Deciding to turn your life around and start eating a clean and nutritious diet is the first (and probably biggest) hurdle in your transformation journey. The second is the price! It always seems like the healthiest foods cost a few extra dollars, making it all the more tempting to resort to a meal or snack that’s cheaper but lacking the vital nutrients your body needs to keep you fuelled throughout the day. Luckily for you, we have some solutions. It is possible to eat clean on a budget - you just need to know how! Try some of these tips and tricks to get you started.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Sit down and plan out all of your breakfast, lunch and dinners for the week before hitting the grocery store. Sure, you might think it’s easier to wing it when you get there but this is a guaranteed way to overflow your cart with food that you don’t need, leaving you with a nasty surprise at check-out. Also, check what you already have at home first. You may be surprised at what’s tucked away in your pantry and this can save you from doubling up on ingredients. Once you know what you need to buy, make a shopping list - then stick to it!
Cooking for yourself is the best choice for your wallet, but this can be tedious for the best of us. So stock up on leftovers! Double the ingredients in a recipe and freeze the rest for lunches and dinners. This will help you shorten your shopping list and you’ll use up more of the ingredients you buy, reducing the chance of any waste. Plus, you’ve already done all the hard work! You won’t be tempted to splurge on buying a meal out purely to save time and effort.
You may not realise it, but wholefoods are usually cheaper than their processed counterparts. For example, grains like brown rice and oats cost less per serving than most process cereals. They’re also sold in larger quantities, so you get more value for money anyway!
SAVE ON MEAT
Meat can be quite expensive, but there are cheaper cuts that you can buy. These are great in home-made burritos, stirfry’s, stews - you name it! Alternatively, swap out the meat some days for other sources of protein. Legumes, eggs and canned fish are inexpensive, quality sources of protein that are extremely quick and easy to prepare. They also have a fairly long shelf life, so you won’t find yourself having to throw away food.
BUY HOMEBRAND FOODS
It’s time to change your attitude towards home brands. You might be surprised how many generic brands are selling food that is just as good as the others (if not better). More often than not, you’re essentially getting the same product at a fraction of the price. Try it out - swap your go-to brands for the generic version and see if you can spot the difference. Your bank account will thank you for it.
These tips will make eating healthy more manageable and help you stick to this way of eating long-term. It’s not difficult, it just takes a more mindful approach.
Good luck and happy grocery shopping!