One of the main barriers that people seem to face when trying to eat a healthy diet, is the cost.
Here are a few cost saving tips for eating a healthy diet…
- Minimise Wastage: This may seem like an obvious one, but we continue to waste an enormous amount of food. In Australia we waste approximately 1 out of every 5 bags of shopping that we buy. Imagine that…. Spending good money on food only to store it and then throw it away, it seems crazy. In an attempt to combat this, it’s really important to pre-plan your shop. Think about what meals you are having that week and make a list. Try not to be swayed at the supermarket by ‘sales’ or ‘savings,’ just stick to your list!
- Correctly store your items: The second you leave the shop, your items start to expire, so think about ‘use by’ and ‘expiry’ dates while you are in the shop. Do you have enough time to eat the product? Can you freeze the product (mainly meats)? If you have purchased something that starts to spoil once opened, such as rice crackers, make sure you store them in a container once opened.
- Take stock of your items: Have a regular look in your fridge, check the produce drawers, leftovers and any other perishable. Do you have several left-over meals that need to be eaten, that you could enjoy for lunch. Are there vegetables that are going to spoil soon, you could make a casserole, soup or slow cooker. Fruit looking worse of wear, blend it up into a smoothie.
- Check the price per grams: Often the price is cheaper if you buy a larger size of the product or a full size product, instead of individual serves. Such as, if you buy a large bag of oats, this is generally cheaper than buying the pre-packaged individual serves of oats. The same as price per grams. Look how much something is per 100g and then compare that to the larger size. Often if you buy the larger one its cheaper.
- Cook in bulk: Add an extra couple of servings to your cooking than what you need. This can then be used on those lazy days when you cant be bothered to cook, instead of reaching for the takeaway menu. Also you can take it for lunch, so that you aren’t spending money eating out.
- Buy cheaper cuts of meat: Those sirloin steaks or pork medallions may be tasty, but they are also super pricey. However buying cheaper cuts doesn’t mean less flavour, in fact quite the opposite. Cheaper cuts of meat are great for slow cooking and its super easy. Pop the meat into your slow cooker with a few veggies at the start of the day and let it do its thing…. By dinner you will have tasty, tender meat, at a reasonable price.
- Buy seasonal produce: Buying grapes all year round might be super tasty, but chances are its also super expensive. Stick to produce that is in season, its generally readily available, locally grown and delicious.
- Don’t pack the trolley with pre-packaged snack food: All of those snacks, like muesli bars, individual cheese and crackers, individual popcorn or chips and juice boxes, are expensive. If you can, try making them yourself at home. I often buy a bag of popcorn kernels for $2 and they last me months. It also means I can control what it added to the popcorn, generally a light dusting of icing sugar or a twist of salt. I make a little batch, pop it into a container and then Odin can snack on it for a few days. Making your own muesli bars is also super easy and ill share a recipe in another blog post..
- It doesn’t have to be organic: Organic is great, especially when it comes to any animal products, but its pricey and a cost we cant all justify (myself included). When it comes to your fruit and vegetables, try and ensure whatever you buy is grown locally. This will ensure the product is fresher and experienced less time in transit. I do always buy free-range eggs and chicken, because the thought of anything caged like that is simply awful.
Hopefully these few tips will help you save money next time you are at the checkout.