Helpful tips for Healthy Eating on A Budget
Everyone deserves to eat healthy no matter what your financial situation. It takes a little extra planning before you shop and prep meals but it’s very possible to achieve and will leave feeling better for it.
Here are some budget friendly tips to help you along your journey to eating healthier.
Plan what you are going to eat
Before you head to the store you should plan your meals and snacks for the week. Double check recipes so that you can purchase the ingredients you need. Check the cupboards for foods you already have and make a list of those you will need get. Having a list while you shop can help you to not purchase things you don’t really need and stick to your budget.
Decide how much you will be making
Batch cooking is one of the best ways to keep your budget on track and save yourself time and energy in the kitchen during the week. Make sure you note on your shopping list the amounts you will need to buy in order to cook in larger amounts. Buying food in bulk can be cheaper as well as more convenient, saving trips to the store is a great way to save money as well.
A few ideas that work well for batch cooking are: Soups, Salads, Chilli’s, Curries, Casseroles, Pasta dishes, Classic Meat, Potato and Veggies, Overnight Oats or Shakes for breakfasts, and Veggies and Dips for easy snacking.
Determine where you will shop
Some stores carry different products at a much cheaper price and you may not have to compromise on quality to save on costs. It is a good idea to shop at different stores until you find one or two stores that you can get everything you need within your budget. Comparing brands, watching sales, and coupons are great ways to save a bit of money on each shop. Many stores also offer rewards for shopping with them that you can use for discounts later as well.
Try shopping for the time of year
Many foods will be less expensive when they are in season and so it can be beneficial to try and focus on those foods during that time of year. Alternately when the foods you want aren’t in season you can try canned or frozen versions. Just remember to read the labels and do your best to get fruits canned with 100% Fruit Juice or Vegetables in cans that say, ‘low sodium’ or ‘no salt added’. These options can often be less expensive, and you don’t have to compromise nutrients choosing frozen over fresh on occasion.
Focus on nutritious, low-cost foods
Certain items tend to be less expensive, so you save yourself a few euros/dollars by choosing recipes that use the following ingredients: beans, peas, and lentils, seeds and some nuts, eggs, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, canned fished, along with frozen fruit and vegetables. Try avoiding foods that come in boxes as they will most likely contain ingredients that won’t be as healthy. If you are going to choose boxed foods read labels carefully.
Make your own snacks
Snacking gets all of us at certain times throughout the day and being prepared is the best way to not overspend on purchasing food when hunger strikes. Try some of these simple and handy on the go snack ideas instead; Veggies and Hummus, Celery Sticks with Nut Butter, Trail Mix (home made with nuts, seeds and raisins), Chopped or Dried Fruit, Protein Balls (check out Sweet Tooth Fixes article for lots of ideas ), Cheese and Ryvita Crackers, Boiled Eggs, Rice Cakes with Nut Butter and Apple slices or even just a couple of slices of Cheddar cheese. This is just to name a few that can be kept at the desk or in a lunch bag close to hand for when hunger strikes.
We can all make healthier choices no matter what our budgets are. In return our bodies will give us better results and our wallets will thank us too. YouTube has many great videos that can help with batch cooking ideas, try The Happy Pear 7-day meal prep for under €20.00 for a start and enjoy!
*For more info or resources on how to kick off healthy eating or batch cooking, get in touch, contact details are on site*