Tips To Eat Healthy On A Budget In South Africa

It’s expensive to eat healthy on a budget right? Wrong! It is entirely possible to follow a healthy diet even on a tight budget. With a little bit of planning and by following these tips below, you and your family will get all the nutrition you need without breaking the bank.

Skip the meat

Curbing your appetite for red meat is a sure way to cut your grocery bill since red meat in South Africa is an expensive luxury. Chicken, eggs, nuts and beans are protein sources that are cheaper and also much healthier.

Ever heard of meatless Monday? Why not consider having one (or two) meatless meals per week and experiment with vegetarian options. Vegetable proteins like beans and lentils are inexpensive, easy to prepare, nutritious and also taste good.

Never buy processed and tinned meats like polony and viennas. They are expensive and high in sodium and fat which makes them unhealthy. Rather opt for tinned fish or left over chicken for salads and sandwiches.

Buy produce in season and in bulk

If you want to eat a healthy diet, don’t cut down on your fruit and veg intake. Make sure you get your 5 – 7 portions a day by buying what’s in season. When buying in season, you’ll find fruit and veg to be much cheaper, and they taste better as well.

Another way to save money is to buy fresh produce in bulk from the market and share with friends or family.

Steer clear of canned fruit and vegetables since they tend to be more expensive, and they often have a high sugar content.

Prepare and cook your food

Homemade food is much cheaper and healthier than ready made meals and takeaways. Plan your week’s menu in advance and buy accordingly so you can take advantage of weekly specials.

By making a shopping list, it will help you to avoid unnecessary items. Another thing to keep in mind is never to go grocery shopping when you are hungry as you are more likely to stray from your shopping list.

By using unprocessed products, you can save money as well. Pre-prepared items such as cut veggies and grated cheese are often more expensive. Buying a whole chicken will also save you money since it’s cheaper per kilogram. You can easily cut it into pieces yourself.

Start a veggie garden

Starting a vegetable garden is an excellent way to grow healthy produce and save money when shopping. You don’t need to have a lot of space since Tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, peppers and fresh herbs grow particularly well in containers.

With these tips, you will be able not only to eat healthily but save money while you’re at it.

Struggling With Debt Repayments? Here’s Why You Should Consider Debt Counselling.

According to statistics, South Africans spend an unbelievable 76% of our monthly income on repaying debt. This leaves a mere 24% of our earnings for other expenses. Life is getting more expensive every month with rising petrol and food prices, and it’s clear that South Africa is in a debt dilemma.

It comes to no surprise with the amount of debt South Africans are in that we’re failing to pay it back. Unfortunately, in order to keep up a certain lifestyle, people tend to take out loan after loan, which then becomes unmanageable and before long they start missing payments. Not knowing what to do, people avoid phone calls from lenders, legal action is taken, and they are ultimately blacklisted.

If this is you, considering Debt Counselling might benefit you greatly.

The Advantages

One of the primary benefits is that you don’t have to negotiate with the creditors yourself. A debt counsellor will do the negotiating on your behalf and settle on a repayment you can afford.

By going this route, debt counsellors advise the credit bureaus that you have applied for debt review and your profile will be updated. This means you will no longer have to deal will creditors phoning you non-stop and pursuing you with summons and judgements, which negatively affect your credit rating

The Consequences

You will have to pay a once-off upfront fee as well as monthly after-care fees. These fees are included within your monthly instalment, meaning if you can afford a certain amount, these fees will be calculated within the agreed amount. So no extra fees after you have agreed on an amount.

Once you start with debt review, it isn’t easy to withdraw, and you’ll need a court order stating you are no longer over-indebted or you’ll be required to settle all outstanding debt. Additionally, there will be a withdrawal fee payable to the debt consultant before a clearance certificate can be issued.

Clients can’t apply for any further debt while under debt review, so they won’t be able to use any of their credit cards, store cards or overdraft facilities. But this also aids in the fact of debt rehabilitation, being taught again to work with your cash flow and not to be used to swipe a credit card or other credit facility anymore.

What alternatives are available other than debt review?

An alternative is to change your lifestyle, but it’s one that customers are often not willing to consider. By selling additional transferable assets, cutting down on luxury spending, as well as budgeting effectively, you will be able to pay off some debt if not all in a short timeframe. This will also help prevent the same financial problems from occurring in the future.

In most cases, going through debt review is a practical way of getting back control of your finances. Which ever option you choose, remember that getting out of debt is never a short term endeavour and will need total commitment to succeed.

11 Tips On Raising A Baby On A Budget

Having a baby can turn your life upside down. There is nothing better than holding your baby for the first time and realising that they depend on you for everything. What you will soon find out though, is that “everything” can be expensive.

To avoid getting into (further) debt, follow these tips to save money while raising your baby:

Buy secondhand

Baby equipment is really expensive! By purchasing quality second-hand prams, cots and other gear, you will save at least 50% of what you would have paid new.

Don’t buy diapers too far in advance

First off, you won’t know which brand will work best with your baby and second, they outgrow them way too fast to stock up diapers months in advance. Another option is to use cloth diapers. Not only is it more affordable but good for the environment as well.

Breastfeed as long as possible (if you can)

It is no secret that breast milk costs nothing and formula can set you back quite a bit. If it is at all possible, try and breastfeed for as long as you can to save those extra bucks.

Make your own baby food

As soon as your infant starts eating solid foods, put some cooked veggies in the blender with a little bit of water and freeze meals in small containers. The money you will save makes it worth the extra effort.

Don’t buy expensive toys

Your baby doesn’t know how much their toys cost and will probably be more content playing with spoons, pans, and cardboard boxes.

Don’t waste money on a changing table

Instead, put a changing pad on top of your dresser and add a few shelves for storage.

Don’t buy baby clothes too far in advance

As with the diapers, they might outgrow them even before they’ve had a chance to wear them.

Choose unisex shades and styles

If you plan on having more than one child and would like to reuse some of the items, it’s best to buy gender neutral clothing and gear.

Wipe warmers are a waste of money

These do not affect how babies respond to late-night diaper changes; they are unhappy either way. Plus, a wipe warmer often dry out the wipes.

Don’t bother with a baby bathtub

A bathtub can be useful during the first month or two until they outgrow it. You can give your baby a perfect bath in any tub or well-cleaned sink as long as you support them carefully while cleaning.

Say no to baby shoes

Baby shoes are cute but expensive. Once your baby starts to walk, shoes can be useful, but before that, they serve no purpose at all.

Having a baby is one of the most magical experiences you can have but also one of the most expensive. It doesn’t help that many companies out there prey on the anxieties and worries of new parents who just want to take good care of their children.

The best thing you can do for your baby is to give them love and take care of their needs. You don’t have to break the bank when having a baby; it is entirely possible to raise a baby on a budget.