Food + drink

Eat Healthy Even When You Are On A Budget

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Healthy eating does not necessarily have to be expensive

For those with a tight budget, maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, especially when it comes to planning your meals and grocery shopping.

It can be demoralising to realise that unhealthy foods such as fried snacks, chips and processed foods are somewhat cheaper than wholesome, unprocessed and fresh foods. Many supermarkets are starting to understand the healthy eating customer better and bringing in more variety and options in terms of organic, unprocessed foods. However, this does not take away the need to understand your food goals, budgets and learn to achieve these objectives without breaking the bank.

Here are 7 smart tips to help you eat healthy without exceeding your budget:

Plan meals

Plan your meals on a weekly basis. Make a grocery list once the quantity and type of ingredients are decided upon.

By organising a weekly menu, it is easier to manage the items to buy and refrain from purchasing unwanted ingredients. Be sure to check your fridge regularly and check that you are planning meals according to the ingredients that you already have.

Brainstorm your grocery list

Look for stores or online supermarket sites such as RedMart or Honestbee, to check for any promotions or  ongoing deals. Stick to your grocery list unless you need to substitute certain ingredients with those on sale. This prevents you from making unintended and costly purchases that affect your budget.

Have a good meal before doing your grocery shopping. Shopping on an empty stomach will increase the temptation of buying more food. Stay motivated by reminding yourself that it is cheaper to do your own groceries as compared to eating out.

Know what’s in season

Stock up on fresh and whole food instead of processed and unhealthy food. Search for good deals and take advantage of it by incorporating these fruits and vegetables into your menu throughout the week.

Look for cheaper alternatives

Instead of splurging on expensive cuts of meat such as steak or chicken breasts, purchase less expensive cuts of meat such as chicken thighs. You can also use a slow cooker to make tougher cuts of meat tender.

Purchasing items such as whole chicken helps you to save money on ingredients that can be used across multiple meals.

Refrain from purchasing junk food

To maintain a healthy eating diet, you should avoid purchasing junk food. Not only does it minimise temptations, but it also prevents you from overspending.

If you are tempted to buy a few packets of cookies or soda, think about the little amount of nutrition it provides as well as the opportunity cost of it. You could afford to spend more on higher quality and healthier food if you don’t buy junk food.

Explore different culinary dishes

By increasing your knowledge of preparing other types of cuisine, you could use your ingredients efficiently while increasing your meal variety. The variety will help keep you interested in your home-cooked meals and provide you with the opportunity to learn new cooking styles.

Search for online resources such as “Learn to Cook Online” or YouTube videos that show you how to prepare different types of meals.

Purchase in bulk

Do not purchase in small quantities. You could save money by purchasing in bulk, especially when there are ongoing promotions where you could get 2 items (or more!) at a certain price. Healthy ingredients such as oats and brown rice are usually available in bulk.

They also have a longer shelf life, and you should stock up on them, especially if they are on promotion. If you are a beginner to healthy eating, start small and purchase according to your grocery list. This helps you to cultivate the habit of consuming healthy ingredients instead of processed food.

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