Brand (B) gets the larger and better quality beans but because they are more concerned about the quality and not price they charge 39p for their bake beans.
Brand (C) gets the small size beans however still well-known so they charge 89p for their bake beans.
Who has the best beans and who is cheaper?
Here are some questions to answer when you are buying branded foods.
- What benefits are you getting from this brand?
- Does this brand have the same or more ingredients than own named brands or even it’s competitors?
- Do I know and understand the words in the label for the Branded product?
- Is there a better alternative to the branded product?
- Am I buying it for the quality and if so is there another product with a better quality at a reduced price?
Many products have a branch mark for price vs. the ingredients/quality of the products. If it is a lower value product it can be seen to have less ingredients or it can be filled with stuff like polysaccharides (which just another word for long chains of carbs) all depending on what products you buy or where you shop.
People I bring forth some solutions! Last year I did a Healthy choices Switch and Save and I went from spending £450+ (that’s all the food shopping not the other foods I buy per month) to a NICE £150 and that was every single food item per month. You’re probably looking at this thinking “Nah she must be lying!” But I kid you not! It’s the truth and I am going to show you how.
- Review what you buy on a day-to-day basis. Make yourself a menu and get your kids involved (if you have kids) in the process of buying your meals.
- Shop at different places! You are going after quality not price.
Aldi Supermarket is amazing because you get high-end produce for a fraction of the cost. They have found a brilliant way to take your everyday items and provide you with better quality, taste, with healthier benefits under a similar name but it’s the SAME product.
Now I’m all for being healthy, after all I’m a Nutritionist, that what I sell! But when I say healthy I mean keep it simple! I don’t want you to have ingredients you can’t pronounce. Even I have to check my Food Degree to recap some of the meanings, like really! I just want you to get the full benefits from the best ingredients for your money. Simple!
Here are my 4 top tips to reduce your Food-Shopping Bill
- Shop around: Try your local butchers and fishmongers see what special offer and get the cheaper cuts of meat and fish and make your menu out of it.
- Family Classic: My son (Khari) loves certain dishes I make so when I plan my meals I factor in those ingredients, so I can make his family favourite 2-3 times per week. This also helps me not get distracted when I out buying food shopping.
- Restaurant Inspired Meals: As a chef I know first hand that anything can be recreated at home. When you go out for a meal, more often than not, you can find the recipes online or even on YouTube. The best bit about it all is that because you learnt how to make it at home, you can include these ingredients in your shopping list and you will be saving money plus recreating the sexy lush food from your favourite restaurant or food outlet.
- Wildcard Meals: This is for those days when payday is not here yet and you need to eat but your cupboards are looking a bit slim. Add a couple of ingredients together to make a meal out of it. For example you have 1 cup of rice, a couple of pieces of onions, sweet peppers and some ham or a protein source. Make yourself egg baked rice or Mexican rice and beans with the ham; topped with the egg and sauce, dinner is served! The point is you can always make something out of nothing.
When it comes to food shopping, it’s all about what you need. You can have a few of your favourite little treats that you like to buy, but why not try to make it yourself. It’s fun and you know exactly what is in it.
In today’s society we are plagued with ever-growing cases of obesity and other diet/health imprecations that is related to the foods we eat. If you don’t understand or know what some of the products contain always remember you have the choice on whether to buy it or not. As consumers we have so much power! There are so many local businesses out there that are passionate and driven to give you the best food and drink, you just to find them. Because chances are, not only will you be getting amazing quality food products but you will also be saving money in addition to increasing your chances to live happier, healthier lives.
For more tips or info follow twitter @fmgnutrition or visit www.fmgnutrition.com to book Happy Healthy Workshops