6 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Image: For centuries the Chinese developed Abacus was the main tool used for counting and taking stock of ones finances.
If you’re anything like us here at the Affordable Wholefoods family, you are probably drawn to eating healthy foods and want only the best health for yourself and your family. This can be challenging at the best of times and when you’re on a budget it also means you need to be super onto it in the planning, cooking and storing of your foods.
Well, we know all about that here at AW, so we felt to share with you a few handy tips for eating fresh healthy wholefoods on a budget.
1. Plan your meals
Meal planning doesn’t take too much time and can definitely save you money. Just having a general idea of what dinners you’ll have during the week and a list of ingredients when going shopping will prevent over-spending and greatly minimise any impulse purchases.
When planning your list of dinners, think about how leftovers from one night can be included in your dinner the following night. This will save you cooking time and prevent food wastage. For example: cook extra amounts of rice or quinoa on one evening that is planned into your next meal. You can also use leftover salads in wraps for school or work lunches.
2. Avoid cooking too much leading to waste
Sometimes our eyes can be a little too big for our stomachs and we end up cooking and preparing more then what we need. Get to know what is a good amount for the needs of you and your family so you can avoid any extra wastage. From time to time we may not be able to avoid this, but with a little effort we can get the knack.
In the times when we do miss the mark, try freezing the excess food or dedicating a fridge shelf to leftovers so that they are not pushed behind and forgotten about. Take notice of what you need to throw out and how it could have been prevented.
3. Buy food with a good shelf life
Buying foods that store well such as bulk grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are a great way to reduce your spending. With a little imagination, wholefoods such as these can satisfy fussy eaters, be extremely filling and are full of the complex carbohydrates, fibre and nutrients that our bodies need.
A little goes a long way when it comes to buying dried wholefoods as they expand in size when cooking, and with their neutral flavour they are a great base for many different recipes.
4. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk means saving that little bit more as you cut out the money you would normally pay for packaging. It also means you can purchase the quantities you need to suit your budget as well as contributing to the environment by saving on plastics and packaging. In fact, there really is no single argument against buying your wholefoods from a bulk food store. Its a win win for everyone.
5. Make your own Condiments
Making simple homemade condiments can save you money when compared to buying them from the supermarket, and it is often much healthier for you as well.
Choose a time in your week where you make up salad dressings, pesto’s or sauces for the week ahead, such as an easy tamari, apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing or try blending avocado, lemon juice, garlic and tahini.
6. Buy in season and keep it simple
Look out for ingredients that are in season (or on special) as they often cheaper and will last if stored well. Keep to simple tasty ingredients in your cooking, the staples you enjoy and appreciate the flavour of. Remember that you can always rely on fresh herbs and spices to flavour simple meals so get to know how to use these in a way that you and your family will love. Having a small herb garden can go a long way if you know how to cook with them.
When we prioritise our well-being and strive to nourish our bodies we tend to take better care when choosing our foods. Eating consciously by buying locally or growing our own veggies, helps us to become more connected to our food choices, reducing the likelihood of wastage and also saving us money.
Enjoy your week in the kitchen,
Naturopath, Affordable Wholefoods