How to save money on groceries

Grocery shopping can be costly and challenging if you don’t plan it in advance. With prices seeming increasing by the moment, it can be difficult to stick to your food budget. To help, here are some tips on how to save money on groceries.
 
Prepare a meal plan for the whole week
A good way to save money and avoid impulse buying is to prepare a weekly meal plan and write your grocery list accordingly. You can even go one money-saving step further and make your meal plan around grocery stores’ weekly discounts.

However, do not forget to take a look at what you already have in the fridge and freezer before preparing your menu for the week. That way, you can use up these remaining ingredients before they go bad and you have to throw that hard-earned money straight into the garbage.

Groceries
 Become a flexitarian
Also, consider including more vegetarian meals than meat, and follow a flexitarian diet. Cutting back on meat and swapping it for plant-based protein is an easy way to drastically lower the grocery bill. Meat is much more expensive than a block of tofu or a can of beans. Plus, you’ll be getting more healthy fiber and less unhealthy saturated fat into you.
 
Choose local brands
If you don’t want to spend a large amount of your money at the grocery store, purchase locally produced products. These are more often than not as good as, and may even be healthier than, well-known national brands. Besides, in most cases, well-known brands just repack local brand products under their name. This means that you really are just paying for the label, which makes these goods 20-30% more expensive than local brands as a result.
 
Choose seasonal fruit & vegetables
Fruit and vegetables can be very expensive, depending on the season. When produce is out of season, it costs more because it has to be grown and flown to you from overseas countries. When produce is in season, there is an abundance of produce that is locally available. Because it costs less to transport it to the supermarket, it costs less for you to buy!
 
Buy frozen fruit & vegetables out of season
If you don’t want to deprive yourself of your favorite food, the solution is to buy them frozen. Frozen products are often cheaper than fresh, non-seasonal foods. This is because it doesn’t have to be transported as quickly because it doesn’t go bad as fast. Also, don’t worry that frozen produce might not be as good for you as fresh. Studies have shown that frozen food loses little to no nutrients compared to fresh.
 
Grow your own items
You can’t get fresher and cheaper than growing your own produce. However, not everyone has a large garden that they can grow a variety of crops, let alone have the time. But such a large space is not necessary. You can save money by growing fresh herbs in your kitchen: all you need is a pot, some soil, and a sunny space to put them. You can even make use of limited outdoor space by growing tomatoes in a pot on your balcony. They’re low maintenance and are as rewarding to grow as they are tasty!
 
Avoid food that has been cut, peeled or grated for you
Rather than buying sliced carrots, or fruit that is already cut, opt for whole vegetables and fruit that you can prepare yourself. The same goes for grated cheese: are you really so pressed for time that you need to spend extra money instead of grating it yourself? Not to mention, food that has been cut or prepared loses its nutrients quicker. So, not only is it more expensive, it’s also not as healthy for you. Doing some simple preparation at home is a very easy way to save those much-needed pennies.
 
Take cash to a grocery store and leave bank cards at home
A great way to help you stick to your budget is to only bring cash with you to the supermarket. You can’t buy anything extra if you physically don’t have the means to pay for it!
 
Use a shopping list or a shopping list app
One of the most effective ways to save money at the grocery store is to make and use a grocery list. Why? Because it can help you doggedly stick to only what’s on your list.

If you’re more technologically minded, you might want to consider using a shopping list app. It’s as effective as a hand-written list, but has smart features that make it even more useful. Such features include sharing so you can work with someone to build a list. This can also prevent whoever you’re sharing the list with buying duplicate items. Some also have a price and budgeting tool which can help you plan the cost of your groceries and give you more control over your budget.
 
Avoid distractions and temptations
If you have children, try not to take them with you. They can be a distraction and can be very insistent when they want something, causing you to buy extra unplanned items. If you have to take them with you, be clear and tell them you are buying only the products that are on the shopping list. Why not involve your children by making shopping a game and having them find products for you? This will keep them from getting bored and tempted by their favorite candy.

Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach can also distract you. Not only are you more likely to fill your basket with food that you don’t need, studies have also shown that hunger makes you more impulsive and contributes to bad decisions making.

Also, avoid going down aisles that you don’t need. By avoiding them, you simply won’t get tempted by what’s in them. This is especially true for aisles filled with chocolate, candy, and cake.
 
Join your store’s loyalty program
If your grocery store has a loyalty program, why not join it? You may be eligible for discounts or even free items, which can help you save even more.

