Eating Healthy is too expensive you may say!
While yes there is some truth to this, junk food does sadly tend to be cheaper, in the long run, eating a diet full of nutrient poor processed junk food, will actually cost you more, when you end up suffering from a chronic health condition.
Lets face it, we could all do a bit better when it comes to eating healthy. If your family is on a lower income, this may not mean, you are going on and buying the latest superfoods, but with a little bit of planning and preparing this is something that still can be achieved even on a tight budget.
My top Healthy eating budget tips:
Pre-plan your meals in advance
This can make a huge difference. When you take the time to plan out your meals for the week, you only buy what you need when you go shopping. While this involves a bit of organisation, it helps you to avoid over buying, then not getting around to eating and having to throw out a whole lot of food at the end of the week.
To help you get organised and plan your meals you can download my grocery list and meal planner here. The grocery list will give you a list of healthy food staples and the meal planner is blank so you can print and fill out top help plan the weekly meals.
Only buy what you need
GUILTY much? We have all been here, where we have found ourselves at the end of the week, throwing out that brown rotted pear, that salad mix that has passed its expiry date and the yoghurt that is off.
There is nothing worse than throwing out a whole lot of food. Think about how much money you would have wasted over the years every time you do this. Not only has it cost you, your hard earned dollars but what about the impact on the environment from all the food wastage.
While I don’t suggest you go the supermarket daily, to get food as this also can have you spending more, if veggies are something you often overdo and end up chucking out, maybe you would be better off buying less and going back to the shops mid week if you find you need more.
Always go to the shops with a shopping list
Do you often head down to the supermarket on your way home from work with no shopping list, because you can’t be arsed going home to see what you need and go back out again? Its alright, I can just wing it. I’ll admit I am totally guilty of this one!!
What ends up happening here? You often end up over buying while you get home and realised you were out of chives, olive oil, broccoli and milk and didn’t put not one of these in the shopping trolley. Its now back to the shops again, where you will more than likely will end up purchasing even more food.
Buy fruit and veg inline with the seasons
By purchasing your fruit and vegetables inline with the season, it is going to be so much cheaper. The problem is these days it no longer matters about the season, many fruits and vegetables are available from your local supermarket all year round, so it can be hard to determine what is actually in season, other than the hefty price tag, giving you a clue. While most people know that mangoes and watermelon are summer fruits, the not so obvious may be often available all year round. without you having any idea if its in season or not.
If you are not sure, I suggest you use the Seasonal Food Guide, to help you determine what foods are in season. Not only eating in season will be less costly to the wallet, it will also mean you are getting more nutritional value from your food, while it will also taste better when in season.
Purchase meat from your local meat suppliers
There is no doubt, that adding meat to you’re shopping trolley, can very quickly bump the price up, especially if you are buying quality cuts of meat.
Quality is very important when it comes to meat. The rule of thumb when it comes to meat, should be quality over quantity. Now you may be asking, but doesn’t that mean quality means more expensive. Most of the western world eats way too much meat so cutting back on the quantity may just do your health a favour and this means you can choose quality over quantity.
The best way to save on meat is purchasing meat in bulk. The best places to do this are at your local butcher, local wholesale meat suppliers and the farmers markets. Look at the price per kilo from the supermarket, local butcher and wholesale meat supplier and compare. While many may think buying meat from the butcher can be more expensive, this is not necessarily always the case. Look for the specials.
Keep portion sizes of meat to a palm size.
Meat free Monday
Anyone who eats a diet high in meat, knows that meat can be expensive. In the typical western diet, meat consumption is consumed in portions that in many cases are too high, that its contributing to excess amounts of inflammation, leading to poor health. So whether it be to save some dollars or for better health, cutting back on meat and having a meat free Monday, can be beneficial all round.
Its also a great way to try new recipes and experiment with ingredients you may have not tried otherwise.
Purchase tinned and frozen veggies
While fresh is always best, frozen and canned options can still have just as much nutritional value as fresh, yet can be a cheaper option. While canned veggies are fine, I would tend to stay away from canned fruit as they often contain added syrups and sugar. Choose fruit frozen or fresh and look out for added sugars. Always check the labels.
Grow your own herbs and/or veggies
Growing your own veggies or herbs can save you dollars. If you don’t have the space to have your own veggie garden, just grow your own herbs. You really don’t need much space to grow your own herbs. No backyard, no worries, herbs are fine to grow inside in a pot, in a sunny place or on a windowsill.
Stock up on specials
Check out the weekly specials catalogue and look out for specials on foods you eat regularly. Compare the specials between different supermarkets and go where the specials are, on foods you commonly eat. Buy up on the specials in bulk. This will cost you less in the long run.
Cook meals from scratch and avoid processed pre made frozen meals
Minimise processed package foods, ready to go meals. While they are often convenient, they are more expensive and contain added, sugar, salt and preservatives.
Instead purchase pantry staples like a big bag of rice, gluten free pasta varieties, legumes, tinned veggies, loose nuts etc and make your own meal from scratch. Making your own healthy meals at home to take to work, can also be much cheaper than buying a healthy meal out.
Have your pantry stocked with healthy staples
Having a pantry stocked with all the basic healthy food staples, may mean there is an initial cost, but by doing this, you avoid getting stuck when you want to make a meal for dinner and realise you don’t have 1 or 2 ingredients in your cupboard.
Now what happens here?
So you either end up making a trip to the supermarket to get those couple of ingredients and end up walking out with more food than you intended and a shopping bill of $60 or you end up ordering takeaway because its too hard as you haven’t got what you needed. Either situation you end up spending more money. So by keeping your pantry stocked with all the basic staples, and just replacing as you need on your weekly shop saves you money.
If you would like some more help and would like to become a savvy supermarket shopper and find out how to determine the most healthiest food choices for you and your family, I invite you to book in for one of my Savvy Supermarket Tours. Take a 1:1 personalised tour around your local supermarket and gain confidence in making healthy food choices that will support overall more vibrant health for both you and your family.
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Here’s to good health and happiness x