Cancer Nutrition on a Budget
Cancer can place a considerable strain on your budget. You’re spending time and money to get to your appointments, and you’re undergoing expensive diagnostic tests and treatments. You’ll want to save money where you can, but you shouldn’t have to survive on ramen noodles. This is the time your body needs nourishment the most, so food quality is essential.
Here are some of the ways you can save money on your groceries, enabling you to eat like a king or queen:
Maintain a grocery list and stick to it. In addition to ensuring that you never run out of a needed food item, a grocery list also helps ensure that you don’t overbuy, reducing the potential for food waste. However, if you’re not feeling well and something looks appetizing, consider adding it to your grocery cart.
Clip coupons. It may be a bit time consuming, but clipping coupons can end up saving you a pretty penny. You can find coupons in the Sunday newspaper, store circulars, and online, and you may be able to stack coupons from different sources to reap maximum savings.
Buy generic, when possible. Many stores have a store-brand equivalent to the name brands. In many cases, the store brand has similar stats but costs considerably less.
Stock up when there are super sales. Foods with a long shelf life (like frozen vegetables, canned tuna, and fruit juices) are good to stock up on when there are really good sales. Just be sure not to overbuy. If you end up ultimately not using these foods, you’re losing money.
Store your foods properly to reduce waste. Make sure to wrap your foods properly or place them in appropriate storage containers to prevent them from spoiling or affecting the flavor of other foods. And when using a food, make sure to close that container properly and put the food away promptly.
Even leaving a nonperishable item like a sleeve of soda crackers exposed to the air for a short period of time can cause them to become stale very quickly.
Keep your refrigerator and pantry as uncluttered as possible. If your food storage areas are too packed, you won’t know what you have, and you may end up spending money on duplicates or having to toss expired items, both of which waste a considerable amount of money.
Use your leftovers. You don’t simply have to reheat your old eats, but you can reinvent them. For example, your leftover vegetables can find their way into an omelet or soup, making you feel like you’re eating a whole new meal. Or you can opt to freeze your leftovers, enabling you to use them at times when you don’t have the energy to cook.
Compare store circulars to find the one with the best deals. Different stores have different deals, so you may want to vary where you shop on a weekly basis or visit different stores to reap the most savings. You’ll just have to consider whether the additional travel and time this takes makes store hopping worthwhile.
Get rain checks. Just because a sale item is out of stock doesn’t mean you can’t ultimately get it. Go to customer service to get a rain check for that item, and be sure to use the rain check when the item is back in stock.
Watch the register. When there are sales, these may not always show up at the register. By watching the register, you can catch these mistakes, and they can be corrected before you pay. This practice also helps you ensure that the clerk scans all your coupons, including any instant coupons attached to items.
Stock up at other places. The grocery store isn’t the only place for you to stock up. Groceries are available at numerous other stores, including chain retail stores, health-food stores, farmer’s markets, online retailers, and even your own garden.
Chain retail stores and online retailers may be great places to get non-perishables for a good price, whereas farmer’s markets and your own garden can be great resources for fresh and affordable produce. Health-food stores may be a good source for getting nuts, dried fruits, honey, and other specialty items for less than you’d pay at the grocery store.
With a little effort and some ingenuity, you can meet your food goals while keeping your expenses down. But don’t feel like all the burden should be on you. Enlist others to help. If you have children or grandchildren, get them to help you with the coupon clipping. If you have leftovers to use, see who can come up with the most innovative way to use them.
There are many ways to involve family and friends in your money-saving efforts.