It’s no secret that healthy living can be quite expensive. Clearly, quinoa will always be more expensive than white rice and healthy packaged snacks will always be at least treble the price of your regular trans fat-filled snacks.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. When it comes to healthy living, the key is to SPEND SMARTLY. There are ways to ensure that you are not spending excessive amounts on foods that are categorised as “healthy”. When it comes down to it, in my opinion, your health is a worthy investment and I would much rather sacrifice a few extra cedis/pounds/dollars etc. a week on healthy food than penny pinch on unhealthy, convenience foods that could be detrimental to my health.
So in this post, I am going to share a few tips that will enable you to save money on your weekly healthy shop whilst getting the most, nutritionally, out of the foods you buy!
1. Cook, don’t buy!
Cooking your food instead of buying ready-meals or eating out is the best way to save money. Think about it! Your average sandwich from a cafe could cost you £3. Now lets compare this to if you were to make your own HEALTHIER sandwich at home using products from your average supermarket:-
(DISCLAIMER- prices may vary depending on supermarket)
2 slices of bread- 5p
1/2 an avocado- 50P
1 tomato sliced- 20p
1/2 a chicken breast- 50p
A pinch of salt and pepper- 1p
Plus, you will have leftover ingredients to make many more sandwiches. So make sure to resist the temptation of buying foods whilst you are out. As the common West African phrase goes, “there’s rice at home!”
2. Meal prep
Following on from the first point, making food at home is crucial and in order to make sure that you have an effective cooking system going on, it’s important to meal prep. I will have a whole post dedicated to meal prepping in a few weeks time but for now, I want to highlight that prepping your meals in advance on a Sunday not only saves you time but it saves you money. It also ensures that you make a grocery list ahead of time with the exact ingredients you need for the week. This way you will not be tempted to buy extra items when you visit the grocery store. Whilst out at work, as a result of meal prepping, your lunches and snacks will always be at hand ensuring that you don’t spend money on food when you get a craving. Watch out for my upcoming post on meal prepping!
3. Buy seasonally
This tip is especially crucial for fruit and vegetables. It is more cost-effective to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season than when they are not. For example, a punnet of strawberries in the winter costs up to £1.50 more than it would in the summer when strawberries are in season. Do your research and find out which vegetables are in season and buy accordingly. The few pennies you save may not seem like much but in the long run it is more efficient.
4. Use your freezer
Your freezer is probably the most important kitchen appliance you could have. You can make your meals for the week, freeze them and take them out when you are ready to eat them; or you can buy fruit and vegetables in bulk and freeze them to prevent them from going rotten and to avoid throwing them away and therefore throwing cash down the trash. Preservation= cash conservation!
5. Less meat, more veg
Meat tends to be quite expensive but if you are trying to live healthily you will tend to cut down on your meat intake, particularly red meat. This works out quite well for your wallet as this allows you to dedicate more money towards buying healthier ingredients such as vegetables, which people claim are more expensive. This is, however, a myth! Vegetables actually work out to be cheaper than meat especially when you buy them in their natural, pre-packaged form. For example, a head of lettuce costs 60p for up to 4 portions vs. a bag of pre-washed and cut “salad leaves” which cost £1 for 2 portions.
Also, buying cheaper cuts of meat and fish, such as chicken thighs (which are very lean) or white fish instead of salmon can save you a few bucks!
6. Go wholegrain
Whole grains are grains that are in their natural state such as bran, brown rice, popcorn, bulgar, buck-wheat and wholewheat pastas. These are often quite cheap and because of their wholegrain nature, they keep you fuller for longer and therefore ensure that you don’t consume as much. This works out to be quite cost-effective in the long run. So pile up your plate with grains instead of refined carbs which don’t keep as full.
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions or comments leave a reply below! Share these tips with your friends and subscribe for more informative posts just like this!