Today’s post comes courtesy of Nicola, a health and fitness enthusiast from London. Nicola is the founder of Nics Healthy Life and has kindly agreed to share some tips on how to eat healthily on a budget.
This post is very timely for me as trying to change my eating habits without blowing the bank balance is one of the things that I struggle with and I sometimes find the costs of healthy alternatives prohibitive. It looks like that excuse will have to go though following Nicola’s tips.
Twelve Tips to Help You Eat Healthily On a Budget
I’ve heard far too many people say that a healthy lifestyle is too expensive to maintain. This couldn’t be further from the truth – you can actually save a lot of money when you stop wasting it on processed foods and unessentials. If you’re trying to eat healthier but having a hard time money-wise, here are twelve simple tips to help you out.
- Steer clear of health food stores. It might sound counter-intuitive, but these stores tend to be expensive and sell things like pre-packaged vitamins instead of fresh produce. They’re definitely not the most cost effective way to eat healthily if you’re on a budget.
- Plan your meals for the week, write them down on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge. That’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners for a whole 7 days. Then write a shopping list for only the items you will need that week – and stick to it.
- Eat before you shop. If you go to the supermarket hungry, you’ll be more likely to buy unhealthy foods (and lots of them).
- Supermarkets tend to put their most expensive and branded items at eye level and cheaper alternatives such as the value range on the bottom shelf. There’s usually no difference in quality.
- Stop eating out in restaurants and ordering takeaways. This is bad for your health and can cost a massive amount over the course of the year. Cook as many of your meals from scratch as possible.
- The freezer is your friend! Make meals in bulk and freeze in separate containers, ready for that day when you get home from work late or are just too busy to cook. If there’s a nutritious meal prepared and just waiting to be heated up, you’ll be less likely to grab the phone and call the local pizza place.
- Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables from the local market or farmers market as it’s often cheaper than the supermarket.
- Frozen veg will last longer than fresh and it will be sitting in your freezer ready for whenever you need it. It often has more nutrients than fresh because it’s usually frozen within an hour of being picked, meaning it doesn’t have time to deteriorate.
- Don’t throw anything away. Get creative with what you already have in the kitchen cupboards before you buy more. With any dinners you can’t finish, put the leftovers in the fridge and eat them for lunch the next day.
- Meat can be expensive so try to use just a little and bulk your meals out with plenty of vegetables or pulses such as beans or lentils.
- Supermarkets often slash prices of perishable goods such as fruit, veg and bread at the end of the day, so it’s worth visiting in the early evening to try and bag a bargain. Just make sure you use everything before the use-by date or store it in the freezer for future use.
- Take a packed lunch to work every day instead of going out to eat. Keep healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds and dried fruit with you whenever you leave the house so you’re not tempted to pay out for unhealthy snacks if you get peckish.
I hope these twelve tips have helped you realise that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive.