Eating healthy on a budget |02 September 2022
As food prices continue to increase worldwide it is no wonder that prices here continue to go up as we are heavily reliant on imported foods. This should however not be a deterrent for us to have healthy meals. We just need to be smarter about how we plan our meals and do our shopping.
We are going to go through some tips and ideas to save you more money at checkout without you needing to sacrifice your health.
Before heading to the shop have a look at what you actually have at home so you don’t end up buying too much of it. When you don’t have a lot of money to spend you want to avoid wastage and only buy what you actually need.
Some people find it easier to plan for one week while others prefer to plan for a month. One thing to bear in mind is that the plan is not set in stone and can be modified but doing it helps you have an idea of what you need to buy. Try to keep it as simple as possible. Lunch can also be the leftover from dinner.
Make a list of ingredients that you will need for your meals. This will help make shopping faster and reduce the temptation to buy items that you don’t actually need. Avoid buying items that are not on your list as they will end up making you spend a lot more than you planned.
Choose more homemade meals
Cooking at home not only saves you more money but enables you to have more control of the ingredients used in a meal.
Dining out from time to time is okay when you have money to splurge but if you are struggling to make ends meet then a homemade meal is your best bet.
Homemade meals can also be stored and used as another meal the next day. This can therefore be another way to save money as you will not need to buy take-away.
Highly processed foods vs whole foods
This is a no-brainer. We have been talking for a long time about the health benefits of whole foods and the negative health impacts of highly processed foods.
Highly processed foods are devoid of essential nutrients and usually high in salt, saturated fats, sugar and additives. Think frozen pizzas, burgers, nuggets.
It turns out that many of these foods are also quite pricey. Therefore, not buying highly processed foods allows you to have more money to buy healthier foods. So it’s a win-win situation.
Diversify your proteins
Many protein-rich plant-based sources are widely available and affordable. This includes options like beans and lentils, either dried or canned.
At least once a week plan a meal which excludes meat and have beans or lentils instead. Beans and lentils are not only great sources of protein but they are also rich in dietary fibre, many vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals.
Another great protein option is eggs which is also widely available and cheap. Eggs can be used as either a breakfast, lunch or dinner option.
Canned tuna is another great way to get in some good quality protein without a lot of fuss as it is already cooked and ready to eat. It can easily be used in a salad or added to rice or pasta dishes.
It can also be served alongside some cooked breadfruit or plantains especially during this time when fresh fish is more expensive and not readily accessible for many.
Also consider buying canned items like tuna and beans in bulk as it may cost less and due to their longer shelf-life they can be stored for a longer period of time.
Grow your own
Although this may seem like a tedious task and may seem impossible for some based on their living arrangements, there are some great benefits to growing your own food.
The most obvious one of course is the fact that you will save money as you will have regular supplies of what you are growing.
Another benefit is knowing how it’s been grown – what has been added or not. You might also find that it tastes better than the same item in the shops. Some great options to try out include herbs, spring onion, tomatoes and cucumber.
As you can see it doesn’t have to cost a fortune for you to eat healthy, wholesome foods. Remember that eating well has long-term benefits for your overall health.
Thank you for joining us this week on our Eat for Our Health page. Look us up on Social Media – Eat for our health Seychelles on Facebook and @eat4ourhealth on Instagram.
And don’t forget to drop us a little email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you’re doing with these ideas, or better still, share your favourite dishes or tips.
Yours in health
The E4OH Team