Well I’m here to tell you that healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, it’s actually cheaper then buying a whole bunch of packaged and processed junk.
I live out of home and am paying off a mortgage, so my budget is tight. By following a few steps I’m able have a diet consisting of nourishing whole foods whilst not spending a fortune.
- Plan ahead.
I always plan my dinners for the week ahead. Then I write a list of what I’ll need. This ensures I don’t buy too little or too much. Every Saturday I will head to my local markets with my list and pick up what I need. I might try to have something a little yummier and expensive to make one night, and the other nights keep it really simple. I try to steer clear of ducking to the local shops and buying groceries during the week, as those costs can really add up quickly. I will just make use of whatever I have in my fridge or pantry.
- Always make your own lunch.
Every Sunday I have a cook up and will prepare my lunches for the week. I portion it all out and have it ready to go in the fridge. Usually this will consist of something inexpensive and easy like chicken breast and veggies, or a frittata.
- Look at your receipts.
I tend to buy 90% of my groceries at the same fruit + veg store. When I decided I needed to cut back on my groceries bill I looked at where my money was actually going. This helped me identity which vegetables were expensive and cheap. For example, I had been buying 2 bunches of asparagus which was costing me $14. I decided it wasn’t an item I needed to have every single week and opted for green beans instead which only cost me $4.
- Get smart with your freezer.
Being smart with your freezer can really pay off. I tend to buy steak, pork chops and lamb cutlets in bulk every 3 – 4 weeks, portion them out and freeze them. This means it’s one less thing I need to worry about buying each week, as well as making dinners easy. Every morning I’ll just grab something out of the freezer and let it defrost while I’m at work during the day. Another tip – I have 6 portions of bolognese, 4 portions of vegetarian nachos and 6 portions of a frittata currently sitting in my freezer. By cooking a few meals in bulk and freezing them you have something healthy ready to go if you ever find yourself in a situation where you haven’t had time to do the groceries or you’re feeling too tired to cook (perfect for those lazy Sunday nights!).
- Shop around for your poultry / meat.
I have some form of protein everyday, whether it be organic chicken breast or a good quality grass fed steak. With buying your protein, it really pays to shop around. I go to different stores for my chicken breasts, eggs and meat because that’s where the cheapest options are.