Top Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget
Many people think that eating a healthy and balanced diet will end up costing you a fortune. However, this isn’t often the case. In actual fact, it’s when you’re feeling lazy that food begins to cost a fortune – takeaways, meals out, microwave meals and so on. These tips will have you feeling good from the inside out – and both your wallet and your waistline thanking you.
Last-minute food preparation and hasty trips to the supermarket (especially when you’re hungry) is the budget breaker. Take some time before you start you week again to plan a shopping list of everything that you will need and then stick to it. (This will definitely take some willpower after a long day and walking past a fish and chip shop).
Don’t go shopping hungry
Now, this is a big one. I think we all know that when we go shopping and we’re ravenous we end up coming out with a lot more food than a normal adult/family of five could manage. I usually end up coming out with a lot of food… none of which actually could make a meal. Planning ahead and a full stomach is key to mastering sneaky supermarkets!
Cut the Junk
Easier said than done, but once you evaluate just how much your bad eating habits are costing, you may think twice. Save your money for food that will energise and refuel your body.
Eat out less
Eating out a lot is an absolute killer on the bank balance. Even reducing your meals out by 1 or 2 times per week can save you over £20 a week – which adds up to quite a good monthly sum. Also, you now when you’re at home exactly what you’re eating.
Frozen vegetables are usually fresher than anything produced or canned and do tend to be cheaper. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen at their peak ripeness and stay fresh for months – arguably making them better value. They still count towards your five a day and can help you cut down on fresh food wastage. Also canned vegetables and fruit can contain quite high amounts of salt/sugar.
Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk will save you money and time. Try making batches of your meals and creating multiple servings of a bigger meal such as Spaghetti Bolognese or curries and freezing it. This will save you time with your cooking later on and you will also be able to use the ingredients you bought so don’t have to worry about wastage.
Bring your own lunch
Prepare your own healthy packed lunch the night before and you will not only benefit from knowing exactly what you’re eating but you also probably save yourself around £20 a week – which most definitely adds up.
Cut out any extras
Have a look through your cupboards and determine if you’re buying anything unnecessary – are you forking out for expensive bottled water or ingredients that you only use once (and don’t actually change the taste of your meal that dramatically)?
Supermarkets are convenient…and they know this! Markets often do take a little more effort if you don’t live particularly near one but they can save you money. You can get great fruit and vegetables for a fraction of the price – plus, you’ll be helping your local economy out.