Do we really need to spend lots of money to eat healthily? Is it even possible to stay healthy on a tight budget? It certainly is and I have gathered some tips for you on how you get the most bang for your buck.
10. Are Superfoods really that super?
When it comes to so-called superfoods, there are usually two camps, those that take them for gospel and those who think that it is utter nonsense. In fairness, it is very easy to get lured in by the clever marketing claims on the packages.
Often those things like chia seeds, goji berries and quinoa get shipped around the world which drives up the price, isn’t good for the environment and it’s not unusual for local farmers to be exploited.
But do we have to go that far to find highly nutritional food?
Certainly not, we have many great alternatives growing right on our doorstep. Instead of chia seeds, you could simply buy Linseeds, raspberries instead of goji berries and pearl barley is almost as awesome as quinoa.
If you follow only a few simple tricks you will be able to save lots of money and nourish yourself and your family.
9. Buy local food that is in season
Nowadays, you can buy almost anything all year round, this comes with two pitfalls. One, produce that is out of season is less nutritious and two, it comes with a hefty price tag.
Check out your local farmers market or local produce in your supermarket. You will not only supporting local jobs but also the economy while getting more bang for your buck. Win, win.
If there is a food that you really enjoy eating all year around buy it frozen. Frozen fruit and vegetable gets flash frozen right after harvest and contains almost as many nutrients as fresh foods. Sometimes it contains even more than the fresh produce if it has been lying on the shelf for quite a while.
8. Write a shopping list
Plan ahead, decide what you are going to cook for the next couple of days and write a list. Most importantly stick to this list.
It is easy to spend extra money when giving into the clever marketing tricks of the supermarkets. Stores are designed to create desire and spur of the moment buys.
7. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry
Make sure that you have eaten before you go shopping, it will be much easier to withstand the calling of the sweets aisle when you aren’t hungry.
6. Buy whole foods
You are paying for convenience, a block of cheese is cheaper than grated cheese, a whole chicken can sometimes be even cheaper than 2 chicken breasts and provide food for a couple of days.
Your options are endless, I find it wasteful to only eat prime cuts. Also, the most nutritious parts of the animal are usually the off-cuts (offal). Less expensive cuts of meat are great to use in casseroles, soups, stews and burritos. These types of recipes usually make big meals and lots of leftovers.
When it comes to meat I would always go for quality and buy grass-fed meat, that way you make sure that you get what you are expecting. I would rather eat meat only 2-3 days a week but know that it is good quality.
You can even use the bones to make a delicious, Healthy Beef Bone Broth.
5. Buy in bulk and stock up on sales
You can make great deals when buying things like brown rice, lentils and beans in bulk. In an airtight container, those foods will last a long time. Check out my Best Red Lentil Dahl With Broccoli
for a delicious, low-cost meal.
When fresh produce like avocados comes on sale I buy loads. Simply chose the fruits that aren’t ripe yet and store them in the fridge. Take them out a day or two before you plan on using them. If you have waited for too long and they have become a little overripe you can still use them in this Avocado Lemon Sauce.
The other option is to chop up the fresh produce and freeze it for later.
4. Shop generic brands
A lot of the time, the supermarket’s own brands are produced by the same manufacturer as their branded counterpart. They aren’t inferior in quality.
Most of the time, you find them either on the bottom or top shelf but it is well worth looking for them as they will help you to save a lot of money.
3. Compare prices
Don’t blindly trust special offers, while they can be a good bargain it doesn’t mean that the same product from another brand wouldn’t be cheaper.
Also, don’t assume that something at the end of an aisle is always cheaper or on offer, the supermarkets know that and take advantage of it.
Make sure to compare the unit price when comparing prices. All of a sudden, another product might turn out to be cheaper than the one you thought.
2. Use Coupons Wisely
Coupons are a great way to save some money.
Just be sure to use them wisely. Most coupons are for unhealthy, processed foods.
Sort out the good quality deals from the junk, and stock up on cleaning products, healthy foods and other staples that you’ll definitely use.
By cutting the cost of products needed around the house, you can spend more of your budget on healthy foods.
1. Cook in batches
This one is a big one, batch cooking makes life so much easier. I always prepare big amounts, portion them and freeze them or simply eat the leftovers the next day. This way you save time and money.
If you have all your lunches prepared in advance it will stop you from eating out all the time and help you save tons of money.
Take Home Message
You don’t have to break the bank to eat well. In fact, there are many ways to eat healthy even on a very tight budget.
These include planning your meals, cooking at home, and making smart choices at the grocery store. Also, keep in mind that junk food costs you twice.
Bad health comes with medical costs, drugs and even reduced work capacity.
Even if eating healthy was more expensive (which it doesn’t have to be), then it would still be worth it down the line.
You really can’t put a price on good health.
What are your favourite tips to save money on groceries? I am looking forward to reading your comments.