Everyone wants to stay active and live a long and healthy life. As we’re always told, the secret to longevity is a combination of exercise and diet, with regular activity and good nutritional habits forming the basis of good health. Putting this advice into practice is often much more difficult, however, especially when you’re eating on a budget. Let’s look at four clever tips for eating healthy on a budget, so you can feel fresh, look young, and live your best life possible.
Plan cheap and healthy meals
People often think it’s impossible to eat healthy meals on a budget. Nutritional advice can be confusing, organic food costs money, and healthy recipes often have a huge list of ingredients. It doesn’t have to be difficult, however, especially if you plan ahead by creating a working list of ingredients, recipes, and retailers.
Look into simple recipes without lots of expensive spices, herbs, and nuts. There are lots of resources online for cheap and healthy recipes, from local stores through to celebrity chefs. Don’t be afraid to remove ingredients that aren’t essential to the nutritional makeup or flavour profile. Plan your recipes for the week ahead to avoid last minute shopping at expensive stores, and don’t be scared to shop around for ingredients.
Find affordable shops
If you want to know how to eat healthy on a budget, shopping is the key. Along with recipe selection, where you source your ingredients will have the biggest impact on your weekly budget. Look into specialist, bulk, and international stores for some great deals. While utilising smaller specialist stores is not an option for everyone, most medium to large cities have lots of choice available.
Bulk whole food shops are fantastic for you and for the planet, as long as you remember to avoid some of their more expensive offerings. If you’re planning an Indian or Thai meal, ingredients will always be much more affordable at an Asian supermarket. If you want to source organic produce, look into local farmers markets, or even better, start your own garden. Sure, eating healthy ingredients can be expensive, but with a little homework, it doesn’t have to be.
Stick to your shopping list
While this piece of advice is easier said than done, it’s always important to stick to your shopping list. Whether it’s a large supermarket or a small specialist store, modern retailers are very good at getting you to buy more. The very layout of supermarkets is designed to inspire last-minute purchasing, with unhealthy items like chocolate and soft drinks often at the end of the aisle or checkout.
The best advice is to make a shopping list and stick to it. Fruits, vegetables, grains and other healthy ingredients are often placed in the first couple of aisles, so make a list and fill your trolley up so there’s less room for the bad stuff. Being prepared and sticking to your list can seem difficult at first, but eating healthy and beating your budget goals is a great habit to develop over time.
Learn to do it yourself
Learning to become a better cook is great advice for anyone who wants to eat healthy on a budget. While most people can follow a recipe, it’s much harder to add or remove ingredients successfully to meet your budget goals. Learn to appreciate cuisine from other countries, get acquainted with the most important cooking methods and flavours, and learn to make fresh new recipes inspired and informed by tradition.
If you really want to save money while still accessing the freshest produce imaginable, start your own vegetable garden and grow your own food. From a small kitchen herb garden through to a large hobby farm, there’s nothing cheaper or more delicious than picking your own ingredients from a garden you nurtured yourself. When you combine these four tips and start to develop new life-affirming habits, healthy eating on a budget will become much easier than you thought.