The Arthritis NewsletterWinter 2013
Arthritis Diet On a ShoestringBy Sharan Rai and Erin Carruthers
9 Money-Saving Tips for the Health-Conscious Student on a Budget
1. Sign up for a membership card – Most grocery chains have some sort of membership and/or points card. It’s usually free to sign up, and cardholders will have access to perks like weekly specials and redeemable points.
2. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store – All of the expensive, pre-packaged, and usually less healthy food items are concentrated in the middle aisles of the grocery store. Instead, shop the perimeter to find cheaper and healthier fare. For instance, the deli counter, the produce department, and the bread bakery are all around the edge of the store.
3. Select one or two splurge/fun items per week – It’s important to treat yourself, so make sure that you budget for a couple of fun grocery purchases. Plus, everybody knows that even health-conscious students need chocolate during exams.
4. Prepare large batches of meals ahead of time – Lunch may get repetitive, but preparing large meals saves both time and money. A crockpot can go a long way to help you prepare enough servings; simply combine the ingredients and let it cook while you study. Package the left-overs into meal-sized portions that are easy to just grab and go. Using glass containers means you can just toss the meal in the microwave for a fast and delicious lunch or dinner.
5. Visit produce stands instead of purchasing your fruits and vegetables in the grocery store – While extremely healthy, purchasing produce from chain grocery stores may not be as kind to your budget. Fruit and vegetable markets are a great alternative, as they tend to have more choices and for a much better price.
6. Purchase a Costco membership – While it may seem like a steep investment upfront, it can save you a lot of money in the long term. This can even be split between you and your roommates; the savings will help all of you when it comes to purchasing communal items for your residence (e.g. garbage bags, laundry detergent, toilet paper).
7. Try generic products instead of brand name products – Most brand name grocery items are not discernible from their generic label counterparts, and they are significantly cheaper.
8. Use coupon apps! – Gone are the days of clipping coupons; instead, we’ve entered the days of digital couponing. Checkout51 is a new app available to people living in Canada; it features ten (or so) new products each week with available rebates. Simply scan your receipt and collect cash-back credit. Every time you reach a $20 credit, you can request that a cheque be mailed to you.
9. Trade in your Starbucks habit – Invest in a coffee machine for your apartment. Or, if you’re out and in need of a jolt, replace your usual sugar-laden and overpriced latte with a drip coffee. When you think about it, that’s two drinks for the price of one