In an era of increased awareness about obesity and heart disease, more people are scrambling to transform themselves in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
As it may come as no surprise, many are hopping on the vegetarian bandwagon as means of trimming down and cutting out poor eating habits. For starters, the benefits of a vegetarian diet include:
- Longer life expectancy (an additional 9.5 years for men and 6.1 years for women)
- Lower body weight and decreased risk of heart disease
- Common cosmetic benefits include clearer skin: likewise, many vegetarians report high energy levels and less sluggishness when adopting a plant-based diet
The elephant in the room for those looking to adopt a vegetarian diet remains: buying “healthy” food is so expensive, isn’t it?
Money Saving Tips For Vegetarian Newbies
Savvy shoppers who understand what they’re looking for can maintain a vegetarian diet on the cheap, despite popular belief. Keep the following tips in your back pocket whether you’re considering vegetarianism or are trying to clean up your diet without breaking the bank.
Start Shopping Online
Some staples of a vegetarian diet are best purchased online on the cheap including any combination of the following:
- Dried fruits such as pineapple, dates or raisins, which represent nutritious, high-energy snack options
- Rice, beans and pasta which can be cooked in bulk and represent the central ingredient of many vegetarian dishes
- Protein powders, including plant-based or soy protein, to ensure that you’re meeting your protein needs while eliminating meat from your diet
Saving with online shopping may seem like a no-brainer: however, you can take your savings a step further by taking advantage of deals and coupons. For example, BigBasket coupons provide flat-rate discounts on your entire grocery orders online: deals are out there if you’re willing to look for them.
Don’t Be Sucked in by Marketing
Many big box brands advertise “organic” or “vegetarian” products in order to suck naive buyers in: however, don’t give in to the hype. Such items are often overpriced and are little more than marketing snake oil. Unless a food is certified organic, the term itself doesn’t mean much of anything to a vegetarian.
Likewise, you can simply stick to fresh or limited-ingredient options if you’re worried about additives and chemicals in your diet.
Pre-packaged vegetarian meals may be tempting, but they’re often costly and may contain unnecessary preservatives. Instead, you should learn to cook for yourself, and perhaps cook in bulk, as means of ensuring the food you eat is clean and prepared properly. Start with simple rice and pasta dishes and move up from there: you need little more than some sauces and seasonings to get started.
Forget the Specialty Stores
While it may be tempting to shop at stores that keep purely organic products, such stores are pricey and many of their items can actually be found at big box stores. Likewise, you can find many specialty items online for a fraction of the price.
Saving on groceries as a vegetarian doesn’t have to be complicated. By focusing on deals and understanding how to avoid the buzz around specialty stores and products, you can enjoy a clean diet on a tight budget.
Image of fresh vegetables via Shutterstock
As many people already know, owning a car can get expensive. In addition to monthly payments (EMIs), gasoline, maintenance costs, and insurance payments can all make a huge dent in your bank account. That is why saving money on your car insurance is of the utmost importance. Finding the right insurance policy, at the lowest price, can be time-consuming and frustrating, and the process often includes comparing multiple quotes. Having car insurance is a must, but there are some ways you can lower your costs.
Car Insurance on a Budget – Fast, Efficient Ways to Save Money
Raise Your Deductible
Higher deductibles translate to lower payments for you. This may be a viable option for many people, especially if you drive safely and properly maintain your vehicle. The deductible is the amount of money you must pay for damages before your insurance takes effect. Raising your deductible on an older vehicle, or a vehicle that is only driven a few miles a year, can help you save a considerable amount of money. If you don’t mind paying more after a collision, raising the deductible can drastically reduce your insurance costs.
Combining insurance policies is one of the most popular ways to lower your insurance costs. If you already have multiple policies from the same company, combining them can entitle you a significant discount. Many companies allow you to “bundle” policies such as life, home, car, and renter’s insurance in order to attract business. You can use this to your advantage when it comes to reducing your premium.
