A healthy and varied diet doesn’t always mean that you need to purchase the most lavish and expensive foods. While yes it can be expensive to buy healthy produce, as with any other type of food, there are many ways to watch your pocket and still eat well!
Here are some tips on how you can eat healthily while on a budget!
1. Plan your weekly meals
Whether it’s tomorrow’s breakfast or snacks the day after, draw up a weekly meal plan using ingredients you’re already stocked up on and then make a grocery list of items you are missing. Planning your meals in advance will save you time and money as you’ll know exactly what you need and when, plus prepping ahead can also give you time to consider which supermarkets are offering the best deals on the items you need.
2. Make a strict grocery list
It’s something that most of us do regardless of circumstances, but when it comes to budget buying, a good shopping list can make or break your finances. The most important thing to remember here is to only list items you’re lacking and to firmly stick to your list.
Avoid getting sidetracked and making impulse buys, which can lead to purchasing unintended expensive purchases. Also, try to shop in the perimeters of the store first as this is where whole foods are usually located.
3. Buy whole foods
Unprocessed foods are cheaper and more nutritious than processed foods. So in many cases buying a block of cheese is cheaper than buying it in shredded form. Whole foods are also usually sold in larger quantities and yield more servings per package. Most importantly, buying unprocessed foods gives you total control over the ingredients of your recipes.
4. Reconsider your choices of protein
Fresh meat and fish can be expensive depending on the types of cuts you buy. However, there are many other cuts of meat that can be bought for a fraction of the cost. You’ll find that buying cheaper cuts of meat such as chicken thighs or shin of beef can really save you money.
You can also consider purchasing other sources of protein such as whole eggs, tofu and varying beans and pulses, these protein sources are healthy as well as good value for money.
5. Embrace whole grains
Incorporating whole grains such as quinoa, freekeh, and brown rice into your diet is not only beneficial for your health but also serves as an inexpensive and tasty way to bulk up your meals.
Whole grain foods like whole wheat couscous are very versatile and can be used in various recipes. Additionally, they can help in keeping you full for longer and also aid in weight loss efforts.
6. Buy produce that is in season
Local produce that is grown in season is usually cheaper, tastes better and is more nutritious. Produce that is not in season has often been transported around the world to get to its destination, which is neither good for the environment nor your budget.
Buying seasonal foods that are fresh and on sale is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Another tip concerning seasonal foods is to not only buy fresh produce when they are cheaper and in season but also bulk buy and freeze your seasonal produce.
7. Expand your culinary horizons
Cuisines from India and Mexico rely heavily on inexpensive whole ingredients. Both cuisines allow many ingredients to be used interchangeably so there is less waste and better savings for your wallet.
Staple ingredients such as rice, beans and lentils are common in Indian and Mexican cooking, and serve as healthy food options that are simultaneously budget friendly. If you’re interested in expanding your culinary palette, I would also recommend visiting ethnic food markets where you will defiantly find bargains on interesting ingredients.
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