Eating healthily can certainly take its toll on your bank balance. Therefore, it stands to reason that eating healthily towards the end of the month, when you’re broke, is even harder.
But, before you reach for that 1.99 meal deal because it’s cheap and cheerful you might like to know that you CAN still fill your kitchen with wholesome, healthy grub and eat like a king (or queen) even when the pennies are few and far between.
And it’s all to do with prep.
Yes folks, organisation in this instance is your one-way ticket to healthy eating survival, so we’ve put together our top 10 tips to help you thrive when you’re skint…
1. Plan your meals
It may not be as fun as winging your meals on a daily basis but planning your meals really is step 1 in your healthy eating survival quest.
All you need to do is choose one day a week to plan all your meals for the upcoming week and then jot down exactly what you’ll need from the supermarket to make those meal dreams a reality.
Remember to take note of herbs, seasonings, veggies etc. you may still have in your kitchen – you’d be surprised what you’ll find lurking – and make a point of only writing down the things you really, honest to goodness NEED.
By doing this, you’ll be less likely to have a huge amount of wastage by the end of the week thus saving you a small fortune!
2. Stick to that list!
After you’ve spent the time jotting down your shopping list, stick to it!
For some, walking into the supermarket is like a day out at the park – there’s so much to do, to see, to buy… - but don’t give in. You definitely don’t need that pack of 4 leeks for 50p a leek and potato soup you didn’t plan on making.
Only shop the aisles you need to and start with the edges first. This is where you’ll find your veggies and other healthy items so you’ll be able to stock up.
The middle of the shop is often where you’ll find the confectionary aisle, the crisps and snacks aisle, the add boiling water to this pot of noodles aisle and other aisles generally known for being heavily processed and expensive.
However, if you desperately need something from these aisles, look to the top shelf and the bottom shelf before the middle as savvy shops stick their priciest items at eye level.
3. Batch Cook and Use Leftovers
Batch cooking not only saves you precious time, but it can save you a bundle too.
Rather than cooking up that Bolognese for 2, cook for 4 and freeze two portions so you always have a healthy meal to hand when you find yourself strapped for cash.
Roasting a chicken? If there’s meat on the bones after, don’t throw it away! Strip the meat and use for stir-fries; maybe top a wrap or salad.
Better yet, if you want to get really frugal, use those bones to make up a delicious chicken stock so you don’t even have to fork out for those wee cubes…
Think smart when cooking your mid week meals and by the end of the month you’ll have a freezer full of goodness.
4. Don’t Shop Hungry
An actual real life, hold our hands up study was conducted to see if shopping whilst hungry can impact how much is spent and what is bought.
The results were phenomenal with people who shopped hungry more likely to buy things they didn’t want or need and spend a small fortune in the process.
This is because a supermarket is actually a wicked place of temptation guised as a magical land of deliciousness.
When you’re hungry, you’re easily side tracked and more likely to buy on impulse – yes, we’re talking about that chocolate bar that miraculously found its way into your trolley at the tills.
If you do find yourself in this position, try and grab a piece of fruit instead or snack before you go shopping to stop any unwanted purchases.
5. Head For The Freezer Aisle
If you love wholefoods but end up tossing a lot at the end of each week then you need to check out the freezer aisles.
Here you’ll find every single kind of veggie you could wish for picked at the height of freshness and flash frozen to retain nutrients.
It’s also cheaper than the food you find in the fresh produce section and, because it’s already frozen, you’ll save yourself some expensive spoiling heartache!
6. Go For The Sale
If you see a deal – go for it, especially if you happen to use the products frequently.
You might as well stock up and save yourself money in the future. By doing this, you’ll also guarantee you have healthy ingredients in your kitchen making it easier to stick to that plan.
One piece of advice, check the expiry dates. You don’t want to have to throw food away because it went out of date before you got around to eating it.
7. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk can really save you a bundle because you’ll often found the per 100g price far less than if you bought smaller quantities.
By spending a little on a lot, you’ll naturally save money in the long term. And don’t worry if you think you’ve ordered too much.
Most of our goodies can be frozen when they arrive with you, so you’ll always have something delicious and nutritious to hand.
8. Buy Cheaper Cuts Of Meat
You already know you can save a bundle on lean protein from yours truly, but if you’re really feeling the pinch, check out the cheaper cuts.
Cuts like these can be used in delicious batch cooked meals like casseroles and stews. Other cheaper cuts can be used in stir-fries and soups – more meat for your money!
9. Pack A Lunch
Shopping for your lunch every day can be super pricey. If you fall into this category, we ask you to make a note of how much you spend each day on your lunch. We bet the end of week total might shock you.
So, by packing a lunch for yourself using ingredients you’ve already bought at the supermarket you’ll naturally save yourself some dough.
And, if you’ve batch cooked your meals you’ll always have a hearty lunch to hand!
10. When All Else Fails… Make An Omelette
Eggs are an inexpensive, incredibly versatile and nutritionally rich food.
Boil them, poach them, fry them, make an egg fried rice with them – the meal opportunities are literally endless.
So, if you’re really feeling the pinch towards the end of the month, buy yourself some eggs and get creative by using up whatever is going in your kitchen.
We guarantee what you make will be tastier, and cheaper than that take out your were thinking about…