Eating nutritious food can be something that breaks your wallet, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are 5 clever ways to eat healthy on a budget.
1) Plan your meals
When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, it’s essential to plan ahead. Pick one day a week and plan your meals ahead for the week. Once you’ve done that, make a list of all the ingredients that you’ll need to prepare those meals.
Also take the time to scan your fridge for what you already have. You may have foods hidden there that can be used before they pass the expiration date.
Only plan to purchase what you need to keep from having to throw food away.
2) Stick to your list
Once you have finished planning your meals and made a list of ingredients that you need, you should stick to it.
Getting distracted and side-tracked at the store is easy, and this can lead to unintended purchases and expenses.
As a rule, try to shop the perimeter (the outer edges) of the store first. This is where you’ll generally find whole foods and your cart will fill up more quickly with them.
In the middle of the store, you’ll find the majority of processed foods. If you do find yourself in these aisles, look at the top or bottom of the shelves and not straight ahead, as the expensive items will be at eye level.
Buy more fresh ingredients such as green vegetables like broccoli and cabbages, carrots and onions which are not only good for you but also cheaper vegetable choices,often reduced in price and extremely versatile foods. For example try making coleslaw with carrots, onions and white cabbage
then another day put onions in spaghetti bolognese and carrots again in soups or a roast dinner or curry. Don’t buy ready meals and sauces. Make your own.
3) Cook at home
Cooking at home is definitely cheaper than dining out. Did you know you can feed a family of four for the same amount of money as buying food at a restaurant for one or two? In many circumstances, cooking at home for a family of four costs less than buying outside for one even.
Rather make it a habit of cooking at home. Some people like to use weekends to cook for the week ahead, while others prefer to cook daily. Also, by cooking for yourself, you have the added benefit of knowing exactly what is in your meals.
4) Cook larger portions and enjoy the leftovers
Cooking large meals can not only save you money, but time as well. Using your leftovers for lunch or other recipes is a good way to stay within your budget. Reuse them in stews, salads, stir-fries and burritos.
Using leftovers here also means that you don’t need to eat out on days when you don’t have time to cook. Leftovers can also be frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.
5) Never shop when hungry
When you shop while you are hungry, you run the risk of ignoring your shopping list and purchasing something on impulse. You might also opt for something that’s processed and doesn’t have enough nutrients. We as humans are programmed from evolution to search for more high sugar and high fat foods when hungry due to times when food has been scarce.
However, in a time where most countries have food in abundance an excess of fatty and high sugar foods are not good for us. They’re not good for you or your budget.
Try to have a nutritious snack before you go to the grocery store, such as yogurt or a piece of fruit or order online for collection or delivery service.
If you are in need of a healthy, affordable diet plan, contact me at Michelle Mina Nutrition for more information.