All the tips on how to eat healthier on a small budget!
When you are on a limited budget for food shopping and you also want to eat healthier (or might have allergies such as being gluten free), it can sometimes be a little tricky.
I am sure at some stage we all have had to balance eating healthy with what we could spend.
It can be really hard to eat healthier when food and ingredients can cost so much. It seems that eating healthier needs a lot of expensive ingredients.
Whether you are cooking for a large family or even just for yourself here are a few tips to help when you need to eat healthier on a small budget!
How to Eat Healthier on a Small Budget!
Planning meals ahead is a great way to know what to buy and have on hand to make the weekly meals.
But rather than plan your meals then go shopping for the ingredients for your weekly meal plan, consider planning your meals around what's on sale or in season!
This way you can you can save a lot of money, you can be a little creative and try some dishes you have never had before!
There are some basic ingredients that are worth keeping stocked up in your pantry - such as rice, beans, tinned tomato and pasta.
Having these cheap and basic ingredients can make a range of meals. Rice can be made into fried rice and it is a cheap and filling meal. You can always add in whatever veggies you have on hand with it.
Tacos go further and are more filling when adding some 'black beans' ... they add extra flavour to the tacos.
The best way to store bulk groceries is in glass or plastic jars or containers in the pantry or the cupboard. When they are transparent or see-through you can always see what is there. This way you always know what needs filling up without having to guess or rummage through packets and boxes.
It also helps by knowing what you have, that way it prevents you from buying the same packet of cereal (...you know.... when you already have 5 tucked away in the cupboard 😉 )
By washing out and recycling glass jars, you are saving on buying containers, ( as you all know... plastic containers are just like lost socks... you can never find the matching lid ...where do they go?? 😁) .
Sometimes when life is so busy it is easy and expensive to grab takeaway. When shopping, simply stock up on a few frozen healthy meals for those busy nights and then they are ready to eat in only a few minutes and they are a lot cheaper than takeaway!
Don’t be tempted to buy pre-cut vegetables. They are more expensive and you can save money by simply chopping them yourself.
The best time is taking 20 mins after doing the weekly food shopping and chopping the vegetables and storing them in plastic bags and then you are ready for the next few days!
Asian markets often have a range of fresh produce that are a lot cheaper than what you find in supermarkets...especially herbs, such as coriander, basil and chives and vegetables like bok choy.
Even going to the farmer's market near the end of the day is when you often find produce being reduced so they don't need to pack it up and store it. You can often find some healthy bargains!
Buy vegetables when they are in season and when they are plentiful and cheap, then freeze them for later. Especially onions and capsicum! Onions and capsicum are one of those basic ingredients that can add so much flavour to a meal... and they smell wonderful when they are cooking too!
Buy vegetables when they are cheap in bulk and simply slice, chop and store in plastic bags in the freezer. The best part is that the night when you are busy and hungry, it is one less step of chopping when preparing dinner!... bonus!
When fruit is in season it is a great time to stock up and freeze...especially if you love smoothies or making banana cake/muffins.
Bananas are great chopped into slices and placed in freezer bags ready to add to homemade smoothies and even turned into healthy banana ice-cream!
Slow Cookers or Crock Pots are worth investing in because they are easy to use, they can make large batches of healthy food that can be eaten that night, with enough for left overs for lunch the next day and even portions can be frozen as back-up meals.
Slow Cookers are also great if you are using cheaper cuts of meats such as chuck steak and making them tender and delicious!
If you have the space in your yard or you have some pots, simply grow spices, herbs and veggies in your own garden. It is amazing how much you can save by growing your own herbs and vegetables and how they can add such flavour to an everyday meals!
And the last tip (that I really need to follow) ... Is to not go food shopping when hungry!
That is a sure way to make sure I spend more ...and buy all those little unhealthy treats I really don't need. (well...maybe just one!)
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