Thursday, June 13

5 New Years Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

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Listen, January is a long month for everyone and there’s nothing quite like having to eat baked beans on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner when trying to save money before payday. But, despite what you may have heard, it is completely possible to eat healthy on any budget! Forget fancy, overpriced health foods. Going back to basics with healthy eating is the trick to following a healthy diet on any budget.

Storage is the answer

It’s a little-known fact that storing your fresh fruit and vegetables in the correct way can help to extend their shelf life, while storing them incorrectly may speed up the oxidisation process that may cause them to go off quicker. Reducing food waste is key in cutting down your grocery bill every month.

Onions and potatoes should be stored in a dark cupboard, tomatoes and eggs do not need to be kept in the fridge, while leafy greens should be wrapped in a dishcloth or paper towel and stored in a container in the fridge or the crisper drawer to keep them crisper for longer. Invest in storage bins for your fridge and keep-fresh food storage solutions for your grocery cupboard to keep foods fresher for longer and ensure you don’t have too much wastage.

fridge food

Avoid food waste with canned foods

Shopping for groceries can be a mind field at times. We all want to find the best prices on groceries to reduce our monthly food bills. We’ve all done it — bought fresh fruit and vegetables with the sincere intention of eating them, but before we know it, they have passed their expiry date through oxidisation, and we have to throw them out. Save money, and avoid food waste, by opting for canned food alternatives, which have a much longer shelf life (generally up to three years) and can easily be stored in a cupboard until you need them.

With the ever-rising cost of food prices, canned foods can also help us eat the recommended 5-a-day (at least three vegetables and fruit daily) in a more affordable manner. And, because canned foods are already prepared and ready to eat, there is no need to cook them, simply warm them up, if you choose. This is also a great hack to save you time and money when you are on the go.

Meal prep and save

2023 is the year of meal prepping! Not only does a weekly meal prep schedule save you time in the long run, but it’s also much more cost-effective when you buy ingredients and prepare meals in bulk. Preparing a number of meals at once can also help you save on electricity costs, especially with the imminent electricity price hike and load-shedding. Cooking a recipe or preparing a dish that you can eat over two or three (maybe more) meals works equally well, and you can freeze the leftovers for another day.

Invest in food storage solutions for your meals so you can store them neatly in your fridge once you’ve prepared them. That way they will be easy to identify and grab when you’re ready to tuck them in!

fridge food

Eat filling foods like high-fibre carbs and legumes

High-fibre carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, wholewheat bread, high-fibre pasta, and lasagne sheets) as well as legumes and pulses (chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, pinto beans, green peas) are more filling than low-fibre alternatives and much more effective at satiating hunger for longer. This means you won’t have to eat as big a portion or as often. High-fibre foods, including fruit and vegetables, are also healthier for your gut microbiome, which will help to keep your immune system functioning at its optimum.

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Establish a vegetable or herb garden

Even if you don’t have a garden or balcony, you can set up a DIY vegetable or herb garden on your window sill with your vegetable offcuts. This is easiest to do with leafy vegetables and root vegetables. Submerge the stems or cuttings of these vegetables in fresh water (which is changed daily) and leave them in a light place to allow them to sprout roots or new leaves. You can also buy seeds for the herbs and vegetables you want to grow and nurture them from a seedling to a tasty morsel ready for the pot.

Invest in a few home gardening essentials for your little urban farm at home and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labour in no time!

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