It feels a lot harder to eat well on a budget these days. There are massive bags of chips and lollies for $1, and yet an avocado goes for $5! But if you want to eat healthy food, you don’t have to shell out heaps of cash. Today, I’m sharing my top tips for eating healthy food, without breaking the bank.
Use frozen veg
I know I’m not the only person who has bought vegetables from the supermarket, and then forgotten about them! The downside of fresh fruit and veg is that they do go off.
If you tend to find wilted veg down the bottom of the crisper regularly, try using frozen veg more often. Frozen vegetables retain just as much nutrition as fresh (sometimes even more!).
Bulk up meals with cheaper ingredients
You might need to feed some pretty hungry humans on your budget – especially if you have teenage boys, or a partner who eats like he is still a teenager. To them, bigger serves are a must.
This is where you can get sneaky and bulk their meals up with cheap ingredients. Try adding some lentils into your bolognaise sauce for extra protein and filling fibre. If they are always hungry for another snack, use tuna and eggs as more affordable high-protein options.
Use seasonal produce
You might not have the seasonal options memorised. But the good news is, the layout of the produce section and the prices will tell you the answer!
In the middle of winter, you’ll always find oranges near the front at just a few dollars per kilo. In the summer, there will be plenty of cheap salad vegetables available like cucumber and lettuce.
The best part? Seasonal produce is more nutritious, as it is fresher and grown in the ideal conditions. So you’re saving money AND feeding your family the best the season has to offer.
Don’t dismiss cheaper cuts of meat
It’s easy to ignore the cheap cuts of meat because they are too tough. But these are actually value for money, as they are packed with protein.
The cheaper and tougher the cut, the lower and slower you want to cook it. So chuck it in the slow cooker in the morning, and you’ll have a delicious, nutritious and affordable meal by evening.
Shop the specials
It’s time to let go of brand loyalty. If you do most of your shopping at Woolies, that’s fine. But if Coles is selling something you need at half price, why not take advantage of that?
I like to check the catalogues before I do my weekly shopping. That way, I know if I want to go to one or other supermarket that week.
Make friends with the Supermarket brands
If a product isn’t on special, there is no reason why you can’t just get the homebrand version of it. My strategy is to shop the specials at Woolies or Coles, and then get the remaining items at Aldi! This is easier if all of your supermarkets are close by.
Make your own convenience foods
You might need quick meals as well as affordable options. This is where making your own convenience foods helps you to achieve both goals.
One of my favourites is oats and yoghurt. If you mix them together and leave them overnight in the fridge, you wake up to an instant meal. It’s a cheaper, more filling and more nutritious option than picking up pre-made instant oats with added sugars.
Stock up on deals – if you can store them
Sometimes, you trip across a half-price special on a food your family loves. This is great – IF you have some way to store your stock.
Check the expiry dates on the fresh food options, and freeze them if you can. You can stock up on things like bananas by slicing and freezing them. If the food is tinned or dried, make sure you put it somewhere where you can access it easily, otherwise, you might forget it is there!
Want more support with choosing healthy foods for your family? Make sure you check out The Lifestyle Collective – it’s also very budget-friendly! To learn more, click here.