Healthy Eating on a Shoestring

This post was written for Slimsticks, the original post can be viewed here.

“Fruit and Vegetables are too expensive”

“Healthy food costs the earth”

“I can get more for my money if I buy junk food”

These are just some of the excuses I hear as to why people don’t eat healthily. On the one hand I agree, you certainly can live off less healthy food and not spend as many pennies, but in the long term that’s not going to be doing your body any favours.

So here are my top tips for healthy eating on a budget:

  1. Set a food budget. You can’t aim to stick to a budget if you don’t have one, by setting a weekly food budget it can help you stay on track when you shop. 
  2. Shop around. Try not to do all your shopping in one supermarket. Compare the prices from your local butcher, greengrocer, budget supermarket and international food stores. Different types of foods will be cheaper in different shops, for example chickpeas may be cheaper in an Indian food store and your butcher may have special deals on meat.
  3. Look offers and where you can buy healthy foods that store well in bulk when they are on offer.
  4. Grow your own where possible. Even if it is just herbs and salad leaves you can save some pennies and have some super healthy food.
  5. Write out a weekly meal plan and shopping list. It will stop you buying those extras that you don’t really need. 
  6. Buy one good ingredient like a chicken and base your meals around it – so roast chicken, the leftovers for a stir fry, make stock with the bones for a risotto.
  7. Don’t throw away any leftovers, instead use them for the next days lunches, add them to the next days meal or freeze them.
  8. Watch your portion control. Often people cook too much and then have lots of leftovers. Try to only cook what you need, it will stop you over-eating at meals too.
  9. Cook as much as you can from scratch. Jars of sauces can be made from simple ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, herbs and spices, cereal bars can be baked fresh at home.
  10. Always look at the reduced food section! It may mean you alter your meal plan for that night but look out for reduced vegetables you can make into soups and meat you can freeze.

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