Healthy food options can cost more and it can often be misinterpreted that living healthily is only for those who can afford it. This however is not the truth, some ‘superfoods’ may cost more money individually, but at the core of healthy living lies simple whole foods. Living frugally doesn’t have to mean meal deals and microwave dinners.
The following ideas are formed around eating healthily whilst at the same time buying cost effectively, even on a small food budget. Today we hope to abolish the idea that eating healthily is expensive, so you too can choose to feed yourself and your family on better quality food.
Local Seasonal Food
Supermarkets these days aim to offer as many fruits and vegetables as they can all year round, but the truth is that many of these items grow seasonally. Besides price, these foods often taste best when they are in season, it’s those out of season, artificially ripened products that distort our view.
Those of you looking to make a healthy change in your diet will receive great value for money if you shop locally at farmer markets for fruit and vegetables that are in season. These items may not only be cheaper due to the seasonal abundance, but also potentially better quality than those bulk deals at Coles or Woolworths.
Growing Vegetables and Herbs at Home
It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or a house, all you need is a little bit of soil to grow vegetables or herbs at home. Herbs can easily fit on windowsills or balconies whilst larger vegetables can grow in the corner of the garden.
The vegetables that offer the most money saving opportunities at home are tomatoes. The average homeowner can expect to yield between 5-15 kg of medium sized slicing tomatoes, depending on the length of the growing season. If you want to reach the upper limits of this then research fertilisation and spraying for diseases to keep the plants producing for longer.
It goes without saying, eating at home will save vast amounts of money compared to eating out. If you want to eat more healthily and save money then invest a small amount of time into finding a great recipe online and cook it yourself. If this doesn’t feel like enough then spoil yourself by using online discounts and vouchers to buy discounted wine.
This also applies to feeding your kids healthily. Rather than fork our hundreds of dollars to take your kids to play centres and then out for a meal, instead create baking or cooking style activities at home for them, so both you and they learn about healthy cooking whilst alleviating some of the workload from you. You may be surprised to learn how much money you could save whilst at the same time, promoting family bonding with healthy food education.
Eat Less Meat
This is the quickest and easiest way to reduce your food bill each month. Meat is always the most expensive option, whether you are at a restaurant or the supermarket, but if you love it then don’t stop completely instead try to buy in bulk deals and freeze where necessary. Eating excessive amounts of meat not only applies pressure on our wallets, but also to our hearts, kidneys and waistlines. If you feel you still need a good amount of protein per meal, try experimenting with tofu, beans, eggs and fish.
You may love your chosen soft drink or fruit juice, but unfortunately they are full of chemical additives, toxins and processed sugars. Water is what we were designed to drink and survive on so brings things back to their basics and try to drink water whenever possible. This will not only save money on your grocery shop, but it will indirectly reduce the damage and possible cost to your teeth, internal organs and weight gain.
Whole Grain Products
Eating more healthily isn’t always about going organic either, it can be as simple as eating less processed food such as whole grain pastas or bread for example. Starting with cereal try to choose oats over nutritionally dead sugary processed cereals. That goes the same for wholegrain bread rather than the white stuff. If you love baking then choose wholemeal flour and raw sugar, because for a minor cost increase, you are receiving much greater value for your money.