Are you busy and time poor, but want to eat healthy without spending your retirement fund?
I hear you! Read my top tips below on how to eat healthy on a budget.
- Plan your meals and write a shopping list
Stick to your list! An exception to this is finding a staple item such as rice on sale.
Meal planning makes food shopping easier as you know exactly what you need to buy. Get in and get out.
You always know what’s for dinner, and there is a smaller chance of falling into the take-away trap
There will also be less food wastage i.e. less chance of that celery you thought you’d find use for, rotting at the ack of your fridge.
You’ll only buy what you need and won’t be tempted to buy extra foods that you don’t need- (put down those BBQ shapes!)
- Meal prep
It may seem daunting if you haven’t done it before, but cooking food in bulk will save you time AND money!
Freshly prepared food can last days in the fridge (and months in the freezer) if stored correctly. Once cooked, portion and freeze so you always have a nutritious meal ready to go.
- Buy everything in bulk
Freeze your fruit and veg in zip lock bags.
Buy your meat when it’s on sale. Then just portion, wrap and freeze. It lasts months!
Dry food and staples including rice, quinoa, nuts, oils, coffee, dried herbs and spices are often much cheaper to buy in large quantities. Simply store in airtight containers.
- Shop at farmers markets and wholesalers
Not only are you supporting local growers and suppliers, you’re also getting fresher, better tasting foods. Organic fruit and veg is also usually a lot cheaper at the market than the big chain supermarkets.
- Avoid buying pre-prepared foods
Instead focus on buying plant based foods (i.e. vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds etc.) plus lean meats, eggs and fish. These foods are more nutrient dense whereas pre-prepared foods are often heavily processed and therefore of low nutritional value. Processed foods in general are higher in fat, refined sugar and sodium. You will also get more for your money as these foods are more substantial and filling.
I do however recommend keeping some microwave rice packs and canned tuna and beans on hand for emergencies. Just make sure there is no added sugar, sodium or oils.
- Eat out less
Save meals out for social occasions. You will save yourself serious $$ overtime, not to mention added kilojoules!
- Buy fruit and vegetables seasonally and keep your eye out for sales
Produce in season is often on sale as there is a surplus. Gotta love the 2 for $5 avocado deals!!
Seasonal produce also tastes better! Fruit is sweeter and vegetables have more flavour. It is usually higher in nutrients compared to produce that is not quite in season.
So, eating healthy on a budget… it can be done!
Just remember to plan ahead, consider where you shop and save eating out for the weekends. Implement these handy tips and you’ll be on your way to saving that cash