One of the main obstacles many of us face when making a decision on what to eat is how much it costs. Many will argue that it is just cheaper to go to a fast-food/takeaway place than it is to do a bit of shopping and really the case. A healthy meal can be made for as little as a £1 if you plan ahead, spend a little time in the kitchen and are willing to try new things.
Here a few tips on how to stock up on healthy foods and create healthy eating habits for you and your family.
- Shop with a list. The best way to approach a healthy shop is to know what you need before you get to the shop. Writing lets you see what exactly you are planning on eating in the week to come instead of relying on instant gratification with takeaways. A list is also a good way to keep on target with your budget. If you stick to your list you are less likely to buy extras.
- Take advantage of the season. Many fruit and veg are seasonal and will become cheaper when they are ripe. Take advantage of this by stocking up on your favourites. Strawberries and grapes make great healthy snacks and green beans and sweet corn can be served with practically any main dish.
- Don’t be afraid of the market. The fruit & veg stalls in town/at the market can be the best place to get fresh veg for cheap. They usually have a great variety at a budget price. One thing to note about market produce is it might go off a bit quicker than supermarket produce so don’t over buy. It is better to go back every few days to pick up the fresh things you need than over-buy and end up wasting what you can’t get to quick enough.
- If you have a freezer, use it! If you do prefer to buy in bulk or find a special offer at the market that you can’t pass up, make sure you don’t waste what you get. Many fresh foods are freezer-friendly cooked or raw. You can also utilise the freezer to prep for future meals. If you make a slightly larger than usual lasagne or curry, why not freeze half of it? It makes for an easy-to-prep meal later. This is really good if you have a toddler as you can prep homemade favourite meals instead of expensive, store-bought ones. Leftover bread can also be frozen.
- Leftovers can be great. If you don’t have the freezer space, don’t worry. Instead of taking another boring sandwich for lunch, have your leftovers. They can last a few days so you don’t have to eat them the day after you have them for dinner. You can also have a leftover dinner night where you pull all the all the dishes out and let everyone in the family have their choice from the left-over buffet.
- Cheaper cuts are just as good. Just because a cut of meat is cheaper does not mean it won’t be good. Less expensive cuts like shin, shoulder or braising steak are money saving cuts that can often be less fatty and have a great taste. The cuts usually do take a little more prep like slow roasting to make them tender, but roasting is something that can be done in a crock-pot while you are at work.
- Try new things. There are thousands of healthy recipe out there. Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to buy an expensive cookbook to get them. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration as well as create your own online cookbook full of recipes you have tried and would like to try. There are also hundreds of other recipe websites to browse for new food ideas.
- Make cooking a family affair. Many people aren’t keen to cook because they view it as a chore. Why not make it fun by including everyone in the family? Even if the cooking task is simple, by including partners and children the family gets to see what is being cooked and has a sense of pride in the meal because they helped create it. This will also help lay the ground work for healthy eating and cooking habits in the future.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a burden. Simple changes can encourage a healthier lifestyle and save you money. All you need to do is try. If you have any questions about changing your eating habits or would like to know more, contact us today to work with our nutritional therapist.