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It’s no lie that eating healthy can sometimes be a little more expensive when you can eat a $5-10 combo deal at a fast-food chain, it can sometimes put you off when you may need to spend a few dollars extra somewhere else! But, this doesn’t mean we need to break the bank, and sometimes we have no choice but to choose more budget-friendly options but we don’t want to sacrifice our health.
You can make things as easy or as complicated as you would like to, so while we are being careful with what we spend, let’s keep things simple!
1. Take advantage of cheap proteins.
Branch towards the more budget-friendly (but more nutrient-dense) cuts of meat. This includes the tail end of a whole fish, chicken drumsticks or wings rather than chicken breast or thighs which are much denser in nutrients, chicken frames or bones to make bone broth, liver to make liver pate or fry up with chemical-free bacon (an old traditional and extremely nutrient-dense meal that your Grandma likely made weekly!), Osso bucco instead of an eye fillet, tuna in spring water and of course eggs. If you tolerate legumes, then canned legumes can be an incredibly cheap plant protein option and are often much cheaper than other examples like quinoa or hemp seeds.
2. Always make extra of everything you make.
This allows you to always have leftovers to go to for lunch or dinner, swaying you away from buying food out which is often triple the price depending on where you go. However! Don’t let it go to waste, buy a bunch of containers to fill with your leftovers and place them in your freezer. Some examples of meals that can be frozen include; bolognese, curries, soups, slow-cooked meats, leftover smoothies, and of course bliss balls and slices.
3. Keep your vegetables simple, shop around, and these are some of the cheapest options!
Firstly, try to go to a local farmers market, and go regularly so you can discover who is charging the cheapest. Often when you go to the one place over and over, the farmer will throw in some extras for you or give you a hefty discount. If you don’t have the option of a farmers market, stroll through the supermarket and stick with the basics that are cheap but incredibly nutrient-dense; canned tomatoes rather than fresh (still beautifully nutrient-dense), spinach (can also be frozen for smoothies and hot meals), broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin, sweet potato, onion and garlic. Eating a variety of these will still give you an array of nutrients and fibre that your body is craving.
4. Take advantage of frozen fruit.
There is nothing wrong with frozen fruit. It is MUCH cheaper than fresh, will never go off and therefore will never be wasted, and can be eaten in a variety of ways. I love frozen fruit in smoothies, chia puddings, made into jams, cakes, jellies or slices.
5. Always look out for and take advantage of discounted items.
Buy bulk of discounted food items or products that will either last a long time in your pantry, fridge or that can be frozen.
6. Don’t let your food go to waste, like most of the population.
35% of the food in households across Australia go to waste. This makes 35% of the money your spending not worth spending! Towards the end of the week, get all your veggies out of the fridge and either make a; stirfry, soup, curry, a vegetable puree (my favourite is cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini steamed and blended with ghee and salt!), or fried rice to use up all of the leftover veggies that may have gone to waste. Otherwise, cook them and freeze them so they never go to waste.
I hope this helps you save your health, but also your pennies!
Consulting Qualified Nutritionist