How to make 2021 the year you keep your New Year’s Health Resolutions! We all have, at some point,...
Healthy Eating on A Budget – Money Saving Tips
How to Eat Healthy on A Budget – 10 Easy Tips!
Healthy eating on a budget is a realistic and very achievable goal. January is the month in which we tend to set our financial resolutions. We start by telling ourselves that this year is the year we hit our saving goals. We aim to get honest with ourselves about our less than favourable spending habits and start to seek cost-effective strategies.
As with any medium to long-term goal, adopting new habits that are easy to implement and maintain is key to a successful outcome. Take a look at a few quick and simple money saving hacks to (hopefully) make this the year you hit those financial milestones!
- Visit Your Local Supermarket an Hour Before it Closes
Most supermarkets in the final hour before closing reduce almost ‘out of date’ food items that they must either sell or (unfortunately) waste. Organic produce can be particularly expensive and is regularly reduced, therefore you’re likely to find yourself a great deal by visiting at this time.
- Buy Frozen
This is particularly true when buying frozen berries. They have comparable nutritional value to fresh berries and are perfect little ice cubes when blitzing up a morning smoothie. Frozen packets of mixed vegetables are wonderfully cheap and versatile when throwing a budget-friendly meal together. You’ll also cut down on food wastage as these items can be left in the freezer for months. You can also bulk buy any offers in store (3 for 2) and freeze these for later use.
- Invest in A Slow Cooker & Batch Cook
Slow cookers are particularly good for turning cheaper cuts of meat (the shoulder, neck, shin) into succulent, fall-off-the-bone meals…and at a fraction of the price. Slow cookers can be used for overnight porridge, jacket potatoes, chilli, Bolognese, curry dishes the list goes on. Take a look at BBC Good Food for a list of easy cheap slow cooker recipes. This tip makes healthy eating on a budget a doddle!
- Sharing is Caring
If you live in a house share, buying items that maintain a short sell-by-date and splitting the cost will again ensure less food wastage and be budget friendly. This is particularly relevant when it comes to purchasing bags of salad and fresh herbs.
- Buy Dried Herbs & Spices or Grow/Make Your Own
Herbs & spices are fantastic for adding flavour bombs to your dishes, however buying them fresh may not be as cost effective. The medicinal benefits and taste of fresh herbs is however, still worth considering. If you’re not willing to compromise on this; grow your own. Basil seeds for example are incredibly cheap and if you look after and nurture the plant, you’ll have a plentiful supply of fresh basil for several months! Herbs such as rosemary are surprisingly versatile in English weather and are easy to maintain if you’re looking for a low maintenance herb for your garden.
Nut butters and nut milks can be very costly to purchase. Consider making your own for a fraction of the cost. The only equipment you’ll need is a food processor for your nut butters and a cheese cloth for your nut milks, which are relatively inexpensive to buy.
- Bulk Buy
Your local ethnic supermarket is great for buying 5kg bags of grains for several pounds; considering you have the room to store them! They will last you months and are a great cupboard stable should you reach the end of the month and find yourself sifting through your shelves for cheap meal inspiration.
Online shopping for multipack tins of coconut milk on sites like Amazon is a perfect way to save yourself pennies on more expensive food cupboard items.
- Download a Money Saving App
A top tip for saving money is to make your in and outgoings as transparent as possible. Apps in which you can see where your money goes, how much you are spending each month on groceries, entertainment, eating out etc can be a stark wake up call. You will be able to spot areas in which you are over-spending and review the necessity of these expenses.
Monzo is a fantastic online banking app. It provides easy to read monthly analytics on expenditure and rounds up spending to a ‘top up pot’ which can be an easy and simple way to save a little money each month.
Honey is an excellent money saving app. The app will automatically source and apply any relevant discounts to your shopping cart when you shop online without you having to do the work. Honey is also linked to Paypal ensuring your money is kept secure.
- Thoroughly Prep Your Shopping List
Plan your meals and shop accordingly – this ensures that you use everything you buy which also reduces food wastage. If you take the time to prepare a shopping list to incorporate all the ingredients you require for all your meals that week, this will help you to stop visiting your local shop every couple of days because you need to pick up additional items. It’s safe to say intentions of ‘popping in’ to picking up a tin of tomatoes can result in reaching the tills with a basket full of grocery items.
- Introduce/Increase Plant-based Meals
Plant-based meals are cheaper comparative to meals containing meat. A simple way to implement this is to opt for high-protein grains which are a great cheap and satiating alternative. Buckwheat, quinoa and wild rice are excellent options.
10. Consider Swapping Brands
Whether that’s the supermarket you shop in or the more expensive brands of food items you buy, simple cupboard staples like pasta and beans can be swapped for cheaper brands without feeling compromised on quality & taste.
Healthy eating on a budget is absolutely doable. If you have any other money saving food tips, I’d love to hear them.