Some might think, It costs more to eat right. But truth is, eating right can fit well within anyone’s budget. All that is required is little advance planning (consider this before you go to Shoprite or your local grocery stores). In this current economy, many of us are living on a budget and looking for ways to reduce food expenses while still enjoying tasty, nutritious meals. With the right tips and a little planning, it is possible to enjoy healthy cheap food. The more you focus on purchasing local, unprocessed food and preparing meals at home, the healthier and tastier your meals will be, the better you’ll feel, and the more money you’ll save.
Try some of these top strategies for eating right on a low budget.
Choose a variety of whole fresh fruits and vegetables in seasons.
They’ll be most abundant, most nutritious and least expensive. — so what fruits and vegetables are in season now?
Though it’s possible to eat out and eat right, the sure way to enjoy a right-priced, right-sized food is to prepare it yourself. Preparing your own food gives you total control over the ingredients and is cheaper than buying food at work/school. Learn to work with spices & herbs. Try the recipes on our website (Diet234.com). Invest in a cook book like ermmmm can’t think of any right now.
Buy Whole Foods.
Unprocessed foods are cheaper and more nutritious than processed foods. They also give you total control over the ingredients. Remember eating right can never be over-emphasized and knowledge of the food condiments is a step in the right direction towards healthy eating.
Buy from local farmers or from farmers’ markets.
Many cities, as well as small towns, host weekly Farmers’ Markets. Here in the east, we have four market days, you can travel to these big markets and buy as much as you can afford. Local farmers bring their products to specific locations, typically open-air street markets, and sell fresh food directly to you, often for less than you’d pay in the store or supermarket. If you go towards the end of the market, some venders may sell their remaining perishable items at a discount and they often give you free stuff when you buy a lot (mmezi in Igbo, fisi in Yoruba) lol
The good thing in this is.. you are supporting your local economy, and the environment.
Buy everything from one place.
Time is money and fuel is expensive. Stop running to 10 different places to shop. Find 1 or 2 places that get you cheap prices for most foods you need and buy everything there.
Avoid Impulsive buying.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. The best way to avoid impulse buying is to prepare yourself before you go to the store. Make a List and Stick to It. List all foods you need for the next 7 to 14 days. Go the store/market, get what’s on your list and get out.
Grow Your Own Food.
Perhaps a small garden at your back yard where you can plant vegetables, grains, etc.
Bonus Tip: Healthy & budget don’t mix well. If you really want to eat healthy you’ll have to put money down. Get a job if you don’t have one. Work on a salary increase or additional stream of income if you must.
Find cheaper protein options.
One of most effective ways to save money on food is to learn how to purchase protein in the most affordable way. Protein is a vital part of a healthy diet. Whether it is from meat or vegetarian sources, our body relies on protein for many of its functions. As we know, meat can be quite expensive. However, many consume more animal protein than they need. so by making a few adjustments to our diets we can save money and still have plenty of protein in our diet.
One can decide to make one or two days in the week strictly for vegetarian diets. You can call it veggie Monday or just anything to like. It’s sounds like fun right?
Buy in bulk
Doing things in bulk saves time and money. Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper. There are many items that can be bought in bulk – grains, dairy products, and meat, for example. You can freeze perishable items, such as meat, milk, and bread, in smaller portions to use as they are needed.
Buy your grains in bulk (including cereals) and store them in airtight containers. Examples are whole grain brown rice, wheat. Brown Rice can be a little more expensive than white rice, but the higher nutritional value is well worth it. Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrients, including protein.
Bulk protein comes in many forms. For example, you can buy a whole chicken and have the butcher cut it up for you. Then you can take home and store in your freezer that’s for those of you who live in areas were there is constant electricity. Legumes (beans) and tubers can easily be bought in bulk at stores in the market.
Save money by cooking in bulk.
It can be a good idea to pick one or two days a week, maybe on Saturday and Sunday to cook meals that can be eaten on multiple days. When there’s constant electricity, this idea is perfect. One can always freeze the remains for another day.
Above all, know that YOU can eat like a KING even on a low budget.