No woman wants to hear the B word. I would rather be called a bitch then be told I need to go on a budget, but I do (sigh). Especially when it comes to food. I spend a lot of money on food. Not just because I eat healthy and am obsessed with the latest must have superfoods, but also because I eat a lot. I essentially have 5 meals a day plus snacks. That’s 2 large breakfasts, 2 lunches, dinner, snacks, smoothies, protein shakes, you name it! I eat like this because of the intensity of my training and trying to build lean muscle and I am not prepared to starve myself for the sake of a few dollars!
So what’s a girl to do?
Prepare and shop smart, that’s what!
I had to really look at what was important to me for my health (green smoothies, the quantity of meals, enough protein, carbs and veggies to give me energy) and also monitor how and where I was spending all my money! I realised I had gotten into a really bad habit of not preparing my food and buying a lot of it throughout the day. Buying lunch every day is expensive enough without buying 2 lunches a day!
So if you are like me and would like to eat healthy without blowing your budget try a few of my tips:
Shop at your local farmers markets – if you live in Bondi sadly this doesn’t count. I try to go to one in Marrickville where I can buy Kale for $2. The veggies are really cheap, somewhat organic and I’d rather support our local farmers directly than the evil of the giant supermarkets.
Minimise your smoothie. I use to go a bit crazy adding in everything which cost a fortune but now I just pick the most nutritious – Kale, cucumber, avocado and one fruit. This knocks a few dollars off.
There is nothing wrong with frozen veggies, in fact some may argue that they are superior because they are frozen soon after picking.I can’t say the same for most of the produce you find in your supermarket!
Preparation is the key. If you want to eat healthy food and save money you need to shop smart and dedicate a few hours once or twice a week to cooking up a storm and preparing for the week (or at least a few days). Even better if you can plan out each meal for the week.
Stock up on eggs – As long as you are not vegan eggs are a great healthy high protein snack or meal which you can team with a variety of things.
Shop at Aldi – I mean seriously why wouldn’t you? I know some people find it annoying that they can only buy a few things there, but go once a month and stock up on things like brown rice, tuna, their organic range (yes they have one). Just quietly, I bought most of my fitness equipment from Aldi! I rocked up at Aldi straight out of bed (yep no make up and PJ’s – I slept in!) to fight with all the other PT’s who knew about the secret sale! I bought all my kettle bells for under $15! They are normally up to $70!
Only buy what you need. Don’t go all gang buster one day when you’re on a health kick and buy $50 worth of veggies when you know you won’t use them. Just buy what you need, when you need it.
Buy frozen berries – Fantastic for smoothies, full of antioxidants, low in fructose and if you buy them frozen they are half the price!
Make your own almond milk - oh ok I couldn’t be stuffed doing this but some of you may get a hoot out of it.
Look out of sales and buy in bulk. I’m totally addicted to organic nut butters (mainly PB) but they are ridiculously expensive, so when they are on sale I stock up. Problem is with so much on hand, I go through it too quickly and I am sure a jar of PB should last more than a week!
East seasonally – Not only is this cheaper to buy fruits and vegetables in season it is apparently better for your body too.
Bring out the Betty Crocker in you! Sure the healthy ingredients can sometimes cost a bit (Almond flour is much more expensive than wheat flour) but in the long term it’s better to make your own healthy food than buy. Try your hand at a variety of clean-eating cakes, cookies and breads, and you will save a lot of money. Why pay $5 for a protein bar when you can make your own!
Liquid Chlorophyll - I usually take a green superfood supplement or spirulina but I ran out of pretty much every supplement I take at the one time. I had to decide what I really needed so I bought liquid chlorophyll for $9 instead. It is packed full of nutrients, detoxes your body and alkalines to balance out any acidic foods you have eaten. Be warned though, it gets everywhere! I am finding green marks in random places all over my flat!
Microwave brown rice, tuna and a packet of steam veggies. This is my I can’t be stuffed budget meal which I have regularly! I always have these in my pantry and it’s a super quick meal when you get home late or when you are trying to save money. I am not saying canned tuna is the best for you, but this quick meal beats a happy meal any day.
Ok. ok, so that’s enough about budget eating! Next time lets talk about manifesting abundance (I have some awesome tips for you – no. 1 being don’t ever say the words “I am broke” “I can’t afford….”more on that later!!)
Your turn… Do you have any tips on eating healthy on a budget. I would love you to share!
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