Disability and Employment

Disability can be a difficult topic to speak about especially when it comes to employment. Employers are often thinking what are the best practices when employing someone with a disability so in this blog we are going to be speaking about the recruitment and employment of people with disabilities.

Disability and Employment

What is a disability?

There are many types of disability. Too many to name, but there are several umbrella terms to disability, which are sensory, physical, mental and learning.

Here are some examples:

Sensory – Vision and Hearing Impairment
Physical – Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes
Mental – Depression, Anxiety
Learning – Dyslexia, Dyscalculia

Just to make it even more complicated there are variants within this as some people like myself have more than one disability from multiple categories. To make it even more complicated than that, long-term health conditions are also considered as a disability.

Not all disabilities are visible; there are also many invisible disabilities for example depression or HIV.

Legislation – The Equality Act 2010

The government created legislation in 2010 that protects people with disabilities from discrimination both in and outside of the workplace.

Not every disability or health condition is protected by The Equality Act 2010 and the following definition should be applied:

‘’You are disabled under the ‘Equality Act 2010’ if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long term’ adverse effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.’’

When working alongside people with disabilities in employment you will hear the term ‘reasonable adjustment’. The Equality Act 2010 states that employers and service providers must make reasonable adjustments to prevent people with disabilities being put at severe disadvantage.

So your now thinking what does a reasonable adjustment look like?

For a national organisation, which employs a person with a physical disability, a reasonable adjustment might be step free access to enter and exit a building. However if an independent shop employed this person, it might be more reasonable for the shop to provide the employee with a wheelchair ramp for them to enter and exit a building.

Now the word reasonable is a very grey term because what is reasonable to one person is not necessarily reasonable to another and there are also considerations to how large the employer is. However there are ways in which to seek this information to inform your decisions if as an employer you wish to ensure you are abiding by the rules, regulations and best practice.

 Fair and accessible

In order for us to recruit people with disabilities we must make the recruitment process fair and accessible. Some employers don’t realise that before a candidate with a disability gets to the job interview stage, there are multiple barriers that they face for example job adverts being inaccessible. In some cases job adverts have excluded people with disabilities by stating such things as you must hold a valid driving license. This isn’t completely true as somebody with a disability may have access to a vehicle and may be entitled to a driver funded by access to work.

There are some people with disabilities who would require the advert in a different format for example by having someone read out the information via the telephone and some people use email as an alternative method. In most adverts there are contact details listed at the bottom of the advert. Is this person well informed about the job and are they able to provide the advert in an alternative format?

The job interview comes with multiple barriers for people with disabilities. Some people with disabilities may find it difficult to get to a job interview for a number of reasons for example they haven’t secured the job with you in order to have access to funding that may enable them to get to work on time, they may have recognised the job advert at short notice and arranging support to enable them to attend the interview could prove difficult. Advances in technology such as Skype or the good old telephone may prove invaluable in opening up this job opportunity to a wider field of candidates.

Advertising equals diversity

Ensuring the way your job is advertised in more than one place is key. Most providers promote their job adverts on one particular platform. How about having a multi-layered approach by advertising your advert on multiple platforms. Some may pose the question that this could be costly for organisations but forums for people with disabilities, social media, and many other advertising channels are sometimes free and provide the opportunity to create a diverse workforce, as inevitably you will get different types of candidates.

Is it all about physical adjustments?

Often those involved in making the recruitment process accessible fixate on physical adjustments such as step free access, lifts, hearing loops, which are the very obvious ones. Although they are still very valuable there is much more to recruiting someone with a disability than this. Being aware of the way in which you speak to someone with a disability, maintaining eye contact and also looking in the candidates general direction when they are vision impaired. It is often the case that because the candidate has limited eyesight the interviewer doesn’t maintain eye contact. By treating someone fairly and with the same level of enthusiasm as a non-disabled candidate, will ensure better rapport. Furthermore if that candidate is then successful in achieving the job there is a better impression of the organisation on the run up to the candidate accepting the position.

Interviewing candidates for a job requires a vast amount of skills in which some people often miss out. Interviewers must recognise their own unconscious biases and have a certain amount of self-awareness to ensure fair treatment for all.

Top tips:

  • Ensuring that job adverts are accessible
  • To hold the job interviews in an accessible location
  • To hold yourself in the same way you would when interviewing someone who doesn’t have a disability

To find out more about making your recruitment process accessible you may wish to attend Disability Awareness Training.

Written by Centre for Resolution