Eating healthy on a budget

With a little extra planning and preparation anyone can eat well on a tight budget.

Eating healthy on a budget

Many people have the misconception that eating healthily requires spending more money on food. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Not only do you not have to compromise on flavour or speed, it is possible to buy fresh foods without splashing all your cash.

While junk food may be cheap, the repercussions of eating poorly are not. Diabetes, obesity and heart disease are taxing on both your body and wallet. With a little extra planning and preparation anyone can eat well on a tight budget. 

Here are seven tips to keep your waist and wallet looking their best;

1. Make a list and eat before you shop
Visit the supermarket hungry and you’ll leave with way more than you had planned to buy. Make sure that your stomach doesn’t do the talking by writing a list of what you need before you head out. You’ll be much more likely to stick to your budget this way.

2. Buy locally and in season
Buying in season means spending a lot less and buying local produce ensures that your food is more nutrient-dense. Cheaper and fresher food is a win-win situation.

3. Choose generic or home brands
When it comes to basics such as milk, butter, rice and frozen veggies, home brand products can be just as good, if not better, than the name brand equivalents. Because home brands don’t have a middleman, you can often buy an identical product for less money.

4. Stock up on frozen goods
Frozen fruit and veggies are packed in their prime, helping to lock in nutrients. They also reduce wastage by not sitting in your fridge and going off. Stock up on frozen goods to ensure that you always have the essentials for a healthy meal on hand.

5. Watch the specials
Catalogues are a great way to see which produce is in season and check the deals of the week. For example, buying extra meat when it goes on sale, and storing it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it, can save money.

6. Invest in eggs
Eggs are a fantastic way to get protein, with one whole egg containing all of the essential amino acids. Compared to other protein sources, such as meat, they are also relativelyinexpensive.

7. Visit the farmers’ market
Not only are food miles reduced when you shop at farmers’ markets, but because you’re cutting out the middleman, local growers will often have the best deals for fresh and in-season produce.

What are your tips for eating healthy on a budget and saving money on food shopping?


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    3rd Nov 2014
    I do not understand why some people have the belief that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy foods rather than healthy ones. Healthy food is actually much cheaper and you eat less. I consider I have made a life career and art form of living well on less. I eat fresh foods, buy no frozen or take away meals nor snack foods and little processed foods of any sort. First eliminate or cut down on empty calories (your purse and waistline cannot afford these). Empty calories are refined sugar and products thereof, tea, coffee, cordials, processed fruit juices, softdrinks and alcohol.
    Make your own bean sprouts in a glass jar with a piece of mesh held on with a rubber band.
    Make your own low sugar, high fibre biscuits and cakes
    Use popcorn for snacks. Use the old fashioned type that can be microwaved instead of the microwave bags.
    Grow some vegetables or herbs in garden beds or pots. Fresh herbs really make a simple meal into a taste sensation.
    Remember eating healthy is eating cheaper and will also save money on medications and doctors.
    3rd Nov 2014
    Excellent, I pretty much have done the same and I agree keeping healthy is cheaper than medications and doctors visits. There are also many community gardens to join if you can't grow your own, getting lots of free (with a little work) vegies and that is good for your health.
    3rd Nov 2014
    Farmers markets used to bring good produce and local produce. But they are not that anymore. They seem to have a lot of highpriced, but very good offerings. So not actually a place to go for a bargain I have found.
    3rd Nov 2014
    True doclisa but the local fruit & veg markets are often cheaper than the supermarkets when they are not tagged 'farmers markets'.
    3rd Nov 2014
    I think it depends on where the farmer's markets are, try looking online and buying direct in season at FarmhouseDirect. if you subscribe to their emails you get notification when they have free shipping specials.
    Polly Esther
    3rd Nov 2014
    Eat to live, do.
    Live to eat, don't.
    3rd Nov 2014
    Since I became vegan and cook all my meals from scratch I´m saving heaps. Also by buying fresh unprocessed foods one not only get the best but don't pay the 10% either!!!
    Go vegan (or at least vegetarian) and save money on food as well as in doctor´s and pharmacy´s expenses.
    3rd Nov 2014
    I meant the 10% tax, above
    3rd Nov 2014
    Yeah another vegan, I too gave up processed foods for health reasons, and coffee and now save heaps, I would rather spend my money on organic produce that fills me up and sustains me.
    3rd Nov 2014
    This article has some good points but there are other sources of protein that are better than eggs. If you do eat eggs please buy free range and make sure they are certified, the animal cruelty that comes from battery caged eggs is horrendous.

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