Pay the Full Price
Most auto insurance companies allow give you the choice of breaking your yearly premium into monthly or biannual installments. The prospect of having to pay a large sum of money up-front may not be appealing, but it can save you more in the long-run. By paying your insurance bill all at once, you will more than likely be eligible for a sizeable discount. This option may seem somewhat pricey at first, but remember, it does pay off in the future.
Maintain Your Credit
Your insurance quote, like most things these days, is heavily influenced by your credit score. Drivers with lower scores are subject to higher prices and fewer discounts. If you pay your bills on time, and spend responsibly, you will seem like less of a credit risk to car insurance companies. This is one of the most surefire ways to save on car insurance.
Insurance companies also factor in your driving record when calculating your rates. Drivers that have a history of collisions, whether they are at fault or not, will have to pay more. If you have been convicted of a vehicle-related crime, such as DUI, or reckless driving, you will also be subject to increased costs.
Talk to Your Agent or Company
Remember my post on diamonds, fish and wealth? Always get expert advice. While each of the methods above can save you money on car insurance, but there is no substitute for speaking directly to an expert. Your agent may also be able to inform you about additional, unadvertised discounts. By remembering these tips, and working closely with your insurance company, you will undoubtedly keep your expenses to a minimum.
A friend of mine gave us a small silver bowl for as a wedding gift. I haven’t got it valued, but I’m certain it costs a lot with silver prices being what they are. She explained to me that their family tradition was to give wedding gifts of land, gold or silver. The idea was that the value of these gifts would increase in time and if the couple faced hard times they could sell these off and use the money for themselves. José suggested I should ask her for a couple of plots of land too!
Wealth and our perception of what it means to each of us is always fascinating.
Diamonds Fish and Wealth
You must wonder what the connection is between diamonds fish and wealth. Let me tell you a story I read a while back. Okay, so this is my version of it.
A man heard of a far away place, to which one had to travel with great difficulty, where diamonds were as plentiful as the dust. All you had to do is stoop down and fill your pockets with them.
So selling all he had, he undertook a difficult voyage to reach the ‘Land Of Diamonds’. Imagine his excitement, when he saw that the stories were indeed true. The man filled his pockets and bags with large quantities of diamonds. He was so busy doing this that he didn’t notice the curious looks that passersby gave him and that the local children stopped to watch his activity.
Before undertaking another difficult journey back home, he decided to have a good meal in an expensive restaurant. At the end of the meal, he took out a small diamond to tip the waiter, who sneered at him. The locals considered these ‘pebbles’ to be worthless. In this ‘Land of Diamonds’ the currency that was sought after was fish! The man soon found himself washing dishes to pay for his meal.
Our hero was an enterprising man. He stayed on, worked hard and began to invest in fish. Soon he became stinking rich (quite literally too) with large godowns of rancid fish.
Now that he was wealthy, he decided to head home. He loaded a ship with all the fish he could and started on his journey.
You can only imagine what happened when he reached home. People laughed at this self-proclaimed wealthy man with a ship load of rancid fish!
We can laugh at the foolishness of this person, but which of us hasn’t made a bad investment or two. We work hard, earn money and hope that we can make it grow, but we don’t always know what a good investment really is.
There are a lot of self-proclaimed experts who tell us that real estate is the best investment. But we know that sometimes a political or economic change can see real estate prices fall dramatically. Gold, until a few years ago, was the best investment. Not any more. Still others tell us that equity is the way to go, but we don’t know how the market works. Fixed deposits, mutual funds, bonds… The list goes on. But we’re not experts, are we?
I’m of the opinion, that in matters of personal finance, that we must seek the advice of experts and be willing to pay for their services. These are people who have studied investments and finance for years. They know how the markets work, how to invest prudently to make a profit. They educate themselves on the the global scenario and are also familiar with investment opportunities in India.
There are a lot of personal finance professionals that you can find to manage your investments. Do your due diligence and find a company or an individual that will help you grow your wealth wisely.
I’m linking into Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings today.
Today I’m happy to host Swapna Thomas with her review of Money A Love Story.
