Lifestyle: How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

A recent study conducted by The Institute of Economic Affairs claims that the idea that healthy food is more expensive than junk food is simply erroneous – a myth perpetuated by a society not yet ready to give up its double bacon cheeseburgers. Now, whilst I pretty much failed economics A Level and haven’t picked up the Financial Times (unless in error before discarding it with horror for a more accessible read) I respectfully disagree, if for no other reason that I just spent £16.00 on a tub of almond butter in Holland & Barrett because apparently it’s more nutritious than peanut butter (at my last check a tub of Skippy costs a couple of bob). But, as someone who after years of yo-yo dieting is now doing their best to eat healthily, there is no doubt that this lifestyle, whilst beneficial to my waistline, is quite possibly decreasing my savings in much the same way.

That being said, there are a few tips and tricks I have picked up along the way which should make healthy eating that little bit more affordable.

Planning
I really cannot stress how much planning can help in fighting, not only the bulge, but wasted finances. In my opinion going into any supermarket without a shopping list is like wearing heels on Boxing Day sales – you need to be primed and ready for the situation at hand. Instead, plan your meals in advance – and then make a note of what you will need to create these gastronomic delights. This should prevent wastage, saving you those precious pounds, and if that sort of thing floats your boat, the world’s resources as well.

Snacks
Whilst this is really a continuation from point 1, I do feel it necessitates its own point because

snacks, particularly those of the healthy variety, can become pretty costly. All those bags of fancy popcorn and individual pieces of fruit can easily add up, so plan your snacks and, particularly, try to buy in bulk. And if that means a visit to Costco then so be it. It will make a huge difference.

Fruit & Veg
Fruit & Veg is, without question, just very expensive – particularly if you go by the new governmental guidelines which demand that we eat 10 pieces a day. Not only are veggies expensive, they also shrink on cooking. A lot. Meaning you always need so much more than you first imagine. To reduce costs do try and visit either you local fruit market or a lower cost supermarket like Aldi. And if you find your fresh produce is going off – try the frozen option.

Experiments
So you have found the latest fad that is going to change your diet. For me it was this healthy food bread that involved a plethora of different seeds, a range of weird and wonderful seeds and some other new-agey flour. I made it once, and then I was stuck with a random assortment of ingredients that weren’t generally required in day to day life – quinoa flour anyone? If you are determined to experiment, try to limit it to once a month. Most of us tend to cook what we know and you may find that it all works out pretty expensive.

Overripe bananas
People often take a look at overripe bananas and simply throw them away. People, how wrong you are! Overripe bananas hold a world of possibilities – banana bread (check out this recipe from the lovely Jenna Hope nutrition) as well as my personal favourite banana pancakes (banana and egg blended together) – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it folks. The internet has some mouth-watering recipes, so think before you throw!

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