How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Eating healthy and sticking to a budget is not always easy, but with a few simple tricks you can keep your wallet fat and your waistline trim!
1. Eat in Season Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are abundant and therefore cost less. Not only does seasonal produce cost less, but it also tastes better and has higher amounts of nutrients. The reason for this is that it is picked at its ripest and only travels a short distance to get to your local grocery store or supermarket.
2. Go Vegetarian
Meatless meals are a great way to save money and a great way to boost nutrition. Try a spin on a classic, such as spaghetti bolognese, by using lentils instead of ground beef and serving over wholewheat pasta for a healthy and filling budget friendly meal. Not quite sold on going completely vegetairan? Then have protein be a side dish rather than the main course.
3. Cook in Batches
When you have extra time, make a large batch of soup, and double recipes for stews and casseroles. These types of meals cook slowly over a low heat, allowing meat to tenderize and the dish to develop a beautifully rich flavour. Freeze extra portions and use on those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking!
4. Keep Your Pantry Stocked
Having a well-stocked pantry allows you to whip up nutritious meals in no time. Think tinned tomatoes (perfect base for your pasta sauce or pizza); oats (make filling oatmeal for breakfast or a sweet fruit crumble dessert); canned tuna or salmon (an easy option on a wrap); canned legumes (whip up tasty hummus for a snack ), and brown rice, quinoa and wholemeal pasta (all three provide low GI carbohydrates, which will keep you satisfied and prevent those post-dinner sugar cravings).
5. Stock Your Freezer
You can extend the shelf life of bread, nuts, and breadcrumbs, meaning less waste and better taste when you need them.
6. Make Your Own Coffee
Take-out coffee can really add up if you’re buying one or two every day. Save money and time. You can also control the amount of sugar and milk added meaning less calories.
7. Plan Ahead
Before making a grocery list, write down meals you want to make for the week ahead. For example, leftover roast chicken goes beautifully in a salad at lunch or a bowl of chicken noodle soup for supper. This will help you avoid buying unnecessary items at the grocery store or ordering take-out, saving you both money and calories.