I first connected with Swapna Thomas when she won an award for having the best parenting blog in India, sometime last year. In all my interactions with her since then, I’ve grown to respect her for her passion for community and women’s empowerment through entrepreneurship, her great style of writing and for being the down-to-earth and affectionate person she is. Today, I’m so glad to be hosting her review of a book that fits in well with her philosophy of encouraging women to be in-charge of their own lives.
Thank you, Swapna! ♥
Swapna Thomas is a life coach under training and works with women entrepreneurs to help them design an incredible business and life. She truly believes that every woman deserves a life full of abundance, happiness and creativity.
Swapna is a parenting blogger who wants the message of happy moms = happy world, to reach one and all. She loves Sufi music and spends way more time daydreaming than one should.
She also coaches women entrepreneurs via phone and Skype. Visit her website, Mom Biz Cafe for her insights on business and life. You can also connect with her on Facebook.
Money, A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want
Money cannot buy love, but it can improve your bargaining position ~ Christopher Marlowe
In the very first page of her book, author Kate Northrup clarifies how she expects many readers to be appalled about the use of money and love in the same sentence. But she also asserts that unless we understand our relationship to money we can’t really understand love.
Throughout my life the mere mention of money or finance was enough to put my mind to snooze. And yes, I did a Masters in Business Administration. Finance was always my least favourite topic and even though I was a voracious reader, I would run away from any book related to the topic of money.
But, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Just as I started taking baby steps in my entrepreneurial journey, I discovered many amazing books that taught not just the nuts and bolts of money but an important thing which was missing from most finance books – Money Mindset.
About the Author
Kate Northrup is a professional freedom seeker and creative entrepreneur. She created financial freedom for herself at the age of 28 through building a team of more than 3,000 wellness entrepreneurs in the network marketing industry. Money A love story was born out of her journey of being in debt of $20,000 and healing her money story to create financial freedom.
Even though it is not stated anywhere in the book, it is targeted towards women and rightly so because women have so much emotional charge around money and tend to give away their financial power easily.
One of the first things that struck a note with me was how she connects making money to living your spiritual life. To live a spiritual life and fulfil your purpose, you need to be present and intentional at all times. It’s much easier to be present when you don’t have static noise in your life created by all your money issues. Simple but brilliant!
You are encouraged to maintain a money journal while reading the book to complete the various exercises throughout the book. The first exercise was writing your own money story. From your first childhood memory about money, the way you related to it in your teens, the way you spent in your adulthood and everything in between. I started doing this with skepticism, feeling that I won’t have more than a page to write about but ended up writing 20 pages!
The game changer is when Kate asks the reader to first understand the lessons they have learnt in their story and then rewrite your money story, this time as the heroine of the story. Powerful stuff.
Further in the book Kate analyzes how our childhood and the people in our life play a part in forming what is called “our money memory”. Our money memories dictate our current relationship with money and how we earn or spend it. Suddenly, it becomes clear how my lack of financial attention was tied to a lack of self-love and why I feared quoting prices to my clients.
I love this quote from the book.
[Tweet ““If you can’t see your value, the world doesn’t give value back” “]
There are so many more gems in the book but to suffice here are my three key takeaways from the book.
1. Be Your Own Prince Charming – Even though we may not realize it, women often wait for someone to save them, financially. We all have our own prince charming in our money story, on whom we rely for everything related to money. For Kate, it was her mother and she decided to take back the power by listing and then developing all the qualities that were needed to become her own prince charming.
2. Start paying attention to your money – I love that Kate encourages you to take small but consistent steps towards your financial awareness. From simple steps like investing in a wallet that makes you feel abundant to the important, monthly creation of a spending plan, it’s all doable and empowering.
3. Plan for financial freedom – Kate’s true message has always been about creating financial freedom and throughout the book she stresses on how important it is to be financially free to live your life to the fullest. Creating residual, passive and recurring income is what will truly liberate you and the book encourages you to change your mindset to this end.
Money: A Love Story has a core message and that’s LOVE. To be precise, SELF-LOVE. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be smarter around their money and have a loving relationship with it. More importantly it will also help you create a more loving relationship with yourself.