With today’s unstable economy and prices on almost all consumer goods rising at an alarming rate, many Americans are finding balancing their budgets to be an increasingly difficult task. And, while there many luxuries that can be cut back on and sacrifices that can be made, there are some things that just cannot be forgone, and groceries fall into that “necessities” category.
With some sources predicting that the average family’s grocery bill will increase as much as 4% over what it was in 2016, many Americans will no doubt be looking for ways to come out ahead at the checkout line. Fortunately, there are some measures grocery shoppers can take that will help them stretch their dollars at the checkout.
Before you even leave the house, you can take steps to make the most of your grocery budget. Look through your pantry and refrigerator and see what’s there and what’s missing. Check sell-by dates and throw out old items so you have a better idea of what you need. Do this on a regular basis and you will also get a feel for what your household does and doesn’t consume, thus saving you, even more, money. When you are done tossing, make your shopping list. Some people even go so far as to make out menus ahead of time so they know what exactly they will need for the week’s meals, a trick that can really help focus shopping.
Once out of the kitchen, flip through the newspaper for the weekly supermarket fliers and coupons. Mark items in the fliers that are on your list and clip appropriate coupons. Try to stick to what you need and what you know you will consume and use. You can also find great Wayfair coupons sites online. Many grocers, in addition to taking manufacturer’s coupons, will also honor other store’s flyer specials, so ask. Organize your list, flyers, and coupons so that you aren’t unprepared when you get to the store.
If you are a member of a cost saving club, compare their prices on non-perishable items that you can use in bulk. Often you can save big on items such as paper products, cleaning supplies, over the counter pharmaceuticals, and toiletries at these clubs. Likewise, some of the larger grocery store chains offer member reward cards that provide discounts on selected items.
When shopping, if there are sections or aisles that don’t have items on your list, skip those altogether – impulse items can add up quickly and if you have made your list up correctly, you don’t need anything that’s not on it. When you can, buy the house brand items as those are often significantly cheaper than brand names and, let’s face it, a can of green beans is a can of green beans. Similarly, remember to scan the bottom shelves for bargains -stores strategically place more expensive items at eye level. Finally, look at store “specials” carefully, as some aren’t always the best deal. There are some “buy one, get one free” specials, for example, where the “one” you pay for actually costs more than two of the same item costs at the store across the street.
If you live somewhere where produce stands or farmer’s markets abound, you have options beyond the local grocery store. In addition to often being able to get fresher fruits and veggies at a lower price, you have the added benefit of knowing you are helping your local agriculture thrive. Get to know your local seller and sometimes you will be rewarded with discounted goods just for being a repeat customer.
No matter where you shop, storing your goods is an equally important step in food procurement. Money is wasted when good food gets lost in a cupboard or refrigerator or goes bad prematurely due to improper storage. Once you get home, be sure to store your new purchases in a manner that will prolong their shelf-life and keep them from being overlooked or lost. If you aren’t going to cook meat within a few days, freeze it. Veggies and fruits that are kept refrigerated will keep longer and stay fresher. Storing coffee grounds, cereals, and grains in airtight canisters will keep them from going stale as fast.
Excessively high blood pressure is often a major sign of an unhealthy lifestyle. High blood pressure can lead to a number of medical complications, particularly later in life. Anything higher than 140/90 is generally considered to be high. Getting it under control using the following tips will help you to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce the risk of heart problems.
1. Exercise on a Regular Basis
Unless your situation is particularly severe, you shouldn’t need to start pumping iron at the gym every day. Instead, get into the habit of integrating a small but consistent amount of exercise into your daily routine. Just thirty minutes of physical exercise per day can be enough to make a noticeable different in just a matter of weeks.
Through regular exercise and dieting, you will also lose weight, a major cause of high blood pressure. Just remember-that exercise should be consistent and as evenly spread throughout the week as possible. Saving it all for one-or-two days of the week is not optimal.
2. Improve Your Diet
As stated previously, excess weight is a number one cause of high blood pressure. Another common cause is an excess of salt in your diet. Changing a few dietary habits can make a great deal of difference not only to your blood pressure but also to your overall health. If you find it difficult to stick to a diet, you may want to try keeping a food diary. Among the healthiest foods, particularly when it comes to lowering blood pressure, are whole grains fruits and vegetables. You should also work on eliminating saturated fats from your diet, such a fry-ups, and carbohydrates. Avoid adding salt to food and stay away from processed foods as much as you can.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress is another of the most common causes of heightened blood pressure, and unfortunately, it can be a difficult issue to confront. Reducing stress will not only decrease your blood pressure; it will improve your health overall. There will be less impulse to eat or drink to excess, and you will sleep better. Try to cut out the most stressful aspects of your life as much as possible. It may be time to find a new job or to get out of a relationship which is not working out. Alternatively, a change of scene in the form of a holiday can make a world of difference.
4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
In small amounts, alcohol may actually be good for your blood pressure. However, drinking excessively and going over your recommended daily intake limits on a regular basis can end up having quite the opposite effect, as well is causing harm to many other aspects of your health in the process. For those who drink a great deal, it is better to cut down over a longer period of time, since the withdrawal symptoms can actually be as bad as the alcohol intake itself. Finally, avoid the habit of bingeing on the weekends, even if you have been completely tea-total all week.
5. Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, it should not come as any surprise that smoking can also increase blood pressure as well as harm you in a huge variety of other ways. A single cigarette can increase your blood pressure for over an hour, but if like most smokers, you smoke throughout the day, your blood pressure remains at a constant high. There are many ways to quit smoking, including nicotine patches, gum, and inhalers. More unusual methods include hypnotism. Alternatively, if you have tried and failed to quit, you may want to try using electronic cigarettes. You can get VaporDNA coupon code 2017, from vapor beast coupons. These will come in handy in your budgeting.
6. Keeping on Top of Things
If you suspect that you have high blood pressure, it is important that you monitor it. You can purchase a blood pressure monitoring machine (sphygmomanometer) from certified pharmacies. You should also visit your doctor before getting started with home monitoring. In more severe cases, you may find that you will have to go in for regular check-ups. Ideally, try to get all of your healthcare needs addressed at the same place.