Ever reached the till and felt your stomach drop at the sheer fact that your goji berries and flax seeds have swallowed up your weekly wage? We’ve all been there.
Healthy wholesome food doesn’t have to come at a cost. As a Nutrition student, Tiffany Chng is an expert when it comes to staying healthy on a budget and here she lets us in on her most sacred tips...
1. PLAN AND PREP YOUR MEALS
Making time to plan and prep your meals on the weekend is the number 1 way to stay healthy on a budget.
Photo: Tending The Table
Set aside some time for this (draw a weekly meal plan and write a shopping list) and you’ve got a couple days worth of food. This way, not only will you have some delicious and healthy meals that you’ll enjoy, you will also be less tempted to spend money on an overpriced salad.
2. EMBRACE BEANS
Pulses such as beans, chickpeas and lentils really are the cheapest source of protein. They are high in fibre and various vitamins and a great way to bulk up any meal. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, swapping meat for beans a couple of times a week can help to cut your cost down.
3. USE YOUR FREEZER
You can often find frozen counterparts for a variety of fruits and vegetables which are just as good as the fresh ones but for ½ the price. For example, a punnet of blueberries could cost £2.00 but so does a 500g bag of frozen berries. Frozen fruits and vegetables will help to stretch that dollar – and they last a lot longer. Waste nothing, freezing applies to well meal prepped meals also.
4. BUY IN BULK
Online retailers such as Amazon do great bulk deals. You can buy cans of beans in cases of 6 or 12 or whole grains in 1kg bags or more. It might be a little more expensive initially but it does work out to be cheaper in the long run. Alternatively, if there’s a great sale going on for good quality meat, buy more than you would normally use and freeze the rest. Just remember that meat produce should be eaten within a month of freezing.
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Healthy food does not have to be complicated or need foreign ingredients. Sure, superfoods are great for adding a little extra boost to your meals but they are expensive and can quickly chip at your budget. The real superfoods are nutrient-dense whole foods, which is where you should be getting the majority of your nutrients.
Helpful tip: If you can’t resist, look for your store branded superfoods. Due to popular demand, some supermarkets have started to sell their version of health products which are often a lot cheaper than the brands you get on the high street. At the end of the day, chia seeds will be chia seeds, regardless of what packaging it comes.
Photo Credit: Lyndsey Eden
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