Image courtesy of Mariam S

If you have decided to get involved with sugar free February and not to eat any foods containing sugar for the month, then you will need to start early to prepare for it. As well as finding out exactly which foods contain sugar and will therefore need to be given up, you will also need to think about how you will cope with the costs of it. If you replace all food with sugar, with sugar free options, then you could end up spending a lot of extra money. For example sugar free baked beans, tomato ketchups, salad dressing, chocolate etc are expensive to buy in your local health food shop. However, if you do not buy replacements but make things yourself; it will be cheaper.

One way to save money in advance is to use up the sugary foods that you have in the house at the moment. Look through your fridge, freezer and food cupboards and find out everything that has sugar in and use it up before the end of the month. This should mean that you will not have to do so much shopping so you save money for when you need to stock up on sugar free items for February. You may also decide to keep the sugar free lifestyle after a month and therefore may not have eaten then up in March, so it is better to eat them in January.

It is also wise to find some good recipes for making meals from scratch. Not only will it be a way to ensure that you do not have sugar in things, but you will also save money, It is usually cheaper to make things yourself than to buy them. So you can make pasta sauces, full dishes such as lasagne, muesli or granola and other dishes and store them away ready for when you need them or at least keep the recipes so that you can try them out. You should not need to buy recipe books though as you should find plenty of recipes online that you can use. If you get ahead then you will increase your chances of sticking to it when February comes and you will have these great sugar free dishes ready to eat.

It will also be wise to try to reduce your spending overall in January so that you have some extra money available if you do need to pay more on your groceries. You may be able to cut back on luxuries or even cut down on some more essential items. See whether you can sell some things to make money or work some extra hours. It can be difficult in January, trying to save extra money as there will be the expense of Christmas to get over. However, it is possible if you work hard at earning more and are really careful with your spending. You may even be wise to see if you can switch suppliers, supermarkets etc in order to save some money each month.