When you’re on a narrow budget, eating healthy is an ongoing challenge. Let’s face it: health foods can be expensive. When your grocery budget is low, it might seem cheaper to live off packaged foods. You’re thinking that higher calories for a lesser food budget is the best option, right? Wrong.
Buying packaged foods for every meal starts to add up over time. You’ll pay more in the long term: both from your wallet and your health.
It is possible to eat healthy on a budget. Here’s how;
Eat With the Seasons
Fresh produce is a great hack for eating healthy, but the cost can add up quickly. Pay attention to what’s in season and consider buying in bulk when you spot a good deal. Shopping at farmer’s markets is a particularly good way to find bargains.
Plan around Sales
Sign up to your local grocery store’s loyalty card and grab the weekly catalogue to browse deals. Rather than shopping for a weekly meal plan, plan your meals around your food budget! Buy lean meat and fresh produce in bulk and stock up that freezer.
A big part of eating healthy is eating lean quality cuts of meat. You can still do this when you eat healthy on a budget. Look for less expensive cuts of meat, like chicken legs or thighs over breasts, and try out slow-cooking to tenderise tough cuts of beef or pork. Lamb necks, pork belly, pork cheeks, beef shins, and whole chickens are all great alternatives when you’re eating budget health food. Look for bone in, skin on, and organ meats. You can even broil the bones to make your own stock! Just avoid really fatty cuts or low-grade meats to avoid a high fat intake.
Get Hooked on Grains and Beans
There’s nothing like beans and whole grains to bulk up your meals and keep you eating healthy. Beans and grains like quinoa, freekeh, and brown rice are an inexpensive and tasty way to stretch your meals across an extra day or two: plus they’re a great source of fibre and protein!
Be Creative with your Leftovers
Eating healthy isn’t about eating the same things over and over again. When there’s leftovers in the fridge, get creative with the way you use them. Fridge full of leftover par-cooked veggies? Throw them in with some curry powder, spices, and coconut milk: ta-da! You’ve got a delicious vegetarian curry. Repurposing your leftovers is a fun, creative way to eat healthy on a budget.
Visit the Market at the End of the Day
Farmer’s markets are a great way to eat healthy on a budget, but they won’t always save you money during peak hour. Hold off until the very end of the day, when you’ll be more likely to strike up a better deal for yourself. Vendors will be more eager to sell fresh produce when the crowds thin and the sales stop!
Want more tips and tricks for budget living? Follow us on Facebook and keep up-to-date with our latest blogs. You can also read our follow up article on budget friendly superfoods.