Category Archives: shopping

How To Create a Healthy Grocery List on a Budget

grocery shopping tips

A comprehensive grocery list should cover everything. It must have the items you need for carbs, sources of protein, greens, and condiments. Unfortunately, healthy sources of food can be expensive especially when you shop at selected organic stores and groceries. Thus, it can be a challenge to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you think of the costs that come with it.

But, it should not deter you from choosing to live healthily. There are plenty of ways on how you can tick off all the items from your healthy grocery shopping list without overspending. But first, you have to identify the things you need to buy. The list below is your guide to find out what food goes into your basket during your shopping trips.

1. Bread

You should go for “whole wheat” or those made of “whole grain.” These should appear first in the list of ingredients. The whole grain bread you choose should at least have three to four grams of fiber.

2. Meat

Your list should include skinless chicken or turkey breasts. As much as possible, avoid red meat. If you need minced beef, go for ground chicken or turkey. If you have to buy red meat, you should go for lean cuts. Also, you can ask for grass-fed beef. You can find these in organic market Manila or stores that specialize in organic food.

3. Seafood

It’s best to purchase and consume fresh seafood. You can cook up a lot of flavorful dishes when you incorporate seafood into your healthy grocery list. Add a variety of fishes like salmon, mackerel, halibut, and trout as an alternative protein source.

4. Pasta and Rice

Pasta and rice are also forms of carbs. You should pick brown rice and whole wheat or whole grain pasta. You need to load up with fiber to help your digestion.

5. Oils, sauces, salad dressing and condiments

You can select different types of sauces, salad dressing, and condiments but you should avoid those loaded with sugar, sodium, and preservatives. Select those that are plant-based and are made of all-natural ingredients. Also, you should replace regular ones with their light versions or those with fat-free labels. If you want to limit your sugar and sodium intake, then make sauces and dressing at home. That way, you keep track of what’s in them.

6. Cereals and breakfast food

Pick up breakfast cereals and bars that are high in fiber and low on sugar. You should always prioritize multigrain or whole grain options. If you want to add flavor in your bowl, you can add berries, dried fruit, and nuts.

7. Soups and canned goods

Instead of reaching for meatloaf or other ready to serve meals, you should pick up tuna or salmon in water. Diced or whole peeled tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene. Other than these, you should get cans of beans. Black, kidney, or soybeans are healthy sources of protein.

8. Dairy, cheese, and eggs

If you need milk, you should get skimmed milk or low-fat ones. Soymilk is also a great alternative. You should also have some fat-free or low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cheese types. Don’t forget to look for tofu before checking out the counter.

Fruits and vegetables are non-negotiables of a healthy grocery list. When picking up your produce, you should include different varieties of fruits and vegetables. Always look for those that are in season and locally available. They taste better and cost less than those imported from other regions.

If you have to get frozen food, you should take frozen fruits and vegetables. You can include the greens in soups, stews, and casseroles. Meanwhile, frozen fruits are great for making smoothies. You also shouldn’t deprive yourself of snacks and crackers. You should have nuts, dried fruit, whole grain crackers, and dark chocolate to curb your hunger or satisfy your cravings.

These are the grocery items you must include on your list if you wish to shift to a healthy lifestyle. You must be consistent in what you buy, so you don’t forget the items on your list. Though some of them can be pricey, it doesn’t mean you have to trade them for less healthy alternatives. The key is to make some lifestyle changes to stick to your budget.

Here are some of the changes worth noting:

1. Eat at home

Try not to order takeout or dine at a restaurant whenever you feel hungry. Choose to use your groceries to prepare a healthy meal instead of eating fast food loaded with grease.

2. Prepare meals beforehand

Take the guesswork out of preparing meals. You can dedicate a day to lay out your groceries and make your meals for the week. That way, you have healthy, delicious meals in an instant.

3. Keep your leftovers

Don’t waste your groceries. Keep your leftovers in the fridge. You can use them to whip up something new whenever you feel like trying out an interesting recipe.

4. Get everything you need in one go

Try not to have multiple grocery trips. You’ll only end up taking items you don’t need. As much as possible, go to the grocery once a week to stock up on the essentials.

Making lifestyle changes of shopping for healthy food isn’t as hard as you think. All you need is patience and a bit conscience to pick your cooking over fast food orders. When you learn to eat healthily, you end up with a strong body and a full pocket. Those things won’t be far from reality when you help yourself actively work on achieving them.

