Many people believe that they can’t afford to eat a healthy diet, with multi-packs of junk foods often costing less than your five-a-day in the supermarkets. However, eating an unbalanced diet ultimately comes at a higher cost – your health.
The good news is that eating healthily is not a luxury reserved for the wealthy, anyone can afford to eat a balanced diet with some planning and versatile kitchen staples…
Ditch the sugary cereals, muffins and white bread, breakfast calls for something balanced to kick-start the day. Try porridge, whole grain toast or sugar-free cereals like Shredded Wheat with fresh fruit. Oats and Shredded Wheat are store-cupboard staples that will last a long time and don’t cost much, while bread can always be frozen if you want to make the loaf last longer.
Create balanced, hearty meals for less with must-haves like lentils, wholegrain pasta and brown rice. Also be sure to stock up on beans and pulses plus tinned tomatoes that can be used for anything from casseroles to pasta dishes that will feed the whole family or can be frozen for a healthy ‘ready meal’. Try my Quinoa Tabouleh recipe for an adaptable and tasty dish.
Snack time is when it can be all too easy to reach for junk food, but if you plan in advance snacking can be healthier and cheaper than eating on the go. Think raw nuts, seeds, fruits and yoghurt for simple ideas or check out my five low GL snack ideas.
Supermarket vegetables have often travelled a long way and probably lost a lot of their nutrients in the process. Markets and greengrocers are often a cheaper way of getting more local produce at a cheaper price, plus you’re lowering your carbon footprint and helping local businesses in the process.
Waste not, want not…
If fruit or vegetables are about to go off, don’t let them go to waste. Freeze fruit – it makes a great addition to smoothies, milkshakes and desserts, while vegetables can easily be mixed into a healthy, filling soup or stew.
As you can see it is possible to eat well on a budget, with no need for mass processed foods. All it takes is a little advance planning – it’s as simple as planning your meals and writing a shopping list. You could even shop online to keep track of how much you’re spending. No more excuses!