Eat Healthy On A Budget
Eating healthily can seem like a mammoth task, particularly when you have the appetite of a mammoth as well. But like most things in life, without proper planning, consistency, and focus, it’s easy to fall back into old habits and routines. That’s why we’ve outlined 9 ways to eat healthy on a budget, focusing on natural, organic ingredients and utilizing your batch cooking skills to their fullest. Make sure to invest in a lot of storage containers before embarking on your healthy lifestyle.
1. Planning In Advance
Spend some quality time researching recipes and meal ideas that really make your mouth water, but equally, provide you with all the nutrients and goodness you need throughout the week. However, you plan, make sure you write it down, whether that’s on a calendar or whiteboard on the fridge. This means you know exactly what ingredients you need to pop onto your shopping list and relieves you of the stress of trying to think of something to cook that evening. It’s a win-win. Taking a shopping list with you will also deter you from wandering down those appealing aisles, full of unhealthy and expensive treats and snacks.
2. Meal Prep
Don’t let those healthy ingredients sit on your shelves or in your fridge. If you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget, make sure you learn the art of batch cooking. Not only will this save you time and energy in the long run, but you’ll also cut down on food costs because less will go to waste. You can even freeze some of your favorite meals to have as lunches for the next week or if you’re late home from work and can’t muster up the energy to cook from scratch. Or you can take it to work in your lunch box. It’s like having microwavable meals, but without being full of the bad stuff. Don’t forget, you can also batch cook vegetables too, which really cuts down on that excessive waste. Simply throw your veg onto a baking tray, with a little oil and some seasoning, and roast until you’re happy with the consistency. You can then add these to any meal you feel like. It’s like your mum sneaking your veggies into your meals as a kid.
3. Healthy Alternatives
Think about all the meals you enjoy cooking and eating and then think about ways to substitute some of the less healthy ingredients for more nutritious and natural foods. You could even try to eat less meat too, as this can be an expensive element to your shopping basket. Maybe try Meat Free Mondays to ease yourself in. If you can’t forgo your meaty meals, then try to buy it in quantities and portion it out, freezing most of it as you go. Just remember to defrost it fully before you eat. You can easily make healthy alternatives for your favorite snacks too. Try roasting some chickpeas to replace your salty nut or crisp habit. Full of protein and provides you with that crunch satisfaction.
4. Limit How Often You Eat Out
Eating out can be expensive and often you’re not entirely sure of the exact ingredients that have gone into your meal. It can be tricky to choose a healthy option when you’ll probably end up paying more for the limp looking salad option, than the juicy stack of ribs. Try to cook and eat at home as often as possible. This means you can plan properly for special meals out, going to high-quality restaurants and choosing something you really fancy. Did someone say dessert?
5. Buy Store Own Or Cheaper Brands
We all have our favorites when it comes to food brands. However, a big brand doesn’t always mean better quality and often you can find the same product for much cheaper, simply because it’s the store’s own label or a lesser known brand. You’ll be using most of the ingredients you buy during the cooking process anyway, which means the taste of the individual product shouldn’t affect the taste of the overall meal.
6. Buy Frozen
The freezer is your best friend when eating healthy on a budget. Those natural ingredients can keep some of their nutrients once frozen, so take advantage of this. If you feel you may still waste fresh veggies, then buy frozen straight from the store. You can then add them to any meals you prepare, whether that’s onions, sweetcorn, spinach or broccoli. Frozen fruit, such as berries, is a great way to get that sweet treat you’re craving, but without the badness. Add them to yogurt or into a smoothie and you’ll feel like you’re definitely not missing out.
7. Try Using A Slow Cooker
Batch cooking partners up with slow cooking like a dream. Just bung all the ingredients in and you’ll have a perfectly cooked, healthy meal to come home to. Plus, your whole house will smell incredible (if your cooking skills are up to scratch that is…).
8. Shop Online
If you think about to the store or supermarket might be too much temptation for you, then why not try online shopping? You can simply search for the ingredients you need and not be pulled in by bright packaging and buy-one-get-one-free offers. It’s a sure fire way to stock your cupboards full of those natural, nutrient-rich foods, without having to run past the confectionary aisle or carry fistfuls of bags from your car.