Isn’t it ironic how a cheeseburger costs $1 while a salad can cost upward of $12? How is a girl supposed to stay healthy while sticking to a budget? Fresh fruits, vegetables, and other numerous organic produce can really tip you over your weekly grocery budget. However, there is hope!
While it can be expensive to eat healthy, it doesn’t have to be! You just need to know a few tips and tricks to stick to a healthy diet at minimum cost and here’s how!
1. Meal Prep
Make a plan and write a list of everything you need to meal prep for the week. After you’ve gone grocery shopping for your meat, beans and grains (P.S Never go food shopping hungry!) you can start planning how you’re going to prepare your weekly meals. Have a clear picture in your head of what needs to be done. To avoid getting overwhelmed you need to be doing multiple things at once.
Try to use healthy alternatives when meal prepping. For example use quinoa instead of rice, pita bread instead of white bread and greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Also, try to avoid additional condiments which mean additional calories. As an alternative, you can use herbs and spices to season your food.
2. Double the Recipe
Make your meals go twice the distance by doubling the recipe. If you ever over purchase food the best way to make sure you don’t overeat or waste it is by cooking the extra food and popping it in the freezer. When you make a big batch of soup or a casserole always double the recipe. Doubling the batch won’t be much extra work for you and it’s a great way to ensure you don’t get caught off guard. Having spare containers of soup in the freezer as a backup is a great way to avoid having to buy your lunch.
3. Avoid Eating Out
Consider this; you buy lunch from a food court once a week. That’s around $20-$30 which is $100 a month. That comes to $1,200 a year, for a single meal! Not to mention the number of times you eat out or those morning coffees! Keep in mind that over time, it all adds up. You could spend that money on pre-planning your meals for the week. It’s all about planning and being organised.
4. Shop locally
Shopping locally not only supports our local farmers it can also save you a pretty penny. All of the major supermarkets don’t spend big money on advertising for nothing. Make the most of your local markets and seasonal products; you’ll be supporting your local community. In season produce is usually much better quality and won’t break the budget!
5. Ditch the extras
Those little extras we chuck in the trolley without a second thought, adds up! Things like chips, biscuits, cake, confectionery, fruit juices and cordials. Not only will they tip you over your budget, they offer you no nutritional value. Just remember if you don’t buy it you can’t eat it.
Even if you buy it for someone else in the family or unexpected guests, the temptation is still there. If you need to buy them for guests keep them out of sight! In addition, never tell yourself “I’ll just have one” because before you know it the whole packet is gone! Resist the temptations to open the packet and remember, out of sight out of mind.