11 No-Fuss Tips On Eating Healthy On a Budget
“Eating healthy is expensive and I can’t afford it.”
That’s one of the most common myth around. You don’t have to break the bank on everything organic, “activated”, gluten-free in order to be healthy. Also, just because something is organic or gluten-free, it doesn’t mean they are good for you either.
I strongly believe that health and general wellbeing should be our number one priority and non-negotiable. This is why I started Eat This Burn That and Fit Fetcher in the first place, to help busy people take control of their life to lead a healthy & active life.
Without further ado, let’s see how you too, can start eating healthy on a budget.
11 No-fuss Tips on Eating Healthy On a Budget
1. COOK YOUR OWN
This is a no brainer. It’s always cheaper to make your own than takeaway or dine in at a restaurant. (I will be publishing a detailed breakdown and comparison of how much can you save on eating in vs eating out!). Make an effort to eat in at least 70% during the week.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Decide on the days/ number of meals you would like to cook for the week and start planning for the meals. This is the fun part - you are free to decide what you would like to whip up for the week, whether it be answering to that inner craving you had or trying out that new drool-worthy recipe you saw online - which leads us to the next point.
3. HAVE A SHOPPING LIST
Having a shopping list means you will only purchase food that you need and not drawn to specials and ended up with a cart filled with lotsa extra “specials”. These are extra money that you didn’t need to spend and could potentially add a few inches to your waistline!
4. MEAL PREP - COOK IN BULK & FREEZE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Prepping your food in advance and cooking in bulk means minimising wastage as well as a step forward towards healthy eating. Buy that kilo of sweet potatoes, roast them up and freeze them. Your future self will thank you later when you need to whip up a quick meal.
5. GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR LEFTOVERS
Further to point #4, you don’t have to cook the exact meal down to the “T” - this week, you may have extra brown rice or pasta and next week you may have extra taco mince. This is when the magic happens, You can now turn taco into taco salad by swapping the taco shell for veggies; or you could turn a churizo prawn pasta to smoked salmon pasta; or whip up a quick fried rice with those leftover brown rice.
6. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Do some research around the local grocer/ deli in your area as well as the supermarkets before doing your grocery shopping. This might take you a few weeks to work out your “optimum shopping pattern” but it’s OK - it will save you lots in a long run!
7. BUY FRESH PRODUCES THAT ARE IN SEASON AND FREEZE IT
Stick with buying what’s currently in season and consider buying in bulk when it’s on special. A good example of this will be buying mangoes in boxes and freeze them to enjoy post summer!
8. SPICE IT UP
Spices are cheap and work incredibly well in adding extra flavours to your meals. Most spice shaker costs less than $3 and they last forever! You can switch your cuisine from Mexican to Indian the following week simply by tweaking around the spices.
9. GO FOR THE INEXPENSIVE CUTS OF THE MEAT
Swap the boobs for the drumsticks and the fillet for the bum! Chicken breast (boobs) and rump steak (bum) that is! They taste just as good but at a fraction of the price! Don’t be a meat snob and you will save yourself some money!
10. BUY FROZEN
Frozen fruits, veggies and seafood are great options if you are extremely time poor. Most frozen vegetables & fruits are just as good as the fresh ones and they are more economical. For broccoli, green beans and berries - I opt for the frozen ones most of the times as they are cheaper and less hassle (no removing stems and washing to do!).
11. BE FLEXIBLE AND HAVE FUN
This is probably the most important tip and the mindset to have. It’s great to have a meal plan and grocery list with you but if you are flexible and could work around the sales/ specials a little - you might find yourself snapping up a bargain and saving some coffee money! (Please note: this applies to the ingredients required for your cooking not treats :P) So, if your meal plan says cucumber but capsicum is on special - go for the latter. Turkey mince is on special? Save your grilled chicken to next week and go with turkey mince bolognese instead!
I hope these tips have helped in debunking the myths that eating healthy is expensive! All you need is - be a little more organised and prepared - you are well on the right path to eating well without breaking the bank!
Now on to you - how do you stay healthy on a budget? Share your tips in the comment below!
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