I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and came to the realisation that health professionals and social media influences often offer advice or lack of, from a place of privilege.
They offer solutions to problems by sprouting supplements, ‘super’ foods and nutritional nonsense. A lot of the time they talk about their skin routines, attending the best gyms and exercise studios in their cities, seeing alternative health professionals and buying only organic. I, myself have been to an alternative health practitioner. I saw a naturopath and she was amazing. However, she was so expensive and seeing her regularly really put a bit of a dent in my budget.
What I’m trying to say is that there is a way to be healthy and live your best life without it hurting your hip pocket. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive. You don’t always need to buy your products from farmers markets. Yes, as much as I do love them, not everyone has the ability to buy from them or has one in range, nor do you always have to buy organic fruit and veg.
The truth is healthy eating is actually a lot cheaper than what many people make it out to be. You don’t need to compromise on your budget or miss out on buying avocados while saving for your first home.
By making a few simple changes you can save money and limit food your waste #winwin
Here’s my 11 tips to save money and eat simple, fresh and healthy food and reduce food waste.
1. Create a ‘use by’ shelf in your fridge
Use this space in your fridge to place any foods which are close to going bad. It might be milk, ripening fruit, wilting celery or precooked rice. You get the idea. Essentially everything in this shelf is either something you’ll cook with first or will need to freeze.
2. Stock up on ice-cube trays
These have become such a life saver in our household. Why? Well I use them to freeze absolutely anything and everything. Make a batch of pesto, freeze it. If my herb garden isn’t doing its thing, I’ll buy them fresh, blend them up and pop them into the trays to be used in my next big cook up. I also love mixing up some garlic, herbs and butter and freezing it up. The perfect addition for homemade garlic bread.
3. You can freeze almost everything
Is your milk a few days away from expiring? Freeze it and use it to thicken up your smoothies. The same goes for yoghurts. Why not add in some frozen fruit and you’ve got your own frozen yoghurt ready to snack on. You can freeze overripe fruits to use in smoothies, veggies to use in soups. I rinse off those baby spinach leaves that are a little slimy at the bottom of the bag, pat dry and then freeze them. You can then add these into omelettes or frittatas and curries. You can also blitz up stale bread into breadcrumbs to use in the future too. Other things include coconut cream/milk and even fresh ginger.
You could even add spinach or kale, and some fruit to bags for ready to go smoothie packs.
4. I’m all ‘bout the beans, bout the beans
If you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m a lover of beans aka legumes. I think the good ol green bean and chickpea would have to be my absolute favourite. They are versatile and have so many benefits. When you consume beans, you’ll be left feeling fuller and maybe a little gassy at first. They are full of fibre and help prevent constipation.
5. Plant it up
When I first got married, I was determined to have pots full of fresh herbs. I went out purchased the goods and kept a keen eye on. They all died! I also killed a bamboo plant and succulents. However, since then I’ve gotten a bit of green thumb and have even kept a Fiddle Leaf Fig alive! Anyway, all this to say, learn to grow herbs. I’m currently growing rosemary and mint. They are resilient and hardy and just when you think they’re headed to plant heaven they bounce back to life. I’ve also got basil, parsley and coriander. They need a little more love due to their delicate leaves.
6. Cook more often at home
Going out for dinner or ordering take away is just getting more and more expensive. On average, it takes the same amount of time to cook a fancy meal as it does for Uber Eats to deliver your food (PS. On many occasions I’ve ordered UberEats as well – so don’t feel guilty.)
When you cook at home you can double or triple the ingredients and have lunches ready to go for the rest of the week. WIN!
7. Become a Meal Prep Pro
It’s simple really plan your meals and then prep your meals. It will take a while at first to get use to the idea, but after a few weeks it will become a habit that you won’t be able to live without. Taking the thinking out of cooking each day, give you the space to think about other pressing matters in life.
8. Use a grocery delivery service
We are all so busy these days. It’s why I’ve turned to takeaway before. The friend was empty because I didn’t get time to do a grocery shop. As much as it is an excuse, it’s really not anymore in this day and age of the convenience generation. Book in an appointment with yourself each week to meal plan and do an online grocery shop., You can even pick a convenient time to have it delivered to you ready to go for the week ahead.
9. Take your Snack Game to the next level
Many of us lose control and have ‘snaccidents’ as the afternoon hits because of cravings or you haven’t eaten enough so you’re hungry. Make sure you keep snacks with you throughout the day. Some great choices include some fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt, fresh veggie sticks and hummus or even tuna and crackers.
If you’re stuck on snack ideas make sure you go and grab my free resource 101 Wholefood Snack Ideas here
10. Buy in bulk
You’ve heard it before. Buying in bulk may cost you now but in the long run it will save you heaps. You can batch cook and freeze it in portion-seized containers so it’s ready to go when you need it. If you do a sneaky early morning or late-night grocery shop you might find a bargain or two in the fresh fruit and veg section of the store.
11. Invest in a quality drink bottle
Buy a lovely glass or stainless steel bottle that fits in your bag so you get into the habit of carrying it around. You’ll save money, reduce waste and can feel good about helping the environment. By not using plastic bottles you’ll also be ingesting less BPAs and every cell in your body will thank you for it.
I hope you find these tips helpful in knowing that you can stick to a budget and still eat a health and varied diet.
I’ll be uploading new recipes weekly that a nourishing, simple and budget friendly so make sure you sign up to the mailing list to keep up to date.