Proper nutrition is vital for kids because it helps build strong immunity against germs and bacteria, ensures proper brain development, and improves cognitive functioning and energy levels. Feeding your kids a healthy diet can also benefit their mental health.
However, parents who have a tight budget struggle to provide healthy foods for their kids. Prices of grocery items are expensive (and continue to rise in some places), making it challenging for many parents to afford them. This is especially true for parents with more than one child.
Fortunately, there are clever and easy-to-follow tips to ensure that you can still serve healthy foods to your little ones if you have a shoestring budget. Here’s how you can do it.
- Maximize Promotions
Local grocery stores often have discounts and promos to attract more buyers or introduce new products. They might slash prices on their items or offer freebies to buyers.
To provide healthy foods to your kids without breaking the bank, maximize sales. This means regularly checking the weekly ads of your favorite grocery store, so you’ll know which items are on sale during a particular day, week, or month. You can also sign up for the store’s loyalty program or newsletters to know the promotions they’ll have in the future.
Maximize promotions by using them to stock up on your essentials. Is your kids’ milk on sale? Buy several cartons and store them in your fridge. Is the store offering 30% off of meat cuts? Purchase a few before the store sells them at a regular price.
- Shop for Fruits That Are in Season
Fruits offer tons of health benefits to kids, namely boosting their immune system, giving them sustainable energy, and helping them maintain good health. However, fresh produce can be expensive at times.
The key to buying fruits at a lower price is to choose varieties that are in season. For example, if you’re shopping during winter, opt to buy grapefruits, lemons, or oranges. When shopping during spring, apricots, mangos, and avocados are generally cheaper. You can get blueberries and plums at a lower price during summer and apples and pears during fall.
- Cook at Home
Food establishments are common worldwide — you can easily access one regardless of your location. However, dining out can put a strain on your pocket as meals are often expensive.
Even if you have a tight budget, you can still serve healthy foods to your kids by cooking at home. This option is way cheaper than dining out, plus it allows you to be creative in the kitchen. This is especially important if your kids suffer from food allergies or specific nutritional requirements.
To make the activity more fun, you can even ask for help from your kids and let them help around the kitchen. Depending on their age, you can let your kids wash or mix the ingredients or let them pick the ingredients they want to use for their meals.
- Choose Whole Foods
Processed foods are available in all groceries stores today. These products offer convenience as it saves you time and effort when cooking. For example, you can simply buy grated cheese and mix them in your kids’ dishes within minutes. However, these products are not only unhealthy for you and your kids; they’re also expensive.
Instead of buying processed foods, choose whole foods. One block of cheese is cheaper than grated cheese and offers more versatility as you can use this in more dishes. Other healthy yet affordable whole foods you can for your kids are brown rice and oats. These are better options than feeding them flavored or processed cereals.
- Buy Generic Brands
To generate more profit, grocery stores place expensive, branded items at the eye level on the shelves. This position makes it easier for buyers to see and entice them to add the products to their carts. If you’re guilty of doing the same, it’s high time you change your ways.
When shopping for groceries, consider buying generic brands, which are often located below or above your eye levels. Generic brands — like the store’s own brand — are usually cheaper yet provide the same results or benefits as high-priced items.
- Look for Cheap, Online Retailers
Do a little research online, and you’ll be surprised by the number of sellers offering products at a lower price. Some even offer discounts and deals for first-time buyers.
For parents who have a shoestring budget, buying essentials online is an excellent option. Aside from buying products at a lower price (some online retailers offer nutritious foods that are 50% cheaper than grocery stores), online retailers also offer free delivery. This enables you to save more money from paying for gas or public transportation.
Improve Your Ways
Who says you have to spend a lot of money just to make sure that your kids are eating healthily? By following all of the tips in this article, you can achieve that goal while keeping your financial health in tip-top condition — it’s basically a win-win for you!