When it comes to eating on a budget, you really don’t have to break the bank to eat well… even though you really can’t put a price on good health! The health and wellness industry has exploded over the last few years, with much of the focus being placed on superfoods and ‘super’ powders in particular. The marketing of these as ‘must haves’ for good health can leave some people feeling that health is not readily accessible. If you are able to get your hands on these products, that is great, but for many they aren’t as in reach with their budgets. In actual fact there are so many simple tips to incorporate into your day-to-day food cooking and shopping habits that will allow you to eat healthy and provide yourself and your family with great nutrition, without spending too much! Here are 7 of our favourite tips.
Go less meat and more vegetables
We will always advocate for incorporating more and more vegetables into every meal. Not only will doing so bulk up your vitamins and mineral intake, but it can also save you plenty of cash. In general terms, meat is far more expensive than vegetables. Whether you choose to go meat free a night or few a week or make the meat in your meals more of a ‘side’ rather than the main part, your body and wallet will be thanking you. Think lots of wholesome colour in every meal!
Incorporate inexpensive staples
The number of foods out there that are consider ‘superfoods’ without the high price point is much larger than you might think. We are talking foods like:
- Black beans
All of these great foods are the perfect bulkers for a whole range of meals. Chickpeas and beans are an awesome and cheap meat replacement in sauces or curries, full of protein and fibre to keep you full and bursting with energy. Of course, pasta and rice are best bought in bulk to save you plenty of pennies, and best of all they last a long time. Eggs and oats are two of our favourite inexpensive, delicious and nutrition-dense breakfast options that are so flexible and delicious (and light on the wallet!) Go forth and stock up!
Batch cooking is not only super convenient and a considerable time saver, but it also saves you plenty of money and best of all is often some of the most flavour filled meals. As winter is coming in Australia, whip out your slow cooker to give some delicious batch cooking a go. So often you can use cheaper meat cuts that still taste fantastic if cooked right. Batch up stews, curries, stir fries, sauces and mince for a whole multitude of fabulous meals. These types of meals are wonderful for prepping lunches too – no need to keep grabbing that $15 salad at work!
Make your freezer your best friend
Your freezer is the best way to keep all sorts of food good to use for when you actually know you are going to need it. Do you ever buy plenty more fruit and vegetables than you can actually consume? Don’t we all! Easily pop veggies like capsicum or broccoli in the freezer to be used at a later date! Of course, we are always promoting buying frozen vegetable and fruit packets to pull out anytime too for smoothies, stir fries or sauces for example.
Buying other staple foods, especially meats such as chicken breast or turkey mince when they are on ‘best before’ sales for instance are great to purchase to take home to freeze for stir fries, Mexican bowls or other easy throw-together meals during the week!
Buy in season
Buying in season is one of the best ways to get some of your favourite fresh foods at a fraction of the price. Fruits are generally the main foods that demonstrate the biggest difference in price throughout the year. We are talking berries over summer, avocados in early Autumn or bananas at any time of year, except maybe the few months over winter. These are when these types of food have the highest flavour and nutrition levels also. You can easily find out what goodies are in season by heading to Google or asking in store at your local green grocers or supermarket.
Plan and prep!
Simply sit down over the weekend and write down what yourself or the family are meals you are going to enjoy over the coming week. Taking the time at the beginning of the week to plan out what you’re going to make will mean you’re less likely to be tempted to eat out because you aren’t prepared. It also means you won’t take lots of unnecessary trips to the shops – time and money saver. Only plan to purchase what you know you’re going to use, so that you don’t end up throwing away what you buy. Cooking at home is cheaper and generally healthier than eating out. If possible, try making meals throughout the week that include similar ingredients will make it even cheaper.
There are a few simple ways that you can keep yourself shopping savvy when down at your local supermarket. Of course, first and foremost make sure you have a list! This will hopefully stop you from being tempted by sales or that packet of chocolate eyeing you off.
Those pesky ‘junk mail’ supermarket catalogues are annoying, yes. But they can actually save you plenty of cash if you want to have a flick through them. If you prefer, they also offer them online to check out, too. You might just find your favourite products are heavily reduced.
Lastly, shopping later on in the day can save you plenty on a bunch of fresh foods such as bread and meat that cannot be sold the following day! Save big dough on dough? Big yes!
To watch SuperFastDiet talk through how to eat well without spending big, watch their video here.