There’s a misconception about healthy eating that it costs a lot of money. While buying the latest superfoods, pre-packaged smoothies or chia puddings might cost you an arm and a leg, eating a balanced and healthy diet won’t. Creative cook and founder of guided meal plan company BARE, Leah Itsines, has some tips for eating well on a budget.
Plan your meals
Leah explains that planning meals is the key to saving money, and setting aside one day a week to meal prep will help you do this.
“Create a weekly calendar with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and put in exactly what you’ll be eating on each of those days. Make a list of ingredients you’ll need for each of those meals and purchase only what you need from the supermarket. This will reduce the amount of mney you waste on unnecessary ingredients or takeaway.”
Shop locally and in season
Another way to save money is to cook with foods that are currently in season.
“Shop for fruit and vegetables that are in season so you’re not paying a premium price. Often what’s in season will be what’s farmed locally within your region, too.”
Meal prep or cook in bulk
Cooking a few meals in large portions will save you time and money, says Leah.
“When I meal prep, I always batch cook the same recipe. This is key to saving money as it reduces the number of ingredients you have to buy and also ensures you have leftovers for the week ahead.”
Use your phone to calculate while shopping
“This is the easiest way to ensure you don't go over your budget and get any nasty surprises at the checkout. As you put things in your trolley add them up as you go - this is a great way to ensure you don't get carried away with extra items.”
Swap and alternate ingredients
Leah recommends experimenting with different ingredients as a way to eat healthy and within budget.
“Swap and alternate ingredients to suit your tastebuds, lifestyle and budget! You can swap the vegetables mentioned in a recipe for cheaper and in season vegetable, or buy and swap cheaper cuts of meat for stews, soups, curries and burritos.”
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