Why Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
When it comes to doing the weekly shop, many of us believe that healthy food is expensive. It’s not surprising that we believe it costs more to eat healthy, since when we go to the supermarket, we see that all the unhealthy processed foods are as little as £1, while healthy and fresh food may cost more. However, it is possible to eat healthy on low budget. It just takes planning and you may also be surprised to find that a lot of the expense actually comes from your shopping habits.
Here are some ways in which you can buy healthy food without spending a fortune:
Change your shopping habits
Frozen food is just as nutritious.
- Don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry;you’ll be tempted by all of the unhealthy food on offer and you’ll buy more than you need to.
- Avoid food with too much packaging, because it’s the packaging that you’re paying for;
- Plan your meals before you shop. Work out your menus throughout the week and then make a list of what you need to buy. In this way, you are less likely get side-tracked because you’ll know exactly which items you need and where to find them.
Frozen fruit and veg is just as good for us as fresh and it means that you can keep it in the freezer until it needs to be added to a meal. You may find that you get more for your money, too. Tinned fruit and veg may also be just as healthy, if it is packed in its own juice and with minimal salt or other additives. Some of these tins can cost as little as 30p so you can stock-up if your budget allows. Buy cheaper brands
Many of us believe that cheaper brands don’t taste as good as the more expensive and well-known brands. This isn’t always the case; Money Saving Expert (www.moneysavingexpert.com) found that you may save 30% on your shopping bill when you buy a supermarket’s own brand products, and they taste just as good. Save money on meat
Meat is the main ingredient in many meals, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be the most expensive. Try buying the cheaper cuts of meat, it will still taste just as succulent once you’ve slow cooked it in a slow cooker or on a range cooker such as a Rangemaster
. It’s also cheaper to buy a whole chicken as you’ll get more for your money – you can freeze whatever you don’t use. Use the freezer
If you want to buy fresh fruit, veg and meat, then you can simply chop them up and store them in the freezer until they are needed. This ensures that you always have something healthy to add to a meal. When you make meals you can also make double the amount and then put one half in the freezer or eat it the next day for lunch. This will prevent you from nipping to the supermarket to buy a quick unhealthy meal when you have no ingredients at home; it also saves you cooking time in the week. Add herbs and spices
Healthy food doesn’t just mean carrots, apples and broccoli; you can experiment with it too. Try adding some kidney beans along with pulses and herbs to your diet. They are very cheap to buy and they can be added to a variety of meals too. Fruit and veg that are in season are also cheaper, so keep an eye out for those. Don’t forget about herbs and spices. They last for a long time and they provide added flavour to any meal.Grow your own
You may have to invest a little in the beginning but it will be worthwhile when you have fresh and organic vegetables whenever you need them. You don’t need to have an allotment either as some fruit and veg, such as tomatoes and cabbage, can actually be grown inside. Shop online
Shopping online allows you to price check food before you commit to buying. It may also prevent you from buying food just because it’s on offer. Healthy alternatives
Try swapping your usual ingredients for a healthy alternative. It’s a fun way to mix things up and as you’ll already have plenty of healthy food in your house from your new food shop it’ll be cheaper. Here are some examples to get your started:
Make the change
- Chocolate chip cookies for raisin cookies with almond flour instead of wheat flour;
- Frozen chips for home cooked sweet potato chips;
- A frozen or takeaway pizza for a home-made pizza cooked and crisped to perfection in the oven;
- Sugar cereal for low-fat yoghurt with fresh or dried fruit;
- Salt for herbs and spices.
While buying healthy food may seem expensive at first, once you’ve altered your shopping habits and cut out the processed food you’ll soon reap the benefits – better health, tastier meals and a healthier bank balance.