This Blog is about healthy eating on a budget and how it is possible to save money while eating healthy nutritious food. Healthy eating has a bad rep as the majority of people are spun a good tale through marketing that it is boring and bland. This could not be further away from the truth; eating healthy meals is not only cheaper, but you will feel so much better too! If you want to learn about healthy cooking for a family while watching those pennies read on…
There was a recent article in The Telegraph released this past week which compared the price of 1000 calories of junk food to 1000 calories of healthy food. Firstly, it would take a lot more fruit and veg to make up 1000 calories than a burger for Maccie Dees! For me this article is a waste of time – why? I don’t care if it actually does cost more to eat healthy – I want to feel great and want to feed my family food that will give them everything they need to grow and develop. This will not be found in a processed burger! What also boggles me with this article is that the comparison is not fair, as they are not relative in the fact that they do not have the same outcome, the cost is not the only factor which should be taken in to account when choosing what to eat.
What should be considered when comparing foods?
- How does it make me feel?
- How long will it keep me feeling full for?
- What effect will it have on my health and wellbeing?
- How convenient is it?
- Can I cook it?
All these factors should be taking in to account when comparing junk food against healthy foods. Healthy eating wins for me every time, and yes I appreciate everyone’s idea of healthy eating is different. For me healthy food is based around the 3 macronutrients – carbs, proteins and fats, and also getting your required micronutrients through your diet. Each meal should consist of ALL three of the macronutrients, what should differ is the quantity depending on the time of day, your activity levels and how your body runs better. A lot of people think that by dropping carbs they will lose weight easily (which they will). This is not due to dropping an ESSENTIAL food group but because of the massive calorie deficit! The way you will feel due to lack of energy and cravings will make you miserable and moody; then you will eat them and the weight comes straight back on…Anyway I digress!!
This is a great way to save money as you will be able to buy in bulk and can portion out your food as its cooked which prevents you from piling it on your plate! I like to batch cooking on a Sunday while the footy is on. My favourites are Red Lentil Soup, Chilli Con Carne, Vegetable Chilli and Chicken Curry.
Ever heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” this can be used in so many ways. The people that do best in life are people that plan. This is a very bold statement however everything that goes well, whether it be an event, job interview or project is due to PLANNING. When you start to plan your meals you can see ways to save money, for instance you will not buy ingredients that are not needed as they will not be on your shopping list. You can get a punnet of mushrooms and use half one day and then the rest the next day. If you do not plan you will end up needed to go back out to the shops which we all know will trap us in to spending more of our hard earned money! So plan your meals and STICK to the plan! Also means your hubby can’t say “I didn’t fancy that” when they come home as they will have seen the planner and will know exactly what to expect in advance!
Use locally sourced produce
Each Thursday we have market in our little village and you get some beautiful looking fruit and veg at bargain prices. Using local farmers and butchers builds relationships and he/she will point you to the best deals and give you the best bits if you’re a regular! It’s their version of getting served in the bar quicker when you know person behind the bar 😉 Another great reason to use locals instead of the big supermarkets is that it will be helping your local community and probably help pay the bills for the owner instead of lining the big supermarkets’ pockets.
Cutting the crap
Giving up junk food will 100% save you money! Stop buying fizzy drinks and juice and have water, it’s a lot cheaper and has so many benefits. Switching snacks of chocolate bars and crisps for fruit is a great way to see if you are in fact hungry or just eating for the sake of it. If you are genuinely hungry you can eat a banana, if you won’t then you can’t be that hungry! A bag of bananas in Aldi are 67p I think, would that same amount get you one chocolate bar and a packet of crisps?!
Are this seasons MUST HAVES!! On cold long days when the last thing you want to do is cook a meal when you have had a full day at work or have been chasing your kids around all day… It takes less than 10 minutes to prep a healthy nutritious meal and then you can forget about it and get on with your day. There is nothing nicer than coming home to the smell of food in your house! Try some classic dishes – they’re always the best! Chicken Casserole, Beef Stew and Roasting Joints are on my weekly menu
Ordering food from a Chinese on a Saturday can take up to an hour! Imagine what you could do in the kitchen in an hour! Fakeaways are a great way to enjoy the food your love and not get stung with a hefty bill when your food arrives. So pick your favourite takeaways and make your own home made version. It’s a great couple activity to take in turns or do together when you have the kids in bed. You’ve heard of Naked Chef right 😉
I have already stated how important planning is, another time saving and also penny saving trick is prepping fruit and veg as soon as you get it. I have thrown out so many melons as the idea of cutting the damn thing when I am hungry makes me want to cry! So when you do your shopping keep out all your fruit and veg and put the rest away. Then wash it and cut it up how you need it. Simple but literally a life saver when you’re hungry! Cutting peppers, onions and mushrooms mean you can chuck together a cheap option of an omelette within minutes. Your freshly washed fruit can be bunged straight in your smoothie maker of a morning and your carrot sticks can be dipped in your hummus when you need something to tide you over until dinner time J
He is a little gem! He petitioned for better food in schools….and now he brings you money saving meals and shows you how you can utilise the leftovers to make another scrummy meal! Give this man a high five! If more Chefs used their powers for good the world would be a better place! So get your sky remote out and record his series and when you need some inspiration you know where to look! Another option of course you could even by my recipe book which has over 130 healthy living recipes which I have tried and tested by fitpros! #justsaying find out more here >>
Cheap As(s) Food
This may be a little stereotypical but I mean no offence. Student life is renowned for being all about spending money on going out and having fun and literally having the bare minimum possible spent on food! Legend Rich Sennewald is making it his mission to show all that cheap ass frozen food can be made with REAL food and taste good AND be cheaper. Yesterday he made his own version of a pot noodle which contained rice noodles, spinach, shitake mushrooms, stock paste, spring onions, tomato puree and ginger and garlic granules, soy and teriyaki paste and today he is making Spicy Chicken Wings! To check out his page visit here >>
I think we put so much pressure on ourselves and expect far too much too. If you don’t have time or have no idea where to start – GET HELP! I know I have needed help – especially when my husband is away. I have no qualms paying for a cleaner or ironing lady to work their magic when I don’t have the time. I know this is about saving money, we cannot put a price on our sanity though! If you need help with a meal planner, or have no idea how much or this or that you should be eating – get in touch! Receive 10% discount when you use discount TOPLT when you contact me here >>
So the next time someone tells you that eating healthy food costs too much…tell them they’re just doing it wrong!
My profile on Top Local Trainer can be found here >>