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You Don’t Have to Skip The Mall When You’re Broke

broke girl looking at shops at vertis north shopping mall

It’s easy to get in a financial rut once in a while when you’re starting your career or launching a new business. When you’re young, you can get sucked into the vortex of the capitalist culture. You have to buy stuff to fill your home or be identified. It’s no wonder that people get into debt or end up with no money because they’ve spent it in buying stuff they don’t need.

You might think that the solution to your problem is to skip the mall altogether. However, there are other things you can do so you won’t end up losing all your money in shopping. Exercising control or finding an alternative activity are few of the things you can do to fill your day besides visiting the shops at Vertis North.

Find out how you can spend a day at the mall without going broke. The tips below will be the solution to manage your money properly.

  1. Opt for experiences and not add-ons

Don’t go to the mall with the mindset of “wanting to have something.” Instead, think about what you wish to achieve or experience while there. Consider all the things you and your friends can do when you’re together. You can window shop and create a mental list of all the stores with high-quality swimwear. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting your next summer outfit. You can also visit cafeterias and ice cream parlors to find which has the best tasting iced coffee or gelato. If you’re with kids, you can visit the arcade and children’s booths. Some booths offer free trial or admission to activities.

  1. Put your needs first

If you think about it, you can take care of your needs by shopping. You have to drop by the grocery store to get fruits, veggies and other produce. You need to visit boutiques and stores to get new clothes whenever what you have are too worn out or ill-fitting. But, there are other needs you’re neglecting when you only think about these things. You forget about your emotional well-being. You also need to breathe and think clearly. Shopping sprees won’t help you achieve that. A day at the spa, a hike, or time at a local shelter are some things you can substitute for shopping.

  1. Don’t stop walking

Use your time at the mall to exercise. Walking helps you burn calories while straying your mind away from buying something you don’t need. Whenever you feel the urge to enter a store to purchase an item, you should walk towards the next floor. It’ll change the view and help you think about other stuff besides shopping.

  1. Choose the right shopping partners

If your weaning on shopping or plan to change your spending habits, then you should also think about the people who shop with you. There’s a phenomenon called “group-level consideration” that happens when you are with others. The people you spend time with or are with you at the moment of buying can influence your decisions. If you’re friends or mom doesn’t have a grasp of your financial health, you can end up with a credit card bill you can’t afford to pay especially if they’re reckless shoppers.

  1. Skip freebies

Malls are fond of selling items in bulk or offering gift certificates to their customers. However, it comes with a price. You have to buy a regular priced item or reach a certain amount to avail the freebie. Don’t fall these seemingly money-saving tactics. They only encourage you to spend more or increase the quantity of the items you have in your cart. The next you face a similar situation, always think of your choices. You always have the option to walk away.

  1. Be confident

Shopping can be a form of therapy. Some people even get a confidence boost after a day of shopping. That’s because they think they bought the right items that makes them smarter, sexier, or much prettier than they are. Unfortunately, feeling bad about yourself can only drown you in shopping bags. Once the glamour of shopping fades, you are left with yourself. It’s time you acknowledge yourself for who you are. Learn to love your strengths and weakness as clothes, makeup and makeovers can change the way you see yourself.

  1. Survey the aisles

Before you settle on a can of tuna or a loaf of bread, you should first look for alternatives. You might find a less expensive tuna with the same size or a can that’s is more costly but weighs more. Furthermore, it can feature better quality than the product you’re used to buying. Always look at each aisle to see if you’re getting the best deal out of your shopping trip.

  1. Don’t fall into a store’s trap

Marketers and business owners set up stores to encourage mall goers to linger to the store and spend more. They trick your senses to remain enchanted with the products on display. Clothing stores blast feel-good music, makeup and skin care shops have a good-looking staff to show the effectivity of their products, and jewelry stores install high-wattage halogen lights to bring out more sparkle to their watches and other displays.

  1. Wait for sale season

The easiest way to maintain money in your wallet is to sit out the spending sprees you have during ordinary days and wait for sale season to come. Don’t worry about items going out of stock. The store is sure to go all out during the end of the season. You’ll still be able to see that pair of boots or oversized sweater and get them half the price during a sale.

  1. Look for items at the back of the store

Most stores, including high-end ones, place their new releases and pricy items in the middle of the store. These stores aren’t thrilled to put out the things on sale so they usually stash them at the back. Be patient and always watch out for major steals placed at the sides or the back of the store.

The mall is an exciting place to be but not so much when you’re broke. It can make you feel small and insignificant because you don’t have enough cash to buy the things you want or eat at the latest food joint. Fortunately, you don’t have to skip the mall altogether when your balance is running low. These tips show you how to survive a day at the mall without cashing out.