Eating Intelligently on a Budget: How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank
You’ve probably noticed that food has gone up a lot over the last year and for some that has caused a change in consumption; typically people still eat the same volume of food but the food itself will change.
If you want to save a few quid/dollars/euro it’s doable to eat a healthy diet on a budget.
Here are 10 ways I go about it. Granted, I’m a single bloke living alone but the same themes will apply to you regardless.
Plan your meals
As in actually write them out. I know it might sound boring, but at the least do it for a few days a week. I created a meal planner in 2013 but few used it; now more are using it. If you didn’t come to the event at Whole Foods in 2014 there’s a chance you won’t have it. If you want a copy, just drop me a message.
Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is an excellent way to save money. I pretty much do this with everything to be frank. Purchasing large quantities of non-perishable items like rice, beans, pasta, and stuff in tins will save you LOADS. I typically buy food monthly and will either get it delivered or use click and collect; this saves faffing in supermarkets also which not only stops you from straying to buying nonsense but also avoids such a torrid atmosphere lol
Cook at home
Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out or buying pre-packaged meals. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also healthier since you control the ingredients that go into your meals. You can also make larger portions and have leftovers for future meals. I do this with a fair bit of stuff, tupperware boxes are your best friend here.
Use coupons and sales
When it’s 3 for 2 or whatever, and it’s something you will consume, do it. I don’t mean buying stuff that’s marked down at the end of the day but usually tins of beans, mixed beans, bread (freeze some), and absolutely anything that a shop is trying to get rid of when it’s a certain product line and it’s completely fine… (happens a lot).
Shop at discount stores
Controversial, I know. Personally I won’t step foot in these cesspits but there is no denying that they are popular and overall, the food is probably passable. Shopping at discount stores can save you money on food. Places like Aldi and Lidl offer lower quality products at lower prices than other grocery stores. That said, they also have a range of organic and healthier options that tends to be cheaper than other places although the term organic is overall a curious term.
Buy frozen fruits and vegetables
My forté. Frozen fruits and vegetables often cheaper than fresh, and they last longer. They are also just as nutritious as fresh produce. You can use them in porridge, soups, stir-fries, basically anything. Frozen berries are my go to!
Make your snacks
The snack market is the most profitable by far; you’re basically buying junk because it’s there. Buying snacks when out and about eg petrol station is like burning cash. Make your own as per here.
Limit meat consumption
I don’t really eat meat, but for those who do; it’s expensive, so limiting your consumption will save you money. You can substitute meat with plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils, tofu, or tempeh. Besides, you get enough protein anyway.
Freezer stuff. Don’t throw away your leftovers. You can use them to make new meals or incorporate them into your next meal. For example, you can use leftover veg from a meal the next day and whack it in a stir fry…
Avoid processed foods
Heavily processed foods can be convenient, but they are almost always more expensive and less healthy than whole foods. They are also higher in sugar, salt, and fats. Choosing whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, will save you money and provides you with what you need. Heavily processed stuff doesn’t provide you with what you need (granted, it can taste amazing). I include restaurant food in here.
In conclusion, eating a healthy diet on a budget is possible with some planning and smart choices. Plan your meals, buy in bulk, cook at home, use coupons and sales, shop at discount stores, buy frozen fruits and vegetables, make your snacks, limit or bin meat consumption, use leftovers, and avoid heavily processed foods.
Implement all these and I bet you’ll halve your food shop cost