How to Shop for Healthy Food on a Budget?

How to shop for healthy food on a budget
Dr. Benyamin Mansoori
Dr. Benyamin Mansoori

MD, FRACGP, FACAM
Advance Diploma in General Dermatology
Diploma of Cosmetic Medicine

healthy food

How to shop for healthy food on a budget?

Eating healthy is not easy or appealing – especially when we live in a world where processed fast food is significantly cheaper and often tastier. Why spend $15 on a healthy salad bowl, when we could get more food, at a cheaper price from Hungry Jacks? 

It is a dilemma that we all struggle with. It just seems that eating healthy is more expensive and not as convenient in comparison. However, eating healthy will pay off in the long term and here are some tips when it comes to shopping for healthy food on a budget.

1 – Meal Prep

A common pitfall for many of us is coming home after a long, tiring day of work and not having any food to eat. Cooking seems like the right thing to do, but after a frustrating day, ordering something online or going around the corner to buy a meal is suddenly, extremely tempting. This a major reason for why we lose so much money – the most effective way of saving money is by cooking food at home. 

To optimize this approach, use your weekends to plan and cook the meals and snacks you will consume throughout the week. Not only will this save you time, but it will also save you money and you will always have a delicious meal waiting for you at home.

2 – Stick to a list

It is now time to head to Coles or Woollies and purchase groceries. These stores are designed to entice us to stray away from what we need, and without realising it, we end up with an unplanned pack of Doritos finding home in our shopping trolley. To avoid this situation, make a list of items that you need to buy and never stray away from this.

3 – Buy in Bulk

This is a simple concept – buy items in larger quantities when they are on sale. This method ensures you do not run out of healthy foods and saves you money in the process. Ensure to use this method with foods that have a long-shelf life (thankfully most healthy food do so!!)

4 – Choose seasonal produce (or buy the frozen alternative)

Purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in-season will always be the cheaper option. However, if you want some blueberries, but it is not the season for it – then opt for the cheap, frozen option. 

If you are concerned if frozen fruit is not healthy, research has shown that produce that is frozen soon after being picked will be preserved. There are no excuses to not be eating fruits all year long.

5 – Prepare your own food

It is always tempting to buy the shredded carrots, the pre-made curry, the bottled salad dressing than preparing it all from scratch. It is more expensive to buy pre-prepared food, and, in some cases, it will also have less quantity. 

Make your food from scratch, it will taste better, it will be healthier, it will be cheaper, and it will be more fulfilling.

6 – Limit how much you spend on liquid calories

Limit your spending on coffee, bubble tea, fruit juices and protein shakes. You can make all of these at home and for a cheaper price. If you are feeling thirsty, drink tap water. It is free and refreshing.
Remember eating healthy is difficult. There is a conflict of convenience and money but healthy eating is necessary for a long, happy life.

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