September 12

8 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

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Tight family budgets are a common concern when it comes to eating healthy, but eating nutritious food doesn’t have to seem so unattainable. With the cost of living on the rise, making smart choices when it comes to your groceries can be a game changer. Cheaper and more convenient foods may be easy, but planning and preparing can go a long way to keeping the weekly food budget down and still be delicious and nutritious.

  1. Use what you already have on hand. Do you have leftover freezer meals that you can utilise as a freezer surprise?
  2. Sit down and plan your meals. This not only helps you stick to your family budget, but you minimise food waste.  Meal planning also has been associated with eating healthier and less obesity 1.
  3. Write a shopping list; this has many benefits, including:
  4. Reducing unnecessary purchases and how much you spend. This is not only great for your back pocket but your waistline. Research suggests that when you have to make multiple choices without a list, it can affect decisions on what items are purchased, suggesting weakened self-control and unhealthy choices 2.
  5. Saves time when doing the shopping, making it quicker and easier.
  6. Buy fresh produce at your local farmer’s market or local greengrocer. Research has shown that greengrocers were found to be “significantly cheaper” than supermarkets3. They may offer mix boxes, have specials, and may do loyalty cards.
  7. Bulk up your meals with plant proteins like lentils, beans, and legumes. Lentils are cost-effective, nutrient-dense, and are a great way to add additional protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meals.
  8. Buy your meat in bulk and portion out your meals for the week.
  9. Start a vegetable garden: Fresh herbs are not only delicious but can add another flavour dimension to your food.
  10. Cook your meals at home.  You can always double your meal and use it for another meal when you might have a tight schedule or running around with kids and their after-school activities. The benefit of this is you know what ingredients go into your food, and you can use leftovers for lunches the next day.

3 Ways that you can get the most out of your grocery budget:

  1. Shop for fresh fruit and vegetables or meat at your local farmer’s market.
  2. Join a food Co-Op in your local area.
  3. Buy your meat in bulk and divide your meat into appropriate portions according to your meal plan.

If you need more personalised nutritional advice, Life Zest Health has a nutritionist available to support you and your health journey.

References:

  1. Ducrot, P., Méjean, C., Aroumougame, V., Ibanez, G., Allès, B., Kesse-Guyot, E., Hercberg, S., & Péneau, S. (2017). Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity14(1), 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0461-7 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5288891/
  2. Castro, I. A., Majmundar, A., Williams, C. B., & Baquero, B. (2018). Customer Purchase Intentions and Choice in Food Retail Environments: A Scoping Review. International journal of environmental research and public health15(11), 2493. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112493 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266052/#B6-ijerph-15-02493
  3. Abley, S., Cassar, O., Khinsoe, E., Marks, L., Vanderzwan, O., Palermo, C., & Kleve, S. (2020). Do Farmers’ Markets Offer Consumers an Available and Affordable Supply of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Compared to Other Retail Outlets in Australia? Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition15(6), 827-834. https://doi.org/10.1080/19320248.2020.1761503 Retrieved from: https://research.monash.edu/en/publications/do-farmers-markets-offer-consumers-an-available-and-afforda

Tags

Budget, family friendly, Healthy eating


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