Best Tips Needed To Eat Healthy On A Tight Budget
Food costs money and there is a belief that the best foods cost more. But that isn’t true at all. Even those with tight budgets can still eat healthily and well with a diet plan. You do not have to break the bank every time you want to eat healthy.
The truth is that the healthiest food options do not have fancy names and are cheap. With the right shopping strategy and a meal plan, you can save a lot.
African foods like puna yam also have the ability to be eaten multiple times. So they often represent good value for money. You can buy puna yam in any African food shop near you.
African and Caribbean foods can actually save you a ton of money when cooked in bulk.
Here are ways you can still eat healthy whole food and save money.
Have a Meal Plan
The easiest way to waste money when buying groceries is by shopping without a meal plan. Meal plans are there as a guide to keep you in check.
Pick one day of the week to create your meal plan for the following week or even month. Doing this will help you streamline your grocery list and prepare meals accordingly.
Another step you want to take is checking your cabinet, fridge and other storage space for the things you don’t have. There will be times when you will have to plan your meals around foods that will soon spoil or expire. So this step is really important before you go grocery shopping.
When you actually go grocery shopping in an African supermarket near you, endeavour to buy only things you will need to avoid wastage. Do not second guess.
Do Not Deviate From Your Grocery List
Impulse buying is real. How many times have you gone out intending to buy only a few things then buying a lot? It happens.
This is why it is advisable to follow your grocery list without distraction. Even when getting items in online grocery African stores, use that list.
We know we said not to deviate from your grocery list but there are some acceptable exceptions. Sometimes life gives you oranges instead of lemons. Would you rather keep looking for lemons to make lemonade when you can use the orange to make sweet orange juice?
You could have chicken peppersoup on your grocery list but the store is offering stripes and goat meat on sale. It is advisable to switch up the recipe to stripe or goat meat peppersoup. You will be saving more cash.
In fact, always go to the store with your meal plan and check if there are items on sale that you can swap some recipes with. So far as you are buying healthy, you have no problem.
Canned food makes great alternatives.
No doubt fresh seafood, legumes, vegetables and fruits are some of the healthiest food around. But the cost can quickly pile up if you’re not careful as they are most times not cheap.
It is also a viable option because you can keep it in the pantry for months, unlike the fresh ones.
Frozen foods are healthy too
Yes, frozen foods are actually. In fact, they are more nutritious than the fresh ones. This is because fresh produce can lose its nutritional value in transport. Whereas, frozen foods are frozen as soon as possible.
In frozen vegetables, for example, blanching help keeps it fresh and leaves the nutrients in place.
Frozen foods also last longer than fresh foods. That is quite obvious actually. So when next you feel like making soups with ugu, ewedu, pondu, okra and the likes, you can simply head over to your freezer.
Frozen meat and fish also ensure you don’t have to worry about freshness for a while. And they are cheaper than the fresh ones.
Embrace Home Cooked Meals
The advantage of having a meal plan is that you do not have to worry about eating outside. Eating out can be quite expensive. The amount you spend on eating out can be used to buy much-needed groceries.
It doesn't matter whether you cook as you need it or you are the type who cooks for a whole week. What matters is that you are saving money by sticking to your meal plan.
Plan to Cook In Large Portions
The disadvantage of cooking a new meal every day is that it is wasteful. Cooking food in large quantities is generally a better practice. Those leftovers can be used in a versatile way from stews to salads and stir-fries.
There is no reason to make a separate soup for different kinds of swallow every day when you can decide to make egusi soup and ewedu for the week. That stew you made for the week can be used to make rice, egg sauce and the likes.
You also tend to use fewer groceries when you cook in large quantities than small ones.
It also prevents the stress of always making them from scratch.
The advantage of cooking in large quantities is that you can quickly cook something when you are hungry. This prevents you from buying processed foods which may strain your budget.
Generic brands aren’t bad
Customers are used to buying names. It’s why companies pay a lot for publicity. The publicity noise is why a brand resonates with you over another.
But there are sometimes that big brands and generic brands offer almost if not the same quality. In regards to safe foods, all brands have specific standards to follow.
Pack food for work
Eating lunch at work can be a big excuse to buy food outside. Especially junky food. But it is avoidable really. You can get yourself a nice food box to pack your healthy lunch in the morning. This is way more budget-friendly than eating out for lunch while at work.
Don’t forget Your Freezer
Whether you buy your grocery as frozen or fresh foods, you want to make sure they end up in your freezer.
Meats and poultry take up the bulk of food budgets, so it makes sense to buy more if you see them on sale. You don’t have to worry about them going bad as they do well over time when stored in the freezer.
Although, you want to make sure that you are using a powerful and fully functional freezer. This helps maintain the freshness of the food kept in it.
Generally, in a functional freezer, turkey and chicken can stay up to 9 months, fish can stay up to 4 months, and cuts, like roasts, frozen can stay up to 6-12 months and steaks for 6 to 12 months.
Eating healthy does not have to be expensive and is achievable on a small income. What you want to do is create a meal plan around your income. This prevents deviating from your grocery list.
The step-by-step ways above will help you eat healthy even when you are on a tight budget.